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Featured Presenters Join Agenda for Cash Heritage Festival


JONESBORO – Three titans in the art of filmmaking will serve as featured presenters for a special event hosted by Rosanne Cash on Friday afternoon, Oct. 18, as part of the 2019 Johnny Cash Heritage Festival in Dyess. The trio was announced by Cash during a trip to Little Rock Thursday to promote the festival includes:

  • Pam Baucom, co-producer of the eight-part Ken Burns documentary “Country Music,” which will air on PBS during September. Baucom will be sharing behind-the-scenes stories about the process of putting this massive eight-year project together. 
  • Thom Zimny, director of the feature-length documentary, “The Gift: The Journey of Johnny Cash,” which premiered in March at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Music Festival in Austin.   Zimny will discuss making the documentary, which includes much of the narration in Cash’s own voice.  
  • William Ferris, former Delta resident and former chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Ferris has just won two Grammys for Voices of Mississippi, his historic lifetime work in gathering field recordings of blues and gospel singers and storytellers.

These presentations will be held from 1 to 4:30 p.m. at the Dyess Community Center.  Admission will be $15, with tickets available through the festival website, JohnnyCashHeritageFestival.com, or by contacting the Central Box Office in the Arkansas State University First National Bank Arena at the lower red entrance, 870-972-2781 or 800-745-3000.  (For festival participants with “Full Circle” packages, admission to these Friday afternoon presentations is included.)

The special presentations will conclude the festival’s academic symposium, “Our Musical Genealogy: Country Music and the American Experience.”   The earlier symposium events, from 9 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 17 through noon Friday, Oct. 18, will be held in the Dyess Colony Visitors Center and are free and open to the public. 

Pam Tubridy Baucom

Baucom has been an employee of Florentine Films, Ken Burns’ documentary film company in Walpole, N.H., since 1993. Previous to the “Country Music” documentary, she produced, with Burns and Paul Barnes, a seven-part, 14-hour series on the lives of Theodore, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, “The Roosevelts: An Intimate History.”

During her first 16 years at Florentine Films, Baucom was Burns’assistant and also helped with production work on award-winning films on the Lewis and Clark expedition, the life of Mark Twain, the suffragists Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, and the history of the National Parks. 

Prior to her work in film, she taught students with learning differences at Landmark School in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Mass., and was the elementary art teacher in the Manchester public school system. Baucom resides with her husband, Jim, in Walpole, and they have two adult children, Caitlin and Timothy.

Thom Zimny

Zimny is a Grammy® and Emmy Award®-winning artist, and the director and producer of “Springsteen On Broadway” (NETFLIX / 2018). His film, “Elvis Presley: The Searcher,” a two-part feature, premiered at SXSW and aired on HBO in 2018, receiving widespread critical acclaim.

He has previously directed and produced two feature length documentaries chronicling key chapters in Bruce Springsteen’s recording career, winning a Grammy for “Wings for Wheels: The Making of Born to Run,” while “The Promise: The Making of Darkness on the Edge of Town,” premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and was subsequently released on HBO.

Zimny has worked with Springsteen for the past 18 years and has directed documentaries, including “Bruce Springsteen’s High Hopes” (HBO/2014) and “The Ties that Bind” (HBO/2015), the short film for High Hopes track “Hunter of Invisible Game,” co-directed with Springsteen, and several music videos. He has also helmed music videos for Bob Dylan, The Low Anthem and many others.

Zimny previously edited three seasons of the highly acclaimed HBO series by David Simon, “The Wire.” He has also served as a consulting producer on Trouper Production’s “Downloaded” (VH1/2014) and “Deep Web” (Epix/2015) and as a music consultant on HBO miniseries “Show Me a Hero.”

William Ferris

Ferris is the Joel R. Williamson Eminent Professor of History Emeritus at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  He has written or edited 10 books and created 15 documentary films. He co-edited the Encyclopedia of Southern Culture (1989), which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. His books include “Give My Poor Heart Ease: Voices of the Mississippi Blues” (2009), which was translated into French as “Les Voix du Mississippi” (2013), “The Storied South: Voices of Writers and Artists,” and “The South in Color: A Visual Journal” (2016).   

Ferris curated “I Am a Man: Civil Rights Photographs in the American South—1960-1970,” which opened in the Pavilion Populaire in Montpellier, France, in October, 2018. His publication, “Voices of Mississippi,” is a box set published by Dust to Digital in 2018 that contains three CDs of his recordings of blues, gospel and stories, a DVD of his documentary films, and a book. 

His honors include the Charles Frankel Prize in the Humanities, the American Library Association's Dartmouth Medal, the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award, and the W.C. Handy Blues Award. In 1991, “Rolling Stone” magazine named him among the top 10 professors in the United States. He is a Fellow of the American Folklore Society. Ferris received the B.L.C. Wailes Award, given to a Mississippian who has achieved national recognition in the field of history by the Mississippi Historical Society.  In 2017, Ferris received the Mississippi Governor’s Arts Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Festival Tickets

In addition to the $15 tickets (plus applicable fees) for the Friday Special Presentations, tickets for the culminating concert Saturday, Oct. 19, also are available through the festival website or the Central Box Office in A-State’s First National Bank Arena. Concert ticket prices are $35 plus applicable fees for general admission; $100 plus applicable fees for reserved chair seating; and $200 plus applicable fees for a Full Circle Package (limited number available).  The Full Circle Package includes seating in a special reserved section for the concert, field parking adjacent to the concert, admission to the ticketed Friday afternoon special presentations, and an invitation to a private Friday evening “suppertime stations” event with the Cash family.

A limited number of parking passes for the field adjacent to the concert are available to $100 ticket purchasers for $50 until spaces run out. They can be purchased by contacting the Central Box Office at the above numbers. (Parking passes cannot be purchased online.) Passes will be mailed out, along with a parking map, directions and instructions.

The festival is coordinated through Arkansas State University Heritage Sites and licensed through the John R. Cash Revocable Trust. 

Pam Baucom Photo by Craig Mellish IMG_5334_news.jpg

Pam Baucom (Photo by Craig Mellish)

Bill Ferris Photo by Marcie Cohen Ferris
William Ferris (Photo by Marcie Cohen Ferris)

Thom Zimny news.jpg
Thom Zimny