Anabranch

Anabranch gets its name from the definition itself: “A section of a river or stream that diverts from the main channel or stem of the watercourse and rejoins the main stem downstream.” Just as the stream eventually comes together again, the vision behind the literary Anabranch is “a connected Alabama where people communicate freely about big ideas that can and will improve quality of life for people in Alabama and beyond.”

When Alabama Humanities Foundation (AHF) began thinking about the possibilities for creating a second signature event, the decision to focus on Alabama’s rich literary legacy marked a natural choice.

In a state known for Pulitzers, playwrights, poets and novels, AHF is collaborating with stakeholders of the Alabama Book Festival to create Anabranch, planned for April 11 – 13, 2019 in Montgomery. The vision behind Anabranch is “a connected Alabama where people communicate freely about big ideas that can and will improve quality of life for people in Alabama and beyond.”  Its mission, according to AHF Executive Director Armand DeKeyser, is to “introduce all Alabamians to new experiences that will deepen their interest in and excitement for literature and the humanities.”

Adding two days to the well-known Alabama Book Festival, Anabranch will include humanities-focused speakers, presentations and educational offerings on Thursday and Friday.

A Thursday night opening at the Capri Theatre will feature an onstage conversation between internationally recognized Alabamians whose outstanding careers were built upon the humanities. This personal discussion will focus on their individual stories of growing up in Alabama, the impact of the humanities on their lives, and the importance of the humanities for all Alabamians.

On Friday, the celebration continues with workshops on the Troy University-Montgomery campus, for which teachers will earn professional development credits and receive stipends. On Saturday, the Alabama Book Festival gets underway with a host of authors headlining the day in Old Alabama Town.  In addition to the festival’s traditional concentration on fiction, nonfiction, children’s literature and poetry, there will be songwriters, philosophers, scholars and filmmakers in the mix.

Anabranch is one of those rare opportunities to connect the dots of the humanities’ relevance to everyday life with improving the quality of life for all Alabamians through a free, public event,” DeKeyser said.

“We are thrilled to work so closely with stakeholders of the Alabama Book Festival, a highly successful event now in its 14th year that AHF has supported over the years.  When people think of Alabama and its history, they might not automatically consider its reputation for literary works that have affected our nation for the better. We want to help change that and build on the momentum of the Alabama Bicentennial. Anabranch is a catalyst to do that.”

Endorsed by the Alabama Bicentennial Commission, Anabranch is funded in part through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and is a collaborative effort involving AHF, Troy University, Alabama State Council on the Arts, Landmarks Foundation and Old Alabama Town, the City of Montgomery, Alabama Public Television, Alabama Writers Forum, Alabama Library Association and Montgomery City-County Public Library.

For more information, contact Laura Anderson—landerson@alabamahumanities.org.

For more information on the Alabama Book Festival, check out their website alabamabookfestival.org

Anabranch is partially funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities