By Steven Barker
On Sunday, October 13, the California State University,Bakersfield School of Arts and Humanities is hosting ONWARD, an event in which three artists will deliver a live oral history in the Dezember Reading Room in celebration of the 75th anniversary of the publication of “The Grapes of Wrath.”
Retracing the path of the novel’s Joad family – a journey that begins in Sallisaw, Okla, and ends in Arvin, Calif., the artist’s will discuss their experiences while reliving the Joad family’s journey.
The event itself, stemming from a partnership between CSUB’s School of Arts andHumanities and the National Steinbeck Center, is intended tocelebrate the anniversary of John Steinbeck’s celebrated book. Of the novel’s many settings, the Joad spend a significant period in Kern County.
Also featured in Sunday’s event is an exhibit of Dorothea Lange’s photos, which are on exhibit in the Walter Stiern Library.
Beyond celebrating the novel’s publication, the event also celebrates Bakersfield’s cultural history.
“We want to draw attention to the fact that we do have this cultural heritage and that we can build on it,” Collins added.
In conjunction with the upcoming event, the Walter Stiern Library has been hosting a photo gallery with images of the Dust Bowl, the time in which the “Grapes of Wrath” was published.
“The majority of the photographs on display come from the Library’s California Odyssey: Dust Bowl Migration Archive,” said Christy Gavin, a librarian at CSUB and curator of the photo exhibit. “Most of the images in the Archive were taken in the mid to late 1930s by Dorothea Lange.”
The event begins at 5:30 p.m. and will be held in the Dezember Reading Room.Admission and parking are both free.