An Evening with Janis F. Kearney

April 25, 2024Doors open at 6pm. Show starts at 7pm.$35/ticket (includes dinner & the show). Cash bar.Food by Heritage Catering. Location: The Joint Theater and Coffeehouse301 Main St, North Little Rock, AR 72114

Janis F. Kearney is President and Founder of the Celebrate! Maya Project.  She is an author, book publisher, and writing instructor, born to southeast Arkansas cotton sharecroppers. From 1993-2001, Janis served in the Clinton Administration, working briefly in the white house media affairs office before being appointed by President Clinton, as Director of Communications for the US Small Business Administration. In 2014, Janis founded the Celebrate! Maya Project, with the primary goal of promoting literacy, the arts and history in Arkansas schools and communities, in honor of Dr. Maya Angelou’s contributions to literature and the arts.

With musical guest The Salty Dogs

Started as a lark retro-country act, the quartet immediately found chemistry, along with a lot of joy, as they dug into their craft. Their sound has expanded over a decade and a half, from uber-twang and purist classic country to equal parts 1954 Nashville, 1961 Bakersfield, and 1972 Everywhere.

FULL BIO

From 1993-2001, Janis served in the Clinton Administration, working briefly in the white house media affairs office before being appointed by President Clinton, as Director of Communications for the US Small Business Administration. In 1995, she was selected by President Clinton as the first-ever Personal Diarist to a President. She served in that role through June 2001.

In July 2001, Janis was selected as a fellow at the W.E.B. DuBois Institute of African and African American Studies at Harvard University and continued the fellowship for two years. She was a Humanities Fellow at DePaul University from 2004-2006, and a Visiting Professor at Arkansas State University in 2007-2008.

In 2003, Janis and her husband founded Writing our World Publishing, a small, independent publishing company.  She has written or co-written 17 books, including Cotton Field of Dreams: A Memoir; Conversations: William J. Clinton…from Hope to Harlem, and Daisy: Between a Rock and a Hard Place.

In 2014, Janis founded the Celebrate! Maya Project, with the primary goal of promoting literacy, the arts and history in Arkansas schools and communities, in honor of Dr. Maya Angelou’s contributions to literature and the arts.  She also founded the Read.Write.Share Writers Project, which includes memoir-writing seminars, lectures, and workshops around the state, including the WOW! Spring Writers Weekend, and Youth Writing Workshops, held in Arkansas each year.

Her honors include:

  • 2016 Inductee into the Arkansas Writers Hall of Fame
  • Former president, and current board member of the AR Pioneer Chapter of Pen Women
  •  Former executive board member of LifeQuest of Arkansas
  • Former board member of the AR Women’s Hall of Fame
  • Former board president of the International Women’s Forum of Arkansas.
  • Founder and president of the Celebrate! Maya Project of Arkansas.
  • Inductee into the National History Makers Archive
  • Recipient of the University of Arkansas’ Outstanding Alumni Award
  • Recipient of the prestigious University of Arkansas Journalism Lemke Award.

Janis is married to Bob J. Nash, former Director of Presidential Personnel for the Clinton White House. They reside in Little Rock. They have a blended family of three children, five grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.   You can reach Janis at https://bio.site/janisfkearney