Dr. Dianna Fraley, left; Reynolds, front with violin. Students standing with Dr. Fraley and Reynolds are on the Paragould campus. Those on the screen are on the Pocahontas campus
by: Elizabeth Collins
PARAGOULD, AR, Feb. 18, 2020 – On Monday, February 17, 2020, Dr. Dianna Fraley, history instructor at BRTC, welcomed writer, folklorist, fiddler, textile artist, and community organizer Rachel Reynolds as a guest lecturer in her Arkansas History class.
Reynolds was born and raised in Arkansas and now lives in the Ozark Mountains. Her work focuses on addressing the holistic health of her home county through land-based cultural and economic initiatives.
Reynolds received a fellowship from the Southern Foodways Alliance to document Arkansas barbeque and her “Oregon County Food Producers and Artisans Co-Op” has been featured in Mother Earth News, Rural Missouri, and Acres USA. She also published a chapter entitled “Mary Celestia Parker (1904-1981): Folklorist and Teacher” in Arkansas Women: Their Lives and Times. She is a founding member of Art of the Rural and a member of the International Creative Placemaking Leadership Council.
Reynolds spoke to the class about the Ozarks Mountains’ physical characteristics, original settlers, famous people, culture, and music. She passionately described her favorite things about the Ozarks and answered the students’ questions. Reynolds also entertained the class by playing two tunes on her fiddle.
For more information about Reynolds or Arkansas history, contact Dr. Fraley at firstname.lastname@example.org.