It’s a busy weekend for the arts in Grove with the inaugural Paper the Town with Art festival presented by the Grove Springs Cultural District on Saturday and a visit from historian, author and creator of the Center for American War Letters Andrew Carroll visiting Grove in conjunction with the opening night of his play “If All The Sky Were Paper” presented by the Grove Community Playmakers Theatre.

The newly formed Grove Springs Cultural District kicks off its inaugural activities on Sept 16, 2017 with an arts festival, “Paper The Town With Art.”

Visual artists and performing artists from the Grand Lake area will be participating in this great, day long event.

Businesses in the cultural district, essentially the downtown area, will be sponsoring artists in front of their business during the festival.

The festival will take place from 10:00-6:00 at the Grove Community Center, 104 W. 3 rd St in Grove, and on the lawn of this facility as well as at Grove Springs Park.

Individual artists will set up displays of their art in booths on the Community Center lawn (with the Farmers’ Market).

“We will have many activities on the lawn of the Community Center and in Grove Springs Park as well as within and on the sidewalks of businesses all along 3 rd Street, but perhaps on 1 st and 4 th streets as well where appropriate,” said Suzanne Boles, member of the coordinating task force. If All The Sky Were Paper

The arts festival in Grove is in conjunction with Andrew Carroll making Grove his only Oklahoma stop on his campaign to collect a million more “war letters”.

He believes that these correspondences between U.S. troops, veterans, and their families are “the first drafts of our nation’s history”.

They can be preserved in, and displayed by, The Center for American War Letters so that future generations will better understand their sacrifices and experiences.

Mr. Carroll will be spending five days in Grove, speaking with community groups, students and veterans and their families about this mission.

He hopes you will take time to go through your storage areas for letters from, or to, those who served in any American war, from the American Revolution to the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and be willing to donate them for preservation.

His website – warletters.com – tells how to preserve the letters, what is accepted, and where to send them.

You may take letters to the Grove Public Library, as well, for transfer to Mr. Carroll, or visit with him on September 16, 10:00-1:00 at the Grove Community Center, 104 W. 3rd St, Grove, during the Grove Springs Cultural District’s first art festival.

He will speak with Grove Rotary Club members, Grove Area Chamber of Commerce members, and Grove high-school students during his week in Grove and letters may be given to him at these meetings.

He will also attend the opening night of his play, “If All the Sky Were Paper,” presented by The Playmakers from September 15 through October 1.

This play presents some of the most extraordinary war letters ever written, taken from several of his New York Times best-sellers, including “War Letters,” “Letters of a Nation,” and “Behind the Lines”.

You may also bring letters for the collection when you attend the play.

In 1998, Carroll founded the Legacy Project, an all-volunteer initiative that honors veterans and active-duty troops by preserving their wartime correspondence. He has traveled to all 50 states and more than 40 countries, including Iraq and Afghanistan, and has collected, to date, an estimated 100,000 previously unpublished letters (and emails) from every war in U.S. history. They are now preserved and displayed in the Center for American War Letters at Chapman University in Orange, California.

His book, “War Letters,” inspired the critically acclaimed PBS documentary of the same name, and the audio version of the book was nominated for a Grammy in the Spoken Word category. His book, Operation Homecoming: Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Home Front, in the Words of U.S. Troops and Their Families, inspired the film Operation Homecoming, was nominated for an Oscar and won Emmy Awards in 2007 for “Outstanding Individual Achievement in a Craft: Music and Sound” and “Out-standing Informational Programming—Long Form.”

Between the visit from Mr. Carroll and the inaugural Grove Arts Festival, it’s going to be a great weekend for the arts this weekend in Grove Oklahoma!