Thanks to a generous grant from the Community Foundation of Northwest Georgia, the Jonas Foundation was able to bring an extremely talented artist to Dalton. Carmen Deedy, a bilingual storyteller and children’s author, shared her stories with three large audiences of middle schoolers. Her stories were a wonderful mix of humor, values, and memories. After one of her performances, one student was heard to exclaim, “That was amazing!”
Carmen Deedy has been one of the most popular Jonas programs for many years, but the Jonas Foundation can no longer afford to send her to individual schools. Thus, the Foundation applied for a grant that enabled them to bus over 2,600 students to the Wink Theatre to watch Carmen Deedy perform. Three performances were held so that all the 7th graders from Dalton Public Schools, Murray County Schools, and Whitfield County Schools, along with all the Eastbrook Middle School 6th graders, could experience her stories.
Born in Havana, Cuba, Deedy came to the U.S. as a refugee in 1964. She grew up in Decatur, Georgia where she lives today. Deedy began writing as a young mother and storyteller whose NPR commentaries on All Things Considered were collected and released under the title, Growing Up Cuban in Decatur, Georgia. Many of her stories are true experiences that occurred as a result of her immigration to the United States.
In addition to being a wonderful storyteller, Deedy is also well-known for her beloved children’s books. Each of her books is beautifully illustrated and exhibits wonderful morals and values. Many of her books are written for elementary students but have important lessons for all ages.
Deedy is also an accomplished lecturer, having been a guest speaker for the TED Conference, the Library of Congress, Refugees International, and the Kennedy Center. Although she has shared her stories with a wide variety of people, school children are still her favorite audiences.