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FTRF to hold 45th Anniversary reception in Salt Lake City – January 17, 2015

Monday, December 22, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Jonathan Kelley
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The Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF) will kick off its series of local fundraising events celebrating our 45th Anniversary with a special reception in Salt Lake City on Saturday, January 17. The event will be held in conjunction with Pioneer Theatre Company’s world premiere production of Alabama Story, an original play by Kenneth Jones with a story featuring strong ties to FTRF’s history and ongoing work.

Alabama Story puts isolated librarian Emily Reed — and the very idea of the freedom to read — in the spotlight as she faces challenges from the very politicians who fund her job in 1959 Montgomery, Alabama. Kenneth Jones' highly theatrical play leaps from pages of history, exploring the moving story that earned Reed international headlines when she squared off against a state senator in defense of The Rabbits' Wedding, a new book by Garth Williams, best known for his artwork for Little House on the Prairie and Charlotte's Web. Reed would go on to become a charter member of the Freedom to Read Foundation, and was named to FTRF’s Roll of Honor in 2000.

There will be two performances of Alabama Story on January 17:  a 2:00 p.m. matinee and an 8:00 evening performance. Following the matinee, the play’s director, playwright, and others will present a talk-back session.

The reception will take place from 5:00-7:00 p.m. at the Quinney Law Library, University of Utah, a short walk from the theatre.  Refreshments will be provided.  Speakers will discuss FTRF’s work protecting the First Amendment in libraries and beyond, with a special focus on the organization’s activities in Utah, and Ms. Reed’s connections to the organization.

Tickets to the reception are available for $25 at Discounted $20 tickets are available to FTRF members, Utah Library Association members, and those attending either January 17 performance of Alabama Story.  The reception is co-sponsored by the Utah Library Association and the Marriott Library at the University of Utah.

For more information, contact Jonathan Kelley at (312) 280-4226 or

The Freedom to Read Foundation, a sister organization of the American Library Association, was founded in 1969 to promote and defend the right of individuals to freely express ideas and to access information in libraries and elsewhere. FTRF fulfills its mission through the disbursement of grants to individuals and groups, primarily for the purpose of aiding them in litigation, and through direct participation in litigation dealing with freedom of speech and of the press.