Recreating the Joad’s Journey through Route 66
In 2014, the National Steinbeck Center celebrates the 75th Anniversary of the publication of The Grapes of Wrath by convening a national dialogue, seeking out the experiences of individual Americans today, and bringing them into the light.
From October 4-14, 2013, the National Steinbeck Center will recreate the journey that The Grapes of Wrath’s Joad family took along America’s Route 66 through Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona at the height of the Dust Bowl—toward California and their hopes of a better life.
The trip will be led by artists, writers, musicians and others who will be actively engaged in exploring the human experience of struggle and resilience - each charged with creating new work inspired by the journey. They will interview people along the route, collect stories, and create artistic explorations on these themes. Journey participants will invite public collaboration through multiple social media channels. This trip will be documented and shared as part of the anniversary celebration in 2014.
In the 1930s, Steinbeck told the story of the millions of Americans suffering through the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl, giving voice to families and individuals who struggled every day to transcend devastating hardships. His novel, The Grapes of Wrath put these stories on the national stage. Today we face many of the same challenges: great financial insecurity, unemployment, foreclosures, and drastic environmental change. What are our sources of resilience? Who is giving voice to these stories now? The answers will come from the people the National Steinbeck Center meets along this journey and will be shared during the 2014 Steinbeck Festival.
For more information about this and other events, visit our website at https://www.steinbeck.org