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Program Type: Discussion

Community Conversations are a partnership between the Rock Island Public Library and the Midwest Writing Center, featuring a look at important issues to the community through the lenses of reading, writing, and discussion.

This event will feature storyteller, performance artist, and former Poet Laureate of the Quad Cities Shellie Moore Guy, who will read from and discuss her new children's book HOW LITTLE BILLY LEARNED TO PLAY, which tells a fictionalized story of local music legend William "Bill" Bell (1936-2017) and how he learned to play music with the help of his family and friends in the community. Moore will be joined by friends in conversqation about the book's connections to local cultural, musical, and community history.
Doors - 5:30 p.m.
Event - 6:00-7:00 p.m.
Q & A - 7:00-7:30 p.m.

Copies of the books will be available to purchase. Event is free & open to the public.

Shellie Moore Guy is a storyteller, performance artist, published poet and former Poet Laureate of the Quad Cities who uses self-expression as a tool for individual and community empowerment.
A lifelong resident of Rock Island, Illinois, her work as an artist, community activist, and advocate has blended art, activism and education in many areas. She is the director and founder of Ebony Expressions Dinner and Book Discussions, which encourages adult reading and community fellowship, Healing Waters, an organization that uses artistic monologues of domestic violence survivors to encourage individual and community awareness and healing, as well as Polyrhythms, a grassroots, non-profit community and cultural arts advocacy organization.

Her book of poetry, “Remembering Melodies: A Thank You Note,” examines and celebrates family and community. Her one-woman shows include: “Roots Survive” and “I Have Come to Testify, Can I Get A Witness,” performances that are designed to teach, uplift and transform.

Shellie also created Tribal Team Poetry and Black Art Collage to encourage high school and college students to express themselves through poetry and visual art. She is currently working on additional stories for children, including one based on her own family’s early history.

The events is made possible in part thanks to the generous support of the Illinois Arts Council Agency.