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LitCafe: When All God’s Children Get Together w Ann Miller Woodford

02/23/2021 @ 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM


In the spirit of exploring great WNC writing and writers, we are reprising our popular LitCafe series with the multi-talented Ann Miller Woodford, author of When All God’s Children Get Together: A Celebration of the Lives and Music of African American People in Far Western North Carolina. Ann’s exhibit of the same name is currently on display through April at the Smith-McDowell House. Join us as Ann discusses her research, writing, and the people behind the book.

About the Author and Book:

Ann Miller Woodford is a visual artist, designer, and entrepreneur, a creative person no matter what she is working on at any time. Now in her early 70s, she has dedicated the rest of her life to painting and drawing the spirit she feels and treasures around her while uplifting young people and adults. Using oils, she calls her works representational, mostly southern genre, however, she is skilled at drawing in pencil, charcoal, and ink, as well. She says, “I am motivated by people, animals, clouds, trees, rocks… Inspiration never stops!”

As a child in the segregated, one-room Andrews Colored/Negro Elementary School in the small mountain town of Andrews in North Carolina, Ann’s talents were discovered and encouraged by her favorite grade schoolteacher, Ms. Ida Mae Logan. Though Black teachers made very little money, Ms. Logan sent Ann’s artworks, at her own expense, to the Scholastic Art Awards competitions, state and county fairs, and other places from which Ann won gold keys and blue ribbons. Ann reminisces, “Her caring ways were largely responsible for helping me to build self-esteem as an artist and led me to become an imaginative, creative adult.”

A school nurse provided a set of used oils, some brushes, a palette, and a Walter Foster How to Draw and Paint Seascapes instruction book that opened the door for her love of oil painting. The early Saturday morning Jon Nagy Learn to Draw programs gave her initial skills in drawing while she was encouraged by her family and baby sister, Nina who often marveled at what she would leave on the canvas board.

Having traveled and worked across the United States, Ann built an exciting career in business and art in Los Angeles and then returned to western North Carolina where she founded One Dozen Who Care, the area’s first 501(c)3 organized by black women. Intent on nurturing seeds of change, Ann has always had a personal goal to improve understanding between races, religions, youth, and adults.

Because she saw a need to strengthen the African American heritage in far western North Carolina, Ann researched and documented the powerful personal stories of the lives of the seemingly invisible African American people of the region, culminating in her book When All God’s Children Get Together: A Celebration of the Lives and Music of African American People in Far Western North Carolina.

Along with her painting, and teaching art, Ann makes presentations on regional African American history to build self-worth in young people and uplift the elders. She inspires crowds with her art, shown in local and traveling exhibits. Her moving portraits of people and animals reveal a love for humanity and all of God’s creation in its myriad forms and moods.


6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
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Western North Carolina Historical Association (WNCHA)
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