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Garden Story: Episode 1 - The Garden as Muse| 26mins
Director: Bill Reifenberger | Producer: Bill Reifenberger
Focus Years: 2008 | Country: United States
Subject Tags: americas, culture, environment, farming, united states
Quality Tags: Optimistic, Slow, Activating, Harmonizing
A poet of the Harlem Renaissance, Anne Spencer was also an avid gardener who received creative inspiration and rejuvenating energy from her garden. What most would consider an ordinary plot of land in an urban setting, Spencer regarded as a natural extension of her artistic endeavors. This episode explores in detail how Spencer designed her garden and how in turn it influenced the themes and language of her poetry. It also depicts the rich social and cultural life that centered in her garden, which served as an outdoor gathering place for family, neighbors, and visitors to the Spencer household. Host Rebecca Frischkorn discusses the main features of Spencer's garden and recounts its use as a salon for major figures of the Harlem Renaissance, such as W.E.B. DuBois, James Weldon Johnson, Langston Hughes, and Paul Robeson. In this episode, Ms. Frischkorn is joined by several distinguished African-American poets and scholars who comment on the relationship between Spencer's garden and her poetry and discuss her achievements in the context of the Harlem Renaissance. The original score was composed by African American composer and performer Adrienne Penebre. "Garden Story" is a documentary series depicting the extraordinary power of gardens to transform our lives and strengthen our communities. Ten engaging episodes filmed across America profile a wide variety of remarkable gardens. Some are creating positive social change in our cities, while others are protecting our natural environment. Among the exceptional gardens featured are therapeutic gardens providing healing and stress reduction in medical facilities, community gardens renewing urban neighborhoods, a teaching garden for inner-city children, a world-famous botanical garden supporting a global agenda of environmental stewardship, and a wet-lands habitat garden preserving endangered species in a rare mountain ecosystem. "Garden Story" challenges common perceptions of what defines a garden and explores the many different roles that gardens play in today's world.

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Bill Reifenberger

United States


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