The Celebrate! Maya Project, an Arkansas-based nonprofit honoring Maya Angelou, will honor Garbo Hearne and the late Beulah Flowers with the 2019 Spirit of Maya Awards.


The awards will be presented at the nonprofit’s fifth anniversary celebration set from 6-9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18, at the Clinton Presidential Center at Little Rock.


Angelou referred to Flowers as Bertha Flowers in “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.” Flowers was a teacher and community activist in Stamps, according to a news release.


“She supported the young Angelou’s love of books and poetry and, through literature, helped Angelou regain her speech after she was mute,” according to the release.


Hearne is director of Pyramid Art, Books & Custom Framing and Hearne Fine Art at Little Rock. She is an advocate for the inclusion of black culture in art and literature. She serves on the board for the Mid-America Arts Alliance and represents Arkansas on the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies. She is also founder of Arkansans for the Arts, an arts advocacy organization, according to the release.


“Through the Spirit of Maya Award, we remember the legacy of Maya Angelou while recognizing important community leaders who embody the lessons Angelou has given us in her works,” said Gould native Janis F. Kearney, president and founder of the Celebrate! Maya Project. “This year’s Spirit of Maya Award winners represent Angelou’s teachings and our organization’s mission through demonstrating how the humanities can help change a life.”


The Celebrate! Maya Project provides educational programming related to Angelou and academic scholarships for high school writers and poets. Tickets to the celebration are $100 and benefit these efforts.


The commemoration also includes its 2019 FriendRaiser from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 17, at Trapnall Hall in Little Rock and a Stamps Educational Bus Tour that departs from Little Rock on Saturday, Oct. 19.


For tickets or details, visit celebratemayaproject.org.