The Colorado, the Gila, the Salt, the Verde, the Hassayampa, the Santa Cruz: Arizona’s rivers were lush green ribbons of life flowing through a desert landscape. They became sustaining paths for indigenous traders and immigrants leaving wagon tracks and settlements. The Hohokam built vast canals from the Salt to direct irrigation water for crops. European farmers used these same trenches. The Mohave spread line villages along the Colorado—our great western Nile that is now in peril. The Gila provided sustenance for the Pima and passage for such adventurers as Father Garces and Olive Oatman. As Arizona’s only “National Wild and Scenic River,” the Verde is home to over 50 endangered species. Dr. Cravath weaves narrative, history, music, and images to share the stories of these vital resources.
This program is cohosted by Coolidge Public Library. This is an in-person program.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER
Jay Craváth is a composer, writer, and scholar in the field of music and Indigenous studies. He enjoys crafting programs from these fields into interactive discussions that include stories, musical performance, and illustrations. Cravath’s most recent album of original music is Songs for Ancient Days. A former music teacher and cultural director for both the Colorado River Indian and Chemehuevi Tribes, Cravath holds a Ph.D. from ASU in Humanities Education. He has written incidental music for documentaries and live commissions and served as an Arizona Humanities scholar and speaker for two decades. He was a National Endowment for the Humanities Teacher-Scholar. Cravath received the Arizona Humanities Public Scholar Award for his contributions to state educational and cultural organizations.