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Archived News Release from 2003

For Immediate Release

Redwood City Welcomes the John Steinbeck Award Ceremony for 2nd Consecutive Year, Congratulates This Year's Recipient, Joan Baez

Redwood City, CA - February 25, 2003 - Renowned musician, activist, and humanitarian Joan Baez has been selected as the 2003 recipient of the John Steinbeck Award, presented by the Martha Heasley Cox Center for Steinbeck Studies, and for the second consecutive year, the City of Redwood City welcomes this awards ceremony to its Downtown. Ms. Baez will be playing a concert at the Fox Theater on Wednesday, February 26 at 7:30 pm as a fund-raiser for the Center for Steinbeck Studies. She will receive the 2003 Steinbeck award at a ceremony at the Little Fox Theater following her concert, between 9:30 and 10:00 pm. The media is invited to attend this ceremony.

For the second year in a row, Redwood City is proud and honored to be the host city for the John Steinbeck Award, which is presented annually to artists and humanitarians whose works exemplify values found in Steinbeck’s writings, including a concern for the common people, a commitment to the natural environment, and the courage to critique the contrasts between the powerful and the poor. This prestigious award, named for one of the most impassioned chapters in “The Grapes of Wrath,” is presented by the Center for Steinbeck Studies. Previous recipients include musicians Jackson Browne and Bruce Springsteen, playwright Arthur Miller, author/historian Studs Terkel, and filmmaker John Sayles. Ms. Baez is the first female recipient.

Winner of the 1962 Nobel Prize for Literature, John Steinbeck is recognized as the great American author of the 20th century. His works exhibit a commitment to the common people and a concern for the natural environment, as well as a humanitarian character and a spirit of social engagement that he had the courage to express. This occasion is an opportunity to bring his work to a new generation of people, to raise the public’s awareness of great literature, and to inspire our young people to not only discover and learn from the writing of John Steinbeck, but also to expand their perspectives by embracing literature.

The Martha Heasley Cox Center for Steinbeck Studies at San Jose State University is the world’s largest and most complete archive of the works and memorabilia of John Steinbeck, housing a collection of over 50,000 items including manuscripts, original letters, and inscribed first editions, as well as secondary works, film memorabilia, films, and hundreds of photographs. Visit the Steinbeck Center’s website at

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Contact: Malcolm Smith
Public Communications Manager

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