The Art Wall at the Barn at Boyds Mills

Photo of 2024 Art Wall featuring POWWOW DAY
Book cover: Powwow Day

Featured on the Art Wall in 2024

Our 2024 Art Wall installation features story and art from POWWOW DAY, written by Traci Sorell, iIllustrated by Madelyn Goodnight, and published by Charlesbridge.

“A tender and inspiring view of Indigenous traditions and how ­celebrating them can lead to healing and redemption.” —School Library Journal, starred review

It’s powwow day—but eight-year-old River can’t dance this year. She’s been very sick for a very long time. This picture book follows River as she struggles with the isolation of a serious illness and the frustration of her physical limits—and as she finds solace in the healing power of community. Back matter explains the history and functions of powwows, which are held across the United States and Canada and are open to both Native Americans and non-Native visitors.

Highlights Foundation: Part of POWWOW DAY’s Backstory

Art Wall Entrance at the Barn at Boyds Mills

From Scholarship to Workshop to Book

In 2017, Traci Sorell received a scholarship to attend the Novels in Verse workshop at the Highlights Foundation. While attending that workshop, Traci also made some breakthroughs on a picture book manuscript she’d been drafting. (Read more about that journey here.) That book, POWWOW DAY, was published on February 8, 2022. That day also happened to be Traci’s 50th birthday and she gave a generous donation towards funding the Native Creatives Scholarship.

“POWWOW DAY wouldn’t be in the world if I hadn’t gone to where the magic happened in Cabin 7!” —Traci Sorell

Madelyn Goodnight

Photo of Madelyn GoodnightMadelyn Goodnight is a member of the Chickasaw Nation. Her work reflects her love of childhood. She holds a degree from Rhode Island School of Design and lives in Brooklyn.

Traci Sorell

Photo of Traci SorellBest-selling author and Cherokee Nation citizen Traci Sorell writes inclusive, award-winning fiction and nonfiction in a variety of formats for young people. Traci is a two-time Sibert Medal and Orbis Pictus honoree for her nonfiction work. Her first five books have received awards from the American Indian Library Association.

The Art Wall

Native Creatives Cabin Sign

The Native Creatives Cabin and Scholarship

Traci Sorell’s donation to fund the Native Creatives Scholarship expanded to include establishment of the Native Creatives Cabin at the Highlights Foundation (now sponsored by Charlesbridge Publishing), and ensures the ongoing funding of the Native Creatives Scholarship. Learn more about the scholarship and the cabin.

Charlesbridge Publishing logo

Past Art Wall Installations at the Highlights Foundation

2024 Art Wall Installation Features Powwow Day

2024 Art Wall Installation Features Powwow Day

We are excited to celebrate the 2024 Art Wall at the Barn at Boyds Mills! This year’s installation celebrates POWWOW DAY, written by Traci Sorell and iIllustrated by Madelyn Goodnight.Andrea Page (at right) was among the first to see it on campus when it was unveiled...

#HFGather with Daria Peoples, Our 2021 Artist of the Year

#HFGather with Daria Peoples, Our 2021 Artist of the Year

At our most recent #HFGather, Pat Cummings chatted with author/illustrator and HF Diversity Fellow Daria Peoples. The two shared a powerful, honest discussion about art, race, mentorship and more. The Gather was also a celebration of Daria as our 2021 Artist of the...

Launching Our 2019 Visual Arts Exhibit with Angela Dominguez

Launching Our 2019 Visual Arts Exhibit with Angela Dominguez

We are very excited to announce that author/illustrator Angela Dominguez will be the featured artist for our 2019 Visual Arts Exhibit! Artwork from Angela's book Sing, Don't Cry will be displayed in the Barn for the entire 2019 workshop season. Our 2018...

Launching Our 2018 Visual Arts Exhibit: Shadra Strickland

Launching Our 2018 Visual Arts Exhibit: Shadra Strickland

The Highlights Foundation unveiled our 2018 Visual Arts Exhibit on Saturday, March 17, with a reception at our Retreat Center honoring children’s illustrator Shadra Strickland. "We’re deeply honored to present the inspiring artwork of Shadra Strickland," said George...

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The Highlights Foundation positively impacts children by amplifying the voices of storytellers who inform, educate, and inspire children to become their best selves.  Learn more about our impact.