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Magic Trip: Ken Kesey’s Search For A Kool Place @ McDonald Theatre, Eugene/April 8, 7:00 PM

March 25th, 2011 by Anne Richardson · No Comments · News

Neal Cassady drives Further.

“Kids today have no sense of the eternal.”

Ken Kesey made this observation in a mid-1970’s interview, at least ten years after he made his famous acid fueled cross country trip. That pioneering Wagon Train In Reverse was documented on film by his own Merry Pranksters, and now, four decades later, Alex Gibney and Alison Ellwood have edited forty hours of psychedelic schoolbus footage into the documentary Magic Trip: Ken Kesey’s Search For A Kool Place.

Kesey also said “To hell with facts! We need stories!”

I met Ken Kesey once. I saw him speak publicly twice. I never set foot on Further, the bus which carried him across country in 1964, but on April 8, I can see what I missed.

A day long festival, From Ken’s Pen: Celebrating the Ken Kesey Collection at the University of Oregon Libraries, is a collaboration between Cinema Pacific Film Festival, UO Libraries and Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art.

Here’s the lineup of events:

April 8, 2011

11:00 AM  Fellow Merry Prankster Ed McClanahan speaks about Ken Kesey’s Jail Journal. At Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art.

1:00 – 4:00 PM Open House. At Special Collections and University Archives in Knight Library. Items from the Kesey Collection will be on display to raise awareness of the research opportunities the Kesey Collection offers Kesey scholars, students, and legions of fans.

3:00 – 4:00 PM Reading. UO faculty, students, staff, local authors, and community members read from a variety of Kesey’s unpublished works contained in the Kesey Collection, currently on loan to the Special Collections and University Archives in Knight Library.

4:00 PM Robert Faggen speaks on the importance of the Kesey Collection for research and scholarship at the UO. Faggen is the author of the forthcoming book Ken Kesey: An American Life. Knight Library Browsing Room

7:00 PM Magic Trip: Ken Kesey’s Search for a Kool Place, West Coast Premiere. Academy Award-winning filmmakers Alex Gibney and Alison Ellwood, the directors of Magic Trip, will discuss the film, along with Pranksters and other special guests.

9:00 PM An after-party will follow the screening and discussion, with live music, a Kesey gallery exhibit, readings, and more.

From the press release:

The UO Libraries has undertaken a fundraising campaign to purchase the Ken Kesey collection and give it a permanent home at the UO. The Ken Kesey Collection is  a comprehensive archive of typewritten and handwritten manuscripts, journals, artwork, photographs, correspondence, and personal papers Kesey amassed during his lifetime. To learn more and support this initiative, click here.

If you dislike the prospect of Kesey’s archive ending up in Texas or New Haven, consider contributing to the Ken Kesey Fund, aka Keep Ken Kesey’s Papers In Oregon.

From the UO website:

The University of Oregon has the unique opportunity to purchase the Ken Kesey Collection and keep it in its current home, the UO Knight Library, as Ken wished. Forthcoming print and film biographies will generate a resurgence of scholarly and cultural interest in Ken’s work, across the globe. If the University of Oregon is able to act on this opportunity, it stands to gain international attention as the home of the Ken Kesey Collection.

Ken Kesey’s spirit of individualism influenced a generation, and lives on to this day. The opportunity to acquire his archive will not be available again. The collection may well leave the state of Oregon, or be divided and sold into private hands, if the UO does not make it part of the library’s permanent collections at this time. The Kesey family has generously given the UO the opportunity to purchase the collection. Your gift will help the University of Oregon acquire the Ken Kesey Collection and ensure that it remains where it belongs: at home at the University of Oregon.

The Ken Kesey Fund enables the library to purchase the Kesey archive, a literary and cultural treasure, for future generations of students and scholars.

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