John Frohnmayer, former head of the National Endowment for the Arts, will speak at Southern Oregon University, Monday, April 14, at 7 p.m. on "No Read, No Think, No Democracy."




The evening will begin with a short dramatic reading by actor Paul Jones from Ray Bradbury's "Fahrenheit 451."




"Fahrenheit 451" is the book highlighted for the 2008 Jackson County Reads, a collaborative project of Jackson County Library Services, Jackson County Library Foundation, and Hannon Library and Westwind Review at Southern Oregon University. Bradbury's "Fahrenheit 451" is a book with special meaning for residents of Jackson County. In 2007, county residents learned that it doesn't take an event as dramatic as a book burning to lose access to the world of books, reading and information. In April 2007, the 15 branches of Jackson County Library Services were closed and remained closed for more than six months.




Longtime arts advocate, trial lawyer and accomplished singer, John Frohnmayer was appointed by President George H. W. Bush to chair the National Endowment for the Arts in 1989, amid controversies regarding public funding for art.




Frohnmayer's 1993 book, "Leaving Town Alive: Confessions of an Arts Warrior," chronicles his tenure as the fifth chairman of the NEA and his encounters with the politics of art and artistic freedom.




John Frohnmayer was born in Medford and earned his undergraduate degree from Stanford University, master's degree in Christian ethics from the University of Chicago and law degree from the University of Oregon School of Law, where he was editor-in-chief of the Law Review. He chaired the Oregon Arts Commission from 1980-1984. Frohnmayer is also the author of "Out of Tune: Listening to the First Amendment."




This event is co-sponsored by SOU Hannon Library as part of the Siskiyou Views Lecture Series. The event is free and open to the public and will take place in the Southern Oregon University Stevenson Union Rogue River Room. For more information, call 552-6836. To see a listing of all Jackson County Reads events, look online at .