A Book Discussion, “For Spacious Skies” with Author Nancy Churnin

The story of Katharine Lee Bates, a pioneering woman and composer of the verses in “America the Beautiful

Watch the STORYTime Interview

About the Book

For Spacious Skies: Katharine Lee Bates and the Inspiration for “American the Beautiful” 

Written by Nancy Churnin
Illustrated by Olga Baumert

Katharine Lee Bates first wrote the lines to “America the Beautiful” after a stirring visit to Pikes Peak in 1893. But the story behind the song begins with Katharine herself, who pushed beyond conventional expectations of women to become an acclaimed writer, scholar, suffragist, and reformer. Katharine believed in the power of words to make a difference, and in “America the Beautiful,” her vision of the nation as a great family, united from sea to shining sea, continues to uplift and inspire us all.

Learn more about Nancy Churnin’s books here.

About the Author: Nancy Churnin

Nancy Churnin is an American author and journalist. Nancy is a former theater critic for The Dallas Morning News. She has published eight children’s books as of March 2021 and has two more expected by the end of 2021.

Churnin was born and raised in New York City. She received a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and an M.S. in journalism from Columbia University.

Churnin worked as a theater critic for the San Diego edition of the Los Angeles Times from 1986 to 1992. In 2000, she joined the staff of The Dallas Morning News, writing about such topics as health, lifestyles, children’s entertainment, and parenting. In January 2014, Churnin became the primary theater critic for The Dallas Morning News, a position she left in January 2019.

About the Special Guest: Denise Lee

Denise Lee, is an award-winning Dallas based actress/singer who has performed in all genres of entertainment for the past four decades.

She is the founder and Executive Producer of the Denise Lee Onstage Cabaret Series and the Dallas Cabaret Festival which is entering it 6th year. Lee has recently added ‘playwright’ to her list of accomplishments. Her first play ‘Funny, You Don’t Act Like A Negro’ had it’s World Premiere right here at the Historic Theatre Three in February 2020.

In addition to her career as an Artist, Denise Lee established ‘Community Conversation’ through her Visions For Change initiative. For five years, these monthly gatherings have brought people together for respectful, open, honest dialogue in order to heal racial and community tension. For these efforts, she has received several awards including the 2019 Cathedral of Hope’s Hero of Hope Award.

About the STORYTime Series

Celebrating Authors and the Art of Storytelling

Started in February 2021, the STORYTime Series offers a personal view into the work of a children’s book author. Each month will focus on a different book and theme. The presentation by the author is provided virtually and recorded for viewers to enjoy online.

In the inaugural year of the STORYTime Series, AIR4arts is pleased to select Nancy Churnin as the featured author.

AIR4arts is funded in part by a grant from the City of Richardson through the Richardson Cultural Arts Commission.