Imagination Library

Dolly Parton’s “9 TO 5 THE MUSICAL” Partnering With Imagination Library

Published March 11, 2020 / Last Updated March 11, 2020
Team Dolly is a collaboration of writers, editors, and publishers assembled by Dolly Parton Productions. Each member is dedicated to accurately publishing the latest news and historical archives of the living legend that is Dolly Rebecca Parton.

Managing Editor - Jacob Timmons
Senior Editor - Amanda Webb
Creative Director - Sarah Chapman
Team Dolly

Australia’s “9 to 5 THE MUSICAL” will support Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library with a special charity performance on June 18.

Producers John Frost and Suzanne Jones are delighted to announce that “9 to 5 THE MUSICAL” is partnering with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library to bring the joy of reading to children in need across Australia.

As the official charity partner of the musical production, ‘9 TO 5 THE MUSICAL’ will host a charity performance on Thursday, June 18 at 7:30 PM with the proceeds from 500 ticket sales going directly to the Imagination Library. These funds, plus other fundraising initiatives on the night, will assist the Imagination Library to bring the gift of reading to children all around the country. Dolly Parton said,

“I am thrilled to announce that “9 to 5 The Musical” will be raising funds for a foundation I started 24 years ago and is very close to my heart, The Imagination Library. The program sends out over one million free books each month to children all around the world – I guess that’s why they call me the book lady!”

Producer Suzanne Jones said, “We are thrilled to be collaborating with Imagination Library as our chosen official charity partner on 9 to 5 The Musical. Dolly Parton herself established this charity initiative in the US as a tribute to her father who never learned to read. Her aim was to inspire all children to love to read, and we are looking forward to helping her accomplish that mission here in Australia.”

Clayton Noble, Chief Executive of United Way Australia, said, “We are very excited to be hosting a special charity performance on Thursday, June 18 with proceeds from the ticket sales to go towards supporting families and carers involved in the Imagination Library, and providing the gift of a book each month to children aged 0-5 in many communities across Australia.”

Special Charity Performance

IMAGINATION LIBRARY CHARITY PERFORMANCE
Venue: Sydney Lyric Theatre, The Star
Date: Thursday, June 18, 7.30 PM
Prices: $79.90 (Transaction fees apply)
Book Tickets
* Performance times vary weekly
** Transaction fees apply

Team DollyDolly Parton’s “9 TO 5 THE MUSICAL” Partnering With Imagination Library

Film About Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library Premiering April 2

Published March 3, 2020 / Last Updated March 4, 2020
Team Dolly is a collaboration of writers, editors, and publishers assembled by Dolly Parton Productions. Each member is dedicated to accurately publishing the latest news and historical archives of the living legend that is Dolly Rebecca Parton.

Managing Editor - Jacob Timmons
Senior Editor - Amanda Webb
Creative Director - Sarah Chapman
Team Dolly

“The Library That Dolly Built” will premier in over 300 theaters nationwide on April 2, 2020, with a special appearance by Dolly in New York.

Released by Dollywood and Abramorama in association with The Dollywood Foundation, “The Library That Dolly Built” is a behind-the-scenes look at Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. The one-night event will integrate with Imagination Library affiliate partners in multiple communities around the country and is set for screenings in over 300 locations on Thursday, April 2, 2020. In New York City, the film will premiere at the Sillas SVA Theater, hosted by United Way of New York City and featuring an appearance by Dolly Parton.

Dolly created her Imagination Library to inspire a love for books and reading amongst the nation’s preschool children. Since inception in 1995, the Imagination Library has gifted more than 135 million books to children and is currently gifting books to 1.45 million children around the world each month.

Dolly Parton said, “I always felt we owed the world a better and deeper understanding of the Imagination Library but the stars never quite aligned. When Nick Geidner came to us with his unique vision and talent, I knew the time had come to make this film. I am a charter member of the Dream More Club so with the help of Abramorama, Dollywood and all of our community partners, we hope to make a big splash in theaters all across the country on April 2. We have come a long way but there is so much left to do!”

Premier Events Benefit Imagination Library

The Imagination Library affiliates screening the film on April 2, 2020, will receive 50% of box office proceeds to further their year-round efforts. Timed to the nationwide screening event of “The Library That Dolly Built” and the NYC premiere screening, Sheena Wright, President & CEO United Way of New York City, will be announcing a significant expansion of UWNYC’s ReadNYC: Books from Birth initiative, the affiliate initiative for Imagination Library efforts in New York City.


Theater Listings 

“The Library That Dolly Built”

“The Library That Dolly Built,” directed and produced by journalism professor and director of Land Grant Films Nick Geidner, and narrated by Danica McKellar, goes behind the scenes of Dolly Parton’s literacy-focused non-profit, Imagination Library, to show how one of the most famous and beloved performers in the world has developed an efficient and effective program for spreading the love of reading. Imagination Library started as a gift for the children in Dolly’s hometown, Sevierville, Tennessee, and is now active in all 50 states, and 5 countries, gifting 1.45 million free, age-appropriate books to children every month. The film also provides a glimpse of the profound impact the Imagination Library has on the people through original interviews with authors, policymakers, Imagination Library staff, recipients, and the legend herself, Dolly Parton. Woven throughout the film is a biographical sketch of Dolly Parton, featuring rare photos and films from her childhood. Unlike most biographies of Dolly, it doesn’t focus on her music. Instead, it demonstrates that at every point in her career, any time she has had success, Dolly Parton has come back to Sevierville to give back to her people.

Abramorama commented, “Dolly Parton is an American icon well beyond her musical and acting talents. Her vision to tackle illiteracy with her foundation has improved the lives of millions of children and will continue to do so for years to come. All of us at Abramorama are honored to collaborate with Dollywood, The Dollywood Foundation and Imagination Library to help get the story of Dolly’s literacy program to fans around the world. Amazing as her foundation is, only one person on this planet can say she’s gifted over one-hundred-million books to children…Dolly Parton!”

National Reading Month

March is National Reading Month and the Imagination Library will screen an exclusive clip from “The Library That Dolly Built” at the Fourteenth Annual The Power of Women Making a Difference awards luncheon at the Ziegfeld Ballroom on March 4th to further promote the message that reading to children is one of the most important steps to better prepare children for a lifetime of learning.

Team DollyFilm About Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library Premiering April 2

90th Anniversary Edition of “The Little Engine That Could” With Introduction By Dolly Parton

Published September 24, 2019 / Last Updated September 24, 2019
Team Dolly is a collaboration of writers, editors, and publishers assembled by Dolly Parton Productions. Each member is dedicated to accurately publishing the latest news and historical archives of the living legend that is Dolly Rebecca Parton.

Managing Editor - Jacob Timmons
Senior Editor - Amanda Webb
Creative Director - Sarah Chapman
Team Dolly

Penguin Young Readers Celebrates 90 Years Of “The Little Engine That Could”

Caldecott Award-Winner Dan Santat Illustrates 90th Anniversary Edition With Introduction By Dolly Parton

Penguin Young Readers announced today the publication of a commemorative 90th Anniversary edition of Watty Piper’s The Little Engine That Could. Scheduled for publication on April 7, 2020, as part of a 90th Anniversary publishing program, the book will feature reimagined illustrations by Caldecott Award-winner Dan Santat, and an introduction by Dolly Parton, award-winning singer-songwriter and founder of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. Dolly Parton recalls the lasting impact of “The Little Engine That Could”. Dolly said,

“My memories take me way back to a little cabin in East Tennessee. This was not a place where dreams easily came true. Too often, there was talk about all of the things we couldn’t do rather than all of the things we could do. On many occasions, when my dream seemed far away, my Mama would tell me the story of the Little Engine to comfort and encourage me. While I listened to her, I would close my eyes and think of myself as the Little Engine and just start saying over and over again, ‘I think I can. I think I can. I think I can.’ It gave me strength, it gave me hope, and it gave me the courage to keep chasing my dreams.”

Caldecott Award-winning artist Dan Santat was honored to illustrate the 90th anniversary edition: “It doesn’t take much to lift a person’s spirits and make us believe that we can all possibly become more than we ever dreamed, and it’s all thanks to a little blue engine.”

Little Blue Engine

“I think I can, I think I can.” These simple words, now ubiquitous, were first uttered 90 years ago by the Little Blue Engine in the children’s classic “The Little Engine That Could.” One of the most popular and enduring picture books of the last century, “The Little Engine That Could” has sold more than 20 million copies and inspired millions of children to push their boundaries and challenge their fears. It is the first book every child receives from Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, which now gifts half a million copies every year. The book has been adapted for film multiple times over the years, including a 3-D adaptation in 2011 featuring the voices of Whoopi Goldberg, Jamie Lee Curtis, Alyson Stoner, and Corbin Bleu. In 2005, Penguin Young Readers published an edition illustrated by Loren Long.

Author Watty Piper

Watty Piper was a pen name of Arnold Munk, an owner of the publishing firm Platt & Munk. Arnold Munk was born in Hungary and, as a child, moved with his family to Chicago. He later moved to New York, where he died in 1957. Arnold Munk used the name Watty Piper as both an author of children’s books and as the editor of many of the books that Platt & Munk published.

Illustrator Dan Santat

Dan Santat is the author and illustrator of the Caldecott Award-winning “The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend,” as well as the New York Times Best Selling titles “Are We There Yet?”, “After the Fall”, and others. He is also the creator of Disney’s animated hit, “The Replacements.” Dan lives in Southern California with his wife, two kids, and a menagerie of pets.
Visit him at dantat.com

Team Dolly90th Anniversary Edition of “The Little Engine That Could” With Introduction By Dolly Parton

National Conference of State Legislatures 2019 Legislative Summit

Published August 8, 2019 / Last Updated August 9, 2019
Team Dolly is a collaboration of writers, editors, and publishers assembled by Dolly Parton Productions. Each member is dedicated to accurately publishing the latest news and historical archives of the living legend that is Dolly Rebecca Parton.

Managing Editor - Jacob Timmons
Creative Director - Sarah Chapman
Senior Editor - Amanda Webb
Team Dolly

Dolly addresses over 4,000 US lawmakers and legislative leaders at the annual conference

Dolly Parton appeared as a keynote speaker at the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) 2019 Legislative Summit, held August 5-8 in Nashville, TN. The annual bipartisan conference aims to provide states “support, ideas, connections and a strong voice on Capitol Hill,” and Dolly took the stage to talk about literacy and her Imagination Library program.

During a Q&A segment with Tennessee Governor Bill Lee, Dolly shared how her father’s inability to read or write inspired her to launch the Imagination Library, which mails one free book each month to children from birth to age five in participating communities. What started in 1995 as a program in her hometown of Sevier County, TN, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library now spans five countries and mails over 1.4 million free books each month to children around the world.

The Imagination Library relies on local partners to secure funding for the program, and in 2004, the state of Tennessee became the first to pass legislation supporting a statewide rollout of the program. During their on-stage discussion, Gov. Lee emphasized the scientifically-proven benefits of reading to your child, while Dolly encouraged all of the legislative leaders in attendance to adopt the Imagination Library as a statewide program so that “all children in our country will have access to books.”

 “We’d like all the states to go statewide with it,” she said. “It’s not just for poor kids, but for all kids, for every child who signs up.”

Representing the Tennessee General Assembly, Lt. Gov. Randy McNally and House Speaker-select Cameron Sexton appeared on stage to present Dolly with a $25,000 check for her Dollywood Foundation, which funds the Imagination Library.

Dolly concluded her appearance with a touching performance of “Coat of Many Colors” and brought the entire audience to their feet with an inspiring rendition of “Try,” a song she wrote to celebrate her Imagination Library. Dolly left all of the conference attendees with a message of inspiration, encouraging them all to follow their dreams, to respect and love all of God’s children and to take any opportunity to work together.

Pictured Above: Dolly Parton, Toi Hutchinson (Illinois, Legislator)

Photo Credit: Kayla Schoen

Michelle Vos, Dolly Parton, Robin Vos (Wisconsin, Legislator)
Dolly Parton, Scott Saiki (Hawaii, Legislator)
Dolly Parton, Curtis Bramble (Utah, Legislator)
Tomee Heining, Dolly Parton, Jon Heining (Texas, Legislative Staff)
Dolly Parton, Martha Wigton (Georgia, Legislative Staff)
Dolly Parton, Chuck Truesdell (Kentucky, Legislative Staff)
Dolly Parton, Jim Hendren (Arkansas, Legislator)
Dolly Parton, Matthew J. Shepherd (Arkansas, Legislator)
Matthew Moonen (Maine, Legislator), Dolly Parton, Jeremy Kennedy
Dolly Parton, Matt Huffman (Ohio, Legislator)
Dolly Parton, Ronald Kouchi (Hawaii, Legislator)
Dolly Parton, Nicole Jefferson (Amazon)
Dolly Parton, Mike Bell (Tennessee, Legislator)
Dolly Parton, Bill Powers (Tennessee, Legislator)
Dolly Parton, Ken Yager (Tennessee, Legislator)
Dolly Parton, Art Swann (Tennessee, Legislator)
 
Dolly Parton, Jeff Yarbro (Tennessee, Legislator)
Dolly Parton, Dolores Gresham (Tennessee, Legislator)
Dolly Parton, William Lamberth (Tennessee, Legislator)
 
Bo Watson (Tennessee, Legislator), Dolly Parton
 
Dolly Parton, Patsy Hazlewood (Tennessee, Legislator)
Dolly Parton, Mary Littleton (Tennessee, Legislator)
Dolly Parton, Mike Carter (Tennessee, Legislator)
Dolly Parton, Jack Johnson (Tennessee, Legislator)
 
Dolly Parton, Lowell Russel (Tennessee, Legislator)
 
Dolly Parton, Scott W. Gilmer (Tennessee, Legislative Staff)
Cameron Sexton (Tennessee, Legislator), Dolly Parton
 
 
 
 
 
 
David Dotson (CEO, Dollywood Foundation), Dolly Parton, Nora Briggs (Executive Director, North America, Dollywood Foundation), Jeff Conyers (President, Dollywood Foundation)

 

Team DollyNational Conference of State Legislatures 2019 Legislative Summit

Imagination Library Documentary To Feature Actress & Author Danica McKellar

Published May 16, 2019 / Last Updated May 16, 2019
Team Dolly is a collaboration of writers, editors, and publishers assembled by Dolly Parton Productions. Each member is dedicated to accurately publishing the latest news and historical archives of the living legend that is Dolly Rebecca Parton.

Managing Editor - Jacob Timmons
Senior Editor - Amanda Webb
Creative Director - Sarah Chapman
Team Dolly

Danica McKellar Records Narration For Upcoming Imagination Library Documentary

Dolly is pleased to announce that Danica McKellar will narrate the upcoming documentary, “The Library that Dolly Built.” The documentary, directed by Nick Geidner and written by Abby Bower, explores the journey of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library from a local program to an international partnership that has now gifted over 115 million books. Dolly said,

“I was thrilled that Danica agreed to narrate our documentary. She is the perfect person to help us tell our story. She is very talented and she has such a giving heart.”

Danica is an actress, mathematics writer and education advocate. Her successful acting career includes her role as Winnie Cooper on “The Wonder Years,” several notable voiceovers for animated movies and a number of well-received movies on the Hallmark Channel. Danica said,

“I’ve admired Dolly Parton since childhood, and even more so upon learning of her Imagination Library. I can’t wait for the world to learn more about the Imagination Library through this beautiful documentary, and I couldn’t be prouder to narrate it.”

In addition to her acting work, McKellar has written eight books, all encouraging children, especially young girls, to have confidence and success in mathematics. Her book, “Goodnight, Numbers,” is currently included in Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.

 

Dolly Parton and Dollywood Sponsored NASCAR at BMS Photo Credit: Bristol Herald Courier, David Crigger.
Dolly Parton and Dollywood Sponsored NASCAR at BMS Photo Credit: Bristol Herald Courier, David Crigger.

Photo Credit: Nick Geidner

 

“The Library That Dolly Built”

“The Library That Dolly Built” is a feature-length documentary, covering the history, impact and future of America’s largest non-governmental children’s literacy program. It features the music of Dolly Parton and includes original interviews with recipients of the books, parents, policy makers, authors, program organizers, and the legend herself, Dolly Parton. With this film, we hope to celebrate one of Tennessee’s greatest exports, the Imagination Library, shine a light on the importance of children’s literacy and put a human face on the many people who make DPIL happen.

Land Grant Films

“The Library That Dolly Built” is being produced by Land Grant Films, a documentary production program housed in the School of Journalism and Electronic Media at the University of Tennessee. Land Grant Film’s mission is to provide University of Tennessee students with real-world experience in documentary storytelling while providing local non-profit organizations with videos assets that can be used to raise awareness and funds. Land Grant Films’ documentaries have been aired on Knoxville’s NBC and PBS affiliates, screened in film festivals, and won numerous awards. All of our films are created by University of Tennessee students or involve students in key crew positions. The Library That Dolly Built was directed by journalism professor Nick Geidner, edited by video instructor Clinton Elmore, and crewed by 15 University of Tennessee students.

Team DollyImagination Library Documentary To Feature Actress & Author Danica McKellar