Martin Luther King Jr. birthday celebrations

Best Bet

January 17, 2002|By Lori Sears

Honor the life of one of our country's greatest dreamers - Martin Luther King Jr. - this weekend and on Monday at two area events. While the late civil-rights leader's birthday was actually Jan. 15, the national holiday is this Monday, Jan. 21. In celebration of King's vision and enduring legacy, the American Visionary Art Museum will hold events all day Monday, and Port Discovery will hold events all day Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

Visitors to the American Visionary Art Museum can take guided tours of the exhibit The Art of War & Peace: Toward an End to Hatred and watch films about King. Gospel music will be performed by the Calvin Statham Singers, and jazz music will be played by Mr. Funn and the Dunbar Jazz Ensemble. Maria Broom will present a dance-and-storytelling performance. And Abu the Flutemaker will demonstrate the uses of his homemade and recycled musical trash instruments.

There will also be a "poetry slam" at the museum. Entitled "Slam at the AVAM," the event allows anyone to perform an original poem of up to three minutes, before a panel of judges. The poetry slam is open to the first 25 people who register Monday. Sign-up begins at 10 a.m. The top three poets will advance to a second round and must read a new poem. Audience response is encouraged.

Visitors to Port Discovery can celebrate the life and works of Martin Luther King through games, hands-on activities and educational programs. Kids can test their knowledge of the civil rights movement and the historical figures involved, through an interactive trivia game. Kids will also be able to create a "Cultural Awareness Mix and Match Book," which will have them matching up characteristics and beliefs of a variety of cultures.

All visitors to Port Discovery can learn about famous African-American inventors in the R&D Dreamlab. Young visitors will make machines using real tools and work on their own inventions. This program will run throughout February.

Events at the American Visionary Art Museum, 800 Key Highway, run 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday. Teachers will be admitted free. Regular admission is $6; $4 seniors, students and children; free for ages 4 and under. Call 410-244-1900. Events at Port Discovery, 35 Market Place, run 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Monday and noon-5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $11; $8.50 ages 3-12; free for ages under 3. Call 410-727-8120.

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