A week of celebration in Salina is planned to honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Kansas Wesleyan University has been chosen to host this year’s Salina community-wide Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Sunday, January 18th at 3:30 in the afternoon at Sams Chapel. According to the school, it is the second time KWU has had the honor of hosting this gathering. The celebration will be ecumenical, with people of all faiths welcome to participate.
One goal of this community event is to spark interest among teenagers and young adults in the work and vision of Martin Luther King Jr. To help them catch the spirit of Dr. King, the celebration will have a youthful emphasis, with KWU Chorale members presenting portions of the program. The special guest speaker will be Dr. Wes Jackson, founder and president of The Land Institute.
A collection will be taken at this event, with proceeds going toward Circle of the Heartland and to the upcoming 2015 Kansas Mission of Mercy Dental Clinic, organized by the Kansas Dental Association Feb. 13-14 at the Salina Bicentennial Center. MORE INFO: http://www.ksdental.org/kmom-salina-feb-13-14/
The program will involve a many different groups from throughout the community, and will include a presentation of “The Anthem,” a 15-minute musical tribute to the life and work of Dr. King, plus special music during the offering collection by the Kansas Wesleyan Chorale. At the conclusion, a featured prayer will be prayed in multiple languages by students of Kansas Wesleyan University and Brown-Mackie College.
This annual celebration is a long-standing tradition for Salina. The Sunday afternoon gathering is one of a series of events in Salina celebrating of the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that will take place from Jan. 15-19. The theme for the 2015 celebration is “The Dream Lives On.”
These events are being planned and presented by the Martin Luther King Jr. Ad Hoc Committee, a broad-based community-wide organization which follows the guidelines established by the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Change. The concept of nonviolence aims at achieving a reconciled world by elevating relationships to a place where justice prevails and persons may attain their full human potential. This year’s program is funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency, which believes a great nation deserves great art. It is also sponsored by Salina Arts & Humanities and Salina Community Relations Department and Human Relations Commission.
This year’s series of Martin Luther King Jr. events begins with a special performance of The Langston Hughes Project at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 15 in Fitzpatrick Auditorium, located in KWU’s Sams Hall of Fine Arts. Admission is free. The multi-media presentation combines a spoken word artist, live jazz quartet and visual illustration from the Harlem Renaissance. It presents Hughes’ kaleidoscopic jazz poem suite, “Ask Your Mama: Twelve Moods for Jazz,” a homage in verse and music to the struggle for artistic and social freedom at home and abroad at the beginning of the 1960s. It incorporates music cues drawn from blues and Dixieland, gospel songs, boogie woogie, bebop and progressive jazz, Latin “cha cha” and Afro-Cuban mambo music, German lieder, Jewish liturgy, West Indian calypso and African drumming.
The other Salina community events during this Celebration week:
• On Monday Jan. 12, a proclamation will be read during the 4 p.m. Salina City Commission meeting.
• One Mic open mic poetry performance featuring poet M’Voynne Payne from Kansas City, MO, at Ad Astra Books & Coffee House, 141 North Santa Fe Avenue, at 7 p.m. Friday Nov. 16. Those under age 16 must be accompanied by an adult, as some poems may contain explicit content. Admission is $5.
• At 6 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 17, a Community Potluck supper will be held in the Student Activity Center at Kansas Wesleyan University, 100 E. Claflin Ave., Salina. Drinks will be provided. All are welcome to bring a dish to share, with free admission for potluck attendees to the 7 p.m. KWU men’s basketball game against Ottawa.
• A Community-wide Interfaith Memorial Service will be held at noon on Monday, Jan. 19, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, at St. John’s Missionary Baptist Church, 215 South Chicago Street, Salina, KS.