The life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. will be celebrated at the Town of Cary’s 18th annual DREAMFEST this weekend.
The annual celebration will kick off Friday, Jan. 15, and run through Monday, Jan. 18 – Martin Luther King Jr. Day – at multiple Cary locations, including the Page-Walker Arts & History Center, Cary Arts Center and The Cary Theater. Some events include an International Diversity Summit that will feature a panel discussion with community and religious leaders and a showing of the film “Selma.” All events are free. Some require advance registration.
“We feel it’s important we offer a series of free public programs that recognize the significance of Dr. King’s work and his impact on civil rights in our community, our country and the world even,” said Kris Carmichael, supervisor at the Page-Walker Arts & History Center.
Carmichael said DREAMFEST offers events for all ages, especially a Saturday night arts tribute to King with performances by Gail Jackson, an accomplished soprano, and The Gifted Arts Inc., a nonprofit organization. It will be followed by a free showing of Disney’s “Selma, Lord, Selma,” which Carmichael said would appeal to young adults and older youth.
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“We selected a film and the various different artists that we thought would give them inspiration and something that they can connect to,” she said. “Just come to be inspired.”
This year’s events are:
▪ Women of Action Gathering at 7 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 15, at the Page-Walker Arts & History Center, 119 Ambassador Loop. The event will include performances and keynote speaker Dr. Josephine Brown, a weight management specialist, who will share her perspective of New Year/New You to encourage and empower change.
▪ International Diversity Summit from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 16, at the Cary Arts Center, 101 Dry Ave. A panel discussion about the importance of diversity in our community features different perspectives, including faith, business, community and education. Some of the panelists are Howard Manning of Dorcas Ministries, Murat Kose of the Zakat Foundation, Steve Pearson of IBM, Katharine Bartlett of Duke School of Law and Pastor Benji Kelley of Newhope Church. To register for the event, call 919-460-4969.
▪ An Arts Tribute to Martin at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 16, at The Cary theater, 122 E. Chatham St. There will be performances by Jackson and The Gifted Arts Inc., followed by a free showing of Disney’s “Selma, Lord, Selma” at 9 p.m.
▪ “Selma” at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 17, at The Cary theater. Tickets are $5. The film is about Martin Luther King Jr. and his civil rights march in 1965 from Selma, Ala., to Montgomery. A Q&A session will follow the film.
▪ Dream of Democracy March 2016 at 10 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 18, in downtown Raleigh. Residents are invited to join other Triangle residents for the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative March. Participants will gather near the N.C. Museum of History at 10 p.m. The march will begin around 11 a.m.
▪ Day of Service 2016 at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 18, at the Middle Creek Community Center, 123 Middle Creek Park Ave., Apex. Volunteers will spend the afternoon doing a variety of hands-on tasks to help maintain and beautify the area around the community center. Registration is required by calling 919-469-4301 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. All ages are welcome. Volunteers 15 and under must be accompanied by an adult.
For information, go to bit.ly/1O79sKL.
Kathryn Trogdon: 919-460-2608; @KTrogdon