Spring is the season of renewal, when the rhythms of the earth and sun create lengthening days and life responds by bursting forth from its winter hibernation. For the Charles H. Wright Museum, our yearly renewal begins with MLK Day, Black History and Women’s History Month exhibitions and events that propel us forward like shoots from the soil to even greater things to come. To everyone who visited and experienced the film series, concerts and performances over the past few months, thank you so very much, and we do hope you join us again soon!
Poetry & Spoken Word Month
April is Poetry and Spoken Word Month, and we’ll be celebrating African American contributions to the craft with a Bamboo Muse reading featuring artist Alonzo Davis and poetry inspired by his works, a Remembering Mahogany open mic poetry performance, and the GRIOT youth story slam. We’re also partnering with Detroit Public Television to present two fantastic, free film screenings, Freedom Riders and Bhutto. And for the sake of our community’s financial well-being, we’re continuing the Smart Money Management workshop series presented by the Urban Financial Services Coalition. These free events are aimed at fostering financial literacy for both adults and children.
Ford Freedom Award
If you had to select just one event that truly encapsulates the museum’s mission, you couldn’t go wrong with the Ford Freedom Award, an annual fundraiser made possible by the generous support of Ford Motor Company. Taking place Tuesday May 17, this year’s event focuses on the law and honors “Champions of Justice” Judge Constance Baker Motley and Judge Damon J. Keith. An essay contest has been completed for grades 4 - 8 that attracts schools from across the region, as will the Scholar’s Lecture by Judge Keith to be held during the day on May 17. That evening’s black-tie gala event will follow Judge Baker Motley’s name being enshrined in the Ford Freedom Rotunda’s Ring of Genealogy, and is an event that is truly not to be missed. History, education, entertainment and achievement - this event has it all!
Dance Theatre of Harlem
In addition to our newest exhibitions, The Heidelberg Project: Art in the Streets and The Chris Webber Collection: Exceptional People During Extraordinary Times, 1755 – Present, we are excited to be hosting Dance Theatre of Harlem: 40 Years of Firsts opening this June. This traveling exhibit is a project of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Dance Theatre of Harlem and the California African American Museum, and will reflect on the more than 40 years of history of this ground- and stereotype-breaking company.
In reflecting on the daily life and work of the museum, we of course have the events we plan for. But there are also those moments of glorious improvisation, such as when the North Carolina Central University Choir, upon completion of its tour, broke into song on the rotunda floor, followed by an impromptu performance by one of their members on the cello. As the strains of the prelude to Bach’s Cello Suite No. 1 in G major reverberated off the dome, all present felt the magic and magnificence of a bit of history being made, as it is each day, within this wonderful museum. Do come be a part of it.