February is the designated month when we recognize the African American experience in America, and Atlanta has a host of upcoming events for adults and children. Here’s a look at some of them.
Every July, Atlanta hosts the internationally acclaimed National Black Arts Festival, but before the main event the annual Fine Art + Fashion is held in the winter. This year it’s Thursday, Feb. 25, at AmericasMart in Downtown. The event offers a preview of couture fashions from top designers from around the world, as well as view a selection of fine art. Actress and author Victoria Rowell will host the evening. The event supports NBAF’s education and family programs. To purchase tickets: (404) 372-4572 or www.nbaf.org.
Treasure Chest of Georgia Heroes
Imagine It! The Children’s Museum of Atlanta is marking Black History Month with a Treasure Chest of Georgia Heroes, where kids can learn about Georgia’s famous African-Americans in the arts, science, and sports. The Imaginators will bring to life wonderful stories celebrating black history and children will explore music from the swinging days of Auburn Avenue in Atlanta. www.childrensmuseumatlanta.org.
The Atlanta History Center is hosting a number of special events as part of its ongoing From Civil War to Civil Rights exhibit, which continues until November. One of those events is Let Your Motto Be Resistance: African American Portraits featuring 69 stunning photographic portraits that trace 150 years of U.S. history through the lives of well-known African Americans, including abolitionists, artists, scientists, authors, statesmen, entertainers, and sports figures. Frederick Douglass, Malcom X, Edward Bannister, Toni Morrison and Jimi Hendrix are included. For more Black History Month events at AHS, visit www.atantahistorycenter.org.
Black History Month Parade
Set for Saturday, Feb. 27, in Downtown, this inaugural event will celebrate the culture, history heritage and accomplishments of the African-American community, including performances, speeches and food. The event was still being organized at press time. For more, visit www.sweetauburn.com/bhmp.
Regina Taylor’s musical adaptation of the book Crowns: Portraits of Black Women in Church Hats will be staged Feb. 18-21 at? Baldwin Burroughs Theatre.?Directed by Jade Lambert-Smith?, the musical presents an oral history of ?African-American women affectionately known as “hat queens.” Crowns centers around a street-smart New York teenager, who is sent down south to her grandmother’s home to discover her roots. ?She learns that since the days of slavery and beyond, hats, for black women, have been their crowning glory, especially at church on Sunday. www.spelman.edu.
Kenny Leon directs a multi-cultural version of Thornton Wilder’s classic, Our Town, Feb. 25-March 21 at the Southwest Arts Center. This reinvention puts a new spin on the story on the inhabitants of Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire – a small, out-of-the-way town whose citizens mirror the timeless concerns of all humankind. www.truecolorstheatre.org.
The Center for Civil and Human Rights is expected to open in 2012, bringing a world-class museum and education/research facility to Downtown. You can follow the progress of the center at www.cchrpartnership.org.