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Monday, January 9, 2017

Black History Now 2017 — Celebrations of Today’s Changemakers at the Portmouth Museums and Portsmouth Public Library

Black History Now 2017

Portsmouth, VA — The Portsmouth Museums and Portsmouth Public Library are proud to host the second Annual Black History Now – Celebrating Today’s Changemakers. The museums and library branches will host events and activities January 10th through Saturday, February 25th.

This year’s highlights include performances from internationally-acclaimed master storyteller and musician Charlotte Blake Alston, presentations and performances by Atumpan Edutainment, and Bright Star Theatre, engaging workshops and forums, local acclaimed mezzo-soprano singer, Ms. Chrystal Williams, and an African American History Expo. A special tribute to Portsmouth native and Queen of R & B Ruth Brown will also be featured. A complete schedule of events and activities is included below.

TUESDAY • JANUARY 10

What: Chrystal Williams: From Norcom to London and Around the World?
Where: Portsmouth Main Library
When: 12 noon

A forum led by acclaimed Portsmouth native, Ms. Chrystall Williams and mezzo-soprano. All forums are free and open to the public. Reservations are not needed. Complimentary beverages are provided. For more information, please call 757.393.8759.

SATURDAY • JANUARY 14

What: The Buffalo Riders
Where: Portsmouth Colored Community Library Museum
When: 1 – 3 pm
Join us as we celebrate the legacy of the Buffalo Riders, the designated African American nit from 1866 -1951. Meet with Ken Wright, president of the Buffalo Riders of Hampton Roads and discuss how this group of troops has impacted the local area and nationwide through the use of images, artifacts and memorabilia.
FREE and open to the public.

What: Bright Star Theatre Presents: Meet Dr. King
Where: Children’s Museum of Virginia
When: 1:00 pm & 3:30 pm
Included with Museum admission.
This production celebrates the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in an accessible and easy-to-follow story. Learn about key moments in the life of Dr. King from his childhood in Atlanta, Georgia and the important lessons passed down by his father, to some of his greatest moments as an inspiring leader. Meet Dr. King is the perfect introduction to an American hero and will inspire young audiences to use peace, leadership and conflict resolution in their own schools and communities.

SATURDAY • JANUARY 21

What: Passport to Mali
Where: Children’s Museum of Virginia (Included with Museum admission)
When: 11:30 am & 1:30 pm
Where: Portsmouth Main Library: 3 – 4 pm (Free and open to the public)
Have you ever wondered why dogs and cats do not get along or why camels have humps? Let internationally acclaimed master storyteller and musician Charlotte Blake Alston answer these questions as she brings stories and songs of the griots (gree-ohs) of West Africa to life.

SATURDAY • JANUARY 28

What: African Americans in S.T.E.M.
Where: Portsmouth Main Library
When: 1 – 5 pm
Discover some of the contributions African Americans have made in science, technology, engineering, and math. There will be hands-on activities. Recommended for ages 6 – adult.
FREE and open to the public.

SATURDAY • FEBRUARY 4

What: Talking Drums & Dancing Feet
Where: Children’s Museum of Virginia
When: 11:30 am & 1:30 pm
Dance, sing, and drum along with Atumpan’s Creative Thunder Dance Theater! Meet singing turtles, talking snakes, and a host of other imaginative animals as A.C.T. Dance Theater brings folktales to life with their story adventure ballet. Presentation is included with admission.

What: Ruth Brown: Portsmouth’s Own Queen of R & B
Where: Portsmouth Colored Community Library Museum and the Neighborhood Facility Recreation Center
When: 12 noon – 4 pm
Celebrate the achievements of one of Portsmouth’s own in a tribute to actress and the Queen of R & B Ruth Brown. This tribute will include a video and photography display of this legendary lady at the Museum. At the Neighborhood Recreation Center, Hampton Roads vocalist Myra Smith will perform an hour concert featuring the best of Ruth Brown from 1 – 2 pm.
FREE and open to the public.

SATURDAY • FEBRUARY 11

What: Jump Into Jonkannu
Where: Children’s Museum of Virginia
When: 11:30 pm & 1:30 pm
Presentation is included with admission.
Where: Brighton Elementary School
When: 3 pm
Presentation is FREE.

Sing and dance along with the Newe Bern Jonkannu Band from North Carolina as they use African inspired regalia and percussion to the pageantry of a Colonial era African-American parade style celebration.

WEDNESDAY • FEBRUARY 15

What: African American History Expo
Where: Churchland Branch Library
When: 4:30 – 7:30 pm
Join us for workshops, musical performances, and have some fun learning about African American History. FREE and open to the public.

SATURDAY • FEBRUARY 18

What: STEMulating Minds with Little Bits Workshop
Where: Children’s Museum of Virginia
When: 10 am, 1 pm & 4 pm
Recommended for ages 6 and up.
Who knows what spark of creativity inspired great black-inventors like George Alcorn, inventor of the imaging X-ray spectrometer or Dr. Philip Emeagwali, inventor of the world’s fastest computer? Let Little Bits be a spark of imagination for your young inventor while they learn a little about influential black scientists and inventors. Bits are electronic building blocks that allow inventors to make amazing things, both big and small.
Workshop is included with admission.

What: Portsmouth Public School Chorus and Music Students
Where: Portsmouth Main Library
When: 2- 4 pm
Take a break from your busy schedule and listen to musical performances by local children. FREE and open to the public.

SATURDAY • FEBRUARY 25

What: Bright Star Theatre Presents: Black History Hall of Fame
Where: Children’s Museum of Virginia
When: 1 pm & 3 pm
Join us in this fast-paced adventure through the Black History Hall of Fame! In just 45 minutes your young audience will be introduced to over a dozen groundbreakers and hall-of-famers who have largely contributed to shaping our nation’s past, present and future. You’ll see everyone from Maya Angelou and Aretha Franklin to the Buffalo Soldiers and Mae Jemison and that’s just to name a few! Young audience volunteers and incredibly talented performers bring this show to life in every way.
Presentation is included with admission.

EVERY SATURDAY

What: Make-N-Take Activities
Where: Children’s Museum of Virginia
When: Times vary
Themed crafts and S.T.E.M. activities highlighting African American scientists and their contributions.
Included with admission.

 

About Portsmouth Museums
The City of Portsmouth maintains five museums which provide the citizens of Portsmouth, Hampton Roads, the Commonwealth of Virginia and beyond with high quality educational and cultural experiences in the arts, humanities and the sciences through the use of exhibitions, programs and collections. Two museums will host many of the Black History Now events: the Children’s Museum of Virginia | 757-393-5258 | www.childrensmuseumvirginia.com and the Portsmouth Colored Community Library Museum | 757-393-8591 | www.portsvaafricanamericanheritage.com

 

About the Portsmouth Public Library
The Portsmouth Public Library has been a cornerstone of the Portsmouth community for over 90 years providing free access to information and resources. Portsmouth Public Library serves the community through 4 locations; Main, Cradock, Churchland, and Manor. For more information, call 757-393-8501 or visit www.portsmouth-va-public-library.com.

 

About the City of Portsmouth, Virginia
The City of Portsmouth, Virginia is the geographical center of Hampton Roads located in the southeastern corner of Virginia. Over 250 years old, the city is a true historical gem with stories and architecture dating back to the American Revolution and earlier. For more information, call (757) 393-8000 or visit www.PortsmouthVa.gov.

 

PRESS CONTACT:
Lynette James, Portsmouth Museums
jamesl@portsmouthva.gov
(757) 393-8983


 

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