Tag Archives: Air Force museum

Celebrating MLK Day

Black Theatre Troupe presents A Song for Coretta through Jan.22 at Viad Tower in Phoenix

I’ve long wished our country had a designated “Diversity Day,” set aside to celebrate the diversity of our citizens. For many, that’s a big part of what MLK Day is all about. Folks eager to honor the contributions of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the increased appreciation of diversity fostered by the civil rights movement have several options — including these Arizona events with an arts and culture twist…

Art exhibits

MLK Youth Art Exhibit” through Feb. 5 at the Arizona State Capitol (executive tower  lobby) in Phoenix. Features artwork with civil rights-related themes created by students in the Phoenix Elementary School District. Free.

MLK Poster and Essay Contest Exhibit” Jan. 18-31 at the ASU Memorial Union on the Tempe campus and the Student Union on the Polytechnic campus. Features artwork and essays created by students  throughout Arizona. (Artwork is also exhibited online). Free.

Festivals

Chandler Multicultural Festival” Sat., Jan. 14 from 11am-4pm at the Downtown Library plaza. Features performance by Ballet Folklorico, ChandlerCentennial Choir, North Indian/Afghan Trio, Ken Koshio Taiko Drummer, Machino Highland Dancers and more. Also arts & crafts — and Lisa’s Creatures (an interactive wildlife program featuring animals from all over the world). Free admission.

Martin Luther King Jr. Festival” Mon., Jan. 16 from noon-5pm at the Mesa Arts Center. Features music, dance, children’s activities and more. Free outdoor admission. Additional entertainment inside the MAC.

Film

Daisy Bates: First Lady of Little Rock” Thurs., Jan 19 at 6pm at Mesa Arts Center. Features a “Community Cinema” screening of the Sharon La Cruise film about the woman “who led the charge to desegregate the all-white Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1957.” Free.

Museums

Pay tribute to the Tuskegee Airmen in Mesa on Jan. 14

A Legacy of Honor, Valor and Pride: A Tribute to the Tuskegee Airmen” Sat., Jan. 14 at 2pm at the Arizona Wing of the Commemorative Air Force Museum in Mesa. The Tuskegee Airmen were America’s first all-black aerial unit. Special event honors fourteen Tuskegee Airmen (five of whom are now deceased). Features a presentation about the history of the Tuskagee Airmen, special guest appearances and a keynote address by Major General Marcia Anderson (the highest-ranked woman of color in the U.S. Army). Also screening of a special edition of Lucasfilm’s “Double Victory,” a documentary about the Tuskagee Airmen (Lucas’ film titled “Red Tails” opens in theaters Jan. 20). $25.

Theater

A Song for Coretta” performed Jan.13-22 by Black Theatre Troupe at Playhouse on the Park inside Viad Tower in Phoenix. The play imagines five women paying their respects to the late Mrs. Coretta Scott King while she lies in state at Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church. Tickets $33.50.

For information on additional MLK Day celebrations, visit www.azmlk.org.

— Lynn

Note: Click here to learn more about the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial, here to learn more about the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site and here to learn more about “The Mountaintop” being performed on Broadway through Jan.22.

Coming up: Exploring the Underground Railroad

Boeing, Boeing, gone…

I started Wednesday morning like many others — checking on the day’s news. Never mind that Nancy Grace will be dancing with Tristan MacManus on DWTS this season. My eyes went straight to a story about companies that pay less in federal taxes than they do in CEO salaries.

The New York Times reported Wednesday on 25 of them, including Boeing. About that same time, an e-alert from Phoenix Theatre crossed my virtual desk — reminding me that opportunities to see their production of “Boeing, Boeing” will be gone after Sept 11. The Broadway production won a 2008 Tony Award for best revival of a play.

My daughter Lizabeth will be seeing the final performance of “Catch Me If You Can” on Broadway this weekend after flying back East to start college theater studies. It’s the tale of a teenager who dons different identities, including airplane pilot, after running away from home in search of a more glamorous life.

If there’s an airplane aficionado in your family, consider a visit to the Commemorative Air Force Museum at Falcon Field in Mesa — a place I often visited with my son Christopher, now 22, when he was a little boy enamored by anything with wheels. It’s got a cool collection of planes and other military items.

In coming days, we’ll all be tempted to focus again on the planes used to take thousands of lives ten years ago on 9/11. Instead, let’s honor the many heroes of that day, including those aboard United Airlines flight 93 who saved our nation from even greater tragedy.

— Lynn

Note: To learn more about the national 9/11 Memorial, visit www.911memorial.org

Coming up: Remembering 9/11, Bunny tales, More “Dance Moms” musings