Professional children’s theatre group Asante highlights Goshen College’s 14th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Study Day Jan. 15


GOSHEN, Ind. – Goshen College will honor the life and work of Martin Luther King Jr. by holding its 14th annual all-school Martin Luther King Jr. Study Day, emphasizing the values and ideals that characterized King’s work, on Monday, Jan. 15. The theme for the day’s activities will be “MLK and the Hip-Hop Generation: Bridging the Past and the Future.” The college has again cancelled all classes during the day, and all these events are open to the public.

Odelet Nance, director of Goshen College’s Multicultural Affairs Office, said, “Goshen College’s MLK Day is a time for reflection on the legacy of Dr. King and his dream. MLK Day encourages us to examine our commitment to social justice on our campus, our community and our world. As the demographics of our country are rapidly changing, we must strategically work in unity to ensure that everyone is treated with dignity and respect.”

The complete 2007 Goshen College Martin Luther King Jr. Study Day schedule follows:

7:30 a.m. – Community Prayer Breakfast, Church-Chapel Fellowship Hall; sponsored by Goshen College, Goshen Health System, Chamber of Commerce and Goshen Ministerial Association. Registration begins at 7:15 a.m.

  • Presentation – Asante Children’s Theatre
  • Music – Goshen College Voices-n-HarmonyPrayer – local ministers

9-10 a.m. – A celebration of the arts, Church-Chapel

  • GC students and faculty in a program of recitations from MLK’s speeches, poetry reading and storytelling

9:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. – MLK Day activities for 2nd-5th graders, College Mennonite Church

  • Music, poetry, a reader’s theater, drumming, games and art.
  • Pre-register through Goshen Public Schools or by emailing Anne Meyer Byler at annemb@goshen.edu

10-11:20 a.m. – Study Day Convocation, Church-Chapel

  • Performance by Asante Children’s Theatre
  • Music by Goshen College Voices-n-Harmony.

2-4 p.m. – Afternoon film festival: “Fuerza” and “Dying to Live,” Umble Center

  • The discussion will be led by students and local Latino leaders.

The featured guest during the day’s activities is the professional theatre group Asante Children’s Theatre (ACT) of Indianapolis. Members are committed to preserving the tradition of African and African-American performing arts. Instructors and mentors with ACT use the basic genres of performing arts to develop the life skills of young people ages 12 to 21. The goal of ACT is to be the primary community-based African-American performing arts program for youth in Indiana. In keeping with the theme of “taking community theater back to the community,” ACT leads as the choice organization for young talent in the areas of theater arts and stage.

“The Asante Children’s Theatre will allow us to observe dramatic scenes from the lens of the hip-hop generation which has its origins in the civil rights era and is currently heavily influenced by popular culture,” said Nance. “We will be reminded that hip-hop is not just a form of music but a social movement not to be ignored. It needs to be acknowledged as a culture that influences our progress as a diverse community.”

ACT and Goshen College’s Voices-n-Harmony Gospel Choir will perform at 7:30 a.m. during the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Prayer Breakfast in the Church-Chapel Fellowship Hall. Voices-n-Harmony is directed by Patrice Penny Henderson of Elkhart, Ind. The choir includes Goshen College students, faculty, staff and community members from a diverse mix of cultural backgrounds and ages who sing to proclaim the power of God’s love. Advance registration is required; tickets for the breakfast are $15 per person or $120 for a table of eight and must be reserved by Jan. 12. For more information about the prayer breakfast, or to reserve a seat or table, call the Welcome Center at (574) 535-7566.

Following the breakfast, from 9 to 10 a.m. will be a Celebration of the Arts in the College Mennonite Church Koinonia Room, featuring GC students and faculty in a program of recitations from MLK’s speeches, poetry reading and storytelling.

ACT will perform their original production “MLK in a Hip-Hop World” during a convocation from 10 to 11:20 a.m. in the Church-Chapel. Voices-n-Harmony Choir will also sing during the convocation. Following Asante’s performance, a GC alumni panel will discuss themes emerging from the drama.

From 2 to 4 p.m. in Umble Center will be a film festival and discussion featuring “Fuerza” and “Dying to Live.” The discussion will be led by students and local Latino leaders.

Separate children’s activities for 2nd-5th graders will again be available, including music, poetry, a reader’s theater, drumming, games and art. Check-in is at 9:15 a.m. at the south main doors of College Mennonite Church and pick-up is at 12:15 p.m. Pre-registration is required for participation. Forms will go to all Goshen Public Schools, 2nd-5th grades, or contact Anne Meyer Byler by e-mailing annemb@goshen.edu.

Goshen College’s Martin Luther King Jr. Study Day is sponsored in part by the Plowshares Peace Collaborative. For more information about the study day, call the Multicultural Affairs Office at (574) 535-7548. All events are free, except the Community Prayer Breakfast and the lunch, and open to the public.

The Church-Chapel is accessible to people using wheelchairs and others with physical limitations.

Editors: Reporters and photographers are welcome at all of the study day’s events. For more information about this release, contact Goshen College News Bureau Director Jodi H. Beyeler at (574) 535-7572 or jodihb@goshen.edu.

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Goshen College, established in 1894, is a four-year residential Christian liberal arts college rooted in the Anabaptist-Mennonite tradition. The college’s Christ-centered core values – passionate learning, global citizenship, compassionate peacemaking and servant-leadership – prepare students as leaders for the church and world. Recognized for its unique Study-Service Term program, Goshen has earned citations of excellence in Barron’s Best Buys in Education, “Colleges of Distinction,” “Making a Difference College Guide” and U.S.News & World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges” edition, which named Goshen a “least debt college.” Visit www.goshen.edu.

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