Middlebury

Concert and inauguration events wrap up MLK observance January 19 & 20

January 19, 2009

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. - Middlebury College will host its 11th annual celebration concert honoring Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. titled "Let Freedom Ring!" on Monday, Jan. 19, at 7 p.m. in Mead Chapel, located on Hepburn Road off College Street (Route 125). The evening will include musical performances by Alexander Twilight Artist-in-Residence François Clemmons and the Middlebury College Spiritual Choir, dance performances choreographed by Visiting Lecturer in Dance Christal Brown, and theatrical interpretations of notable speeches, directed and performed by Middlebury College students. Director of Jazz Activities Dick Forman will accompany on piano. The event is free and open to the public.

The concert is the culminating event in a week of activities honoring the civil rights leader. Other events include an exhibition of student and alumni artwork inspired by King's "I Have a Dream" speech; a keynote address by noted activist Sonia Sanchez; an "open mic" session for poets and others; a day of community service; and a multi-faith service.

On Thursday, Jan. 15, renowned writer, poet, playwright and activist Sonia Sanchez will give the keynote address at 4:30 p.m. in Mead Chapel. Sanchez has been an influential force in African American literary and political culture for over three decades. She was also in the forefront of the black studies movement and taught the first course in the country on black women. Sanchez addresses issues related to the African American experience, women, literature and culture. She is a 2001 recipient of the Robert Frost medal in poetry, one of the highest honors awarded to a nationally recognized poet. She is the author of 16 books and has lectured at more than 500 universities and colleges throughout the United States. She has traveled extensively, reading her poetry in Africa, Nicaragua, Cuba and the Caribbean, Europe, China, Australia and Canada. She was the first Presidential Fellow at Temple University where she began teaching in 1977 and held the Laura Carnell Chair in English there until her retirement in 1999.

On Saturday, Jan. 17, Middlebury College faculty, staff, students and other community members are invited to participate in local service projects to honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. Transportation to various project sites will be provided to anyone who needs it. For more information or to volunteer, email Ashley Calkins of the Middlebury College Alliance for Civic Engagement (ACE) or call 802-443-3099, or visit the event web site. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. at Carr Hall, located on College Street (Route 125).

That evening, at 8 p.m. in the Juice Bar of the McCullough Student Center, located on Old Chapel Road off College Street (Route 125), a special Step Show will take place. Stepping has been an African American tradition since the 1900s. It is a form of percussive dance in which the body is used as an instrument to produce rhythms and sounds through a mixture of footsteps, spoken word and hand claps. The show will feature Middlebury College steppers plus special guest performers from the University of Vermont and Williams College.

On Sunday, Jan. 18, all are welcome to gather in Mead Chapel at 4 p.m. for a multi-faith service of prayer, readings and song honoring the vision and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement. 

Wrapping up the weeklong celebration, a gathering will take place on Tuesday, Jan. 20, at 11 a.m. in the Juice Bar to watch the televised inauguration of the 44th United States President Barack Obama. The inauguration will also be shown in Dana Auditorium from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Axinn 232 from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

At 4:30 p.m., Middlebury College Associate Professor of History Bill Hart, Professor of American History and Culture Jim Ralph, College Communications Writer Maria Stadtmueller, and first year student Mugo Kennedy will lead a discussion on the 2008 Presidential campaign and the inauguration titled "The Meaning of Barack Obama's Election and Inauguration."

All events are free and open to the public. For more information, email Jennifer Herrera in the Middlebury College Office for Institutional Planning and Diversity or call 802-443-5743. For complete details and exhibition schedule, visit the event web site.

To follow is a schedule of events:

11th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration
at Middlebury College
Jan. 12-23, 2009

Monday, Jan. 12-Friday, Jan. 23
Ongoing     "I Have a Dream: Lines of Inspiration"
An exhibition of artwork inspired by King's speech from the 1963 March on Washington. See web site for hours.
Old Stone Mill, located on Mill Street off Main Street

Thursday, Jan. 15
4:30 p.m.     Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Keynote Address: Sonia Sanchez
 "The Consistent Relevancy of Martin Luther King Jr. in the 21st Century"
Renowned writer, poet, playwright and activist, Sonia Sanchez will deliver the keynote address.
Mead Chapel, located on Hepburn Road off College Street (Route 125)

7-10 p.m.     Verbal Onslaught: Spoken Word Lounge
Verbal Onslaught is dedicated to poetic verse inspired by the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. Come share your work or listen to others. Special guest appearance by poet Sonia Sanchez.
51 Main, located on Main Street in Middlebury

Friday, Jan. 16
4:30-7 p.m.     Opening Reception and Exhibit Overview
Student artists will give a brief overview of the "I Have a Dream: Lines of Inspiration" exhibition at the Old Stone Mill, followed by a reception at 51 Main with special musical performances by alameta speaks, Kareem Khalifa and Middlebury College vsisting percussionist and artist Mario Schambon.
Old Stone Mill, located on Mill Street off Main Street and 51 Main, located on Main Street

Saturday, Jan. 17
10 a.m.-4 p.m.     Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service
Middlebury College faculty, staff, students and other community members will participate in service projects to honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. Transportation will be provided for if needed. For more information or to volunteer, email Ashley Calkins of the Middlebury College Alliance for Civic Engagement (ACE) or call 802-443-3099, or visit the event web site.
Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. in Carr Hall, located on College Street (Route 125)

8 p.m.     Step Show
Stepping, an African American tradition since the mid-1900s, is percussive dance in which the body is used to produce rhythms and sounds through a mixture of footsteps, spoken word and hand claps. The show will feature Middlebury College dancers, plus special guest performers from the University of Vermont and Williams College.
Juice Bar, McCullough Student Center, located on Old Chapel Road off College Street (Route 125)

Sunday, Jan. 18
4 p.m.     Faith, Justice, and Martin Luther King's Beloved Community
A multi-faith service of prayer, readings and song honoring the vision and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement.
Mead Chapel, located on Hepburn Road off College Street (Route 125)

Monday, Jan. 19
7 p.m.     "Let Freedom Ring!"
The 11th annual celebration of the American Negro Spiritual features the Middlebury College Spiritual Choir led by Alexander Twilight Artist-in-Residence François Clemmons, Interpretive and Modern Dance choreographed by Visiting Lecturer in Dance Christal Brown and performed by Middlebury College students, and theatrical interpretations of notable speeches, directed and performed by Middlebury College students. Director of Jazz Activities Dick Forman will accompany on piano. All are welcome.
Mead Chapel, located on Hepburn Road off College Street (Route 125)

Tuesday, Jan. 20
Screening of the 2009 Inauguration
A screening of the inauguration of the 44th U.S. President Barack Obama.

  • Juice Bar in McCullough, 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.
  • Dana Auditorium, 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.
  • Axinn 232, 11 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.

The Juice Bar is in the McCullough Student Center, located on Old Chapel Road off College Street (Route 125); Dana Auditorium is on the north side of College Street; the Axinn Center is also on Old Chapel Road.

4:30 p.m.      "The Meaning of Barack Obama's Election and Inauguration" 
Associate Professor of History Bill Hart, Professor of American History and Culture Jim Ralph, College Communications Writer Maria Stadtmueller, and first year student Mugo Kennedy will lead a discussion on the 2008 Presidential Campaign and Inauguration.
Juice Bar, McCullough Student Center, located on Old Chapel Road off College Street (Route 125)