NORTH NEWTON, KAN. - The public is invited to the Martin Luther King Jr. Day community celebration, set for 7 p.m., Monday, Jan. 20. Hosted by Bethel College, the two-hour program will be held in Krehbiel Auditorium, Fine Arts Center on the North Newton campus. The theme is "Living the Dream through our Community." Admission is free and open to the public. The day honors civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. who was born Jan. 15, 1929, and died April 4, 1968. The holiday was first celebrated in 1986.
The program for the evening includes gospel music, dance and drama. An excerpt from the play "The Meeting" by playwright Jeff Stetson will portray an imagined 1965 encounter between King and Malcolm X, the renowned African-American leader considered to be King's political counterpoint. Performing the roles of King and Malcolm X will be Bethel College freshmen Ryan Shephard and Kurtz Holbert Jr., both from Fort Worth, Texas.
The Newton Dance Center, led by instructor Tiffany Jefferson, will perform five tap, modern, hip hop and lyrical dance numbers. Brandi Pruitt, a Bethel College senior from Dayton, Texas, will lead Daughters of Destiny, a girls dance team from the Newton community.
Nathan, Jacob and April Webb of Newton will perform gospel music on keyboard, drum and guitar. Lacretia Hall, a Bethel College freshman from Addison, Texas, will lead the Bethel College Gospel Choir and a gospel choir of children, ages six to 14. Parents of children who want to sing should call Barbara Lee at (316) 284-5205 for information and rehearsal times. Lee is consultant for minority life at Bethel College.