Various events celebrate the achievements and culture of African Americans

From art exhibits to cultural programs and even a softball game and fish fry, this year’s Black History Month celebration is as diverse as the African-American community in Southern Nevada.

Here are some of the ways Black History Month will be celebrated in the Valley.

Art exhibition

Legendary Tuskegee Airmen are honored in “Blanket of Protection,” an exhibit at Left of Center Gallery in North Las Vegas. Artists include Harold Bradford, Lolita Develay (whose father was a Tuskegee Airman) and Joseph Watson. The exhibit runs through March 26 at the gallery, 2207 W. Gowan Road. For more information, visit leftofcenterart.org.

Theater

Broadway in the HOOD will present “The Color Purple – The Musical” on Friday, February 4 at 2 p.m.; Saturday, February 5, at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.; and Sunday, February 6 at 2 p.m. Performances will be held at the West Las Vegas Library Performing Arts Center, 951 W. Lake Mead Blvd. Admission is free and the show starts at 7 p.m. For more information, call 702-507-3989.

Ashanti McGee, Grants and Access Manager for the Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF), from the Obsidian and Neon exhibit.

Art exhibition

‘Seeing/Seen,’ an exhibit at UNLV’s Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art curated by Las Vegas writer Erica Vital-Lazare, combines found footage, slides, video and photos to explore, according to the museum , “the contemporary and historic presence of black women in their joy, leisure, work, resilience, and endless spaces of memory and possibility. It runs until February 26.

Round table

The Mob Museum will host a panel discussion, “Leaders in Law: Celebrating Nevada’s Black Legal Trailblazers,” on Tuesday, February 1. The program begins at 7 p.m. at the museum, 300 Stewart Ave. Seats were sold out at press time, but the program is also to be broadcast live. For more information, visit themobmuseum.org.

Comedian, radio host and entrepreneur
Comedian, radio host and entrepreneur “Sweet” Lou Collins. Photograph by Jeff Scheid from the Obsidian and Neon exhibition.

Music and dance

Stop the Madness Productions presents “The Razzle Dazzle of the Cotton Club and the Moulin Rouge Era”, a music and dance program from the 20s through the 60s, on Saturday, February 5, at Clark County Library, 1401 E Route Flamingo. The show starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $65 ($45 for ages 55 and older) and can be obtained by calling 702-278-0340.

Portrait Exhibition

“A Focus on Portraits,” an exhibit on African-American heritage featuring the work of Las Vegas artists, will run through April 14 at the Las Vegas City Hall Chamber Gallery, 495 S. Main St., Second Floor . The exhibition, which features the work of several Las Vegas artists, is free and open to the public. For more information, visit ArtsLasVegas.org or call 702-229-ARTS (2787).

Rosalind Brooks of the Vegas Roots Community Garden.  Photograph by Jeff Scheid from the exhibition O...
Rosalind Brooks of the Vegas Roots Community Garden. Photograph by Jeff Scheid from the Obsidian and Neon exhibition.

Service Rewards

The African American Trailblazer Service Awards, which honor African American leaders who have made significant contributions to the city, will be held at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, February 1. The ceremony will take place in the rooms of the Las Vegas City Hall, 495 S. Main St. (second floor). The event is free and open to the public, but advance RSVP is required by calling Hallema Bailey West at 702-229-3401.

Softball game

The sixth annual Old School Generation 2 Ball Game is scheduled for noon on Saturday, February 5 at Kianga Isoke Palacio Park, 951 W. Lake Mead Blvd. This year’s softball game will feature the East Palo Alto Pitching youth playing against a group of adults. Hot dogs and refreshments will be served, and the game is free and open to the public. For more information, call Savonta Manor at 702-229-1642 or Stephanie Lowery at 702-229-6125.

Art gallery reception

A reception will be held on February 17 to celebrate the exhibitions in the galleries of the Sahara West Library: “Obsidian and Neon: Building Black Life and Identity in Las Vegas” by Erica Vital-Lazare and Jeff Scheid; “Have a Seat in My Chair” by New Vista Ranch; and “Bold and Beautiful” by Lee Lanier. Guests can meet the artists at the reception, which will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Sahara West Library, 9600 W. Sahara Ave.

Painting by Dyron Boyd (left of center gallery)
Painting by Dyron Boyd (left of center gallery)

Fried fish

A Good Time Catfish Fry is scheduled for 11 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 10 at the Doolittle Senior Center, 1930 N. J St. Cost is $10 per lunch per person. Space is limited, so register in advance at 702-229-6125.

black firefighters

The second annual “Sharing the Story of Black Firefighters in Southern Nevada,” a multi-jurisdictional celebration of the contributions black firefighters have made to the Valley, will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, February 12 at the Doolittle Senior Center, 1930 N. J St. The program will include a 30-minute educational forum, photo exhibit unveiling and self-guided photo gallery tours. Refreshments will be served during the forum. To free. For more information, call 702-229-6125.

To dance

A VIP and Me Dance will be held at 3 p.m. on Saturday, February 12 at the Doolittle Community Center, 1950 N. J St. The event is recommended, but not limited to, children ages 4-11 and their VIPs adults. Attendees are encouraged to dress in their fanciest outfits for the event. The cost is $20 per couple and $10 for each additional child.

Inspirational showcase

The 43rd Annual Exhibit and Inspirational Midday Luncheon, featuring song, dance, poetry and guest speakers, will be held Feb. 15 at the West Las Vegas Library Theater, 951 W. Lake Mead Blvd. The free showcase will begin at 11 a.m. and is open to the public. A soul food brunch at the Doolittle Community Center, 1950 N. J St., will follow. Luncheon tickets are $10 and can be purchased by calling 702-229-6125 through Feb. 8.

Painting by Harold Bradford (left of center gallery)
Painting by Harold Bradford (left of center gallery)

Tribute show

“Supreme Diva: A Diana Ross Tribute,” featuring singer Alyssa Harris and songs from Ross’ Motown days through her feature film days, is slated for release February 18. The show is free and begins at 7:30 p.m. at Summerlin Library, 1771 Inner Circle Drive.

Essay/Media Competition

Entries for this year’s Heart of Black History student essay/media competition must be submitted by 5 p.m. on February 18. Entrants can write an essay, submit a storyboard, or create a diorama, painting, or PowerPoint presentation to showcase the person in black history who has inspired them the most. Free and open to students aged 5 to 18. For more information and the entry form, call the East Las Vegas Community Center at 702-229-1515.

Conference

The ninth annual Black Weekend: Kemet in the Desert Lecture Series, in recognition of Black History Month, will be held at 7 p.m. on Friday, February 18 and Saturday, February 19 at the West Las Vegas Library Theater, 951 W. Lake Mead Blvd. Dr. Jollie Harris, Friday’s keynote speaker, will discuss “God’s method of curing a virus.” Saturday’s keynote speaker will be Dr. Anthony “Tony” Browder, who will discuss “Remembering the Giants: John Henrik Clarke, Frances Cress Welsing, Asa G. Hillard and Patricia Newton.” There will also be a tribute to Dr. Runoko Rashidi. To free. For more information, call 702-229-ARTS (2787) or visit ArtsLasVegas.org.

Showcase of young talents

Talented local youth and young adults will perform at the Night of Expressions Youth Talent Showcase, scheduled for 2 p.m. Feb. 19 at the Sammy Davis Jr. Festival Plaza, 720 Twin Lakes Drive. Participants will include singers, dancers and spoken word artists. To free.

Cultural program

A Sankofa Community program on the contributions of the Father of Black History, Dr. Carter G. Woodson, will be held at 2 p.m. Feb. 26 at the West Las Vegas Arts Center, 947 W. Lake Mead Blvd. For more information, call 702-229-ARTS (2787) or visit ArtsLasVegas.org.

To dance

The Contemporary West Dance Theater will present works by African American choreographers Bernard H. Gaddis, founder and artistic director of the company, Avree Walker, Ulysses Dove and Milton Myers at 7:30 p.m. on February 25 and 7:30 p.m. on February 26 at the West Las Library. Vegas, 951 W. Lake Mead Blvd.

Opera

Vegas City Opera will present “Voices of Women: Maya Angelou – Caged Bird”, an examination of the artistry and influence of poet and activist Maya Angelou. The presentation will include music and poetry, as well as works by local poets influenced by his work. The free program begins at 3 p.m. Feb. 26 at the Summerlin Library, 1771 Inner Circle Drive, and 2 p.m. Feb. 27 at the West Charleston Library, 6301 W. Charleston Blvd.

Jennifer C. Burleigh