Embodying the Dream
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  • Jan 14 , 2017
  • New Jersey Performing Arts Center
  • Free
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Arts Education

Embodying the Dream

Celebrate the life and work of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during an afternoon of dance, music, visual arts and spoken word activities. Admission is free!

At the fourth annual Embodying the Dream, the entire family is invited to participate in workshops, sing-ins, storytelling sessions, performances and more.

All Ages Welcome!


"MOVING FORWARD: Family, Faith & Freedom of Artistic Expression"


Let’s reflect on the 1960’s movement of artistic expression and protest that emerged in the midst of a turbulent time. The Black Arts Movement generated legends like Amiri Baraka, Sonia Sanchez, Maya Angelou and Lorraine Hansberry. Participants are encouraged to participate in one or more of the following workshops that will be shared at the end of the day with the entire MLK community.

Come prepared to stay for the show and share, 1:15-2:00 pm in the Auditorium, Center for Arts Education.

11:00-12:00 noon

12:15-1:15 pm

5-minute Show & Share

Maxine Lyle, Soul Steps: History of Stepping Workshop

Participants will learn the art of stepping, a percussive dance form that utilizes the entire body to meld folk traditions, percussive movement, singing, speaking, hand clapping and storytelling. You will discuss the south African gum boot dance, connect step history with African dance and the MLK experience, as well as the significance of stepping in the fraternity & sorority college experience.

Horizon Foundation Black Box Theater

11:00-12:00 noon

12:15-1:15 pm

5-minute show & share        

Theara Ward, Dance Theater of Harlem dancer

Beginner/Intermediate Dancers!  Ballet & Liturgical Dancers will explore the technical aspects of dance, feel the spirit of Gospel and the strength of civil protest.  Theara will teach a dance combination that embodies the belief that the future is hopeful for families to move forward with strong faith and freedom of expression. Proper foot and dancewear is highly recommended.

Room B-07

11:15-11:45 am

12:00-12:30 pm

5-minute show & share with Marin students  

Maria Ortiz, Principal, Luis Munoz Marin Elementary, School for Social Justice

Ideal for the entire family!  Poetry in Motion Where Principal Ortiz s explains how 85 students, Grades K-3 were organized to walk with signs, recite poetry that complements their social justice curriculum. She shares best practices of Civil Rights Storytelling that parents can easily emulate and model. Participants will explore memorable stories of the Civil Rights through movement, memorization and recitation of the ABC’s for Social Justice.

Room 114


11:45 am-12:15,

12:30-1:00 pm

15-minute show & share

Brian Harlow, Director, Newark Boys Training Chorus

Participants will use music as the key to unlock the importance of the Civil Rights Era in the American Experience.  Brian will teach participants to sing a few selections that depict the empowering sounds of that era. Copies of music will be shared.  We will be graced by the Newark Boys Training Chorus who will sing a few selections and welcome the participants to join in melodious tones.

Room 105

11:00 am -1:15 pm  

Aura Highsmith, Arts Educator, Rafael Hernandez Elementary

Help create a 3D Mural that represents community unity and freedom of expression.  Participants can fill in the sketched image with paint and symbols that can be affixed to the mural that will be mounted in the Center for Arts Education.
Room 218

11:00 am -1:00 pm,

5-minute show & share, painting explanation, and group photo

Dave Williams, Platinum Art Painting

Intermediate Artists welcome! Participants create a visual keepsake that reflects the conscious decision to move forward by focusing on family, faith and freedom. Dance Theater of Harlem videos will be played in the background as a source of visual inspiration. RSVP is required by the first 20-25 people to paint a piece of art in a 2-hour period. Email [email protected] Space is Limited! Those sitting in this class will remain until the art is produced. 

Room 323

11:00-12:00 noon

12:15-1:15 pm

5-minute show & share        

Mansa Musa

Participants will create vision boards that reflect their expectation for family, faith and freedom as we Move Forward in 2017. They will use their hands to create art that can affect their own lives and their viewers. This Healing Hands collage on 11x14 chip board will incorporate photographs taken during the session, words and phrases of empowerment as well as images of geometric shapes and historical figures from the African-American canon.

Room 314

12:00-1:15 pm,

Support the Show and Share       

LGBTQ community discussion

A moderated conversation will take place about Living Free and Fighting for Civil Liberty at the intersection of race & sexuality. There will be a time for questions and answers that will be followed by artistic expressions including interpretative dance.  

Room 317

11:00-12:00 noon

12:15-1:15 pm

5-minute show & share        

Crystal Glass

Come explore the "I have a dream" speech by interpretation of Dr. King’s message by experiencing the art forms of the 1960's era, such as the lindy hop and swing, through spoken word & present day hip-hop.
Room 313

11:00-11:30, 11:45-12:15, 12:30-1:00;

5-minute show & share        

Jerome Hunter, LaRoque Bey Dance Company
Bring words, lyrics, and drum rhythms in line with “Martin Luther King’s Dream” to move through all life’s circumstances and situations listening to the cadence of your heart. Participants will use drums, like djembes to share freedom of expression. learn rhythms then improvisation encouraged.
Room 202

1:15-2:00 PM           



Please come prepared to support one another and share what you have created and learned.

View the full 2017 program here.

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