Photo caption: Shakespeare Theatre actors Renea Brown as Queen Titania and Brent Stansell as King Oberon in a scene from A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Photos courtesy of Martin Welles, Amidon-Bowen PTA President.
The community united to honor black history at the Amidon-Bowen Black History Month Celebration on Feb. 25, 2016.
Joined by American civil rights activist and freedom rider, Joan Trumpauer Mulholland, nearly 200 guests wrapped arms and sang We Shall Overcome. The choir, led by Para Perry, also performed the Black National Anthem Lift Every Voice and Sing, If You Miss Me at the Back of the Bus, and Keep Your Eyes on the Prize. Kindergarten students performed All Night All Day and Amidon-Bowen cheerleaders rallied the crowd.
Bowen Off Broadway, an Amidon-Bowen group of student actors, performed A Doughnut and Coffee, With Cream on the Side, a theatrical performance about the powerful peaceful protests at the Greensboro, North Carolina Woolworth’s lunch counter in 1960, which marked the beginning in a series of influential moments that defined the struggle for racial equality in America.
Ward 1 Early Childhood Education Policy Council Representative Alexandra Simbana attended the event and celebrated in the occasion: “The school performance was a great collection of student talent.The kids did a great job acting, cheering, and singing—what a great showcase of what is possible when schools and parents work together to showcase a school.”
The parent committee, which organized the event in collaboration with Amidon-Bowen Elementary School, was thrilled at the community’s generosity. The committee would like to thank its community sponsors, which included local restaurants Table (www.table.com); Bar Pilar (www.barpilar.com), which donated chef-made doughnuts; and Rise Up Coffee (www.riseupcoffee.com), who donated locally roasted, organic coffee. Finally, the committee would like to thank Harris Teeter, which donated supplies and light hors d’oeuvres. Their contributions were significant to the success of this event, but the reward is mutual.
“Rise Up Coffee is honored to have supported such a beautiful celebration of diversity. We applaud the effort, enthusiasm, and pride displayed by these immensely talented students,” said Tim Cureton, owner of Rise Up Coffee.
“We organized the event in effort to bridge the gap between the school and local community members, to promote the school’s progress and empower our local students to showcase their talents to a broader audience—building opportunity, confidence, and artistry,” said parent organizer Kathryn Wardenski.
Wardenski continued, “The event was an opportunity to honor the contributions that African-Americans have made to American history and deepen our understanding of our nation’s struggle for equality. In the changing landscape of Washington, DC, it is imperative to bridge the gap of cultural divide, work together to better our community and families, eliminate injustice, eradicate the divide of hatred, and learn from the past to better the future—for everyone.”
The event was concluded with a professional performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream by the Shakespeare Theatre Company (STC).
“We were honored to be part of the Black History Month Celebration. I love introducing ourselves to schools through theater education, but that night was incredibly special. I’m very proud of the performance we brought to the program, but the real highlight was the inspiring energy and engagement showcased by parents, teachers, students, and administration. Given the positive response from Principal Miller, we hope it points to future opportunities for STC to support the Amidon Bowen community,” said an STC representative.
Additional event photos and information can be found at www.bowenoffbroadway.com.