Pair of Beaver County events will celebrate Martin Luther King

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Martin Luther King's legacy will be commemorated and celebrated with music, song and dance at two locations in Beaver County. Readings and narrative are part of the programs Monday, and one features an appearance and talk by retired Steelers quarterback Charlie Batch.

Geneva College in Beaver Falls is offering a free program, “A Night of the Arts in Honor of Martin Luther King: The Man. The Vision. The Dream.” It’s at 6 p.m. in the Skye Lounge of the Student Center.

The Midland area's annual celebration starts with an 11 a.m. lunch Monday at Alumni Hall followed by a performance at the Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center. The theme is "Notes of Love — Our Song to the Children." Mr. Batch is the special guest and will speak to students. The donation is $20, and tickets can be purchased by calling the Midland Borough School District at 724-643-8650.

This is the third year that Geneva College is offering "A Night of the Arts," which is hosted by the Christian school’s Multicultural Student Services office. The night includes hors d’oeuvres and live jazz by the Levels Group featuring percussionist Terry Levels, who graduated from Geneva. Other artists will perform, and there will be readings.

The purpose of the annual celebration at Geneva “is to have a time for people to engage the life and works of Martin Luther King Jr. in a variety of ways,” said Kathy Kinzer-Downs, director of MSS. “This evening is an expression of the arts and provides an opportunity for the campus and community to come together.”

The first two events attracted 150-250 people, and the college would love to see the event grow, Ms. Kinzer-Downs said.

Organizers of the Midland area event say it is the largest MLK program in Beaver County. Event chairwoman Stephanie Pennington said it’s generally attended by 750-800 people.

Performances are by students from the Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center and the Midland Elementary School. The program includes an anti-drug skit and an anti-bullying dance performance, Ms. Pennington said.

“We want to give the message to children that we are here for them,” Ms. Penington said. “We are there to help them build character,” which is part of what Mr. Batch will be talking about.

The MLK celebration is sponsored by the Midland Women’s Civic Club. Supporting contributors include National Network of Digital Schools, Midland Borough School District and Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center, PA Cyber Charter School.

All proceeds go to student scholarships.

Linda Wilson Fuoco: lfuoco@post-gazette.com or 412-722-0087.


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