Media Contact: John A. Stokes, (202) 673-2195
On February 26, 2009, the DC Department of Parks and Recreation's (DPR) Southeast Tennis and Learning Center (SETLC), 701 Mississippi Avenue, SE, will host the third annual "Blacks in Wax" program from 6 to 9 pm. There will also be a daytime exhibition from 12:30 to 2 pm for surrounding schools, which are using the Blacks in Wax program as part of their Black History Month activities.
Sponsored by the Recreation Wish List Committee, this year's Blacks in Wax theme is “From Chains to Change” and will feature over 50 figures from past and present Black history, all which will be brought to life by DPR youth and parents. This living wax museum has quickly become a popular annual highlight of DPR's educational programs at the SETLC.
The innovative Blacks in Wax program features DPR youth and parents portraying notable Black history figures from all eras. In preparation to portray these historic individuals, students must complete research and be prepared to teach visitors about the life and work of the individual they are representing. Individuals pose as still figures, and when a button is pushed, the character comes alive and speaks about the life and achievements of the person they are representing.
"Washington and history are a wonderful combination, and its exciting to bring them together right here at DPR each year as part of our celebration of Black History Month," says DPR Director Clark E. Ray. "While many events may claim to bring history to life, our Blacks in Wax event really does."
In addition to the exhibition, there will be three 15 minute special performances with music and video throughout the evening, with the first performance at 7 pm.
Recreation Wish List Committee founder Cora Masters Barry states, “The Blacks in Wax event has become one of the signature events for the Southeast Tennis and Learning Center and enhances the educational opportunities and self-esteem of our children in a new and creative way. Youth advance their knowledge and skills as they research the historical and political atmosphere of these great figures and bring them to life. This year more than ever the theme of 'From Chains to Change' is relevant to all Americans.”
Individuals to be portrayed in this year’s program include author Maya Angelou, Founder of the Children’s Defense Fund, Marian Wright Edelman, 1960’s civil rights movement leader Malcolm X, Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, and President Barack Obama.
Select the link below to view photos of the 2008 Blacks in Wax event:
For more information, contact the Southeast Tennis and Learning Center, (202) 645-6242.
For information on how to support or contribute to the DC Department of Parks and Recreation, please contact DPR's Office of Partnerships and Development at (202) 671-1462 or DPRpartnerships@dc.gov.