Martin Luther King Jr. prayer breakfast set for Jan. 20

  13 512px USMC 09611The Fayetteville Cumberland County Ministerial Council presents the 27th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Prayer Breakfast Monday, Jan. 20, from 8-10 a.m., at the Crown Exposition Center. The theme this year is “Seize the Moment: A New Season.”

 “This is the 27th year of the Ministerial Council sponsoring this event, and it has become somewhat iconic in the city,” said Dr. Maxie Dobson, president of the Fayetteville Cumberland County Ministerial Council. “We have the level of sustained support community-wise that we do, and I think that speaks to our community, (which) appreciates the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King and what he stood for, which are the principles we espouse.”

 Dobson added that’s why the celebration is so well supported and probably one of the most popular events in terms of attendance in our city on an annual basis, and the event organizers are grateful for the support.

 “We will have a great speaker, Bishop Kenneth Monroe … of Eastern North Carolina District A. M. E. Zion Church body, for the event this year. … And we are looking forward to him speaking under the theme, as there is a lot of excitement of him being a part of the program,” said Dobson.

“It is a time to not only celebrate but to reflect as we look at the theme that the organization has selected. … It somewhat speaks to if, in past times, opportunities have not been given attention, what you would have liked to (do).

 “We can look at where we are now and examine ourselves and ask, ‘what is it can I do to contribute to my community?’ So, it’s in that context that we chose the specific theme for the 2020 breakfast.”

One of the things that is being done this year that is different is the expansion on the theme and engagement of the community beyond the holiday.

 Dobson added that in the council’s communication to its sponsors for the 2020 breakfast included a form that would allow the sponsors to select a project that can be engaged year-round and not make the day of service effort just on the MLK holiday.

 “Some organizations do different things on that day as a show of community support,” said Dobson. “We want to provoke expanding that to select something that can be done beyond that day and not necessarily every week, but something that can encompass the entire year.

 “We are anticipating how that will be received by the community, and we have a board meeting to see what kinds of submissions that we have had so far,” said Dobson.

He continued, “That is an expansion of an element — engaging the community in service throughout the year to be a help and (supporting) what the organizations and individuals choose to do. We are looking forward to seeing how that evolves.”

 The event will feature breakfast, entertainment, a speaker and an 8-year-old youngster who will recite speeches by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “There’s a young man who comes well recommended, and he will recite different speeches by Dr. King,” said Dobson. “This will be a way of allowing the youth to be represented in the program, and we look forward to this highlight.

 “We will have singers, but one of the things we want to do is expedite things so that we can be completed by 10 a.m.,” said Dobson. “We are very committed about doing that, so we may not have as much entertainment as we have had in some of the previous years.”

 Dobson added that, like previous years, there will be music playing while individuals are eating breakfast.

 The Fayetteville Cumberland County Ministerial Council began in 1957, and the organization is in its 62nd year. “It was birthed during the civil rights era, and it was to give attention to … (the fact) that we had to be a better community,” said Dobson. “They were faced with things like education, housing and the typical things that many communities were challenged with during the 50s and 60s.”

 One of the primary things the Council  highlights is the hard-earned right to vote and to encourage the community and the leaders of the faith community to engage their congregation to exercise their right. As a 501c3 organization, the Council is not allowed and does not become an advocate of any particular candidate, but it is an advocate of encouraging everyone who is eligible to vote to go to the polls and vote.

 “One of the other things we do is to highlight opportunities for nonprofits to seek funds to pursue the community endeavors that they have become organized to do, and there is funding from different sources,” said Dobson. “So we have these kinds of discussions at our monthly breakfast meetings, which are the third Saturday of each month — except for the months of January, June and July.”

 One of the primary outcomes of the Martin Luther King Jr. breakfast is to fund 10 scholarships of $1,000 each to high school students who are going to college. “We take great satisfaction in the legacy that we have there and the number of students that we have been able to help over the years,” said Dobson. “I think that’s one component that the community appreciates very much and that they are contributing to that kind of objective and we look forward to doing that again in 2020.”

 The Martin Luther King Jr. Worship Service is Sunday, Jan. 19, at 5 p.m., at Covenant Love Church. The guest speaker is Apostle Anthony Buie, pastor of St. Joseph Miracle Revival Center in Red Springs, North Carolina.
 Ticket cost for breakfast is $20. The day of the event ticket cost will be $25. Sponsorship levels are available for purchase.
 For more information or to purchase tickets, call Pastor Yvonne Hodges at 910-797-5879 or email Beverly Gibson at secretaryfccmcfaync@gmail.com. Visit the website at www.fayettevillemincouncil.org for more details.

Dallas Mavericks’ CEO at Givens

12 MarshallLooking for an event to go to that will be both inspiring and motivating? Look no further than the Givens Performing Arts Center, where  Newy Scruggs, a seven-time Emmy winner, sports personality and UNCP alumnus will host Cynthia Marshall on Jan 22.

 The Dallas Mavericks’ CEO is the first African-American CEO in the NBA. She took over the role in February 2018.

Marshall has been making her mark since day one. She grew up in low-income housing in Richmond, California. She went to college at the University of California, Berkeley, on a full academic scholarship. She also became the university’s first African-American cheerleader.

Marshall came out of retirement to be the CEO of the Mavericks. Before her retirement, she enjoyed a 36-year career at AT&T. She began her career there after graduating from college with a degree in business administration and human resources management. Throughout the years, she worked her way up, and in 2012, Marshall was promoted to the role of senior vice president of human resources/chief diversity officer for the national office.

Abdul Ghaffar is the director of campus engagement and leadership at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.

Ghaffar said that the main focus of the event would be, “Mr. Scruggs and Ms. Marshall sharing their many experiences in business and television with the audience.”

When it came to having Marshall, specifically, at the Givens Performing Arts Center, Ghaffar said, “The host of the event, Newy Scruggs, a UNCP graduate and sports personality in Dallas. He recommended her. Once I began my research, I discovered that she has several North Carolina ties, including living in the state for several years.

“Our speaker series has a long tradition at UNCP. We have hosted such names as Spike Lee, Maya Angelou, Caitlyn Jenner, Oliver North, James Earl Jones, Henry Winkler, Cornel West, Bill Nye, Olympians Gabby Douglas and Billy Mills and so many more. Many times, we have our speakers visit parts of our community like the Pembroke Boys and Girls Club and the Lumbee Tribe. Most speakers are interviewed on WNCP TV on campus and participate in a reception for the students, faculty, staff and donors.”

When asked about what he and the rest of the students and staff hope to get of the event, Ghaffar said, “We are co-sponsoring this event with the School of Business. Since Ms. Marshall was an executive at AT&T for many years and is the only female CEO in the NBA, meaning she runs a billion-dollar sports franchise, we are hoping our students gain some knowledge about the business world. Also Mr. Scruggs is a seven-time Emmy Award winner and hosts his own radio show and is a TV sports personality, so we hope our students will be motivated by his success as a UNCP Alumni.”

Visit uncp.edu/resources/givens-performing-arts-center for more information or to buy tickets to this event.

Sweet Tea Shakespeare presents ‘Macbeth’

10 MacbethWebSweet Tea Shakespeare is adding a new flavor to its productions this year. It’s bringing “Macbeth” to the Cumberland County community. While Director K.P. Powell has never directed “Macbeth,” he has performed in “Macbeth” four times and in over 150 shows. He’s also directed “Two Aside” at Saint Louis University, some music videos at the American Shakespeare Center and some short films. The show opens Jan. 2 and runs through Jan. 26.

Powell feels his prior experience gives him intimate knowledge of this particular play. He will be working with a small cast, including students from around the region during the student matinees, and is looking forward to working closely with the audience to create a profound personal experience.

“The story of Macbeth creates an opportunity for the audience to follow closely with the two hugely recognizable characters,” said Powell. “They can enjoy watching the other actors switch between characters constantly and not be confused. I really hope to advocate for the audience. I’m trying to direct it as though I have no idea what happens, that way the story shines rather than my particular tastes or ideas.”

The main characters, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, are played by Wade Newhouse and Chelsea Sugar. The audience can expect to be pulled into the spirit of the show. There will be people sitting on stage with the actors, where the actors talk to them — not at them. Plus, there is live music. “Shakespeare feels like a conversation, not a literary lesson,” Powell said.

If you’re on the fence about whether or not Macbeth is something you’d enjoy, Powell wants you to know that no matter what you’ve been told, Shakespeare really is for everyone. In his words, “If you can understand Yoda when he’s speaks, you can understand Shakespeare. If you can understand the “Big Bang Theory” when you know nothing about particle physics, you can understand Shakespeare.”

Opening date is Jan. 2, 2020. The production runs through the Jan. 26 at Vizcaya Villa. There are some select performances at William Peace University in Raleigh and Methodist University as well. The cost is $25 dollars at the door, but advance tickets are $10 for students, $15 for senior/military and $17.50 for adults and can be purchased here: www.sweetteashakespeare.com/tickets.

Civil War Quiz Bowl challenges contestants of all ages

11 N1111P72003CFor history buffs, avid learners or anyone up for a challenge, the Civil War & Reconstruction Quiz Bowl, which will take place on Jan. 23 at the Headquarters Library, presents an exciting opportunity for informal and friendly competition as well as an opportunity for an intellectual test.

The quiz bowl was originally part of a larger series of programs called the Arsenal Roundtable. Now, after 19 years, the annual competition still welcomes young and old to enter and test their historical knowledge, with a cap of 15 contestants. “All ages (can compete), which is why we give a prize to the adult and youth winner,” said Leisa Greathouse, the associate curator of education for the Museum of the Cape Fear. The youth category is considered to be 16 and under.

The winners will receive a $50 gift card to Barnes & Noble.

Since learning is fun, the categories are, too. “The name of the categories this year are taken from famous and popular movie quotes,” Greathouse said. “The categories are: ‘I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse,’ ‘…life is like a box of chocolates,’ ‘Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer,’ ‘Here’s Johnny,’ ‘You ain’t heard nothing yet,’ ‘Shaken, not stirred,’ ‘Carpe Diem. Seize the day boys,’ ‘I feel the need — the need for speed,’ ‘Houston, we have a problem ’ (and) ‘Bond, James Bond.’”

Some questions are easy; some questions are hard. They cover a broad range of topics, including people, battles and places, weapons and the military, slavery and freedom. Some questions are about events that took place after the war. In total, 200 questions, including some that are reserved for certain circumstances, will be prepared for the competition.

With the recent and constant conversations around the pending transition of the Museum of the Cape Fear Historical Complex into The North Carolina Civil War & Reconstruction History Center, one may be tempted to think the quiz bowl is especially relevant right now. However, an understanding of history is always something important for any community.

“Even though it can be a divisive topic, we view it as an opportunity to bring understanding through education. Year after year, generation after generation, we seek to build a community of critical thinkers and history-minded individuals. Knowing at least a certain amount of history is imperative to understanding our society,” Greathouse pointed out.

“History and history museums are always relevant, and we would like to see more people spend more time visiting our facility and attending events like this,” she said.

Participating in the event is a great opportunity learn facts in an interactive way. Greathouse encourages teachers and college faculty to give extra credit to students in attendance.

The Civil War & Reconstruction Quiz Bowl will take place on  Jan. 23, at 7 p.m., in the Pate Room of the Headquarters Library, located at 300 Maiden Lane. Up to 15 participants can compete and are encouraged to sign up ahead of time by emailing leisa.greathouse@ncdcr.gov or by calling 910-500-4243. If space is available, which has been the case in the past, then registrations will be taken at the door.

Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra presents 'If It Ain't Baroque ...'

14 OrchestraFrom 1600 to 1750, the Baroque period challenged artistic expectations in Europe. Meaning “oddly shaped pearl,” barroco is characterized by contrasting melodies, harmony and multiple instrument sounds. This style didn’t become popular overnight. In fact, critics of the period described Baroque compositions as overly complicated and elaborate. However, fans of Bach, Vivaldi, Purcell and other masterminds of the era would disagree. The Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra will play tribute to these artists with a Baroque performance, Jan. 16, at St. John’s Episcopal Church.

The concert will provide an educational glimpse into 17th- and 18th-century Europe. In fact, Executive Director Jesse Hughes chose to showcase works from this era “to give the community and audience exposure to famous (composers) of the Baroque period,” particularly Johann Sebastian Bach. “He was like the musical example — the model — the one that’s paid a lot of homage to by the previous composers,” Hughes said about the German composer. “He is looked at as being the forerunner of the Baroque style.”

Baroque music also offers quite a variety to the listener, Hughes said. Although the Baroque movement took place in Europe, styles varied between countries, particularly France, Germany, England and Italy. Such variety will be represented at FSO’s concert.

“Expect to be entertained through the musical versatility and flexibility of the musicians,” Hughes said. “For example, Adagio in G Minor for Strings and Organ, where you normally see it on piano, you’ll see on a church organ.”

Hughes explained that FSO will perform as a chamber orchestra, a more intimate format, since Baroque compositions were traditionally performed this way. “The chamber orchestra can be 50 players or less, and normally instead of having multiple instruments on a part it can be one to two instruments on a part,” said Hughes.

St. John’s intimate setting combined with the smaller orchestra will allow for more interaction between performers and audience, according to Hughes. Instead of performing onstage, the orchestra will be on ground level; the performers will also enter the same doors that the patrons enter, so the audience will likely be able to meet orchestra members after the concert.

During the remainder of the season, FSO will perform “Music She Wrote,” a concert that celebrates female composers with works written exclusively by women on Feb. 8. On March 7, FSO will highlight pieces by Brahms, Wagner, Bizet and Berlioz during “In Their Footsteps.” April 4, FSO will perform Bohemian masterpieces, including Dvorak’s Cello Concerto, in “Musical Folktales.” The Music Nerd will appear at 6:45 p.m. before each concert to hold a question and answer session with the audience.

Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra’s “If It Ain’t Baroque” will take place at 302 Green St., Thursday, Jan. 16, at 7:30 p.m.

To learn more or to purchase tickets, visit https://squareup.com/store/fayetteville-symphony-orchestra/item/if-it-ain-t-baroque.

Latest Articles

  • Hope Mills Commissioners demonstrate prudent leadership
  • Channeling 2020 and the road ahead
  • A Pyrrhic victory would smell as sweet
  • Are your financial and tax advisors talking?
  • Organizations collaborate for Building Business Rally
  • Martin Luther King Jr. prayer breakfast set for Jan. 20