Florida Courier - March 20, 2015

Page 9


MARCH 20 – MARCH 26, 2015

FLORIDA COMMUNITY CALENDAR Orlando: Big Sean will take the stage on March 22 at Firestone Live. Fort Lauderdale: The Mighty Clouds of Joy and Lee Williams will be at the War Memorial Auditorium on April 5. West Palm Beach: Audra McDonald performs March 24 at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts. Daytona Beach: The Original Wailers will perform March 26 at the Ocean Deck and March 27 at Millikens Reef in Port Canaveral. Tampa: Journalist Roland Martin will be the guest speaker at a scholarship ball hosted by Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and the GZl Educational Foundation on March 28 at the Mainsail Conference & Event Center. More info: gzleducationalfoundation.org or call 813-4513306. Jacksonville: The legendary Mavis Staples will perform March 21 at the Ritz Theatre. Tampa: Suncoast Credit Union Gasparilla International Film Festival will feature 10 Latinthemed films to be screened March 25-28 at Channelside Cinemas, including “The Poet

of Havana”, an in-depth documentary on internationallyrenowned musician, Carlos Varela. More information: http://gasparillafilm.sched.org. Orlando: Florida Department of Health in Orange County’s 5K walk and health fair is April 4 at Barnett Park, 4801 W. Colonial Drive. Details: www. orange.floridahealth.gov under the events section or 407-858-1464.




Maxwell is scheduled to be the closing act at Jazz in the Gardens on March 22 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens.

Estero: Actor and comedian Kevin Hart’s tour makes stops at the Germain Arena in Estero on March 27, April 25 at Amway Center in Orlando and April 25 at Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena. Tampa: Candy Lowe hosts Tea & Conversation every Saturday from 2 to 4 p.m. at 3911 N. 34th St., Suite B. More information: 813-394-6363. St. Petersburg: The legendary Smokey Robinson performs April 12 at The Mahaffey Theater and April 4 at the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall in Fort Myers. Tampa: Tickets are on sale for the Nephew Tommy Comedy Tour featuring Thomas Miles at the University of South Florida’s Sun Dome on April 18.



R&B Love Fest 2015 features Keith Sweat, Bell Biv Devoe, K-CI & JoJo along with El DeBarge. The show is April 4 at the BankUnited Center in Coral Gables.

Ariana Grande with special guest Rixton will perform March 26 at Amway Center in Orlando and March 28 at AmericanAirlines Arena.

The Kinsey Collection: Re-Discovering America Family’s AfricanAmerican treasures will remain on display at Disney’s Epcot Center through 2016 BY PENNY DICKERSON SPECIAL TO THE FLORIDA COURIER

Florida has never been humble when it comes to acclaiming it historical relevance and worth. St. Augustine is globally recognized as the nation’s oldest city and in 2013, it served as the hub for Viva Florida ─ the 500th anniversary of the state’s founding. Partnerships were organized by the Florida Department of State and Florida Humanities Council to ensure the quincentennial overwhelmingly commemorated the European discovery of America. But St. Augustine native Shirley Kinsey had a more important discovery, partnership, and rich legacy to applaud that same year. On March 8, 2013, she was joined by her husband, Bernard, and son, Khalil, for the Epcot Center debut of her family’s private, cultural inheritance – the Kinsey Collection which represents over The groundbreaking exhibit showcases rare art, documents, books, and artifacts and is titled “Re-Discovering America: Family Treasures from The Kinsey Collection.” Collaborative efforts between Walt Disney World and the Kinsey’s, now allow guests visiting the theme park’s American Adventure pavilion to enjoy a new and relevant journey “between the pages” of history..

The back story The Kinsey Collection is no stranger to public view. In fact, more than 4 million people in over seven U.S. cities – including the Smithsonian National Museum of American History – have viewed the collection. “We always wanted to extend the reach of the collection to a larger, more international and diverse audience,” explained Bernard Kinsey. “So we are delighted to be collaborating with Disney to share the stories of our remarkable ancestors.” But the concept was five years in the making before it was fully realized. According to Kinsey, the Disney journey started in May 2008. The collection was installed at the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach when he contacted his good friend Bob Billingslea, former vice president of Corporate Urban Affairs and Minority Outreach at Walt Disney World and invited him to see the exhibit. “He was just blown away,” stated Kinsey, “And from there,

THE EXHIBIT American Adventure pavilion is in the heart of the World Showcase area of Epcot. “Re-Discovering America: Family Treasures from the Kinsey Collection” is included in Epcot admission. For more information, visit http://thekinseycollection.com.

Billingslea began the process of moving things through a vast network of Disney executives.”

‘Powerful collection’ Another African-American Disney executive integral to the project’s advance was Carmen Smith, vice president of Creative Development of Walt Disney Imaganeering. Smith, along with 20 theme park executives, traveled to the Kinsey’s Los Angeles home where the original collection is housed in a converted wine cellar. Equally impressed, they gave the green light to build a custom gallery displaying 40 of the collection’s 400 items for a threeyear installation running through 2016. “We are thrilled to bring the Kinsey Collection to Epcot guests,” said Jim MacPhee, senior vice president, Walt Disney World Parks. “Epcot is such a rich cultural tapestry that it serves as the perfect showcase for this powerful collection, with its celebration of the human spirit.” History displayed Disney style Consistent with an interactive experience to involve visitors, Disney Imagineers created a classic gallery setting complete with touch screens and “guestactivated lanterns” – symbolic of the freedom trail which enhanced the heritage experience. Actors Whoopi Goldberg, Kerry Washington, Chandra Wilson and James Pickens, Jr. are among A-list celebrities whose voices narrate. The exhibit honors five distinct themes: Hope, Courage, Belief, Imagination and Heritage. A few examples on display in the Hope showcase are the 1773 book of poetry by 19-year-old Phillis Wheatley, the first African-American ever to publish a collection, while Courage displays the Harriet Jacob’s 1862 book, “Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl.” A personal Heritage item dear to Shirley Kinsey is an old sewing machine (1900) passed down through generations by her grandmother, Susie Plummer Pooler.

More items added Successful negotiations extend


“Re-Discovering America: Family Treasures from the Kinsey Collection” brings to Epcot important African heritage art from the collection of Bernard and Shirley Kinsey, shown with their son Khalil. the collection at Epcot through 2018 and last spring, additional images, artwork and artifacts related to watershed moments in American history were added. They include “Noon Wash” by contemporary artist Jonathan Green whose work is inspired by his Gullah ancestry, “Songs of the United States from 1867,’’ Tintype photographs popularized in the mid-1850s, and more. “The Kinsey Collection shares the powerful and previously untold stories of those who dared to dream,” said Erin Youngs, vice president of Epcot. “Representing more than 400 years of African-American achievement and history, the Kinsey Collection showcases the best of the American spirit with a nod to ingenuity and innovation. We are delighted to expand the exhibit and bring even more of these treasures to Epcot guests.”

Education first Bernard and Shirley Kinsey are Florida A&M University alums who met during the civil rights movement. They are both Xerox Corporation retirees who learned early to master the art of saving and their philanthropic efforts have helped raise more than $25 million to support HBCUs. A partnership with Disney is driven by one, single goal: to educate. Broaching 50 years of marriage, the nostalgic couple has one son, Khalil, whose curiosity about his own heritage at a young age inspired the family’s collection. He currently serves as general manager and CEO. Essential to their collection’s presence is a 198-page, self-published, coffee table book, “The Kinsey Collection,’’ that has been approved by the Florida Department of Education to teach K-12 history. Bernard Kinsey summated the family’s stance.


The exhibit from the Kinseys’ vast holdings provides optimistic and empowering stories from voices not commonly seen or heard, including rare sculptures and historical books and documents dating as far back as 1632. “When you understand African-American History from an African-American standpoint, it changes you fundamentally, in terms of who you are and where you come from. All of us have holes in our hearts because we don’t know who we are or from where we came. “It’s not a Black thing or a

White thing or a Latin thing or an Asian thing. You’re different because the African-American story is the story of America. We’ve been a part of everything that has happened in this country all the way from Patagonia to Canada, so what the Kinsey family is trying to say is, we were there. We were there and we matter.”