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Entertaining The Hours Of Your Week: A Week For Words

Douglas Henderson

Words are powerful things. They shape our views on issues; they allow us to express ourselves; and they have the power to hurt and heal. This week’s OneSix8 brings three word-worthy events to fill the hours in your week. 

Thursday marks the beginning of the three-day Oklahoma City Storytelling Festival at the Oklahoma History Center. The Arts Council of Oklahoma City hosts four famous for this 33rd annual festival devoted to wordsmiths.

Barbara McBride-Smith, Judith Black, Alton Chung and Patrick Ball join together to entertain audiences with both performances and workshops throughout the weekend. Each performer offers a unique view on storytelling as a profession as well as priceless advice about all aspects of storytelling – from what makes a good ghost story, to how to discover your voice. And if you’re interested in putting those lessons to use and telling your tales, there’s an open mic session Friday afternoon.

Few words are more memorable than the ones Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered during his “I Have a Dream” speech 50 years ago this week. In honor of the March on Washington and Dr. King’s inspiring address, members of the Oklahoma City community will march from Stiles Circle Park in Northeast Oklahoma City to the State Capitol Friday morning.

The Civil Rights Commemoration begins with the march at 8:30 a.m., and a rally at the Capitol takes place an hour later. Rev. J.A. Reed, Jr., a civil rights activist and pastor of Oklahoma City's Fairview Missionary Baptist Church, will deliver the keynote speech. Several other Oklahoma City leaders will also speak throughout the morning.

And if pictures really are worth 1,000 words, it’s only fitting to mention Douglas Henderson’s Doors of No Return exhibit in this OneSix8. The Oologah native traveled to Ghana, Senegal, and the Gambia in 2010. During that time, he spent weeks along the African coast photographing the crumbling ruins of castles that once held slaves waiting to be shipped off during the transatlantic slave trade between the 16th and 19th centuries.

Henderson’s collection is considered to be one of the most complete compilations of these sites, and it’s on display in the North Gallery of the State Capitol through this Sunday.  The gallery is open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on weekdays and from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on weekends.

Other events taking place this week include:

The University of Central Oklahoma debuts its Broadway Tonight Series Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Emmy Award-winner Liz Callaway performs with The Young Voices of Edmond at the school’s Mitchell Hall Theatre.

The 37th annual Midsummer Nights' Fair comes to Lions Park in Norman August 23-24 from 6:00 – 11:00 p.m. The juried arts festival features 30 local artist booths that offer jewelry, sculpture, woodworking and more.

And the Salvation Army’s 3rd annual Red Hot Kettle Run takes place this Saturday. The 5K and 10K runs benefit the organization’s ongoing community efforts.

For even more ways to get involved in your community, visit the calendar page

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