Friday, February 20, 2015

Preview Exhibition - BREAKING THROUGH Lighting the Way

(Past Preview Mini Exhibit held February 7-8, 2015)


(Cover Photo by Carolyn Smiths Watts, Shoreline Village, Published in Tuttle Cameras One Camera Project, 
Exhibited at the Historical Society of Long Beach; Other photos on this page by Sunny Nash)

(Standing left to right): Evelyn Knight marched with Martin Luther King from Selma to Montgomery; Patricia Lofland, first black member of Long Beach City College Board of Trustees; Bobbie Smith, first black LB woman elected to public office and has a school named for her; Alta Cooke, first black high school principal; Carrie Bryant, city’s first black private school operator; Vera Mulkey, the City’s first black Chief of Staff; Wilma Powell, the nation’s first female Chief Wharfinger; Doris Topsy-Elvord, first African American Long Beach Harbor Commissioner & first black female LB Vice Mayor; (Seated left to right): Autrilla Scott, city’s first black LB citizen with street named for her; Maycie Herrington, recipient of a Congressional Gold Medal; Dale Clinton’s letter to President Johnson is archived at the Library of Congress; and (not present): Lillie Mae Wesley, neighborhood parent for 30 years with LB Parks & Recreation. 




EXPO Arts Center
Bixby Knolls
Long Beach
Adoring crowds from across the Southern California filled the EXPO Arts Center Saturday and Sunday, February 7-8, 2015, for a BREAKING THROUGH Lighting the Way Exhibition Preview for the Andy Street Community Association's Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.



Living Legend, Evelyn Knight (left)
&
Eleanor Schmidt, Former Executive Director
Long Beach Public Library 
Evelyn Knight marched with Martin Luther King from Selma to Montgomery; Dale Clinton’s letter to President Johnson is archived at the Library of Congress. Wilma Powell was the first U.S. female Chief Wharfinger; Doris Topsy-Elvord, first black female Vice Mayor; Autrilla Scott, city’s first black citizen with a street named for her; Patricia Lofland, first black member of Long Beach City College Board of Trustees; Vera Mulkey, the city’s first black chief of staff; Alta Cooke, first black high school principal; Bobbie Smith, first black woman elected to public office and has a school named for her; Carrie Bryant, city’s first black private school operator; Maycie Herrington, recipient of a Congressional Gold Medal. Lillie Mae Wesley, neighborhood parent for 30 years through Parks & Recreation.



Exhibition Preview Visitor
"Time for education was a sacrifice these women made," said Nash, editor of the collection of historical profiles, BREAKING THROUGH Lighting the Way. "Although nothing is guaranteed in this life, education is a necessary part of preparing for a successful future. Study, one solid method of giving a dream a fair chance to become a reality, grooms a person for the inevitable competition of those who may have the same dream.” 

The full BREAKING THROUGH Lighting the Way Exhibition, sponsored by Leadership Long Beach, will open Tuesday, September 29, 2015, at the Atrium Center & Theater in the Long Beach Public Library off of City Hall Public Plaza. This extensive display of portraiture, historic photographic reproductions, artifacts, documents and memorabilia will cover three decades of achievement by these Long Beach women.


Portraiture Captured Imagination






Interactive Educational  Component
Popular with Visitors



 

 


Map Wall a Point of Interest





Memorabilia Quite an Attraction







LIVING LEGENDS 

MAKE APPEARANCE AT PREVIEW


Living Legend, Dale Clinton
& Children

Living Legend, Vera Mulkey
& Children

Living Legend, Wilma Powell


Living Legends
Bobbie Smith & Alta Cooke

Photojournalist and author, Sunny Nash, and Long Beach humanitarian, Carolyn Smith Watts are the co-curators of BREAKING THROUGH Lighting the Way, about 12 African American women, who made a difference in the cultural history of Long Beach. Their pioneering project began with a book of historical profiles, collection of artifacts, documentary film and website in 2007. 

BREAKING THROUGH Lighting the Way blossomed into an exhibition of historic photographic restorations, document reproductions, artifacts, and ancestral papers when Nash won a Professional Artist Fellowship from the Arts Council for Long Beach and the City of Long Beach to design the museum catalog and reproduce photographic restorations and documents.

“These 12 women have collectively contributed 711 years of experience to Long Beach,” Watts said. “In the past fifty years, they have mothered hundreds children, some of whom were their own and others were neighborhood children who needed love and support. Yes, of course, there are other women in our city with thousands of stories and each one invaluable.” 

“One lesson young people can learn from these 12 incredible women is to be dedicated to their dreams and be willing to make certain sacrifices to nurture their dreams,” Nash said.



Project Consultant, Peter Bostic 
Working with Carolyn Smith Watts
On Interactive Educational Component
Carolyn Smith Watts and Peter Bostic, project consultant, work on the preview map wall and interactive educational component. The map wall plots the journeys of the 12 women from their places of birth to Long Beach. 

The interactive educational component challenges preview visitors to plot their journeys and the journeys of their ancestors to Long Beach. The locations leading to Long Beach were varied, ranging from Calgary, Canada, to Puerto Rico, Hawaii, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Chicago, Cleveland, St. Louis, the Gulf Coast, Mexico, the Rockies, the Pacific Northwest, the Pacific Islands, Australia, Africa and parts of Europe.


BREAKING THROUGH Lighting the Way is more than an exhibition. It is a total historical  experience.



Preview Sponsors

Leadership Long Beach

Arts Council for Long Beach

City of Long Beach

Long Beach Public Library

Historical Society of Long Beach

Robin D. Perry & Associates

Chick-fil-A - Town Center

Andy Street Community Association

EXPO Arts Center

Bixby Knolls Business Improvement Association


Content © Copyright 2015 BREAKING THROuGH  Lighting the WayAll Rights Reserved Worldwide.

~Thank You~


Breaking Through Lighting the Way
Breaking Through Lighting the Way
Breaking Through Lighting the Way

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