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Bob Thompson Unit and Martin Luther King Jr. Male Chorus to headline free Jan. 17 Cultural Center celebration of King holiday


As part of the observance of the national Martin Luther King Day holiday, the Martin Luther King Jr. West Virginia Holiday Commission and the West Virginia Division of Culture and History will sponsor a gala featuring performances by West Virginia artists including the Bob Thompson Unit, the Martin Luther King Jr. Male Chorus, the Rev. James Lewis, the award-winning Dunbar Singers from Dunbar Middle School, mime Anitra Clark and the Capital High School Dance Company. The program will begin at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 17, in the West Virginia State Theater of the Cultural Center in the State Capitol Complex. Admission to the gala is free on a first-come, first-seated basis. A reception in the Cultural Center’s Great Hall will follow the program.

The West Virginia Library Commission will tape the evening’s performance and it will be aired on Charter Cable Channel 11 at a later date. Check local listings for specific times.

The Commission and Division also will sponsor an ecumenical service to be held in tribute to King on Monday, Jan. 19. The service, which is open to the public, will begin at 10 a.m. at Asbury United Methodist Church, 501 Elizabeth St., Charleston. Following the service, there will be a march from the church to the State Capitol for the annual symbolic ringing of the state’s Liberty Bell. The bell-ringing ceremony will take place at noon on the steps of the north face of the Capitol. A reception at the Cultural Center will follow the ceremony.

For information or to find out more about the state’s Martin Luther King Day holiday activities, call the Division at (304) 558-0220, ext. 120, or visit the website at

The national Martin Luther King Day holiday was designated by the U.S. Congress in 1983. It is observed on the third Monday in January, falling on or near King’s Jan. 15 birthday.

The West Virginia Division of Culture and History, an agency of the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, brings together the state’s past, present and future through programs and services in the areas of archives and history, the arts, historic preservation and museums. The Cultural Center is West Virginia’s official showcase for the arts. Visit the Division’s website at for more information about programs of the Division. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

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