The City of Temecula, Temecula Valley Museum & Old Town Temecula Community Theater join our nation as we recognize and celebrate Black Americans' many achievements and contributions to our great country. You are invited to the month-long Virtual Celebration of American Black History presented on our various social media outlets throughout February, 2021.
Temecula Mayor Maryann Edwards commented, “The City of Temecula is proud to present these events throughout the month of February recognizing the history and contributions of Black Americans. American Black History Month also provides an opportunity to celebrate and highlight the achievements of outstanding Americans who led the fight for freedom, equity, and diversity in our communities, and continue to stand together to pave the way for progress for all. Please tune in to our social media pages as we share the stories of Black Americans who overcame challenges and hardship to make America stronger and greater through their amazing culture, civic leadership, business, education, the arts, science, literature, military service, sports, and entertainment. These events are a testament to our commitment to promote and defend inclusion, respect, and diversity, now and forever."
In celebration of Black History Month, the Temecula Valley Museum will honor the contributions to American History by Black Americans through links on the museum’s website TemeculaValleyMuseum.org, featuring music, history, culture, food, art, and a virtual photography exhibit: Through Darkness to Light: Photographs Along the Underground Railroad.
Photographer Jeanine Michna-Bales has spent more than a decade meticulously researching ‘fugitive’ slaves and the ways they escaped to freedom. While the unnumbered routes of the Underground Railroad encompassed countless square miles, the path Michna-Bales documented encompasses roughly 2,000 miles and is based off of actual sites, cities, and places that freedom-seekers passed through during their journey.
The museum’s website will also feature a recorded presentation on the Underground Railroad by Mt. San Jacinto College Assistant Professor of African American Studies, Dr. Morgan Hoodenpyle.
The celebration will also include a FREE Virtual Classical Music Concert streaming on Facebook and YouTube featuring classical cellist Anita Graef on SAT, FEB 20, 2021 at 5:00 pm. Anita has earned recognition for her music-making as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral performer.
Born into a family of professional musicians, Anita grew up surrounded by music, began piano studies at age two, and cello at age four, making her concerto debut at twelve. She obtained a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theatre, and Dance.
Later in the month, we present the second show of Allen and Gray’s Freedom Trilogy, Bayard: A New Musical streaming FREE MON, FEB 22, 2021 at 5:00 pm on Facebook and YouTube. Freedom Riders: The Civil Rights Musical premiered on Temecula’s stage in February of 2018. Show creators Richard Allen and Taran Gray are back with another thought-provoking musical surrounding the Civil Rights Movement. In 1963, what would become known as the most iconic march in Civil Rights history was still a gestation stage without the right person to organize it. Some reluctantly, some faithfully, the leaders of the movement chose Bayard Rustin, the great civil rights strategist and an openly gay Black man, to organize and get the march on its feet. His ideas would be an advantage for the movement, and his life would be the obstacle. This captivating, new musical features professional vocalists and top-notch performances.
Temecula City Council Member & Community Services District President, Zak Schwank stated, “Black History Month was formally recognized as a national celebration by President Gerald Ford in 1976. Every year in February, the City of Temecula proudly supports the Celebration of American Black History through events, exhibits, and educational experiences to reflect upon the many sacrifices and significant contributions African Americans have made to our country.”
Temecula’s Celebration of American Black History allows us to celebrate together and remember how important Black Americans have been to every chapter of our nation’s story. Please support the Temecula Valley Museum, Old Town Temecula Community Theater, and Temecula’s Community Services Department as we continue to grow this engaging, entertaining, and annual educational celebration. #ExperienceTemeculaTheater.