Friends and Neighbors

Kids to sing for Dr. King


There are a lot events happening on Dr. Martin Luther King Day (celebrated Jan. 20). But none is more heartwarming than the event at Miami Lighthouse for the Blind at 601 SW Eighth St., when 80 blind teen musicians join 30 of their peers from the Chapman Partnership for a concert.

The school-age children will celebrate with music the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The music is provided by the Better Chance Music Production Program and the program will include the students performing Michael Jackson’s legacy song Thriller.

The concert will be at 11:30 a.m. The audience will include board members from the organizations as well as friends and family members of the performers.

The singers will be ready. The Miamians Barbershop Chorus will work with the students, teaching them harmony and just joining in on the fun of the day.

“This collaboration empowers these children and teaches them that nothing is impossible when it comes to fulfilling their dreams, just like the example set by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,” said Trish Bell, chairwoman of the Board of Chapman Partnership.

Said Virginia Jacko, president of Miami Lighthouse for the Blind, “This is an opportunity for children affected by loss of home to witness how students with loss of sight demonstrate ‘It’s possible to see without sight.’ ” Jacko said the students from Miami Lighthouse will join with “school children of all ages, all ethnicities and backgrounds to celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.”

In addition, the Miami Lighthouse Transition teenagers have conducted a clothing drive for their new friends to take back to their families.

For more information, call Cameron Ehren Sisser at 786-362-7515.

Call for theater artists

The Miami Theater Center has announced an open call to artists for the 2014-15 SandBox Series.

Artists from all performance disciplines are welcome to apply for the series by submitting a bio; an artist’s statement; a written project narrative; a two-minute video of themselves describing their project, and two short video clips of prior work. The proposed project must be a new work, and applicants must be at least 18 and eligible to work in the United States.

Application for the 2014-15 SandBox Series are due by 6 p.m. Feb. 14.

To complete an online application, visit If you have questions about the application process, call SandBox Series Producer Octavio Campos at

Application and materials should be sent to: Miami Theater Center, 2014-15 SandBox Series, 9806 NE Second Ave., Miami, FL 33138.

A panel of theater professionals will review the applications, and finalists may be invited to present their project proposals in person at Miami Theater Center. The five artists selected for the series will be announced in July. The series residencies will take place between October 2014 and June 2015.

Those chosen for the series will receive a commissioning fee, three weeks to rehearse and two weekends to perform six showings of a new work in the SandBox MTC’s 50-seat black box performance space, as well as opportunities to teach classes for the community. They also benefit from individualized technical and professional support from the MTC staff.

Theater Center presents new work by innovative performing artists and is a Knight Foundation supported program.

Baseball player to host fundraiser

Jon Jay, a St. Louis Cardinals outfielder, will host his annual Celebrity Bowling Tournament to benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Miami-Dade.

In addition to Jay, the event will feature other Major League Baseball stars arriving on the red carpet, cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and bowling.

Alex Rodriguez, executive director of Boys and Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade said, “We are grateful that Jon Jay has again partnered with [us] for the wonderful community event. With the efforts of individuals such as Jon, [we can] continue to make a difference in the lives of many area youth.”

Jay said he has been “thrilled by the enthusiastic responses to the event the past two years, and we’re looking forward to raising even more funds” in 2014.

The event will be from 7 to 10 p.m. Jan. 24 at Lucky Strike Bowing Alley, 1691 Michigan Ave. in Miami Beach. Red carpet arrivals will begin at 6:45 p.m. The bowling challenge will start at 7:45 p.m. and winners will be announced at 9:30 p.m.

Individual tickets are $450 per bowling team and $100 per person. To become a sponsor call Tom Hagan at CAA Sports 212-277-9000 or email: To purchase individual tickets and for more information visit:

MDC to host lectures on Muslims

A five-part series entitled, “Let's Talk About it: Muslim Journeys” will be presented by Miami Dade College’s Homestead Library from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Jan. 23, Feb. 6, Feb. 27, March 27 and April 10.

The project’s mission is to familiarize the public with the people, places, history, faith and cultures of Muslims in the United States and around the world.

The theme “Pathways of Faith,” will be explored with a series of books and discussions, led by Dr. Iqbal S. Akhtar, assistant professor of Religious Studies and Politics and International Relations at Florida International University. Akhtar is a Fulbright Fellow and has worked in various community outreach and advocacy roles and has presented her work on Islamic history and culture.

The books to be discussed are: The Children of Abraham: Judaism, Christianity, Islam by F.E. Peters (Jan. 23); Muhammad: A Very Short Introduction by Jonathan A. C. Brown (Feb. 6); The Story of the Qur'an: Its History and Place in Muslim Life by Ingrid Mattson (Feb. 27); The Art of Haij by Venetia Porter (March 27), and A Rumi Anthology, edited and translated by Reynolds A. Nicholson (April 10).

To register for the program, contact Lindsay Schriftman at 305-237-5245 or at

Trip to historic town’s festival

There still may be time to get in on this one-day trip sponsored by Booker T. Washington High School’s Class of 1960 to Eatonville, Fla., the oldest black incorporated city in the United States.

As many of you probably know, Eatonville is also the home of the late author Zora Neale Hurston (and my late dad Adam Johnson Sr.). Many of the characters of her books were based on her family there and the people she grew up with.

The trip will take place Feb. 1, and is a round-trip, one-day outing to the Zora Neale Hurston Festival. The bus will leave from the Golden Glades Terminal North parking lot at 6 a.m. The return trip from Eatonville is at 5:30 p.m.

This is the Class of 1960’s scholarship fundraiser. The cost is $55 per person and includes complimentary refreshments. Additional gate admission is $10 for adults and free for children. Students 16-18 must show current student ID to be admitted free.

This year’s festival headliner is Maze, featuring Frankie Beverly.

This is a great, black cultural outing for the entire family. I haven’t attended in several years, but always found it to be culturally inspiring.

If you go, bring your own portable chair and a light sweater or jacket.

For more information contact Cornelia Sands at 305-621-6412; Ramona Exum at 305-625-2961, or Jimmie Knowles at 786-356-2282.

Send all items at least two weeks in advance to Friends and Neighbors, c/o Neighbors, 2000 NW 150th Ave., Suite 1105, Pembroke Pines, FL 33028, fax it to 954-538-7018 or email Pictures are accepted but cannot be returned.

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