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North Central Celebrates MLK Next Week with 'CSI' Actor, Gospel Extravaganza

North Central College is inviting community members in its celebration of the life and legacy of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. with a series of events and performances.

North Central College invites members of the community to join its annual celebration of the life and legacy of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. from Jan. 20 to 26 with a series of events and performances.

King spoke in North Central College’s Pfeiffer Hall in 1960. This year’s celebration includes musical tributes, a prayer breakfast, the College’s 25th Gospel Extravaganza and a keynote presentation by actor, author and philanthropist Hill Harper.

Harper’s talk, “Being an Active Architect of Your Own Life,” begins at 5 p.m. Monday, Jan. 21, in the College’s Wentz Concert Hall at the Fine Arts Center, 171 E. Chicago Ave. Admission at the door is $5.

A star of the TV drama “CSI: NY” and author of four New York Times bestsellers, Harper has earned seven NAACP Image Awards for his writing and acting. He is founder of the Manifest Your Destiny Foundation, which serves youths through mentorship, scholarship and grant programs.

Harper graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. from Brown University and cum laude with a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He holds a master’s degree with honors from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and honorary doctoral degrees from six institutions. As a speaker he addresses a wide range of audiences, including youth, adults, couples and business leaders. In 2010, Harper was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. His 2011 bestselling book, “The Wealth Cure: Putting Money in Its Place,”chronicles the cancer diagnosis and his journey to health.

The weeklong celebration kicks off on Jan. 20 when the Chicago Sinfonietta presents its “Annual Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.” with featured Metropolitan Opera clarinetist Anthony McGill and renowned bass-baritone Eric Owens. The award-winning Waubonsie Valley High School Mosaic Choir will open the program.

The concert begins at 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 20 in North Central’s Wentz Concert Hall at the Fine Arts Center, 171 E. Chicago Ave. Tickets are $50, $40 and $10/children and students; call the North Central College Box Office at 630-637-SHOW (7469) or visit northcentralcollege.edu/show.

The College presents a Poetry Slam featuring New York’s Carlos Andres Gomez and student poets at 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 25, at The Union, 129 W. Benton Ave., Naperville. Tickets are $12 at the door and $10 in advance; call the box office at 630-637-SHOW (7469) or visit northcentralcollege.edu/showtix.

The week concludes with the College’s 25th Gospel Extravaganza at 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26, in Pfeiffer Hall, 310 E. Benton Ave.

Tickets are $15/adults, $10/students and senior citizens; call the North Central College Box Office at 630-637-SHOW (7469) or visit northcentralcollege.edu/show.

The lineup includes headliner Dexter Walker and Zion Movement Chorale, North Central’s own Voices of Praise gospel choir with alumni of the choir, the Wheaton College Gospel Choir, Voices of Praise Gospel Choir from the DuPage African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in Lisle and dancer-choreographer Glorielle Williams. 

Submitted by North Central College

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