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Tickets still available for Parks celebration

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Film screenings, panel discussions, music and tributes are just some of the events planned as part of the ninth annual Gordon Parks Celebration of Culture and Diversity Friday and Saturday at Fort Scott Community College.

Gordon Parks Museum and Center Director Jill Warford said she hopes to draw more interest this week in the two-day celebration, which honors Fort Scott native son Parks, the late photographer, writer, musician and filmmaker. Tickets or fees -- which are still available -- are required for some events and activities, but most will be free to the public.

"Ticket sales are still slow," Warford said. "I'm hoping they pick up this week."

Events are geared toward participants of all ages and varying interests.

"We feel like we've got something for all different ages," Warford said. "We hope people come in and enjoy all the free activities."

Free activities both days of the celebration include the 24th annual Gordon Parks Photography Competition display at the fine arts center and Parks's films that will be shown continuously on big-screen TVs in the Gordon Parks Museum and Center.

With attendance for all weekend activities and events figured in, Warford estimates last year's celebration drew between 500 and 1,000 people, including many out-of-town visitors.

New elements have been added to the museum this year, but they are not yet complete, Warford said. Some of these include electronic touchscreen monitors, a new display case for Parks' various awards, a timeline wall and a replica of Parks' New York apartment.

Those attending celebration will be able to see the development taking place at the center first hand.

"An added element is that we've made great strides in the actual museum," she said.

Warford said popular events at the celebration include "Shared Stories of the Civil War," a presentation on the First Kansas Colored Infantry given by Fort Scott National Historic Site historian William Fischer and a conversation with the Choice of Weapons award honoree, Bobbi Baker Burrows, longtime photo editor at Life magazine.

A special free event this year, set for 1:15-2:45 p.m. Saturday at the Gordon Parks Museum and Center, is a panel discussion titled "1912-2012: The Legacy of Gordon Parks," which will examine Parks' legacy. Parks' son, David Parks, and daughter, Toni Parks, are two of the panelists.

Parks would have turned 100 on Nov. 30, when Warford said she hopes the project at the museum will be complete. "I think the biggest tribute is getting the museum done; everything we're adding," Warford said. "To me, that's the biggest tribute to Gordon, getting that finished so people can come in and learn more about his life ... We've added so many elements this year to the museum. I think unveiling that at the celebration will be a pretty big event for us."

Tickets are still

available for ...

A complete schedule of events is available at http://www.gordonparkscenter.org/.


"Pizza for Poets," luncheon at 1 p.m. Thursday, Ellis Fine Arts Center, 2108 S. Horton.


"Blues & BBQ" dinner concert with the Terry Quiett Band, 7 p.m. Friday, Liberty Theatre, 113 S. Main.

"Poet's Feaste," winners of the high school poetry and essay contest sponsored by the Bourbon County Arts Council, 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday.


"Who is the Next Gordon Parks?" 9-11:45 a.m. For kids 8-12; fee is $12 per child and includes a T-shirt and lunch, Ellis Fine Arts Center.

Celebration Tribute Dinner, 7 p.m. Saturday, fine arts center, 2108 S. Horton.

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