Gordon Parks Elementary Celebrates Park’s 100th Birthday

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Friday November ninth would have been Gordon Park’s 100th Birthday. The Groundbreaking photographer, composer, poet, filmmaker, and writer is being honored by fourth and fifth grade students from the elementary school that bears his name with a performance entitled “Gordon’s Story: A Centennial Celebration.”

One of the fifth graders that will be singing and dancing across the stage is Rhi’Ana Williams who couldn’t break her smile during Thursday’s rehearsal.

“Everything is just fun and relaxing,” said Williams. “I felt, amazing, I can’t say it, I was so happy”

The live 60 minute tribute to Parks will highlight his life and works put to song by music teacher Tim Peterson and dance by former Kansas City Ballet star Christopher Barksdale. Barksdale has spent the last six weeks practicing with the students and says they’ve come a long way.

“It’s going to get easier now they are in the theater now, They’re ready, ” said Barksdale.

Gordon Parks elementary was founded in 1999, Parks died in 2006. The Musical is part of a fundraiser at the Historic Gem Theater that will begin with a cocktail hour at 6:30pm and the tribute starting at 8:30pm.

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