Column by Clarke Reader

Performer interprets American treasure Maya Angelou

Recommended activities for the coming week

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One of the great African-American figures of the 20th and 21st centuries is Maya Angelou, a poet, writer and speaker of quiet dignity and power. Though we lost her in 2014, her voice lives on in her work and the people she influenced.

One of those people is actor and scholar Becky Stone, who will be bringing Angelou to audiences with her Chautauqua presentations around the metro area as part of Colorado Humanities’ Black History Live tour.

“The focus of my presentation will be on the power of words,” Stone, who lives in North Carolina, explained. “Reading and writing was such an important part of her life, and I’m connecting her life stories to her writings.”

Stone will be presenting at four locations: 2 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 21, at Bemis Public Library, 6014 Datura St. in Littleton; 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 23 at Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales Branch Library, 1498, N. Irving St.; 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 26 at Metropolitan State University Denver, 890 Aurora Parkway; and 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 28 at the Community College of Aurora, 16000 E. CentreTech Parkway.

Being a Chautauqua scholar means that Stone will perform as Angelou — she’ll even take audience questions as the poet, only answering with information that is historically accurate and based on textual evidence. The research is one of Stone’s — who also performs as Harriet Tubman and Rosa Parks — favorite parts of being a Chautauqua Scholar. And there was plenty to learn about Angelou.

“As a performer I have to be honest with what I learned about her, and I’ve really grown to love her,” Stone said.

Stone’s main goal with these performances is to bring as full of a person as she can to life in front of the audience and allow them to connect with her.

“So many people loved her and I can feel that when I perform as her,” she said.

“It would be easy to come away depressed and angry hearing about what she experienced, but I hope audiences come away motivated and hopeful.”

To learn more, visit www.coloradohumanities.org/content/black-history-live-2.

Photography and more at Civic Center

Elemental Construction and The Best of Denver Fashion Week will both be on display at the McNichols Civic Center Building, 144 W. Colfax Ave., through April 7. Both exhibitions are free and open to the public from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mondays through Fridays and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Elemental Construction features more than 50 photographic collages by 10 photographers, according to information from Denver Arts and Venues. The Best of Denver Fashion Week highlights the 10-year history of Denver Fashion Week through behind-the-scenes photography and unique installations.

Visit www.artsandvenuesdenver.com for more information.

Clarke’s Concert of the Week — Bob Seger at the Pepsi Center

Bob Seger is the man behind so many classics that it almost boggles the mind. Let’s do (just a portion of) the list — “Against the Wind,” “Turn the Page,” and “Mainstreet.” And then there’s “Night Moves,” which I maintain is one of the best pop-rock songs ever written. It’s a hill I’m happily prepared to die on.

Back in October 2017 I was thrilled to have the chance to finally see the man, but he had to cancel due to a “urgent medical issue concerning his vertebrae.” He’s rescheduled the show to 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 13 at the Pepsi Center, 1000 Chopper Circle.

Seger is saying this will be his final tour, and after 56 years, he’s more than earned it. I’m not saying do whatever you can to catch this special show, but also do whatever you can to catch this special show.

Get tickets at www.altitudetickets.com.

A window into warriors at Arvada Center

As part of Regis University’s Center for the Study of War Experience the 24th annual “Stories from Wartime” lecture series will be running one Wednesday a month through the spring at the Arvada Center, 6901 Wadsworth Blvd.

The second entry in the series is called Contested Identities: Life After Combat and will be presented at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 20.

According to information provided by Regis, the purpose is to grow understanding of the complexities of war and widen perspectives of what ordinary people do in war, and what war does to them.

The events are free but the Arvada Center suggests registering in advance at arvadacenter.org.

Clarke Reader’s column on culture appears on a weekly basis. He can be reached at Clarke.Reader@hotmail.com.

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