City Life Center to host annual free black history showcase

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Program director Kayla Warren prepares drama class for historical skit. (Photo provided)

Tuesday, February 25, 6:00pm

information provided by City Life NWI

GARY, Ind. (February 20, 2020) – The “Young, Gifted and Black,” showcase will feature performances by the children in the City Life Center’s after school program. Performances include dance, art presentations, drama, African drumline, puppet shows, and more.

“These performances are tributes to our black culture,” said Kayla Warren, the program director at City Life Center. “Some students probably don’t have a lot of knowledge on what they are performing, but it forces them to learn their history. They are forced to have an appreciation for the culture before their time.”

City Life Center’s dance class rehearses routine for black history showcase. (Photo provided)

Raven Hall, a high school senior and dance instructor, looks forward to joining her peers on stage in a traditional African dance routine.

“I feel like the dance is powerful,” said Hall. “It’s teaching kids about the African origin. I see the kids are more involved with this style of dancing.”

Along with dance, students have also spent weeks rehearsing historical skits to show their acting skills. “It’s been fun,” said Amber Smith, an eighth-grade theater student. “Kayla is a big help. She gives us games to help with remembering our lines and wants us to understand our culture.”

Instructor Jay-lan Halliburton helps students practice for the puppet show segment. (Photo provided)

The center has integrated various forms of arts to educate, entertain, and engage students.

“We strive for excellence,” said Warren. “In striving for excellence we are bridging gaps between several spectrums. Children should always be the bridge to that gap, especially when using the arts.”

“This showcase is just another example of how we appreciate the past, celebrate our history, and also infuse it with where we are now and hope to be,” said Warren.

City Life Center is a non-profit organization located at 225 W 5th Ave in Gary, Indiana, that helps families thrive by connecting them to opportunities, resources, and information. More information is available: