2019 Gordon Parks Celebration Presenters:

Check out some of the the great line up of presentations at this years 16 Annual Gordon Parks Celebration. Go to the Schedule of Events Page to see the full line up of events. The following events below are free to attend!

Thursday, October 3rd

7:30 p.m. – “Looking Through the Lens at the Historical Greenwood District in Tulsa”
Photographer, Painter, Author and Photo Journalist; Don Thompson will show through photographs and short stories the demise and rise of the Greenwood District during the 1960’s and 70’s and the recovery that is now taking place in the 21st century through the faces and spaces he captured with over 50 years of photographic experience.

Don Thompson, Photo credit: to Tulsa People Magazine, Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Friday, October 4th

9:00 a.m. to 9:50 a.m. — “Masters Class of Jazz and Blues” Queen Bey, Kansas City’s Ambassador of Jazz will make a presentation on music and the history of jazz and blues. FSCC Ellis Fine Arts Center Auditorium. This presentation was supported in part by the Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission, which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

1:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. — “Gordon Parks Projects Presentation” Students from the Gordon Parks High School in St. Paul, MN will share some of their latest work and projects about Gordon Parks.

2:15 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. — “Sarah, Ella, and Bessie: The Mothers of Gordon Parks” John Mason, Associate Professor, Associate Chair, and University of Virginia Department of History. Three women, all of them mothers, played crucial roles in Gordon Parks’ life. His own mother, Sarah Parks, profoundly shaped his character. Ella Watson, who resembled Sarah in many ways, was the subject of his first great photograph. Bessie Fontanelle, like Sarah and Ella, was the glue which held her family together and was the center around which one of his finest photo-essays revolved.

John Edwin Mason

4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. — “From The Czar of Black Hollywood to the Oscars: Fiction and Filmmaking from Kansas”. Shayna Israel, Project on the History of Black Writing/Department of English, University of Kansas and Danyelle M. Greene, Film and Media Studies, University of Kansas. The presentation will focus on 3 major Kansas filmmakers: Oscar Micheaux (Great Bend) Gordon Parks (Ft. Scott), and Kevin Wilmott (Junction City), comparing and contrasting the contributions of three groundbreaking authors and filmmakers in three different eras of American cultural history. FSCC Ellis Fine Arts Center/Gordon Parks Museum.