Actor Gerald C. Rivers – a multi-talented artist – will be the
keynote speaker, accompanied by singer Charles Holt, at the birthday
celebration for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. today, Jan. 20, at the Soka
Gakkai International (SGI) Auditorium, 525 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica.
The free event – one of the largest and most diverse celebrations of
its kind in Southern California – is scheduled for 9 am. The event is
sponsored by the Martin Luther King, Jr. Westside Coalition, a nonprofit
coalition whose missions are consistent with King’s legacy.
It is co-sponsored by Santa Monica College, the City of Santa Monica, the SMC Associates (www.smc.edu/associates), RAND Corporation, CityTV-Santa Monica, and SGI-USA.
This year’s celebration embraces the theme “Unity in the Community.”
The multi-ethnic, interfaith program will include inspirational
readings, speakers, music, and the MLK Education Awards.
Immediately following the program, a Community Involvement Fair
offering refreshments and informational displays by a variety of
community organizations will be held nearby at the SGI Youth Center, 606
Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica.
Rivers and Holt have worked together in “Martin & Music,” a
groundbreaking stage production threading together Dr. King’s words with
music and narrative about his life and ideals.
Rivers – who grew up in Compton, studied theater at Los Angeles City
College, and then went on to Morehouse College – is renowned for his
portrayals of Dr. King and a noted scholar on the Civil Rights leader’s
words and work.
A classically trained Shakespearean actor and a company member at the
Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum, Rivers is also a voiceover artist for
video games and for TV commercials and films, as well as a master of the
African Djembe drum. The Center for the Advancement of Non Violence
presented Rivers with its 2012 Season for Non Violence Local Hero Award
in recognition of his work.
Holt is a Broadway performer and celebrated recording artist who has
starred in some of the most spectacular productions in American theatre
history, including “Smokey Joe’s Café,” “Jesus Christ Superstar,” and
He has been a guest star on “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” and
“All My Children,” as well as the award-winning independent film “Anne
B. Real” and the thought-provoking comedy “Ed’s Trip.”
Holt received national acclaim for his 20-character portrayal in his
one-man stage play “Black Boy,” based on Richard Wright’s bestselling
autobiography, as well as his portrayal of W.E.B. Du Bois in the one-man
production “The Smoke King.”
He describes his company, Charles Holt Productions, as “a ministry
committed to creating, performing, and producing vehicles that speak
life and that inspire a higher mind-set of consciousness and awareness.”
For more information about the event, call 310.941.9172.
Copyright © 2011 by Santa Monica Mirror. All rights reserved.