MLK celebration to feature gospel star Sapp

Sapp

Sapp

Acclaimed gospel singer Marvin Sapp and longtime local civic leader Rozelle Boyd will headline an expanded schedule of Martin Luther King Jr. Day activities Jan. 20 at the University of Indianapolis.

This year’s UIndy celebration will include not only a noon program tailored to students, but also a 6 p.m. evening program designed for the broader community. Both events are free and open to the public and will take place on the university campus at 1400 E. Hanna Ave.

The noon program in Ransburg Auditorium will begin with a recording of King’s “I have a dream” speech from the 1963 March on Washington, as students carry picket signs to dramatize the march. The keynote speaker will be Boyd, who attended the historic march and later became the first African-American member of the City-County Council, serving more than 40 years. Faculty and students will provide historical context and music to complete the program.

The 6 p.m. event in the Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center will include an hour of music from Sapp and UIndy’s Voices of Worship gospel choir. The program will begin with spoken-word performances by poets Jasmine Mans and Miles Hodges, members of the New York-based performance collective The Strivers Row. Seating is limited, and doors will open at 5 p.m.

Sapp, a Michigan native and eight-time Grammy nominee, first received national notice in the 1990s with the gospel group Commissioned before launching a solo career. His 2007 album Thirsty included the song “Never Would Have Made It,” which spent 43 weeks atop the Billboard gospel singles chart and became a crossover R&B hit. His 2010 follow-up album, Here I Am, debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 album chart, the highest opening position ever for a gospel artist. His most recent release is 2012’s I Win, his ninth album.

MLK Jr. Day Celebration — Jan. 20, 2014

Noon to 1:30 p.m., Ransburg Auditorium: Program includes music, history presentation and keynote remarks by local civic leader Rozelle Boyd
6 to 8 p.m., Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center: Program includes spoken-word performances and music from gospel star Marvin Sapp and UIndy’s Voices of Worship; limited seating, doors open at 5 p.m.
Admission: Free
Information: (317) 788-3583