Wednesday, February 16, 2011

GMOA celebrates Black History Month with Traditions

On Monday, Feb. 28, join GMOA in celebrating Black History Month with Traditions, a patrons’ dinner honoring Mr. Michael Thurmond. An annual event at the Georgia Museum of Art, this year’s Black History Month celebration promises to be memorable as we commemorate the 50th anniversary of the desegregation of the University of Georgia with dinner, dancing and gallery tours.

The evening will begin at 6 p.m. with cocktails in the M. Smith Griffith Grand Hall of the Georgia Museum of Art, followed by a gallery talk at 6:30 p.m. in which Brenda Thompson will discuss GMOA’s current exhibition “Tradition Redefined: The Larry and Brenda Thompson Collection of African American Art.” The evening will also include a performance by the East Athens Educational Dance Center, music by cellist Nick Ogawa and dinner catered by The National.

GMOA is proud to introduce Mr. Michael Thurmond as this year’s guest of honor. In addition to being a Clarke County native, Thurmond boasts the titles of former Commissioner of Labor for the state of Georgia and Democratic nominee for the United States Senate in 2010. In 1986, he became the first African American from Clarke County to be elected to the Georgia General Assembly since Reconstruction. After three terms in the legislature, Thurmond was selected by Governor Zell Miller to direct Georgia’s historic Work First program, an initiative that transitioned over 90,000 welfare-dependent families into the workforce.

Thurmond became a distinguished lecturer at the University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government in 1997. He is currently on the Board of Curators of the Georgia Historical Society and has written two books, “A Story Untold: Black Men and Women in Athens History” and “Freedom: An African-American History of Georgia.” The latter received the Georgia Historical Society’s Lilla Hawes Award and was listed by the Georgia Center for the Book as one of the 25 Books All Georgians Should Read.

To join GMOA in celebrating Black History Month and honoring Michael Thurmond, please R.S.V.P. to 706.542.0830 by Feb. 20. Tickets to this event cost $50 per person. For more information call 706.542.0437 or email For more information on Celebrating Courage: The 50th Anniversary of Desegregation at UGA, please click here.

Traditions is generously sponsored by the Athens Chapter of the Links, Inc.; Dr. Ira and Mrs. Julie Roth; Mr. and Mrs. David Matheny; and the Office of the President of the University of Georgia.

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