In 2006, artist-photographer Nina Tisara began to identify, honor and chronicle people making current history in Alexandria.
Her ongoing, not-for-profit photo-documentary project has created “Living Legends of Alexandria: African American Activists,” which has opened at the Alexandria Black History Museum. This exhibition is free and open to the public.
Over the years, 13 African Americans have been chronicled as part of the project. The African American Legends included in this exhibition are: Ferdinand Day, 2007-08; Lillie Finklea, Carlton Funn Sr., Eula Miller, Melvin Miller and Bert Ransom, 2008-09; Nelson Greene Sr., 2010; Lynnwood Campbell, 2011; Lillian Patterson, Gwen Menefee-Smith and Dorothy Turner, 2012; and Willie Bailey Sr. and Rosa Byrd, 2013. The exhibition runs through Aug. 3,
Future events associated with the exhibition include:
Make a gift for mom and dad!
- A Family Legends Workshop for children from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 11, (for Mother’s Day)
- A Family Legends Workshop for children from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, June 15, (for Father’s Day)
This bookmaking workshop is a fun and informative art class designed for families with children 6 to 12 years. Adults and children work together to choose a “legend” in their family, write their story and make it into a handmade storybook to take home.
Instructor Sushmita Mazumdar is a local book artist, writer and educator. She teaches art education programs for children as well as adult groups to encourage storytelling and passing on cultural heritage from one generation to the next.
Chai and Stories—A Writing Workshop for Adults, will be 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. July 20. Join Mazumdar for chai tea, relaxing storytelling and a chance to express your creativity with a handmade book. There is no charge for this event, but patrons are encouraged to make a tax-deductible donation to Living Legends.
Community Open House—2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, July 20: Join the Living Legends past and present, organization founder Nina Tisara, and Living Legends board members to enjoy light refreshments, see the exhibition and learn more about how to nominate a Legend.
The Alexandria Black History Museum is located at 902 Wythe Street in Alexandria's Parker-Gray Historic District and is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. The Museum is close to the Braddock Road Metro on the Yellow and Blue lines. For more information, please visit www.alexblackhistory.org.