Celebrate Soulfully-The Orlando Times
BY DR. BARBARA J. MCLEAN-SMITH
ORLANDO - Thursday, February 11, 2021, a day set aside for the media, found a new adventure held at Disney Springs to honor Black History Month. The day began with a warm welcome at the Waterside Stage by Mark Daniel who introduced the morning crowd to a soul stirring musical group known as “Motown in Motion”. This very talented group rendered foot tapping, hand clapping songs that could be enjoyed by all.
Perry Crawley, General Manager and Director of Operations, availed himself for interviews with the assembled media from across the state of Florida. Mr. Crawley relayed how Disney is very much inclusive and diversified and will continue to celebrate African Americans and their contributions to the Disney Experience well beyond “Black History Month”.
Mr. Perry explained how the “reimagineering” of Disney will focus on African American heritage to include the restaurants, art, music, and much more. The work of chefs, bakers, candle and soap making as well as classic art can be studied and appreciated. Many of these artists whom we have come to know through their fictional characters and many new artists are contributing to the “Magic of Disney” and may be seen and experienced throughout Disney Springs.
Disney Springs may be navigated through four distinct areas, “The Marketplace, The Landing, Town Center and West Side”. Check out the Disney Springs Map giving yourself plenty of time discovery and reminiscing.
Your time spent there will bring out the kid in adults and much joy and happiness in children. The food and desserts are delectable. Look for “wall art”, by the emerging Bee Harris, the works of Bruce Smith, Marlon West and Floyd, a Disney Legend.
The afternoon offered more exploration of “The Soul of Jazz” at Epcot where “an American Adventure” featured artifacts and artwork which began on February 1, 2021. The afternoon offered “An American Adventure” at Epcot where “The Soul of Jazz” was on exhibit. This phenomenal presentation was based on the Disney and Pixar’s film “Soul”. The film, itself, was centered on the fictional character, Joe Gardner, a middle school piano player and band teacher. As Joe wanted to play with a well-known band, the film takes you on a tour of some of the United States’ great musical venues, namely, New York, Chicago, New Orleans, San Juan and Los Angeles where jazz music was an inspiration to people from all walks of life. Louis Armstrong’s encased original “Selmar trumpet, on loan from the Louis Armstrong House Museum” was a focal point. This showcase highlights African American culture and music as well as the imagery of Joe Gardner’s character in the film.
The entire Black History month and beyond exhibitions are well worth a tour of the “Celebrate Soul” at Disney Springs and Epcot. The movie “Soul” may be streamed. It gives much food for thought as well as entertainment.
“Celebrate Soulfully” at Disney Springs and Epcot enjoying live music and learning of Black American Culture and Heritage.