Celebrating Kings Legacy-The Orlando Times

The Orlando Times

Celebrating Kings Legacy

Celebrating Dr. King’s Dream & A Vision Of Arts For Every Life

LaVon_Bracy_Davis Martin_Luther_King_III

 LaVon Bracy Davis & Martin Luther King III

BY LAVON BRACY DAVIS, Senior Director, Community Arts Programming at Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

ORLANDO - “No work is insignificant. All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.” This quote from the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is a personal inspiration to me and to the work of my colleagues at Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.

In fact, our vision at Dr. Phillips Center is Arts for Every Life – a vision to ensure everyone, no matter what their background, has the opportunity to experience the arts.  This is our organizational commitment—and “every” is synonymous with the inclusive, welcoming message that Dr. King taught as he advocated for basic civil rights, cultural unity, acceptance, representation and equality.

Since opening in 2014, Dr. Phillips Center has become a cultural hub and gathering place where guests leave their differences behind and come to experience and share something together, where their minds and spirits can be lifted through the arts.  From comedy, music, dance and theater performances, to free events, to a wide range of education programs and classes, the arts center has brought more than 2 million people together for enriching experiences.  

Creating an inclusive, diverse place where all people, cultures and art forms are welcome – both onstage and in the audience -- is something we reflect on every day and something we celebrate in connection with the dream of Dr. King. 

My personal passion for the work of Dr. King and for the work I do today at Dr. Phillips Center run deep.  In addition to being a former theater student and licensed, bar-certified attorney, I’m proud to be a community and arts advocate and to lead and support initiatives that bring opportunities to individuals and organizations in-need.  I’m even prouder to share that I’m a daughter and granddaughter of stalwarts who were on the front lines of the civil rights movement, marching with Dr. King himself.  Their incredible journey during this era helped shape my own.      

A few years ago, I had the privilege of welcoming Martin Luther King III when he visited Dr. Phillips Center.  It was an honor to talk with him and share how his father’s message of inclusion influenced my work and the performing arts industry as a whole.

There is much to celebrate when it comes to the life, work and impact of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  At Dr. Phillips Center, we celebrate our vision of Arts For Every Life as we work to connect and uplift humanity and embrace a colorful, mosaic tapestry of life that was the dream of Dr. King.