Strengthening the bond that Gordon Parks had with Wichita and Wichita State University during the last years of his long life, WSU will offer multiple ways in the coming weeks to be inspired by the native Kansan’s astonishing work.
Its centennial celebration of Parks includes a lecture by John W. Franklin of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture at 7 p.m. Thursday at Campus Activities Center Theater, where the book “Gordon Parks Centennial: His Legacy at Wichita State University,” also will be released. There also will be art talks, concerts, film screenings and, through Dec. 16, the Ulrich Museum of Art exhibition “The Hard Kind of Courage: Gordon Parks and the Photographers of the Civil Rights Era.” The events include an interview at 6 p.m. Nov. 29 of editor Genevieve Young, Parks’ third wife, by Ted Ayres, the WSU vice president and general counsel who was key in acquiring the WSU collection of Parks’ papers, manuscripts and other personal items. For the full schedule, go to www.ulrich.wichita.edu.
Nov. 30 would have been the 100th birthday of the Life magazine photographer, author, filmmaker and composer, who died in 2006. Praise is due WSU for ensuring that Parks’ creative legacy is thriving in Wichita.