Art, dinner, and a movie is the way The Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes celebrated their tenth anniversary Thursday evening.
“We are at the top of the second inning of what we want to accomplish,” Founder Lowell Milken told the audience about the future of the center.
At the exhibition gallery, at Wall and Main Streets, the founder and staff showcased six ArtEffect Project winners and four new Unsung Hero Exhibits.
Later, dinner in the courtyard of the Liberty Theater happened to be on a perfect Kansas weather evening, with temperatures in the 70s.
Local author and retired Fort Scott teacher, Cathy Werling, was showcased with her new children’s book “Why Did Grandpa Cry?”
Since her retirement a few years back, Werling has been employed by the center.
One thing led to another and Werling was asked to write a children’s book about some of the unsung heroes.
“I saw this as an opportunity to move this (story) down to their level of understanding,” Werling said.
“Why Did Grandpa Cry?” is about Unsung Heroes Ken Reinhardt and Ann Williams, who were a part of the American story of desegregation in the late 1950s.
It is first in a series of 12 children’s books that Werling has been asked to write about unsung heroes.
Books can be purchased through the center and other online sources.
“If purchased through the center, it’s matched by the Lowell Milken Family,” she said. Those funds help the local center.
A documentary film “Teach Us All” by Sonia Lowman followed the dinner.
Lowman is director of Communications for the Lowell Milken Family Foundation in Santa Monica, Calif.
She came to Milken with an idea about racial inequality, Milken said.
The film was created to “inspire and activate young people to understand the legacy of The Little Rock Nine and why they need to act on that legacy,” Lowman said.
The film also focuses on the need to support teachers and schools, she said.
The film will debut on Netflix on September 25, which marks the 60th anniversary of The Little Rock Nine desegregation battle.