HOUSTON (January 20, 2021) – On January 18, 2021, iLEAD Youth Initiative at Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston (Interfaith Ministries), partnered with Iconoclast Artists to offer three virtual workshops inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Iconoclast Artists is a growing community of young artists that provides unique support and encouragement for hundreds of under-served students within high schools, middle schools and juvenile detention centers.  With classroom instruction in creative writing and expression, Iconoclast takes over core curriculum classes every week to provide academic, artistic, and social/emotional support.

Interfaith Relations and Community Partnerships, a program of Interfaith Ministries and the host of the event, wanted the event to be focused on young people. They were a diverse group of 50 8th- 11th graders registered to attend the event.

The Rev. Gregory Han, director of Interfaith Relations and Education at Interfaith Ministries said, “Dr. King was aware of the power of word and image, of inspiring the imagination of people for a better and more just world through his words that were works of art as much as speeches.” Han continued, “We think that an event, focused on young people, that works at the intersection of word, art, and movement, in service to Dr. King’s hopes, is a good way to honor him.”

This celebration of “King and Creativity” virtual event was centered upon Dr. King’s awareness of the power of word and image and inspiring the imagination of people for a better and more just world. Dr. King’s emphasis on the importance of creativity, freedom and volunteerism in order to stimulate change in the world was a driving inspiration for the MLK Jr. Celebration and Stories event.

Following the opening session, the virtual event highlighted three different workshops that were centered upon dance, poetry and visual art.

  • The dance workshop was led by Christopher Thomas, who has visited 24 countries as a teacher, choreographer and performer.
  • The poetry workshop was led by Marlon Lizama, a poet, writer, author, activist and dancer who focuses on the cultural aspect of writing and the arts.
  • The visual art workshop was led by Daniel Anguilu, an artist who uses life itself as his subject matter, translating its movements and attitudes from one moment to another, into art.

This virtual event was hosted by Interfaith Relations and Community partnerships and honored Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Rabbi Samuel E. Karff. Dr. King’s words, “Almost always, the creative dedicated minority has made the world better,” speaks to the purpose of this event.