January 11: Fulbright Visiting Scholars got to experience a bit of Hollywood history at the performance of Jack Lemmon Returns, a one-man show narrating the life of classic comedic actor Jack Lemmon through the eyes of his son, Christopher. The play explored their complex father-son relationship amidst tales of the Beverly Hills circles in which Lemmon moved. It was performed at the Broad Stage, a part of Santa Monica Community College, which aims to provide a major center for the arts away from downtown Los Angeles. Following the play, Scholars ate dinner at a nearby Mexican restaurant where they discussed cultural insights gained from the play. Overall the event was an exciting opportunity for Scholars to experience unique aspects of Southern California culture.
January 17 &19, 2015: Scholars and their family members in the Boston area had two exciting opportunities to understand the meaning of Martin Luther King Day.
Scholars and their family were treated to the amazing voices of the Harlem Gospel Choir at their “27th Annual Joyful Noise” Concert at the historic Sanders Theatre at Harvard University. The rousing concert honored the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and included exciting opportunities for audience participation.
Visiting Scholars and family also spent an afternoon volunteering at “Many Helping Hands,” a day of service for the city of Cambridge, MA held annually on Martin Luther King Day. After checking into the event, scholars went to three locations to work on different projects. Groups made Valentine’s Day cards for the elderly, stuffed care bags and made blankets and scarves from donated materials. Several participants enthusiastically responded to a request to arrive early in order to receive training in running the day’s activities. They proudly wore their Volunteer T-shirts and helped with activities throughout the day. After volunteering, the group walked to a nearby ice cream parlor and chatted about the day’s activities over frozen treats. Scholars were amazed at how many people who showed up from the community to help out, with volunteers ranging in age from 5 to over 80.