"A warrior, leader, worker, dreamer...," were the words that former Massachusetts Commissioner of Education Paul Parks used to describe Elma Lewis, founder of the National Center of African-American Artists, the Museum of Afro-American Art and other organizations. On September 15th, 2001, Boston University hosted a tribute to Elma Lewis on the occasion of her 80th birthday. The occasion was partly a celebration, partly a reunion and partly a birthday party.
The tribute was presided over by Dr. Kathryn Silber and it included the reading of a proclamation by acting Governor Jane Swift that honored Ms. Lewis. Several long-time associates of Ms. Lewis spoke as well, including Boston mayor Thomas Meninio, former mayor Kevin White and realtor Ken Guscot.
On this week's show, we presented some of the comments made at the tribute event including the remarks made by Elma Lewis herself. Coming at the end of a week of sorrow and apprehension, this event was both a testament to the lasting worth of the work and spirit of an individual and a celebration of the healing grace of the arts.
This program aired on September 23, 2001.