CHICAGO (CBS) — With concerns about Civil Rights, prejudice and government power in the news these days, the Chicago Children’s Museum hopes to use the commemoration of Martin Luther King’s birthday to further the conversation.
Each year, Navy Pier’s Chicago Children’s Museum puts on a program called “What Does It Mean, Dr. King.” WBBM Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports.
Actors and staff come together and try to use drama, along with audience participation as a way to help even the youngest children confront some difficult issues, said Chicago Children’s Museum President and CEO Jennifer Farrington.
The long-running annual program uses drama to explore issues like prejudice and exclusion from the point of view of the late Dr. Martin Luther King and others, including a six-year-old girl.
“What we are really trying to do is find those concrete examples, things that are happening today, fairness and justice,” Farrington said. “I also think, that what we really want to do, is get families practicing that conversation.”
So when white protesters block the doors to an elementary school, children in the audience can decide if they are brave enough to cross that picket line.
“Children can make the decision about whether they would feel brave enough or strong enough to cross that picket line,” Farrington said. “And they might to do that themselves. They might want a parent to join them. But what we found is that it really opens up the whole families’ eyes on how you can have conversations on, ‘what would you do?'”
Farrington said the program also gives permission to say, ‘I am not sure what I would have done.’
Navy Pier’s Chicago Children’s Museum will perform four performances on Monday, Jan. 16. Families will be able to ask and answer questions, participate and identify with key historical figures, as well as each other.
No registration is required but space is limited. Guests can pick up a free ticket one hour prior to the performance. Performances times are 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m., and 3 p.m.