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MCC Celebrates Black History Month with Voices Program

On Thursday, February 3, Madisonville Community College will be celebrating Black History Month with its annual Voices programming, featuring theatre arts professional, Shawn Whitsell.

Voices will take place 12:15-1 p.m. in the MCC North Campus Student Center. The Day Voices program will feature readings of literature and poetry and vocal music by MCC faculty, staff, and students, which will highlight and celebrate multiculturalism.

The winners of the Stanley Lewis Writing Contest will also be announced. The contest is named in memory of Stanley Lewis, former financial aid director and MCC s first African-American employee. The writing contest allows students and the community to share their thoughts and feelings on multiculturalism and diversity through their writing.

Special guest, Whitsell, will provide entertainment with creative monologues.

This event is open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

Whitsell is an actor, producer, playwright, director, teacher, and spoken word artist. He is a founding member of the Nashville-based Dream 7 Theatre Productions, where he served as the assistant artistic director for five years.

Whitsell has produced and acted in Pretty Fire, No Child, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Topdog/Underdog through his own theatre production company, the Destiny Theatre Experience.

He has also produced and directed original plays: Dilemmas and Perspectives: Thru the Eyes of Men, House of Harts, and Never Been Home. He recently finished directing his second short film, Portrait of a Villain and is preparing to direct The Conscientious Objector, for Groundworks Theater.

He is currently a poet mentor for Youth Speaks and will direct The Spoken Word Census, a poetry-theatre project for this organization. Shawn recently taped a guest spot on new Lionsgate television show, Tough Trade and can currently be seen in two independent films, The CBC and The 70% Club.

Among his numerous theatre credits, Whitsell also serves as a founder of the annual Shades of Black Theatre Festival. He wrote, produced, and directed The Test, a short film, which was an Official Selection of the 2008 International Black Film Festival of Nashville and the 2009 National Black Theatre Festival.

The NAACP has recognized Whitsell as one of 45 Leaders Under 45 in Middle Tennessee, and he was featured in the Nashville Scene s People Issue for his contributions to the arts.