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Kerry Washington and others lend their voices to new Disney exhibit on African American History

Kerry Washington and others lend their voices to new Disney exhibit on African American History

     Walt Disney World opened a new art exhibit at the American Adventure Pavilion at the  Epcot center on March 8. The exhibit features a display on more than 400 years of African-American achievement and contributions.

     “Re-Discovering America: Family Treasures from the Kinsey Collection” is part ofthe Kinsey Collection. It shows an extensive collection of rare art, documents, books and artifacts gathered by contributors, Bernard and Shirley Kinsey, who share a passion for African-American history, both are graduates of Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU).

     The exhibit will display approximately 40 pieces from the collection on a rotating basis and it is housed in the American Adventure Gallery. It features themed galleries and interactive displays. The private collection has been displayed throughout the U.S., including in the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.

    “We always wanted to extend the reach of the Collection to a larger, more international and diverse audience,” explained Bernard Kinsey. “So we are delighted to be collaborating with Disney to share the stories of our remarkable ancestors.”

     Khalil, the Kinseys’ son, is supervising the exhibition. His inquisitiveness about the historyof his family was the inspiration for his parents to build their collection. The five themes of the exhibit are: hope, belief, courage, imagination and heritage. They show rich and colorful stories from American history and from sources that are not commonly known.

    African-Americans, who helped to build and forge America, are richly depicted in art and artifacts. The exhibit shows their willpower and bravery from early American history to the present time. To make the exhibit more exciting to guests, Walt Disney Imagineers added interactive displays. The guests can use touch screens to gather further information about the art, artifacts and history.

     There will also be narration scenes and guest-activated lanterns to further dramatize the visual experience of the guests. Narration will be provided by artists such as: Whoopi Goldberg (“The View”), Diane Sawyer (“ABC World News with Diane Sawyer”), and actors Chandra Wilson & James Pickens, Jr. (“Grey’s Anatomy”), Kerry Washington (“Scandal”), Zendaya Coleman & Roshon Fegan (“Shake It Up”), China Anne McClain (“A.N.T. Farm”), Tyrel Jackson Williams (“Lab Rats”).            

    Walt Disney World Parks senior vice president, Jim MacPhee, said, “We are thrilled to bring the Kinsey Collection to Epcot guests. Epcot is such a rich cultural tapestry that it serves as the perfect showcase for this powerful collection, with its celebration ofthe human spirit.”

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