Groundbreaking Ballet Exhibit and Free Events Celebrate Black History

Ballet On Wheels Dance School & Company will keep Library customers on their toes during the month of February with a groundbreaking exhibit, exciting events, and a live performance highlighting African Americans in ballet. A pioneering Black History exhibit, Groundbreakers: African-American Ballerina Stories of Triumph and Struggles, will be on display February 1 – 28, 2017 at the Goodwyn Gallery inside the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library (3030 Poplar Ave.).

To complement the exhibit, other events are planned to captivate customers of all ages by the human art that is ballet. (All events will be held at Central Library.)

Documentary Screening of First African-American Ballerinas Thursday, Feb. 9, 6 p.m. – 7 p.m. (First Floor Meeting Rooms)


Read, Write & Move (For Kids/Teens/Families) Saturday, Feb. 18, 1 p.m. – 2 p.m.


Ballet On Wheels Dance School & Company Live Performance Saturday, Feb. 25, 11 a.m. – noon (Goodwyn Gallery)

A partnership between non-profit organizations Ballet On Wheels and Memphis Public Libraries, all events are free and open to the public.

“We all know about Misty Copeland and her outstanding achievements in breaking barriers in ballet, but there are many other talented dancers such as Olivia Boisson, Jasmine Perry, Dara Holmes and other trailblazers in African-American ballet,” noted Ballet On Wheels Founder and Executive Artistic Director Chauniece Thompson. “We are thrilled to partner with Memphis Public Libraries and the City of Memphis on this wonderful event to educate young ladies and aspiring dancers about the history of African-American ballerinas.”

Director of Libraries Keenon McCloy commented, “The Groundbreakers exhibit and upcoming events are both educational and inspiring. Every little girl has a dream, and Memphis Public Libraries are happy to be a part of showcasing how so many African-American women have successfully pursued their dreams. Black History Month is the perfect time to highlight their contributions and inspire others to follow in their footsteps.”

For more information about the Ballet On Wheels Black History Month Celebration at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library, visit or call (901) 870-4348.


By: Marcey Wright, public relations supervisor (901) 576-6713