Dreamfest Encouraging Cary Conversations About Race

Cary, NC – Dreamfest is a yearly tradition in Cary going back to the 1990s and no two years are the same. This year, the multi-day event will feature events meant to foster conversation between Cary community members about race and the legacy of the Civil Rights Movement and Martin Luther King Jr.

Many Dreamfest 2018 events will take place at the Cary Arts Center

This year’s Dreamfest has five events running all weekend from Thursday, January 11 to Sunday, January 14, all culminating with the annual Day of Service on Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, January 15, 2018.

This year’s Day of Service will be working to prepare the soil at Good Hope Farm, Cary’s educational cultivator farm. Volunteers will work in shifts from 10 AM to 4 PM, coordinated by the Town of Cary Spruce program. It is open to anyone regardless of farming/gardening experience with registration online.

In the five events during the weekend, the Saturday, January 13, 2018 event “Community and the Dream” will feature a screening of the documentary “Racial Taboo.” Then, viewers will participate in a group discussion hosted by the organization Racial Harmony, with refreshments provided as well. The goal is for the film and the small groups will result in a frank but respectful conversation about race between participants. This event takes place at 1 PM on Saturday, January 13, 2018 at the Cary Arts Center.

There will be two other documentary events as part of Dreamfest 2018 with smaller discussions related to them. The first is a screening of “The Dream Revisited” about the history of the Civil Rights Movement with interviews of significant figures from that time today, reflecting on the legacy and impact those events have had today. This event takes place at 7 PM on Thursday, January 11, 2018 at the Cary Theater.

The other discussion is after the documentary “13th” about the use of incarcerated Americans in manufacturing and how that ties into racial discrimination. Following the documentary, there will be a discussion led by NC State University’s Dr. Thomas Easley, an expert on mass incarceration. This takes place at 3 PM on Sunday, January 14, 2018 at the Cary Theater.

Other Dreamfest 2018 events include a children’s history event, with musical sing-alongs and arts-and-crafts activities, with a jazz performance by the Triangle Jazz Ensemble of original composed music inspired by the Civil Rights Movement by Harold Mims. These events both take place on Saturday, January 13, 2018 at the Cary Arts Center, at 10 AM and 7:30 PM respectively.

All Dreamfest events are free but some require advance tickets to get entry, which can be found online.

Story by staff reports. Photos by Hal Goodtree and Ron Cogswell.