Picture the Dream: The Story of the Civil Rights Movement through Children’s Books

Raúl Colón, Illustration for Child of the Civil Rights Movement by Paula Young Shelton. Collection of R. Michelson Galleries, Northampton, Massachusetts. © 2009 Raul Colón. Used by permission of Penguin Random House LLC. All rights reserved.
Raúl Colón, Illustration for Child of the Civil Rights Movement by Paula Young Shelton. Collection of R. Michelson Galleries, Northampton, Massachusetts. © 2009 Raul Colón. Used by permission of Penguin Random House LLC. All rights reserved.

 

Picture the Dream: The Story of the Civil Rights Movement through Children’s Books delves into the events, people, and themes of the civil rights movement through children’s literature. The exhibit features beloved children’s book authors and artists as well as talented newcomers who come together to encourage discussion and inspire young people to be tomorrow’s agents of change. The picture books’ topics bridge the past and present, emphasizing how historical moments and leaders continue to inspire the struggle for equal rights.

[Download the full exhibit book list]

The original exhibition was curated by award-winning children’s book author Andrea Davis Pinkney as a collaboration between the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia and The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, Massachusetts. The Kansas Children’s Discovery Center will host the exhibit in reproduction as a collection of seventy compelling prints that evoke the power and continuing relevance of the era that shaped American history and continues to reverberate today. The exhibit emphasizes children’s roles as activists and tells important stories about the movement’s icons, including Rosa Parks, Ruby Bridges, Congressman John Lewis, Ambassador Andrew Young, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Picture the Dream consists of three thematic sections. The first section, “A Backward Path,” investigates life in the Jim Crow era and the conditions leading up to the civil rights movement. The second, “The Rocks Are the Road,” focuses on key voices and events that shaped the movement. Finally, the third section, “Today’s Journey, Tomorrow’s Promise,” explores equality in the present day, looking at what has changed and what progress can still be made.

As an addition to the original exhibition, local artists have been engaged to incorporate interactive elements into the exhibit, filling an interactive creative space that will allow children to actively participate, write, create, and contribute to the exhibit. By infusing the national civil rights narrative powerfully conveyed in Picture the Dream with perspectives from local artists, we have the ability to deepen our community’s understanding of civil rights history and ongoing relevance.

Picture the Dream: The Story of the Civil Rights Movement through Picture Books will be on view at the Kansas Children’s Discovery Center from May 3 to August 11, 2024. 

 

 

Featured Local Artists

Aisha Imani Sanaa

Aisha is a Kansas-based visual artist who uses painting to highlight the "beauty of black culture, resiliency and the pursuit of new beginnings." Aisha is the lead artist for Picture the Dream, creating the collaborative wall puzzle that will be the focal point of the exhibit create space.

Learn more about Aisha

Vivian Wilson Bluett

Vivian Wilson Bluett is a multidisciplinary artist, activist, and educator who creates community conversations around social and racial justice and history. Vivian is the collaborative artist working on interactive art pieces for the create space in Picture the Dream.

Learn more about Vivian

Dané Shobe

Dané Shobe is a comic book artist based in Topeka, Kansas. He is the Founder and Publisher of Sun Hero Magazine, a publication celebrating black nerd culture. Dané is the animation designer for Picture the Dream, creating interactive praxinoscope artwork for the create space.

Learn more about Dané

Annette Billings

Annette Hope Billings is an award-winning writer and actress fondly referred to by her readers as "Maya of the Midwest." She began writing full-time in 2015 after four decades of being a registered nurse. She has written three books of poetry, her most recent being "Just Shy of Stars". Her work can be found in numerous anthologies and publications. She also co-founded Speak Easy Poets, a monthly open mic since 2013. Annette will be teaching poetry workshops as part of the exhibit.

Learn more about Annette

Dayonne Richardson

Dayonne Richardson is a local children’s book author and educator. Since 2020, she has released two children’s books: “I Told the Storm” and “Our Gift Grace”. Following the release of both children’s books she has gone on to create the accompanying book characters Emry & Grace plushies. As an enthusiastic business owner of Mirror Mirror Books LLC her desire is that her readers will always see themselves in anything she writes or creates. She understands the mirror matters!

Learn more about Dayonne

 

 

Featured Art

Picture the Dream Events

 

 

Jul
25
Thu
Storytime with Miss. Netta B featuring Annette Billings
Jul 25 @ 7:00 pm
Storytime with Miss. Netta B featuring Annette Billings @ Kansas Children's Discovery Center

Join acclaimed local poet and storyteller Annette Billings for Storytime with Miss. Netta B on Thursday, July 25 at 7 p.m. at the Kansas Children’s Discovery Center.

This activity will take place inside Picture the Dream: The Story of the Civil Rights Movement through Children’s Books, an exhibit in honor of the 70th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education decision. The exhibit delves into the events, people, and themes of the civil rights movement through children’s literature and will be open at the museum until August 11, 2024.

Regular admission applies, which is $9 for children and adults, $8 for seniors, and free for infants under 12 months and Discovery Center members. Admission also lets you play all day at the Kansas Children’s Discovery Center with over 15,000 square feet of indoor educational exhibits exploring science, careers, art, building and more, plus a 4.5 acre certified Nature Explore Outdoor Classroom.

Check out https://kansasdiscovery.org/events/ for more events.

Aug
3
Sat
Storytime with Author Dayonne Richardson
Aug 3 @ 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Storytime with Author Dayonne Richardson @ Kansas Children's Discovery Center

Join us for a storytime and visit with Kansas City-based children’s author Dayonne Richardson on Saturday, August 3 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Kansas Children’s Discovery Center.

Dayonne Richardson is a local children’s book author and educator. Since 2020, she has released two children’s books: “I Told the Storm” and “Our Gift Grace”. Following the release of both children’s books she has gone on to create the accompanying book characters Emry & Grace plushies. As an enthusiastic business owner of Mirror Mirror Books LLC her desire is that her readers will always see themselves in anything she writes or creates. She understands the mirror matters!

This activity will take place inside Picture the Dream: The Story of the Civil Rights Movement through Children’s Books, an exhibit in honor of the 70th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education decision. The exhibit delves into the events, people, and themes of the civil rights movement through children’s literature and will be open at the museum until August 11, 2024.

Regular admission applies, which is $9 for children and adults, $8 for seniors, and free for infants under 12 months and Discovery Center members. Admission also lets you play all day at the Kansas Children’s Discovery Center with over 15,000 square feet of indoor educational exhibits exploring science, careers, art, building and more, plus a 4.5 acre certified Nature Explore Outdoor Classroom.

Check out https://kansasdiscovery.org/events/ for more events.

 

 

Picture the Dream Planning Council

Picture the Dream is a community-led project organized by a volunteer planning council and the Kansas Children's Discovery Center team. We are grateful to the planning council members generously who donated their time to make this exhibit a success.

Stacy Ash, Art Education Coordinator, Mulvane Art Museum, Washburn University
Dr. Teresa Clounch, Associate VP of Student Life and Dean of Students, Washburn University
Bridget Elmer, Development Coordinator, ArtsConnect
Sarah Fizell, Executive Director, ArtsConnect
Connie Gibbons, Executive Director, Mulvane Art Museum, Washburn University
Angie Grau, Owner, Paper June
Dr. Mallory McIntosh, Board of Trustees, Kansas Children's Discovery Center
Dr. Beryl New, Kansas African American Affairs Commission
Kim Patton, Board of Trustees, Kansas Children's Discovery Center
Jade Ramsdell, Performance Improvement Director, Kansas Department of Health & Environment
Cheryl Rios, Board of Trustees, Kansas Children's Discovery Center
Aisha Imani Sanaa, Artist
Glenda Washington, Chief Equity and Opportunity Officer, Greater Topeka Partnership

 

 

Picture the Dream Sponsors and Partners