Crystal C. Mercer of Little Rock, daughter of legendary civil rights lawyer Christopher C. Mercer Jr., will give a dramatic performance Jan. 23 as part of “Unsung Heroes: Celebrating Freedom in the Visual and Performing Arts” at the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith.
The 10 a.m. presentation will be held in the Reynolds Room of the Smith-Pendergraft Campus Center. The event will also include a student-led panel speaking on “Finding Your Voice in the Arts” and the presentation of the Unsung Hero Award given by the American Democracy Project at UAFS.
Mercer is a freelance performance artist and sole proprietor of Columbus Creative and The Social Soapbox. She is also the company and production manager of The Unified Artists Movement, a non-profit theatre company.
Her past credits include a number of plays and musicals in Arkansas, off-Broadway in New York and internationally in England.
Mercer will perform “One Ninth,” a play by Spirit Trickey, who is the daughter of one of the Little Rock Nine, Minnijean Brown. The story is told through the eyes of Brown as she and eight other students faced the perils of integration at Little Rock Central High School in 1957.
Mercer uses theatre arts as a tool for empowerment, education and social justice. She said she honors the legacy of her father by “fusing arts and activism.”
Dr. Amy Jordan of Fort Smith, campus coordinator for the American Democracy Project, said the Jan. 23 activities honor the spirit and legacy of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., civil rights leader and Nobel Peace Prize recipient.
Jordan said she is pleased to bring Mercer to Fort Smith and believes Mercer’s presentation, the announcement of the Unsung Hero Award and the discussion by the student panel will give thought-provoking insight to those attending the public event.
“Crystal Mercer is incredible, and she brings the spirit of Dr. King to her work,” said Jordan. “We hope many of our students and many community members will take advantage of this opportunity to hear her and to share in the other activities on Jan. 23.”
The American Democracy Project is a national initiative to foster responsible citizenship at all levels. For more information, contact Jordan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 479-788-7295.