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Celebrating our diversity

Two new events will help mark Black History Month in the Sauk Valley

STERLING – The Diversity Committee of the Sauk Valley is sponsoring two new and vibrant events to celebrate Black History Month locally: a traveling art exhibit and a gala ball and fundraiser.

Artists of all ages are asked to submit original art work for the exhibit that reflects African Americans, their history, culture and ancestry, as portrayed in paintings, drawings, statues, sculptures, etc.

Artists can drop off their items from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday through Feb. 22 at the YWCA, 412 First Ave. in Sterling. (Artists must provide contact information if they want their works returned.)

Businesses or organizations that would like to host the exhibit in February can call Tina Wren, 815-590-9350.

Some dates have been spoken for: On Feb. 22, the exhibit will be at First Presbyterian Church, 410 Second Ave., in Sterling, for its Unity Church Service for Black History Month.

On Feb. 23, it will be on display at the committee’s first Black History Month Gala and Silent Auction, from 6 p.m. to midnight at Brandywine Inn, 441 state Route 2 in Dixon.

Attendees are invited to dress in their finest and enjoy dancing, a 50-50 raffle, giveaways, hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar and a photo booth. The silent auction will feature a diverse range of themes, from pampering to hockey to original African artwork.

Artists who provided works for the exhibit also will be recognized.

Tickets for the gala, which is to become an annual event, cost $25 or $40 per couple. They are available at 847-701-5464, at, at or on the committee’s Facebook page.

The art exhibit then will be on display at the 11 a.m. service Feb. 24 at Macedonia Baptist Church, 1313 Woodburn Ave. in Sterling.

In the final days of Black History Month, it will be at the YWCA.

The Diversity Committee of the Sauk Valley is an emerging organization dedicated to joining people from all kinds of backgrounds with a shared mission to empower, motivate and educate the community about diversity and to bring about cultural awareness.

All gala proceeds will go to supporting that mission, to future events and to establishing the organization as a nonprofit.

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