In recognition of Martin Luther King Jr. and the 40th anniversary of his death, the Cultural Development Foundation of Memphis (CDFM) has organized a progressive-dinner program called "Breaking Bread, Breaking Barriers," which encourages folks to extend dinner invitations to others from racially and religiously diverse groups.

The plan was set in motion by Rebecca Edwards, executive director of CDFM, with a goal of having 40 dinner parties held across the city. The hope is that many of these parties already will have taken place by Saturday, April 5th, when CDFM will present a concert by Grammy-winning jazz vocalist Nancy Wilson at the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts. Edwards hopes that since many couples will already be familiar with one another from the dinners, they'll be able to enjoy the show together as friends. Whether dinners are held before or after the show isn't important so long as they happen.

Edwards says 40 years after King's death, his dreams are still alive: "Dr. King's goal was to get people of all races, creeds, or colors to join hands. As Memphians, we still struggle with that. We want people to stop talking about it and do it — come together and start sharing."

Wilson's performance Saturday will include some of the most beloved music from King's time. The opening act for Wilson will be "She Said/She Says: The History and Status of Women in Jazz."

Edwards sees the show as a nice end to CDFM's 2007-2008 season — which has included performances by Savion Glover, Wynton Marsalis, and Sweet Honey in the Rock — and a great way to introduce "Breaking Bread, Breaking Barriers." Anyone interested in hosting a "Breaking Bread" dinner party should call Edwards at 312-9787.

Nancy Wilson, Saturday, April 5th, at 8 p.m. at the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets are $30.50 to $70.50.


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