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Art&Seek Jr: Sharing The JFK Legacy With Your Children

Art&Seek Jr. is one mom‘s quest to find activities to end the seemingly endless chorus of the “I’m Bored Blues” while having fun herself.  Impossible you say? Check back on Tuesdays for kid-friendly events that are fun for adults, too.

This week, Dallas is exploring all aspects of an historic event, the death of President John F. Kennedy. But many of the activities scheduled are actually celebrations of his life. If you’d like to take the date and turn it into a teaching moment, there are several opportunities for sharing and learning with your children.

The Dallas Love Project wants to create a redefining moment for Dallas through works of unconditional love. (Photo: The Dallas Love Project)

The Dallas Love Project wants to create a redefining moment for Dallas through works of unconditional love. (Photo: The Dallas Love Project)

The centerpiece for 50th commemoration is a ceremony in Dealey Plaza to honor the life, leadership and legacy of President John F. Kennedy on the 50th anniversary of his death. ”The 50th” begins at 11:45 a.m. on Friday morning with music from the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, with the program starting at 12:15 pm. Tickets for the event at Dealey Plaza have been distributed, but you can watch a live stream of the event at AT&T Plaza at American Airlines CenterAT&T Performing Arts Center Annette Strauss Square, or the JFK Memorial at Founders Plaza.

If you have younger children, a visit to the Frontiers of Flight Museum at Love Field  to view their latest exhibit is a good choice. The museum is marking the anniversary by presenting the only mock-up of President Kennedy’s aircraft, Air Force One, as it was configured during the president’s visit to Dallas back in 1963. The mockup  features a detailed recreation of the aircraft’s cockpit and representations of the crew seating area, the presidential stateroom, and the compartment in which Lyndon B. Johnson took the oath of office. There’s also a short film about activities at Love Field on November 22, 1963 that you can view before you board the plane. Be sure to get your picture taken with the Presidential seal as you exit the aircraft.

JFK surrounded by an enthusiastic crowd in Fort Worth (Photo: The University of Texas at Arlington Library, Arlington, Texas)

JFK surrounded by an enthusiastic crowd in Fort Worth (Photo: The University of Texas at Arlington Library, Arlington, Texas)

Many forget that the president’s trip to North Texas included a stop in Fort Worth where he spent the night before going on to Dallas the next morning. His visit is captured in a  unique photo exhibit at the University of Texas at Arlington’s Central Library called , Howdy Mr. President! A Fort Worth Perspective of JFK. . Featured in the exhibit are 80 rarely seen photographs of  Kennedy’s enthusiastic visit to Fort Worth. The photos, from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram Collection, show the warm reception the president received to Fort Worth on November 22, 1963, prior to his tragic assassination in Dallas later that day.

November 22, 1963 was a defining moment for Dallas. The president was killed and some branded Dallas as “the city of hate. The Dallas Love Project wants to create a redefining moment for Dallas through artwork.  This tribute to JFK is expressed in the form of more than 20,000 pieces of unconditional love art created by the people of Dallas.  The artwork was installed September 21st, the International Day of Peace, and will be displayed through the 50th anniversary of his assassination on November 22, 2013. You can see the pieces along the JFK motorcade route or, better yet, take to the kids to one of the installations located throughout the city. Check out Jerome Week’s story on the project to find out more.

Therese Powell is an Art&Seek calendar coordinator and KERA-TV producer. She spends most of her free time seeking out adventures for her 8-year-old daughter, Rose.  Tell us about your quirky kid adventures by leaving a comment. Or e-mail Therese at tpowell@kera.org