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Thursday, October 1, 2009

NBA Success Pays Off For Community Center

Pro basketball star Kevin Durant, who grew up in Prince George's County and developed his skills at the Seat Pleasant Activity Center, is giving back to the community.

Durant, who turned 21 this week and plays for the NBA's Oklahoma City Thunder, donated $25,000 to the center that he started attending 11 years ago and where he participated in the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission's Xtreme Teens programs.

Durant attended the University of Texas for one year before making himself available for the pro basketball draft. He was selected by the Seattle Supersonics, now the Oklahoma City Thunder, and was the NBA rookie of the year for the 2007-08 season.

Tour and Networking For Event Planners

Meeting and event planners can get an introduction to some of the county's grandest and most historic homes beginning at 3 p.m. Tuesday. The event, which starts at the Newton White Mansion, at 2708 Enterprise Rd. in Mitchellville, will highlight four historic manors and mansions available for public rental.

The registration deadline is Friday. Information is available at http://www.pgelegantsettings.com, darlene.watkins@pgparks.com or 301-249-2004.

Humanities Contest Seeks Young Lovers of Books

The Maryland Humanities Council invites students in grades 4 through 12 to participate in the national Letters About Literature contest. Each contestant must submit a personal letter to an author that details how the author's work changed the student's thinking about the world and his or her place in it.

Participants can write about authors in any genre and can receive awards and recognition at the state and national levels. The deadline is Dec. 12. This year, the council will present a new prize for teachers, the Christine D. Sarbanes Award, honoring a longtime board member for her commitment to reading and the humanities.

State winners will be notified in March and national winners by mid-April. Maryland winners will be recognized at the City Lit Festival in Baltimore on April 17. Letters About Literature is a national reading and writing program of the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress. Contest guidelines are at http://www.mdhc.org/programs/maryland-center-for-the-book/letters-about-literature.

Representatives Discuss Future of the Arts

The focus of this year's "Envisioning Prince George's County 2010 and Beyond" discussion, at 7 p.m. Monday, will be how the arts plays a role in the county's future.

The speakers will include Susie Farr of the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, Barbara Funk of the Maryland-National Capital Park & Planning Commission, Yvonne Magee of the Maryland-National Capital Park & Planning Commission, Steven Newsome of the Prince George's African American Museum and Cultural Center at North Brentwood, Samuel J. Parker Jr. of the Prince George's County Planning Board and Lionell Thomas of the Prince George's Arts Council.

The nonprofit group America Speaks will guide the free community workshop in the Laboratory Theatre at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center on the University of Maryland campus, at Route 193 and Stadium Drive in College Park. 301-405-2787.

Deadline Nears For Public Art Project

Artists have until Oct. 9 to submit an application for the public art project at the new South Bowie Branch Library.

The Art in Public Places Program is inviting visual artists with previous site-specific or public-installation experience to conceptualize a piece suitable for installation in a 12-by-18-inch fieldstone fireplace in the library's two-story, 12,000-square-foot great room. Acceptable works could include sculptural treatments, acrylics, glass, mosaics, metals, clay, ceramic, textiles, stone, wood and mixed media.

A single artist or artist teams living in the United States can submit an application demonstrating proposals for a site-specific original artwork. For details about applications, call 301-883-6201.

-- Compiled by AKEYA DICKSON

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