Festival to Mark Five Year Anniversary of Muhammad Ali’s Passing
The Ali Festival, an annual event that marks the anniversary of Muhammad’s passing and celebrates his impactful legacy and love for Louisville, will take place June 3-13, the Ali Center announced today. Mr. Ali passed away on June 3rd, 2016. With the recent societal issues that have shook up our world over the past year, the Ali Festival is crafted to provide inspiration, education, and entertainment through events that generate a sense of unity, justice, and a rebirth of Muhammad Ali’s hometown of Louisville.
The ten day Ali Festival will kick off on June 3rd, at Cave Hill Cemetery, Muhammad’s resting place. Both a private ceremony and public remembrance opportunity for the public are being planned.
Throughout the course of the week a number of events will take place on-site at the Muhammad Ali Center, as well as online, and throughout the community.
Laura Douglas, Interim President and CEO of the Muhammad Ali Center said, “Five years ago when the news broke that Muhammad had passed away, visitors began showing up at our doors early the next morning. They came from around the world that week, but it was those from his hometown of Louisville who perhaps mourned him the most, because they knew Muhammad; They watched him grow up, delighted in his rise to the world stage, and celebrated his final trip home by the thousands. This year’s Ali Festival is a way for us to thank the community, to reflect, and to unite—as Muhammad would have wanted us to do. We are grateful for this year’s Ali Festival partners who are helping us fulfill our mission of preserving and promoting Muhammad Ali’s legacy.”
AT THE HEART OF THIS YEAR’S ALI FESTIVAL, will be the World Premiere of CITY OF ALI at the Muhammad Ali Center, followed by community screenings throughout the week. CITY OF ALI, which will be available to national audiences in the coming weeks, is an 81-minute documentary that captures some of the stories and events that occurred in Muhammad’s hometown of Louisville during the week between his passing and his memorial. More importantly, CITY OF ALI documents the shift in consciousness during that time for those throughout the city, from across the continent, and around the world who came to Louisville to honor The Champ’s life and legacy. Ali’s passing instilled in others a sense of unity, peace, and love; messages that are vitally needed now and can perhaps be achieved again by recalling that these attributes are indeed possible to behold. Screening times and dates are forthcoming.
ALI COMMUNITY BUS: Just as Muhammad Ali used to visit neighborhoods throughout his hometown, Louisvillians can relive this experience by welcoming the Ali Community Bus in their part of town on June 7, 9, and 11! The bus, will deliver the spirit and love of Muhammad to the people. Ali Center staff will share activities, including games, demonstrations, care packages, and more. Details on where and when the Ali Bus will be stopping will be coming soon.
ALI WEEK ART & POETRY CONTEST: The Muhammad Ali Center is seeking student artists to join us in celebrating the life and legacy of Muhammad Ali. We are calling for students from grades K-12 to channel their inner Ali by submitting a pre-recorded poem or an art piece based on specific themes. We will select one winner from grades elementary, middle, and high, as well as runners up, who will all receive a prize. Submissions are due May 31st, 2021 at 11:59pm (EDT). For details on how to enter, visit the Ali Festival page HERE.
MUHAMMAD AND LEROY: A Friendship in Art digital exhibit: In recognition of Muhammad Ali and LeRoy Neiman’s longstanding friendship, and to commemorate what would have been Mr. Neiman’s 100th birthday on June 8th, the Center will launch a digital exhibit on that day. Many around the world remember LeRoy’s brilliantly colored expressionist artwork—from athletes to musicians, and sporting events, such as the Kentucky Derby. The digital exhibit will highlight artwork created by both Ali and Neiman and feature candid photographs and notes written by LeRoy. The majority of the artwork was donated to the Ali Center by the LeRoy Neiman Foundation in 2017, and others on loan from the Foundation.
“OPEN HOUSE” AT THE ALI CENTER’S ARCHIVAL LIBRARY: The Center’s Archival Library will be open to the public on June 8th from 12:30-4:30pm, allowing visitors the opportunity to view special artifacts brought out of the archives specifically for the Ali Festival. Visitors can also interact with the Center’s Collections & Exhibits staff during this time.
I AM AMERICA Online Series: June 9- Virtual. 12-1pm. With respect to Muhammad Ali’s spirituality—one of Ali’s Six Core Principles—the Center is presenting, as part of its I Am America series, “The Intersection of Race and Religion through the lens of Muslim Americans.” Named after Muhammad Ali’s famous quote, “I Am America. I am the part you won’t recognize,” this virtual program was launched last year as a way to offer critical analysis of the history and intersectionality of social justice issues, while also exploring action steps for those wanting to create positive social change. For more information and to sign up, visit our website HERE.
In addition, local restaurants will be participating in the Ali Festival, offering up some Muhammad-themed food items.
The Ali Center is expanding its hours during the Ali Festival and will be open daily June 3rd-13th from 12:00 noon – 5:00p.m.
More details and a full event schedule will be announced soon. For questions call 502.992.5301 or visit www.alicenter.org