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Lorenzo Cultural Center revisits the 1970s with new program series

– Tuesday, February 19, 2019 11:00AM

The 70s: Heavy, Hip and Happenin’ highlights the turbulent decade.

From the Watergate scandal, Fall of Saigon, and economic crisis through disco music and platform shoes, America saw significant shifts in culture, society and politics during the 1970s. The Lorenzo Cultural Center, located on Macomb Community College’s Center Campus, examines the decade with its new program series, The 70s: Heavy, Hip and Happenin’, Feb. 27 through May 4.

“Our goal at the Lorenzo Cultural Center is to bring to the community programs that engage, educate and entertain,” said William Wood, cultural affairs director, Macomb Community College. “Through a combination of exhibits and presentations, The 70s: Heavy, Hip and Happenin’ will immerse attendees in the era, giving them the opportunity to experience and understand the decade first hand.”

Nearly 30 presentations, films and performances are complemented by the exhibits in the cultural center’s 8,500-square-foot Discovery Hall. Presentations on topics ranging from the end of the Vietnam War to the Detroit music scene are accompanied by films from the period and a live performance of the original play, Turmoil and Transition in the 70s, which was commissioned by the Lorenzo Cultural Center for this series. Written by Michigan-based playwright Kristen Hanratty, the play explores key themes of the decade from dancing “The Hustle” to war protestors and changing women’s rights.

Author Michael  Zadoorian kicks off the presentations on March 2 with Kick Out the Jams! Rock in the Seventies, discussing his new book, Beautiful Music, which uses the Detroit 70s music scene as a backdrop. Zadoorian is a Kresge Fellow and author of The Leisure Seekers, which was made into a major motion picture staring Donald Sutherland and Helen Mirren. Other presentations early in the program series include:

  • March 8, International Women’s Day, The History and Resurrection of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA): Macomb Political Science Professor Brooke Allen explores the history and recent resurrection of the ERA, which was designed to guarantee equal rights for all Americans, ending legal distinctions between men and women. 
  • March 9, Richard Nixon and the Watergate Scandal: Timothy Naftali, founding director of the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, provides an insider’s look at the Nixon presidency and the forces that led to the only presidential resignation in U.S. history.

Popular children’s books from the 70s will be read during Kids Korner: Children’s Book Readings, including Harry Allard’s Miss Nelson is Missing and Dr. Seuss’s Oh Say Can You Say. Kids Korner will be held March 16, March 23, March 30 and April 27, with a different line-up of books read at each session.

Films from the decade will be shown during the program series and include All the President’s Men, March 13; Monty Python and the Holy Grail, March 27; Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, April 5 and Breaking Away, April 13. On April 24, Macomb History Professor Elton Weintz will lead a discussion after a showing of Argo, a political thriller about the Iran Hostage Crisis.

In the Discovery Hall, artifacts from the era on loan from the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum, the Detroit Historical Museum, the Detroit Arsenal of Democracy Museum and personal collectors will be featured. Surrounding three period vehicles, visitors will find toys, record albums, political pins, bicentennial items, displays and other items.

While the presentations and exhibits are open to the public free of charge, preregistration is required for the presentations by calling 586.445.7348 or by emailing culturalcenter@macomb.edu. No registration is required to visit the exhibit. The cultural center hours are Wednesday 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. and Thursday through Saturday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

For a complete listing of all The 70s: Heavy, Hip and Happenin’ programming visit: www.lorenzoculturalcenter.com.

About the Lorenzo Cultural Center

The Lorenzo Cultural Center provides interactive learning opportunities for all ages.  It extends student discovery beyond classroom walls as well as creating multi-faceted opportunities for community members to explore the influences and experiences that shape our heritage.  The cultural center is located on Macomb Community College’s Center Campus, 44575 Garfield Road, Clinton Township. More information is available at lorenzoculturalcenter.com 

About Macomb Community College

Macomb Community College (www.macomb.edu) is one of the nation’s leading community colleges, providing learning experiences to nearly 38,000 students annually. Macomb nationally ranks in the top two percent in the number of associate degrees awarded by community colleges and is the largest grantor of associate degrees in Michigan. The college’s comprehensive educational programming includes pre-collegiate experiences, university transfer and career preparation programs, bachelor degree completion and graduate degree programs, workforce training, professional education and certification, and continuing education and enrichment opportunities.

Media contact: Sean M. Patrick, 586.445.7271, patricks28@macomb.edu