LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Black History Month officially begins on Tuesday, February 1 this year however, The City of Las Vegas is kicking off celebrations early this year with a full lineup of events starting in January.

Some of the events will be virtual this year and those that are not will follow safety guidelines including social distancing and mask requirements.

Many of the events planned for Black History Month will run through Saturday, March 5.

Peace Week 2022: Exctending the Dream Celebration
  • WHEN: Sunday, Jan. 16, 3 to 5 p.m.
  • WHERE: West Las Vegas Library Theatre, 951 W. lake Mead Blvd.
  • Free and open to the public

Peace Week 2022 will honor, pay tribute and celebrate the life, legacy, and contributions of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. For more information, call the West Las Vegas Library at 702-507-3989 or the Doolittle Senior Center at 702-229-6125.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Youth League Basketball Tournament
  • WHEN: Thursday-Saturday, Jan. 20-22; 4 p.m. Thursday-Friday and 10 a.m. Saturday
  • WHERE: Doolittle Community Center, 1950 N. J St.
  • Free and open to selected schools and youth programs

A single-elimination youth basketball tournament will be held in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Participants will qualify through their respective schools or youth programs. For additional information, contact Willie Dunn at 702-229-6374 or Savonta Manor at 702-229-1642.

“A Focus on Portraits,” an African American Heritage Exhibition
  • WHEN: Monday-Thursday, 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Jan. 20-April 14, 2022; closed Friday-Sunday and holidays
  • WHERE: Las Vegas City Hall Chamber Gallery, 495 S. Main St., second floor
  • Free and open to the public

In celebration of Black History Month, and beyond, the annual African American Heritage Exhibition this year will focus on portraiture, featuring the work of several local Las Vegas artists. Curated by the visual arts staff of the city of Las Vegas, this year’s exhibition includes work from established artists previously exhibited, as well as new artists who are exhibiting for the first time with the city of Las Vegas. For more information, call 702-229-ARTS (2787).

Stay Prepared for School Fair and Health Fair
  • WHEN: Saturday, Jan. 22, 11 a.m.
  • WHERE: Doolittle Community Center, 1950 N. J St.
  • Free and open to the public

Grade school children will have the opportunity to receive school supplies and other resources to prepare them for success in the second half of the school year. Enjoy an afternoon of entertainment, refreshments, face painting, and more. For more information, contact Latonya Lomax at 702-229-2425 or Trine Morris at 702-229-1732.

UPDATE: The event above has been canceled.

Las Vegas My Brother’s Keeper Alliance 6th Annual Conference
  • WHEN: Monday-Tuesday, Jan. 24-25, 8 a.m. to noon each day
  • WHERE: This is a virtual event
  • Free and open to the public; online event registration is required

The Las Vegas My Brother’s Keeper Alliance is hosting a free, two-day virtual conference with national experts, legislators, school administrators, law enforcement, educators, social services providers, clinicians, advocates, and other community stakeholders. This is an action-focused convening to discuss educational equity, racial justice, adults as youth allies, and critical education policy issues. The Las Vegas My Brother’s Keeper Alliance is a cross-sectoral collaborative comprised of three task forces that work to engage the community, promote optimal educational outcomes, and improve law enforcement systems and programs. Online registration is required by clicking HERE.

African American Trailblazer Service Awards
  • WHEN: Tuesday, Feb. 1, 9 to 11:30 a.m.
  • WHERE: Las Vegas City Hall Council Chambers, 495 S. Main St., second floor

Join in honoring African American leaders in the Las Vegas community that have made significant contributions to the vibrant fabric of the city. Contact Hallema Bailey West at 702-229-3401 to RSVP.

Welcome to Las Vegas sign lighting
  • WHEN: Tuesday, Feb. 1, 4:30 p.m.
  • WHERE: Las Vegas Boulevard, just south of Russell Road.

Officials will turn on red, black and green light bulbs installed on the world-famous Welcome to Las Vegas sign. The light bulbs, which are usually yellow, surround the border of the sign. It’s the first time the sign has been modified for Black History Month.

Night of Expressions Youth Talent Showcase
  • WHEN: Saturday, Feb. 19, 2 p.m.
  • WHERE: Sammy Davis Jr. Festival Plaza, 720 Twin Lakes Drive.

Enjoy an afternoon showcase featuring multitalented local youth and young adults in honor of Black History Month. Participants will sing, dance, act, make music, and make spoken word performances. Those ages 8-22 who have a talent they would like to share should contact Willie Henderson at 702-229-2473 for more information.

Continuing the Legacy of Dance Concert Series
  • WHEN: Friday, March 4, and Saturday, March 5, at 7:30 p.m.
  • WHERE: Charleston Heights Arts Center, 800 S Brush St.

Continuing the celebration of Black History beyond the month of February, Artist-in-Residence Contemporary West Dance Theatre’s ArtsWork dance training program for youth with aspirations for a professional career in dance, will present an evening of performance featuring the work of African American choreographers, musicians, and dancers. For more information about the performances and ArtsWork class enrollment call 702-229-ARTS (2787).

Sankofa Communiversity Program
  • WHEN: Saturday, Feb. 26 from 2 to 4 p.m.
  • WHERE: West Las Vegas Arts Center, 947 W Lake Mead Blvd.

Free and open to the public, this program will focus on the contributions of the father of Black history, Dr. Carter G. Woodson. The event will include a chautauqua on the life of Dr. Woodson and will be facilitated by Dr. Al Gourrier. The event is co-sponsored by the Samuel L. Smith Educational Foundation. For more information, call 702-229-ARTS (2787)

Black weekend 2022: Kemet in the Desert Series
  • WHEN: Friday, Feb. 18 and Saturday, Feb. 19 at 7 p.m.
  • WHERE: West Las Vegas Library Theatre, 951 W Lake Mead Blvd.

Free and open to the public, the ninth annual Black Weekend: Kemet in the Desert Lecture Series in recognition of Black History Month is co-presented with the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District, Caesars Entertainment, KCEP FM Power 88.1, 100 Black Men of Las Vegas, KUNV FM 91.5 and Platinum Productions, and directed and produced by Oscar Robinson. Dr. Jollie Harris will be the keynote speaker Friday evening on the topic “God’s Way to Heal a Virus.” Saturday’s keynote speaker will be Dr. Anthony “Tony” Browder addressing “Remembering the Giants: John Henrik Clarke, Frances Cress Welsing, Asa G. Hillard and Patricia Newton.” There will also be a special tribute to Dr. Runoko Rashidi. The event is held in honor of Kemet in the Desert founder Franklyn G. Verley III. For more information, call 702-229-ARTS (2787).

Heart of Black History Contest
  • WHEN: Entries due by 5 p.m. Friday, Feb.18
  • WHERE: East Las Vegas Community Center, 250 N Eastern Ave.

Free and open to the public, submit your entry into the 2022 Black History Month essay/media contest.  Be creative!  Write an essay, create a storyboard, diorama, painting, PowerPoint, or any other creative idea to share your view. Pick a person from Black history who has inspired you the most and highlight him/her. Storyboards can be 30” x 40” (standard foamboard size). If you choose to create a PowerPoint, please submit it on a flash drive. Submit your Heart of Black History Contest entry by Friday, Feb. 18, before 5 p.m. First-, second-and third-place winners will be awarded in each division. For more information and entry form, call the center at 702-229-1515.

Mid-Day Inspirational Showcase & Luncheon
  • WHEN: Tuesday, Feb. 15 at 11 a.m.
  • WHERE: West Las Vegas Library Theatre, 951 W Lake Mead Blvd. for the showcase. Doolittle Community Center, 1950 N J St. for the luncheon.

The showcase is free and open to the public, and tickets for the luncheon are $10. This 43rd annual Mid-Day Inspirational Showcase features singing, dancing, poetry, and guest speakers. A soul food brunch at the community center follows the showcase. To purchase luncheon tickets, call 702-229-6125. Tickets will be on sale until Feb. 8.

VIP and Me Dance
  • WHEN: Saturday, Feb. 12 at 3 p.m.
  • WHERE: Doolittle Community Center, 1950 N J St.

Pricing is $20 per couple and $10 for each additional child. Children and their VIP can dance the afternoon away! Participants are encouraged to dress up in their favorite “fancy” outfits. The event includes dancing, light refreshments, and photo booth pictures. The event is recommended for, but not limited to, children ages 4-11 and their VIP.

Second Annual Sharing the History of Black Firefighters in Southern Nevada
  • WHEN: Saturday, Feb. 12 at10 a.m.
  • WHERE: Doolittle Senior Center, 1930 N J St.

Free and open to the public and presented by the Westside School Alumni, this is a multi-jurisdictional celebration of the contributions Black firefighters have made to the Las Vegas valley. Included are a 30-minute educational forum, unveiling of the historic photo exhibit, and an unguided tour of the photo gallery. Refreshments will be served during the forum. Call 702-229-6125 for more information.

Sixth Annual Generation-2-Generation Old School Ball Game
  • WHEN: Saturday, Feb. 5 at 12 p.m.
  • WHERE: Kianga Isoke Palacio Park, 951 W Lake Mead Blvd.

Free and open to the public, come cheer on the youth of East Palo Alto Pitching as they take on a group of adults in a fun-filled softball game. Hot dogs and refreshments will be served while supplies last. For more information, call Savonta Manor at 702-229-1642 or Stephanie Lowery at 702-229-6125.