African-Americans at Capitol is topic

The central library, 10375 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia, will present a new traveling exhibit, From Freedom's Shadow: African-Americans and the United States Capitol, that will be on display at the library from Thursday through Feb. 8.


The exhibition illuminates the historical contributions of African-Americans in the U.S. Capitol, from enslaved labor during its construction to congressional representation in our time.

Felicia A. Bell, director of Education and Outreach for the U.S. Capitol Historical Society, will speak at 7 p.m. Thursday.


Registration is required.

Information: 410-313-7860.

'Empty Bowls' to help fight hunger Feb. 3

The Columbia Association Art Center will sponsor "Empty Bowls: A Community Event to Help Fight Hunger in Howard County," from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Feb. 3. Proceeds will go to Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center. Tickets are $15 in advance; $20 at the door.

Patrons can select a handcrafted ceramic bowl (to take home) and have a meal accompanied by live music, art demonstrations, a silent art auction and raffle drawings.

Local ceramic artists have donated more than 300 bowls at the art center, which supplied materials, clay and kiln firings for the project. Restaurants and businesses have contributed food and beverages and made other in-kind and monetary donations. Several musicians are donating their services.

The Columbia Art Center is at 6100 Foreland Garth, in Long Reach Village Center.

Information or tickets: 410-730-0075.


Women's history essay contest set

The Howard County Commission for Women will sponsor an essay contest in honor of Women's History Month, celebrated in March.

The contest, focused on the theme "Generations of Women Moving History Forward," is open to Howard County students in grades six to 12.

The essay subject should be a contemporary or historical American woman and her ability to overcome obstacles, encourage dreams and bring communities together. The deadline for submissions is Feb. 7.

Winners will be invited to read their essays at the Women's Hall of Fame induction ceremony, to be held at 7:30 p.m. March 15 in the Banneker Room of the George Howard Building, 3430 Court House Drive, Ellicott City.

Information about the contest is available at school guidance offices, from the Department of Citizen Services (410-313-6400) or at www. Partnerships/student essaycontest.htm. Essays should be e-mailed to or mailed to Commission for Women Student Essay Contest, P.O. Box 348, Simpsonville 21150-0348.


Culture center seeks members, donations

New and renewed memberships and donations are being sought for the Howard County Center of African American Culture Inc., which is temporarily closed for renovation and repairs.

The center's collection is being put into storage. The staff and volunteers will be at the center's research library at Howard Community College, 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway in Columbia.

The staff will be preparing a pictorial exhibition, Native Howard County, Md., Families: 1875-1950, and a 20th-anniver- sary celebration.

Renovations and repairs to the center's building at 5434 Vantage Point Road in Columbia will be managed by the Columbia Association. A new sprinkler system, railings, painting, carpeting and other changes are planned.

The center plans to reopen at the end of May.


Information: 410-715-1921.