Liz Marino/Douglas County Sentinel Barbara Woodell, executive director of the Douglas County Museum of History and Art, points out Mario West, one of the individuals highlighted in the exhibit, "Heart and Soul," the Spotlight on Douglas African-American Talent, now on display through March 17. The exhibit is part of Douglas County's celebration of Black History Month. A reception will be held on Feb. 25 from 2 to 4 p.m.

A stellar group of African-Americans athletes, authors, musicians and more are being featured now through March 17 as part of the "Heart and Soul" exhibit at the Douglas County Museum of History and Art.

This exhibit represents the museum's effort to promote Black History Month in Douglas County, said Barbara Woodell, executive director.

"We started to reach out to a different genre of people to participate in the exhibit," she said. Woodell credits Douglasville native and musician, City Councilman Sam Davis, for his assistance in tracking down local notable musicians.

At least 15 different individuals with roots in Douglas County have contributed photos and other memorabilia for the "Heart and Soul" exhibit, according to Goodell.

A reception will be held on Sunday, Feb. 25 from 2 to 4 p.m. The reception, and tour of the special exhibit and of the permanent collections is free and open to the public. A live piano concert by Ronald Ferguson will be featured. In addition, many of the local exhibitors will be present during the reception.

Among the exhibitors is Douglasville resident Louvain Demps of the musical group, "The Andantes." The singer and the group appeared as backing vocalist for well-known Motown performers, The Supremes, Marvin Gaye, The Four Tops, the Temptations and others.

Douglasville resident LaQuitcha Lanay Washington, a comedienne known as "Lady Q" is also part of the exhibit. She has been described as one of the most sought-after clean comediennes today.

Timothy Ferguson, a musican/composer, has had a notable career playing in groups from big bands to rock bands. He has lived and worked in Douglas County, but is now in Cleveland, Tennessee, where he plays for the Lee University Jazz Ensemble.

Actor and filmmaker Tyler Perry laid roots in Douglas County in 2013 when he purchased around 1,100 acres in the New Manchester area of Douglas County. The adopted son who created such memorable characters as Madea has also filmed some of his creative works right here in Douglas County. He, also, is featured in the Heart and Soul exhibit this month.

Other notables featured include Councilman Davis; Douglasville singer/songwriter Tenette Smith; native and author Samual Vance; Mario West, Douglas County High School graduate who played basketball for Georgia Tech and went onto play for the NBA Atlanta Hawks.

Also featured in the exhibit is Ricky Dobbs, another graduate from Douglas County High School, who played football for the Naval Academy and tied Tim Tebow's record of 23 rushing touchdowns for a quarterback.

Currently in Pyeongchang, South Korea, participating in her third Winter Olympics as part of the U.S. Bobsled Team and competing for her third -- and hopefully gold medal -- Elana Meyers Taylor is prominently featured in the Black History Month exhibit.

According to Goodell, a theater in the special exhibits' hall will feature clips from the various artists and performers, and music from the musical artists will be available for listening.

The Douglas County Museum of History and Art is located in the historic old Douglas County Courthouse from the 1950s and is located in downtown Douglasville at 6754 W. Broad Street.

The museum is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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