DANBURY, Conn. (AP) - The late music icon Marian Anderson will be celebrated in her Connecticut hometown on the 121st anniversary of her birth.
Western Connecticut State University in Danbury has scheduled the community gathering for Tuesday.
The opera singer is credited with breaking down barriers for blacks in the arts and galvanizing the fledging civil rights movement with a 1939 concert at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington.
First lady Eleanor Roosevelt arranged for the concert after Anderson wasn't allowed to perform at another Washington venue.
Anderson became the first black artist to perform at the White House in 1936 and the first African-American to perform at the Metropolitan Opera.
Anderson lived in Danbury for nearly 50 years. She died in 1993 at age 96.
The event is at 6pm in the Veronica Hagman Concert Hall of the Visual and Performing Arts Center on the university's Westside campus. Guests are invited to attend a community birthday party celebration for Anderson and learn how they may become a part of the initiative to name the School of Visual and Performing Arts in her honor. Tickets are $35 and are available at www.wcsu.edu/svpa/mariananderson.