Muhammad Ali Center Invites Visitors to Examine Their Potential for Greatness
Part museum tracing the life of legendary boxer and humanitarian Muhammad Ali, part education center, the Muhammad Ali Center gives visitors a chance to explore their own potential for greatness.
The museum chronicles the journey of the Louisville-born world boxing champion originally named Cassius Marcellus Clay after the Kentucky emancipationist.
Interactive exhibits and multimedia presentations explore his life, including his introduction to boxing at 12, his gold medal at the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome, his conversion to Islam, his name change to Muhammad Ali, his boxing career, and his courage as one of the United States' most prominent conscientious objectors to war. After his retirement, Ali stepped up his humanitarian efforts, eventually gaining the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Sports buffs will find films of 15 of Ali's championship fights, including his upset win over Sonny Liston in 1964, the fights with Joe Frazier and the "Rumble in the Jungle" with George Foreman in Zaire in 1974. Several paintings of Ali by LeRoy Neiman add to the experience at the museum.
The Muhammad Ali Center seeks to promote the six core values by which Ali lives his life: respect, confidence, conviction, dedication, giving, and spirituality. A 14-minute, five-screen orientation film and two-and-a-half floors of exhibits encourage visitors to "find their greatness within."
The center emphasizes its global mission, incorporating 19 different languages through its exhibits. Five thousand children from 141 nations sketched their dreams on 3-by-3-inch wooden tiles. Korean artist Ik-Joong Kang collected these tiles and honored the children -- and their dreams -- in the 55-foot-long mural, Hope and Dream. The colorful and fanciful artwork inspires hope in the future.
Visitors can also explore the Civil Rights Movement that played such a huge role Ali's life and success. In fine weather, visitors can enjoy the museum's two-story public plaza, with its relaxing water wall, reflecting pool and glass fountain.
Tickets are $9 for adults, $5 for students with IDs, $8 for seniors, $5 for members of the military, $4 for children 6-12, and free for children 5 and younger.
Posted on March 2, 2009 by Bill Wolfe