Dataline

From May 2 to June 6, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (520 North 16th St.; 205-328-9696) exhibits “Southern Roots: African American Artists with Alabama Ties.” Admission is free….The Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Co. hits the stage with an evening of mixed repertory at the Kennedy Center (New Hampshire Ave. at F St., Washington, D.C.) May 14-15. Tickets are $20-$32. For more information, call 202-467-4600 or 800-444-1324….On May 22, the French West Indies island of Martinique celebrates Slavery Abolition Day, marking the island’s abolition of slavery in 1848. There will be special goings-on at local clubs and restaurants as well as picnics around town and other festivities. For more information, call 800-391-4909…. Doll Collectors gather at the annual Black Doll Show May 29-30 at the Philadelphia convention Center (12th and Arch Streets), 10 a.m. -5p.m. Tickets are $5. For more information, call 215-924-3121…. It’s blues music and more at the 20th Annual WC Handy Blues Awards May 27 at the Orpheum Theatre (203 S. Main St.) in Memphis. Hosted by artists Ruth Brown and Joe Louis Walker, tickets are $11.50-$61. Call 901-527-BLUE.

Worshipping on the road
Pamela Toussaint, author of Great Books for African American Children (Plume, $12.95), usually attends church when traveling. And, she’s not alone. According to the Travel Industry Association of America’s (TIAA) 1998 poll, some 43 million adults worship while on the road. A quarter (28%) of Americans went to a church, temple, mosque or other place of worship while traveling in the U.S. Although most indicated they attended a worship service on leisure trips, 9% even did so while traveling for business.

TIAA spokesperson Mike Pina says the trend is indicative of “the growth of religion in the U.S. and people wanting to continue it while traveling.” Plus, he continues, it’s also easier to locate places of worship. “Hotel concierges, convention and visitors bureaus can provide information on local churches.”

There’ s also the Internet. Surfers can scout out national prayer facilities catering to black worshippers at African American Churches (www.aawc.com/aac.html) and Baptist Churches USA (www.churchonline.com/usad/bp/bp.html). Over 75,000 Christian churches in North America are featured on the Houses of Worship website (www.hows.net). For practicing Muslims, Mosques Around the World (www.islamic.org) includes a listing, while the Nation of Islam is found at (www.noi.org).
Now, finding a church at your destination is only a
click away.

A new look in business hotels
To most frequent travelers all hotel rooms look alike. Not any more, especially if W Hotels has its way. Starting with a renovation of Manhattan’ s Doral Inn (now W New York), W Hotels introduces a new concept in business hotels. “We’ve created a business hotel with a residential feel. Guest room furnishings are like those you’d have at home,” says Diane Briskin, director of sales and marketing for W Hotels.

Fourteen W Hotels (owned by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, the nation’s largest hotel company) will open this year in Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle and two more in New York. Like the 750-room W New York, each will have a “sleek, urban,

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