Museums, community organizations, and schools are all putting together events in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday. The federal holiday is also a designated “day of service” by the US government, which is encouraging citizens to “volunteer to improve their communities.” Each of the events seek to honor King, the civil rights hero who was assassinated in 1968, and his legacy. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many of these events online. Here are highlights of some events:
The Museum of Fine Arts is hosting a virtual celebration titled “Voices from King” from 5 to 6 p.m. Monday with performances and speeches from notable people across the state. Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins, City Council President Kim Janey, poet Porsha Olayiwola, and artist Danny Rivera will take part. This will be the 19th year of the event, which the MFA dubs a “community celebration.” The event will be streamed live on YouTube, Facebook and the museum’s website. www.mfa.org/event/community-celebrations/martin-luther-king-jr-day
The New Democracy Coalition is gathering outside Faneuil Hall at 4 p.m. Sunday to reflect on King’s legacy. “Boston’s best future is inextricably connected to our ability to address the complexities of structural racism,” the event’s registration page says. After an hourlong gathering, the group plans to listen to King’s final sermon and light candles.
The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum plays host to virtual performances from artists “committed to social justice and service” as well as a workshop for children aged 4-12 hosted by the social justice project Wee the People. “#RECLAIMMLK: THE POWER OF PROTEST ACTION” workshop will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. and will “explore MLK’s practice as a radical disruptor and honor his most important act of love: resistance.” Participants will be able to make signs, take photos in a photo booth and take part in “timed acts of resistance” throughout the museum. Register at www.gardnermuseum.org/calendar/event/mlk-day-20200120#gref
Boston Children’s Chorus is hosting a virtual tribute concert Sunday which will “honor the resilience of a people that have formed the backbone of this country’s cultural heritage,” according to the event’s website. Tickets are free and available on the children’s chorus website, though donations are encouraged. https://give.bostonchildrenschorus.org/event/born-on-the-water/e318816
The Cambridge MLK Day of Service is a virtual event for all ages that aims to foster a more equitable community. Tickets are free. www.bostoncentral.com/events/cambridge-mlk-day-of-service/p44935.php
The annual MLK memorial breakfast, the nation’s oldest MLK celebration, is being held virtually in conjunction with Northeastern University for its 51st year. Organizers “reimagined” the event, which will be livestreamed on Facebook, to include “a multifaceted, passion-filled celebratory program, and an extended program of virtual rallies and teach-ins,” the event’s website said. Register at www.bostonmlkbreakfast.org/breakfast-2021.
Boston Cares is holding its 16th annual MLK service event, which will take place over the course of the weekend as part of a series of service opportunities. Events range from a “Homelessness in the City of Boston Education Session” to “Create a Fun and Engaging Skill Video for Children”. All events are free. www.bostoncares.org/mlkday
The Concord Museum is holding a virtual forum on civil disobedience Monday, featuring US Representative Ro Khanna. Khanna and the museum’s executive director Tom Putnam will discuss civil disobedience, focusing on both King and Henry David Thoreau, who championed civil disobedience in a 1849 essay. Register on the museum’s website: https://concordmuseum.org/events/conversation-with-congressman-ro-khanna/
Salem State University is holding its 31st annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Week, which features a series of virtual events culminating in a keynote address from Dr. Angela Y. Davis. Other events include an Inauguration Day Watch Party, a candlelight vigil, and a virtual freedom march. Register at https://salemstate.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_zgG7U8T8QpGeP0-Ql3uqJg
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