Martin Luther King Jr. Day has extra resonance in Boston this year due to the upcoming reveal of “The Embrace,” a monument dedicated to King and his wife, Coretta Scott King. Here are 10 ways to celebrate MLK Day in and around Boston this weekend.
“THE EMBRACE” UNVEILING The Boston Common-located monument to the Kings, designed by Hank Willis Thomas, will finally be unveiled Friday, Jan. 13. Based on a historic photograph of the Kings with their arms interlocking in a hug, the project from Embrace Boston has been in the works since 2017. Members of the public can follow a procession from 15 Newbury St. to Boston Common from noon-1 p.m., in time for the unveiling, which can be viewed on screens by the Parkman Bandstand. www.embraceboston.org/memorial
53rd ANNUAL MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. MEMORIAL BREAKFAST While in-person tickets are sold out for this annual breakfast on Monday, the 9 a.m. event, featuring The New Yorker writer Jelani Cobb as this year’s keynote, will be livestreamed for free. Register to watch at bostonmlkbreakfast.org
SHORTS PROGRAM AT THE BRATTLE THEATRE Belmont World Film presents a short film series in its Family Festival called “Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.” Screening at 10:30 a.m. Monday at Cambridge’s Brattle Theatre are adaptations by Scholastic’s Weston Woods Studios of the books “Coretta Scott” by Ntozake Shange, “Rosa” by Nikki Giovanni, and “Show Way” by Jacqueline Woodson, among others. (The films will be available to stream on Jan. 20.) $8. bwffamilyfest2023.eventive.org
MFA BOSTON OPEN HOUSE Massachusetts residents get free admission to the Museum of Fine Arts Boston for a celebration of King’s advocacy Monday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dorchester DJ WhySham provides music, and visitors can contribute to a collaborative painting started by the Boston-based nonprofit Artists for Humanity. The day will also include a discussion of “The Embrace” with its designer, Hank Willis Thomas, and a performance by Stephen Hamilton and Amanda Shea as part of the MFA exhibit “Touching Roots: Black Ancestral Legacies in the Americas.”www.mfa.org
ISABELLA STEWART GARDNER MUSEUM’S DAY OF SERVICE Engage with King’s work through free events Monday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. designed to prompt personal reflections on his message. Visitors can make their own political sign or participate in community conversations with local artists, as well as listen to “The Embrace” monument designer Hank Willis Thomas and others discuss themes of social justice. www.gardnermuseum.org
MAYOR MICHELLE WU AT BOSTON UNIVERSITY Mayor Michelle Wu will speak at this 90-minute event Monday at BU’s George Sherman Union building, which will also be livestreamed. Cuyahoga Community College professor Derrick Williams leads a talk and the New England Conservatory performs, according to a tweet by the Mayor’s Office of Arts & Culture. www.bu.edu
HYDE PARK VIRTUAL DISCUSSION To learn how “The Embrace” came to be, attend this virtual discussion at 12:30 p.m Monday between Boston City Councilor-at-Large Ruthzee Louijeune and Embrace Boston’s executive director, Imari K. Paris Jeffries. Louijeune and Jeffries will go into the history of the project and the Hyde Park community’s role in the event, hosted by the Racial Equity and Justice Forum of Hyde Park . www.eventbrite.com
BOSTON YOUTH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRAS This free Monday concert by the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras will feature music from the symphony’s Intensive Community Program, dedicated to making classical music accessible to communities of color. A collaboration with the Museum of African American History, the event at 1 p.m. at the Great Hall at Faneuil Hall includes a keynote by artist and activist L’Merchie Frazier and speaking presentations honoring King. Reserve your free ticket at www.bysoweb.org
CAMBRIDGE MLK DAY OF SERVICEJoin a walk on MLK Day through the Black and brown neighborhoods of Cambridge, volunteer in Central Square, or initiate a donation drive of your choice. You must preregister to participate at manyhelpinghands365.org
BOSTON CHILDREN’S CHORUS, “BECOMING KING” Boston Children’s Chorus will perform a tribute concert to Martin Luther King Jr. for the 20th year. Attend the performance at Boston Symphony Hall at 4 p.m Monday or listen via a livestream. The concert charts King’s journey within the Civil Rights movement. Tickets range from $15-75. www.bso.org
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