Events Around Town Will Mark Dr. King’s Birthday

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MURAL at 40th Street & Lancaster Avenue in W. Philadelphia marks the spot where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. held a “Freedom Now Rally” with 10,000 people. Photo by Wendell Douglas

Philadelphia’s Martin Luther King Day of Service is the largest such program in the nation. More than 140,000 people will participate in at least 1,800 projects across the tri-state region. Most are coordinated by the Philadelphia-based organization Global Citizen 365.

In addition, there will be public performances and educational programs at major institutions. Following is a guide to them.

2018 MLK Weekend Celebration at the African American Museum in Philadelphia
January 12-15

The African American Museum in Philadelphia kicks off its annual MLK Weekend Celebration on Friday, January 12, with a program entitled Passion, Progress & Pulchritude: An Evening of Poetry & Music. Throughout the weekend, guests can also explore the museum’s core exhibit, Audacious Freedom: African Americans in Philadelphia, 1776-1876, and its current special exhibit, Gardens of the Mind as well as participate in a handful of family-geared activities, performances and workshops. A reduced admission rate of $2 per person will be offered to all visitors from Saturday through Monday.

Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend at Eastern State Penitentiary

January 13-15

Eastern State Penitentiary honors Martin Luther King Jr. Day with special readings of King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” three times a day (11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.) from January 13 to 15. An informal question-and-answer session moderated by a civil rights scholar will follow each reading, and on Monday, January 15, children ages 7 to 12 can create artwork in response to the letter. The events are free and open to the public.

The Philadelphia Orchestra’s Free Martin Luther King Jr. Tribute Concert
Monday, January 15

Celebrate the life and work of Martin Luther King Jr. with the Philadelphia Orchestra in its annual free performance during the MLK Day of Service at Girard College. The 90-minute concert will serve as a finale to the Day of Service. Tickets are first come, first served and are available online starting January 9. Seating is also first come, first served, as tickets do not guarantee entry.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service at the National Constitution Center
Monday, January 15

The National Constitution Center will honor Martin Luther King Jr. with a day-long commemoration on Monday, January 15. Folks can enjoy $5 admission to the museum and access to special service projects, performances, educational programs and activities, including readings of King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day at the National Museum of American Jewish History

Monday, January 15

Admission to the National Museum of Jewish History will be free all day as the museum commemorates the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. A variety of special programming will unfold from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., including arts and crafts activities and spotlight talks about social justice.

Philadelphia Jewish Labor Committee discusses “The Role of Race in the Criminal Justice System”
Monday, January 15

This event will be held at the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, 2100 Arch Street, at 5:30 p.m. It will be partnering with Jewish Social Policy Action Network, Jewish Community Relations Council and National Council of Jewish Women, Philadelphia Chapter.

Please register at this link: https://jewishphilly.org/get-involved/event-registrations/mlk-day-panel-role-race-criminal-justice-system-registration/.

MLK Day at the National Liberty Museum
Monday, January 15

The National Liberty Museum will celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day with pay-what-you-wish museum admission and a variety of themed events on Monday, January 15. At both 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., visitors can catch a screening of Mr. Civil Rights: Thurgood Marshall and the NAACP, showcasing civil-rights attorney Thurgood Marshall’s triumph in the 1954 Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education. Guests can also partake in crafting activities and a scavenger hunt themed around civil rights.

MLK Day Celebration at the Please Touch Museum
Monday, January 15

Complementary to the hands-on learning environment at the Please Touch Museum, the museum will feature a day-long celebration with interactive events to honor Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. Visitors can sit in on a storytelling session inspired by King’s legacy, engage in multiple crafting activities and join a musical parade promoting peace around the world. All activities are free with admission.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service at the Philadelphia Museum of Art
Monday, January 15

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is celebrating the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. with a day of community-service projects taking place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. MANNA will collect art made by visitors to distribute with the meals the organization regularly delivers to those in need.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day Festival at Woodmere Art Museum
Monday, January 15

Letter-writing sessions to Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney and lively storytelling are just part of the thought-provoking activities scheduled for the Woodmere Art Museum’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Festival. Visit the museum from noon to 4 p.m. to join in on the multiple interactive education sessions scheduled to take place. All activities are free to the public.

Volunteer and Service Project Opportunities on MLK Day
Monday, January 15

What better way to celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. than to lend a hand in a service project? There are over 1,000 volunteer opportunities to choose from at places like Girard College, Awbury Arboretum and more. Historic Girard College will serve as the region’s service day hub, offering 150-plus projects to partake in alongside workshops, trainings, a job fair, a civic-engagement expo, a health and wellness fair and other events.

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