Celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Milwaukee

Jan. 8, 2015
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Martin Luther King Jr. / via Wikimedia

Monday, Jan. 19 is Martin Luther King Jr. Day—a day where we celebrate the most prominent nonviolent activist and leader of the civil rights movement and remind ourselves that although change may be hard, it is not impossible. Along with Atlanta, Ga., Milwaukee is the only city that has annually celebrated Dr. King’s birthday since 1984. Here are a few inspiring events to look forward to in the coming week.


Bel Canto Chorus’ Tribute to MLK

On Saturday, Jan. 17 at 3 p.m., Bel Canto Chorus and the Holy Redeemer Sanctuary Choir collaborate once again to perform their Fourth Annual Tribute Concert to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at Holy Redeemer Institutional Church of God in Christ (3500 West Mother Daniels Way). This free celebratory event features musical performances of Lord Make Me an Instrument by M. Roger Holland II; Battle Hymn of the Republic by Peter J. Wilhousky; and Joyful, Joyful arranged by Mervyn Warren and adapted by Roger Emerson, a gospel adaptation of Beethoven’s Ode to Joy. Historic words from Dr. King’s “Letters from Birmingham Jail,” Robert Kennedy’s speech announcing King’s assassination and Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” will also be featured. For more information, click here.


Marcus Center’s MLK Birthday Celebration

On Sunday, Jan. 18 at 1 p.m., the Marcus Center hosts its 31st annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration at Uihlein Hall (929 N. Water St.). This free, public event highlights community youth through speech, writing and art contests (the theme this year is “We Have A Great Deal of Positive Work To Do”) and pays tribute to Dr. King with song, dance and music. Performance groups include Skai Academy Stage Band, Dnipro Ukrainian Folk Dance and Xalaat Africa Drum and Dance for Life. For more information, call 414-273-7121 ext. 211 or click here.

A Salute to MLK

On Monday, Jan. 19 at 3 p.m., the Dr. Martin Luther King Community Center hosts “A Salute to Those Who Protect and Serve.” The event honors Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. through music, dance and spoken word to salute Dr. King and those who protect and serve. For more information, click here.

Milwaukee Public Library’s Day-Long MLK Celebration

On Monday, Jan. 19, Milwaukee Public Library’s Martin Luther King branch (310 W. Locust St.) will host special programming throughout the day to commemorate Dr. King and the civil rights movement. Check out the schedule of events below. For more information, click here.

Free blood pressure screenings from 9:30-11 a.m.

Provided by nurses from the Columbia College of Nursing

Create a community mural at 10 a.m.

Mayor Tom Barrett will join the mural making at 10:30 a.m.

Join Milwaukee artist Fatima Laster of FKL Visual Arts and members of the library’s Teen Advisory Board to create a mural painting.

The Imani Dancers hip hop presentation from 12-12:30 p.m.

Performance by Martin Luther King Elementary School’s African American Immersion Program

African American Children’s Theatre performance from 12:30-1 p.m.

See the first act of Milwaukee Heroes and monologues about Dr. King by members of the theater company.

Live performance of music of the civil rights from 2-3 p.m.

See the Larry Moore Trio perform live renditions of the music that kept the civil rights movement alive.

Poetry Slam from 3:30-4:30 p.m.

Hear spoken word performances focused on Dr. King’s life and dreams.

Body and Soul Healing Arts Center MLK Celebration

On Monday, Jan. 19, The Body and Soul Healing Arts Center hosts its 22nd annual Celebration of the Life and Work of The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., with this year's theme being "And Justice for All?" The celebration runs 8 a.m.-3 p.m. at 3617 N. 48th St. and includes a free pancake breakfast and spaghetti dinner as well as workshops and activities led by Attorney Bettie Rodgers, Center for Resilient Cities, ACLU-Milwaukee Chapter, UW-Milwaukee Women’s Resource Center, Milwaukee Cooperative Extension and Attorney Diane Caspari. Volunteer organizations serving at the event include Alice’s Garden, Public Allies Milwaukee, Jack and Jill Milwaukee and OUTLET: Plugging People In. For more information, click here


Know of an event celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day that should be included in this article? Email information to Amanda@shepex.com


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