Commemorating Martin Luther King Jr. with a weekend of virtual programs

3 minute read
Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy and message are still imperative for America today. (Photo retrieved via Wikimedia Commons.)
Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy and message are still imperative for America today. (Photo retrieved via Wikimedia Commons.)

MLK’s messages and legacy have persisted for 60 years. Considering last week's insurrection at the Capitol in Washington, it’s important to continue educating yourself on history and performing acts of service in your community. I’ve curated a list of organizations holding virtual programming you can check out, and I’ve included a special shout-out to Draw to Action—their new book feels pertinent to the legacy in a “colorful” way.

MLK Day with the MoAR

The Museum of the American Revolution has virtual programming honoring Martin Luther King Jr. while paying tribute to unsung revolutionaries. The events include a walking tour exploring the story of Ona Judge, a virtual concert with the Philadelphia Jazz Project, and an invitation to the museum’s Finding Freedom, an interactive exhibit that explores the stories of enslaved people of African descent who sought freedom during the Revolutionary War. Check out the full schedule online.

Eastern State Penitentiary

Eastern State Penitentiary will commemorate MLK with a free virtual program on Monday, January 18. The program includes readings from six selected passages from Dr. King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” in addition to sharing music, poetry, and art inspired by Dr. King’s legacy. The event is free and is open to the public.

African American Museum in Philadelphia

AAMP has a full weekend of family-friendly events and activities to celebrate MLK this weekend. The virtual programming includes a screening of Shuja Moore’s Walkies web series, a reading by Philadelphia Poet Laureate Trapeta Mayson, virtual tours of their latest exhibition Rendering Justice, and a keynote with Marking Time author Nicole Fleetwood. See their full schedule online, with events on Saturday through Monday.

South Camden Theatre Company

SCTC is hosting its production of The Mountaintop by Katori Hall this weekend. The virtual screening premieres on Saturday, January 16 and is available through Monday, January 18. The story takes place in the room where MLK stayed during his final night on April 3, 1986. Tickets are $15 per household.

The Philadelphia Orchestra

The Orchestra’s annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Tribute concert moves online this year. Celebrate with music and interviews with Philadelphians continuing Dr. King’s work. RSVP for the performance, which streams on Monday, January 18 at 7pm.

Coloring for a cause

Looking for something to do away from the screen that also is a way to give back to the community? Check out Draw to Action, a coloring book featuring designs from 30 Philadelphia-based artists. 100% of the proceeds from sales will be donated to 15 local non-profit and grassroots social impact organizations, which focus on causes including mental health advocacy, social justice reform, and transgender rights. Pick up your copy online, and be sure to give them a follow on Instagram. Not exactly an MLK-themed thing, but acts of service like this fall right in line with the message that pervades his legacy.

Image Description: Martin Luther King, Jr. stands at a podium, leaning over, mid-speech, in a black and white photo.

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