MLK Day 

MLK Day roundup


There are many events happening on and around Jan. 21 in observance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Here are just some of the highlights.

• The 15th Annual Dr. MLK Jr. Family Celebration will be held Monday at Ben Davis High School, 1200 Girls School Road. Breakfast will be served from 8:30-9:30 a.m. to the first 500 guests and programming will be from 9:30 a.m.-noon with keynote speaker Jeffrey A. Johnson Sr., pastor of Eastern Star Church, who will be promoting “Responsible Fatherhood” and “Stopping the Violence through the Non-violence Principles of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.” Entertainment includes 10-year-old saxophonist Bryan Thompson, Knights of Glory Drum Line, South Wayne Steppers and more. Other guests will include Sen. Evan Bayh, Mayor Greg Ballard, Gov. Mitch Daniels and more. There will be a First Dignitary Spoon Service, where the mayor, governor and other community leaders will serve breakfast at 8:30 a.m. The event is free. Information: 317-327-7902.

• The Martin Luther King Day Celebration at the Indiana History Center, 450 W. Ohio St., will teach people more about King, his connections to the Hoosier state and the civil rights movement in Indiana via the exhibit Sharing the Dream: Indiana Acts for Civil Rights, hands-on activities and performances and films. The event is Monday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. (last performance will begin at 3:30 p.m.). Performers include The Write Me Project, Metropolitan Youth Orchestra, Asante Children’s Theatre, storyteller Celestine Bloomfield, Kenyetta Dance Company and Eastern Star Church Choir. Martin Luther King Center’s annual awards ceremony is at 5 p.m. Info:

• The Indianapolis Museum of Art, 4000 Michigan Road, will be open Monday for its Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration that includes a program featuring Maxwell Anderson, CEO of the IMA, Senior Pastor Bishop T. Garrott Benjamin Jr., Light of the World Christian Church, and the Light of the World Choir. Interactive art activities — such as hat making in conjunction with Hats Off to Africa, a group mural project and stamping — will be offered all day and the Northernaires Gospel Choir will perform at 1:30 and the Cynthia Layne Jazz Band will perform at 3:30 p.m. The event runs from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and is free. Information:

• The Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration at Ransburg Auditorium, on the campus of the University of Indianapolis, will feature Samuel Pieh, a UIndy alumnus and descendant of the leader of the 1839 Amistad slave rebellion. He will present “The Amistad: Timeless Values in the Footprints of History.” The lecture is Monday at noon and is free. The program also will include music by the university’s Voices of Worship gospel choir. A reception will follow in the Schwitzer Student Center atrium. UIndy will also host a free screening of Amistad at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 20 in Ransburg Auditorium. Elisha Smith, president of UIndy’s Black Student Association, will lead an audience discussion following the film. Information: 317-788-3298.

• The Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration “Keep the Dream Alive” will be held at the Madame Walker Theatre Center, 617 Indiana Ave., Monday at 12:15 p.m. The annual event will showcase several local choirs, dance ensembles and community leaders, such as the Walker/Flanner House Youth Chorale & Chamber Orchestra and Indy Mime Dance Ministry. Preceding the event is the annual “Freedom Walk” from the Indianapolis Urban League Building to the historic theater. The procession will occur on the sidewalk and begin at noon. While the events are free, donations are accepted. Information:

• Plainfield’s Martin Luther King program will be presented by Chris Cavanaugh, an award-winning teacher at Plainfield High School: “Letter from a Birmingham Jail Revisited: An Examination of Then and Now.” Cavanaugh will examine King’s letter and discuss the relevancy of King’s ideas to current issues in our society. Also included on the program will be Chandler James, an African-American student at Plainfield High School, who will talk about the influence and impact of King’s work on today’s young people. The event begins at 7 p.m. Monday at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 710 E. Buchanan. Information: 317-892-4239.

White River State Park’s attractions will offer free admission Monday with a canned good donation for Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Each attraction will require one can donation per person for free admission. The Indiana State Museum and Indianapolis Indians will have special MLK programming, and free admission is also available at the Eiteljorg Museum, Indianapolis Zoo and IMAX Theater. Visit

• The Peace Learning Center’s 10th Annual MLK Fest will be held Jan. 19, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Christian Theological Seminary, 1000 W. 42nd St. Events include music, art, drumming, poetry, theater, a community fair and lunch. Events are free, but register by calling 317-297-8500 or e-mail

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