Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration--FREE


January 15 (Monday)
Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration--FREE
11 a.m.-5 p.m

Celebrate and engage with African American art, history and culture on Martin Luther King Jr. Day at the Art Museum with free admission and art-making activities that will immerse you and your family in the motifs and imagery explored by prominent African American artists. There will be art to see, and you may be inspired too by meaningful discussions regarding art, history and activism.

11 a.m.
Muhlenberg College gospel choir

Be transported by the vocal music of Rejoice, the Muhlenberg College gospel choir. This spirit-filled musical ensemble comprised of students from various places, races and creeds expresses their love of music and passion to praise through song.


Reading of Faith Ringgold’s children’s book

Gather around Faith Ringgold's print Here Comes Moses to hear Museum public engagement manager Dianne Smith read from Ringgold's book Henry Ossawa Tanner: His Boyhood Dream Comes True. Tanner's work, Lion Licking Paw (1886, below), is on display in Trexler Gallery. He painted this work while studying at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and went on to serve as an inspiration for the Harlem Renaissance artists and generations of painters to come.


Noon-4 p.m.
Get Inspired! Art making in Crayola Classroom
Visit Butz Gallery on our main floor to get inspired by William T. Williams’s print Monk's Tale (2006, below) depicting jazz legend Thelonious Monk, then head up to the Crayola Classroom to create your own artwork inspired by the colors, rhythm and characters in Williams’s work.


Noon-4 p.m.
Activist pins in Art Ways

Use markers and collage materials to make wearable pins and stickers inspired by Faith Ringgold’s powerful, political artwork Here Comes Moses (2012, below), on display in Butz Gallery.


1 p.m.
Meet the filmmaker: Mr. Civil Rights: Thurgood Marshall & The NAACP

Following a screening of his film at 1 p.m. and a 10-minute short with Supreme Court justices Elena Kagan and John Paul Stevens, filmmaker Mick Caouette will take questions about Mr. Civil Rights. This documentary shows how civil rights attorney Thurgood Marshall's triumph in the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision to desegregate America's public schools led to the end of legal segregation.


2 & 2:45 p.m.
Nikki Powerhouse performs!

Nikki Powerhouse speaks to the human spirit. The name “Powerhouse” channels energy. She puts it this way: “My aim is for my audience to have an emotional and spiritual experience. My performance art embodies storytelling, poetry, song and movement. These mediums are a tapestry of freedom, expression, identity, heritage and womanhood.”


3:30 p.m.
Imani Uzuri’s Revolutionary Choir teach in and sing out

Come sing with Imani Uzuri's Revolutionary Choir, all voices are welcome! This is a singing session for anyone who wants to learn traditional protest songs or create new songs of resistance and resilience.

Imani Uzuri is a vocalist, composer and cultural worker who has been called “a post modernist Bessie Smith" by The Village Voice. Uzuri creates concerts, experimental theater, performance art, theater compositions, musicals, chamber orchestra compositions and sound installations for international venues/festivals. She has collaborated with composers and musicians Herbie Hancock, John Legend and Vijay Iyer; conceptual artists Carrie Mae Weems, Wangechi Mutu and Sanford Biggers; choreographers Camille A. Brown and Trajal Harrell; poet Sonia Sanchez; and avant-garde composer Robert Ashley. Her most recent album The Gypsy Diaries received critical acclaim. In 2016 Uzuri made her Lincoln Center American Songbook debut and was also a featured performer on BET for Black Girls Rock!

She recently received her M.A. in African American Studies from Columbia University and was the 2017 Keynote/Performer at Harvard University's Graduate Music Forum. Uzuri has been a Park Avenue Armory artist in residence and is a MAP Fund grantee to begin composing her contemporary opera Hush Arbor. She is a recent Jerome Foundation Composer/Sound Artist Fellow to support her travel, research and composing of a large music work celebrating the iconography of the Black Madonna. She has written essays for The Feminist Wire and Ebony and her work is currently included in the anthology BAX 2016: Best American Experimental Writing.

As founder and artistic director of Revolutionary Choir, Time Out New York says, "[Imani Uzuri] never fails to mesmerize audiences with her narcotic blend of…ethereal sounds".

#solidarity #wewhobelieveinfree #RevolutionaryChoir


The Museum’s MLK Jr. Day Celebration is supported by the HeARThstone Project.

HeARThstone is rooted in the belief that art can, and does, change lives; and that in collaboration with their communities, art museums can be significant partners in the creation of safe neighborhoods.

The HeARThstone Project is supported by the generosity of the Harry C. Trexler Trust.