Museum celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. Day with free admission, activities


January 3, 2017


                                       Family friendly art making, live music, poetry, film, and more 


Allentown, PA—January 16, 2017, marks the 88th birthday of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., whose message of equal rights for all and determination in the face of adversity is as important today as it was during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. “Martin Luther King Day is a day for the community to come together, to reflect on how far we have come, and to consider what milestones we have yet to meet,” says the Museum’s new Department of Public Engagement manager, Dianne Smith. In honor of this great man and his legacy, the Allentown Art Museum of the Lehigh Valley will be open free on Monday, January 16, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The community is invited to enjoy the following free family friendly activities:

noon–2:30 p.m.
Story Station
Frank Lloyd Wright Library
Add your voice to the Museum’s growing archive of personal narratives. Staff will lead you through a reflective exercise designed to create a short piece of storytelling art inspired by the words of Dr. King. Each session is expected to take about twenty minutes and can accommodate up to five people. All ages welcome.

12:30-3:00 p.m.
Visions and Voices art-making workshop for ages 6+
ArtWays Interactive Family Gallery 
Help create a community project that explores social issues and how each one of us has a unique voice in our society.

1 p.m.
Interactive poetry with M. Nzadi Keita   
Rodale Classroom
Poet and writer M. Nzadi Keita presents a dynamic talk about how individuals can play a role in our changing society, even in the face of overwhelming odds. She will read from her recently released book Brief Evidence of Heaven: Poems from the Life of Anna Murray Douglass, which illustrates how the wife of Fredrick Douglass--a resourceful, uneducated black woman--supported the anti-slavery movement. M. Nzadi Keita’s work has appeared in Bum Rush the Page: A Def Poetry Jam and elsewhere, and she served as an adviser to the documentary BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez.

3 p.m.
Film: Free Angela and All Political Prisoners (2012, 102 minutes)

Rodale Classroom
In this documentary, activist Angela Davis speaks about her 1970s imprisonment as a terrorist and conspirator, which became a flashpoint in the black liberation struggle and turned her into a revolutionary icon.

3:30–4:30 p.m.
The Diane Monroe Quartet
The Diane Monroe Quartet captures the spirit of the Civil Rights Movement through their known songs of protest and moving, original compositions. The group appeared at the Kennedy Center’s Women in Jazz Festival in 2012 among many other venues.

As a bonus, visitors will have the rare opportunity to view the prints Head Study (2002) by John Wilson and As Free and Independent States (2009) by Faith Ringgold, both of which depict Dr. King and his work. The prints will be on view for this day only.

Also on view are the Museum’s special exhibitions for the fall and winter season. Allentown x7 features commissioned works from seven local artists; Building Bridges, a photographic depiction of the community’s perspectives of Allentown; Anthony Viscardi: Shadow Landings, a monumental three-dimensional mural; and Warren Rohrer: The Language of Mark Making, an exploration of the work of this Philadelphia-based abstract painter.


Media Contact:
Chris Potash
(610) 432-4333 ext 125
cpotash [at] allentownartmuseum [dot] org

The Allentown Art Museum is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that participates in the cultural, educational, and economic life of the Lehigh Valley. Defined by a unique combination of tradition and innovation, our collections, educational partnerships, collaborative and community based programs, and exhibitions are dedicated to inspiring the broadest possible public engagement, access, and service.  For more information please visit