Monday, January 16th is Martin Luther King Day, and since its first day of observation in 1986 we’ve been honoring Dr. King’s legacy to the civil rights movement, community service, and non-violent opposition.
How do we celebrate the national holiday dedicated to Dr. King though, especially in the city where he received his Medallion of Honor? There’s a lot going on throughout the city to celebrate Dr. King, and we did all the searching for you. Here are a few ways you can celebrate Martin Luther King Day this year in NYC.
Celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. through performances, marches, community art programs, and volunteer projects. Each day features shadow puppet performances and puppet-making, poster-making and protest marching, and the creation of a community dream cloud in BCM’s ColorLab art studio.
When: Saturday, January 14 – Monday, January 16, 10a.m. – 5p.m.
Where: Brooklyn Children’s Museum – 145 Brooklyn Ave.
Price: $13. Tickets can be purchased on their website
The 17th annual Apollo Uptown Hall MLK celebration focuses on Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement of the 60’s as the template for modern social and civil justice movements. This year, they’re celebrating young people impacting society through activism, engagement, and a commitment to justice.
When: Sunday, January 15, 3p.m.
Where: Apollo’s Historic Theater and Digital Stage – 253 W 125th St.
Price: Free event with a ticket required. Tickets can be secured on their website
Every January since 2017, KCA and Queens College have held a special event in honor and memory of Dr. King’s legacy and connection to Queens College, where he delivered a powerful speech in 1965. This year’s program will feature a special performance by Grammy-nominated jazz songstress Samara Joy, a keynote address by the event’s honoree, Dr. Jelani Cobb, a recognition ceremony, and a post-show reception.
When: Sunday, January 15, 3p.m.
Where –LeFrak Concert Hall – 153-49 Reeves Ave.
Price – $20, Tickets can be purchased on their website
Founded in 1986, The Harlem Gospel Choir was started by Allen Bailey who got the idea while at a celebration in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The Choir presents the finest musicians and singers from Harlem’s Black Churches and the surrounding New York area.
When: Monday, January 16, Doors – 1p.m., Show – 1:30p.m.
Where: Sony Hall – 235 West 46th St.
Price: General admission – $32 (limited seating available on a first come, first served basis), VIP reserved seating – $46 / Tickets can be purchased on their website
In this webinar, Edward Dodson examines the evolution in King’s thinking on how to address the issue of extreme poverty and the major ideas and events that influenced his life and work.
When: Monday, January 16, 6:30p.m. – 8p.m.
Where: Online virtual event
Price: Free, register here
BAM’s annual tribute to Dr. King encourages us to continue in his radical spirit, relentlessly defending true justice for all, and repairing injustices. Enjoy music, performances, and an urgent call to action led by speaker Sherrilyn Ifill.
When: Monday, January 16, 10:30a.m.
Where: BAM Howard Gilman Opera House – 30 Lafayette Ave. / Virtual
Price: Free, tickets will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis on Monday, January 16 at 8a.m. in the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House lobby
Head to the Jackie Robinson Museum to honor the legacy of Dr. King and the fight for civil rights by learning about Jackie Robinson and Dr. King’s close friendship and their collaboration during landmark campaigns of the Civil Rights Movement. Museum highlight tours spotlighting Robinson and Dr. King’s friendship will be offered at 12p.m., 1p.m., and 2p.m., as well as activities for children and picture book readings.
When: Monday, January 16, 12p.m. – 3p.m.
Where: One Hudson Square Building – 75 Varick St.
Price: Free with admission, purchase tickets here
Head to Queens Botanical Garden to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day with your community through crafts, storytime, and a guided winter walk centered on and promoting love, hope, and unity! This event is recommended for age 5 and up.
When: Monday, January 16, 11a.m. – 1p.m.
Where: Queens Botanical Garden – 43-50 Main St.
Price: $5 suggested donation, register here
Hunger Free America has been honoring MLK’s life work for years through service and action. The 2023 Serve-A-Thon is comprised of a series of virtual and in-person events, opportunities to serve, panels, and workshops.
When: Thursday, January 12 – Monday, January 16
Where: Kehilat Kosher Food Pantry, 150-62 78th Rd, Flushing
Price: Free, see their calendar of events here
Each year the NYC Parks Department honors Dr. King in different ways, hosting events for New Yorkers to take part in. This year, you can participate in a beach cleanup or a day of winter plant care, learn how to aerate, cultivate, mulch, and identify street trees, and more!
When: Multiple days
Where: Multiple locations
Price: Free, see their full calendar of events here