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So many ways to celebrate MLK Day

Celina Colby
Celina Colby is an arts and travel reporter with a fondness for Russian novels.... VIEW BIO
So many ways to celebrate MLK Day
MFA Boston will host its annual MLK Day Open House. PHOTO: Tony Rinaldo Photography

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is Monday, Jan. 15. The holiday is an opportunity for reflection on the legacy of the great civil rights leader and the work still needed to realize his vision of a more equitable world. Institutions around Boston will offer free admission, art-making activities, concerts and community dialogues honoring King.

Community art-making

When: Saturday, Jan. 13, 9 a.m. – noon
Where: Citizens Bank branch on Blue Hill Avenue
Info: Museum of Fine Arts educators will be on site at Citizens Bank in Dorchester teaching community members how to craft their own wearable crowns and headpieces using wire, beads and other supplies. This is the only branch that will have instruction, but budding artists can pick up supplies for the project at the Citizens branches in Roxbury and Mattapan as well.

Free admission to the Peabody Essex Museum

When: Monday, Jan. 15, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Where: Peabody Essex Museum, Salem
Info: Celebrate King’s legacy by enjoying free admission to the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem. View related exhibitions, like “America: A Hymnal” by Bethany Collins, a sound and visual exhibit deconstructing patriotic anthems, and participate in live art-making with local artist Rahim Gray.

Museum of Fine Arts MLK Day Open House

When: Monday, Jan. 15, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Where: Museum of Fine Arts Boston
Info: Massachusetts residents can enjoy free admission (including special exhibits) on MLK Day. In addition to viewing the museum’s collection, visitors can take free guided tours, participate in art-making, learn about job opportunities at the museum and watch live performances by Boston City Singers and DJ WhySham.

In the Name of Love: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Tribute Concert

When: Monday, Jan. 15, 4 p.m.
Where: Symphony Hall
Info: The Boston Children’s Chorus will take the stage at Symphony Hall for the 21st annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Tribute Concert. They’ll sing anthems championed by activists like Coretta Scott King and Bayard Rustin and put forward a message of love during the ongoing work for equality.

Free admission to the Franklin Park Zoo and Stone Zoo

When: Monday, Jan. 15, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Where: Franklin Park Zoo and Stone Zoo
Info: Enjoy both the Franklin Park Zoo and the Stone Zoo for free on MLK Day. Both zoos will feature informational talks with zookeepers and mystery animal encounters throughout the day. 


54th Annual MLK Memorial Breakfast

When:: Monday, Jan. 15, 9-11 a.m.
Where: Boston Convention & Exhibition Center
Info: Join community leaders and justice-seekers such as keynote speaker Khalil Gibran Muhammad and Emmy Award-winning journalist and WCVB anchor Jessica Brown to reflect on King’s legacy and discuss contemporary civil rights issues under the theme “Keeping the Promise of Democracy.”

Martin Luther King Jr. Tribute Concert

When: Monday, Jan. 15, 1 p.m.
Where: Kresge Auditorium at MIT
Info: Young musicians from the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra’s Intensive Community Program will perform a free concert of spirituals and classical pieces honoring King’s work and life.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Of Service at Gardner Museum

When: Monday, Jan. 15, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Where: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
Info: Enjoy free admission (with advance ticket reservation) to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in honor of MLK Day. In addition, the museum will present storytelling, conversations with community leaders, interactive art-making and live music.

Free admission to the ICA

When: Monday, Jan. 15, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Where: Institute of Contemporary Art Boston
Info: Get free admission to the ICA Boston (with advance ticket reservation) and celebrate King’s legacy with three current exhibitions at the museum, including “Forecast Form: Art in the Caribbean Diaspora, 1990s–Today,” as well as art-making activities.