“Our goal is to create a beloved community—and this will require a qualitative change in our souls as well as quantitative change in our lives.”
MLK Day is a major celebration in communities across the country, but Boston is particularly special in several ways. From his having spent time in the Hub at BU, to the Embrace Memorial being unveiled this week, the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is alive in these parts.
In its commemorative role, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston linked with Citizens to “invite the community to commemorate the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at a free open house for Massachusetts residents” on Monday, Jan. 16. It’s tradition, as “Citizens has sponsored the annual celebration for 21 consecutive years—allowing the Museum to welcome more than 120,000 visitors to enjoy free performances, tours, art-making activities and more.”
This year’s open house will run from 10am to 5pm, and free tickets will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.
“The annual MLK celebration at the MFA is always an inspiring day and Citizens is thrilled to continue this tradition,” Lisa Murray, President of Citizens Massachusetts, said in a statement. “This is an opportunity that brings folks from neighborhoods across the state together to share in a day filled with reflection, artistic empowerment and community service. I share a quote by Martin Luther King Jr.: Our goal is to create a beloved community—and this will require a qualitative change in our souls as well as quantitative change in our lives. I look forward to seeing our community come together to honor Dr. King again this year.”
The lineup of events and activities can be found below …
Drop-In Art Making: Monoprints
10 am–4 pm, Druker Studios, Linde Family Wing for Contemporary Art
Create one-of-a-kind works of art inspired by the exhibition Frank Bowling’s Americas using a Gelli printing plate and ink.
Music from DJ WhySham
11 am–3:30 pm, Shapiro Family Courtyard
Enjoy music from Dorchester native DJ WhySham, a visionary, activist, traveler, sister, godparent and Boston’s “community DJ.” She is a three-time nominee for DJ of the Year at the Boston Music Awards and was the only woman nominated for Producer of the Year at the the 2021 New England Music Awards. In 2021, she was named to WBUR’s Artery 25 list of artists of color transforming Greater Boston’s cultural landscape.
An Embrace Conversation: Legacy and Community in Public Art
Noon–1 pm, Remis Auditorium
Join artist Hank Willis Thomas and public art project manager Sam Giarratani as they discuss the making of The Embrace, Boston’s newest public art project celebrating the work and lives of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King.
Free ticket required. Available on a first-come, first-served basis at the Remis Auditorium box office beginning 60 minutes before the program. Please note this event has limited availability.
1–1:20 and 2:30–2:50 pm, Gallery 332
Enjoy a short talk and performance by artist Stephen Hamilton and poet Amanda Shea in the exhibition Touching Roots: Black Ancestral Legacies in the Americas.
Interactive Painting with Artists For Humanity
1–4 pm, Shapiro Family Courtyard
Join teens from Artists For Humanity (AFH) by adding your creative touch to a painting celebrating themes of social justice, equality, and unity. AFH is a local organization working to bridge economic, racial, and social divisions by providing under-resourced urban youth with the keys to self-sufficiency through paid employment in art and design.