On the national holiday Monday, January 15, the National Civil Rights Museum will remember the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his last campaign to balance the scales of economic justice through the Poor People’s Campaign. The focus of the celebration is community service and social and economic justice in honor of Dr. King’s impact on the global society. Activities include daylong performances, youth-centered edutainment, a healthy community pavilion and the National Civil Rights Museum experience. In the spirit of service, the Museum will hold its annual Mid-South Food Bank Drive and Lifeblood Drive, and serve as a center for community resources and engagement.
Theme, “Where Do We Go from Here,” King Day is part of the yearlong MLK50 Commemoration and allows the Museum to welcome thousands of visitors to a tour highlighting Dr. King’s involvement in the Movement with a special $5 admission during the extended hours of 8am–6pm. An optional $3 admission is available for attendees bringing canned good donations for Mid-South Food Bank. A free admission option is available for blood donations to the Lifeblood Drive.
• Visitors can tour the museum from 8am–6pm. Included in the tour is the exhibit From the Vault: Art in Action, where visitors can view original art from some of the Museum’s rarely seen work with a common theme of resistance through demonstrations and collective action.
• The Community Pavilion will be staged in the museum’s visitor parking lot that includes resources and screenings from a dozen local health organizations like Methodist Mammography Mobile, St. Jude Sickle Cell Program, Church Health, Baptist Women’s Health Center, Southern College of Optometry, CHOICES, LeBonheur Community Health & Well-Being, Early Success Coalition, Healthy Kids and Teens Memphis, and others.
• The Pavilion will also provide resources and information by organizations including Just City, New Memphis Institute, Latino Memphis, NAACP, Memphis Challenge, Sister Reach, Wolf River Conservancy, Girls Inc. of Memphis, Revolutions Bicycle Cooperative, and Girl Scouts-Heart of the South.
• Entertainment throughout the day on the Founders Park Main Stage will feature a variety of performances including Will Graves & Soul, Mighty Souls Brass Band, Stax Music Academy, Susan Marshall and the Reba Russell Band, Watoto Academy of Performing Arts-Meeting Street Academy (Charleston, SC), Ekpe Abioto African drummers, and spoken word artists. Special guests, media personalities and food trucks will also be onsite.
• Children’s Activity Tent will open 10am–4pm and include storytelling, face painting, music, balloon artists, puppeteers, arts and crafts (decorating a birthday cake celebrating Dr. King and creating their own message buttons.)
• The Museum is a sanctioned site of Volunteer Memphis’ Four Days of Service where volunteer corps will conduct clean-up projects across the city. On Monday, January 15, it will work in partnership with United Way, Clean Memphis, Memphis City Beautiful and several organizations.