Monday, January 16
In 1983, the third Monday in January was officially recognized as Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, honoring the birthday of the civil rights leader who was assassinated in Memphis on April 4, 1968. Dr. King would have turned eighty-three today, and you can celebrate his legacy tomorrow by participating in a Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service project or attending one of several special events taking place around the city. BAM’s twenty-sixth annual free Tribute to MLK includes a keynote speech by education chancellor Denis M. Walcott, the community art exhibition “Picture the Dream,” a musical performance by Toshi Reagon and BIGLovely and the Institutional Radio Choir C.O.G.I.C. of Brooklyn, and a screening of the stirring documentary The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975. The JCC in Manhattan will be holding a blood drive and a food-service project during the day, then team up with Symphony Space for “Moving Ideas: A Conversation Between Choreographers Jawole Willa Jo Zollar and Liz Lerman,” including excerpts from Zollar’s Give Your Hands to Struggle and Lerman’s The Matter of Origins, which were both partially inspired by Dr. King and Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel; a concert by Daniel Kahn and the Painted Bird; Zalman Mlotek’s “Soul to Soul: A Celebration of African-American and Jewish Song” with Elmore James, Tony Perry, and Cantor Magda Fishman; and a screening of Nick Parker and Jazmin Jones’s documentary The Apollos. The Museum of the Moving Image will be honoring King with a screening of Michael Roemer’s seminal Nothing But a Man, in which Ivan Dixon and Abbey Lincoln play a young couple battling racism in 1960s Alabama. The Children’s Museum of Manhattan will teach kids about King’s legacy with its “Make a Difference Pledge” and performances by the Harlem Gospel Choir, while the Brooklyn Children’s Museum has “Let’s Join Hands,” a “Historical Snapshot” talk with civil rights activist Yolanda Clarke, and a living legacy collage and hand wreath workshop. And Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola is hosting Jazz at Lincoln Center’s annual “Dr. Martin Luther King Celebration” with the Warren Wolf Quintet, with Tim Green, Christian Sands, Kriss Funn, and Billy Williams.