Jan 11

Be a Civic Hero This Weekend

by: Laura Kochman

The best way to honor someone’s memory is to carry their legacy forward in your own day-to-day actions. Maybe you do this all the time—and that’s awesome! This weekend, as Philadelphia honors the late civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., there are a ton of special events happening around the city, all focused on civic action and activism, social justice, and community-building. Philadelphia hosts the largest MLK Day event in the nation, with tens of thousands of participants.

If you’re looking for a way to work art into your weekend, we’ll be offering a special civic heroes-themed trolley tour on Saturday, January 13 (tickets available here). You can also find our historic West Philadelphia Dr. King mural involved in the festivities on January 15, for the sixth annual Peace March. The Mantua Civic association—along with City Representative Sheila Hess, Congressman Dwight Evans, Senator Vincent Hughes, Representative Vanessa Lowery Brown, Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell, and at-large members of City Council—will hold a public speaking program in front of the mural at 40th and Lancaster, kicking off at noon.

At Girard College, home base for MLK Day of Service, check out our coloring activity in the Kids’ Carnival (in the Armory, 9:30–11:30 a.m.), and help paint a small mural on the general floor. Our Restorative Justice Guild will be at work at Sayre High School on Monday, painting hallways and doors with the First Judicial District, the Office of State Representative Joanna McClinton, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, and Sayre Health Center. Not sure how to spend your time? Here are a few events that we’re excited about:

African American Museum in Philadelphia 

The AAMP celebrates this weekend with MLK-inspired poetry and music, art activities, workshops, a film screening, keynote address from UPenn’s Dr. Howard Stevenson, and $2 general admission all weekend long. 2018 MLK Weekend Celebration (Jan 12 through Jan 15)

Philadelphia Parks & Recreation 

All over the city, you can support your neighborhood by participating in a park cleanup! This year, PPR has an easy-to-use interactive map. Martin Luther King Day of Service Volunteer Projects at PPR Sites (Jan 15)

Philadelphia Museum of Art (with MANNA and NewCORE) 

Join MANNA at the PMA for artmaking in the Great Stair Hall (10 a.m.–3 p.m.) to send art out with the meals they distribute—or get into a youth-focused conversation on social movements with NewCORE in the South Terrace Conference Rooms (11:30 a.m.–3 p.m.). Museum admission is Pay What You Wish. Family Festivals: Artmaking for Manna and Conversation  of Kings (Jan 15)

Historic Germantown 

Three Historic Germantown sites are participating in the MLK Day of Service! Help Awbury Arboretum lay new trails, and do an outdoor cleanup at Historic Fair Hill with hot chocolate in hand. Drop off school supplies at 6353 Germantown Avenue, for a donation drive in partnership with Johnson House. MLK Day of Service with Awbury Arboretum, Historic Fair Hill Burial Ground, and Johnson House (Jan 15)

The Philadelphia Orchestra 

Listen to a 90-minute program, including a recitation of excerpts from Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, with music from 10 different composers. The concert is free, though tickets are required, and will be broadcast live on WRTI 90.1 FM. Annual Free Martin Luther King Jr. Tribute Concert and Live Broadcast (Jan 15)

Last updated: Jan 11, 2018

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