Martin Luther King Jr. events

Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrates the birthday of this influential American civil rights leader. The federal holiday falls on the third Monday of January, around the time of his Jan. 15 birthday. Events around the region celebrate Dr. King’s life and achievements in the struggle against racial segregation and racism and promoting equal rights for all Americans.

Here are some local events honoring Dr. King’s legacy.

Albany

The annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Observance will take place in Albany on Monday, Jan. 20, at 10 a.m. at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center. The 2020 theme is “The Beloved Community: The Fierce Urgency of Now”

A volunteer fair involving more than 30 nonprofit, community-based organizations will begin at 9 a.m. The program will begin at 10 a.m.

The keynote speaker will be Jesse J. Holland, journalist, educator and the author of the novel “Black Panther: Who Is the Black Panther?”

A special performance will feature Grammy-nominated vocalist Anita Wilson.

The event is free and open to everyone.

For more information, visit www.empirestateplaza.ny.gov/nyking.

Empire State Plaza Convention Center is located in Albany, New York.

Glens Falls

The Glens Falls Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Committee will sponsor the annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. community birthday celebration on Sunday, Jan. 19, beginning at 3:15 p.m. at Glens Falls City Hall. Snow date is Monday, Jan. 20.

This year’s theme is “Expressing the Dream through the Arts.”

NAACP officials and local dignitaries will deliver remarks at Glens Falls City Hall at 3:15 p.m. to open the commemorative march and celebration.

Marchers will then proceed to Christ Church United Methodist at 54 Bay St. for an ecumenical service at 4 p.m. to celebrate the legacy of Dr. King. The sanctuary will be open for meditation at 3:30 p.m. for those who are unable to march.

Participants at the service will include student choruses from area high schools, students from local religious organizations, Robert Regan, former mayor of Glens Falls, soprano Gisella Montanez Case and others.

The service will be followed by fellowship and refreshments in the church hall.

For more information, call Rev. Leonard Oates at 518-480-3923 or 845-926-8050, NAACP Glens Falls branch president Mary Gooden at 518-986-1163 or NAACP Glens Falls branch vice president Lee Braggs at 518-932-9819.

Glens Falls City Hall is located at 42 Ridge St., Glens Falls, New York.

Hudson Falls

The Strand in Hudson Falls will host a Martin Luther King celebration hosted by Milayne Jackson on Friday, Jan. 17, from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Tickets are $10.

For more information, call 518-832-3484 or visit www.mystrandtheatre.org.

Strand Theatre is located at 210 Main St., Hudson Falls, New York.

Saratoga

Saratoga Springs celebrates Dr. King with a full weekend of activities from Friday, Jan. 17 through Monday, Jan. 20. This year’s theme is “Climate Change: The Civil and Human Rights Issue of Our Time.”

On Friday, the Holiday Inn at 232 Broadway will host a reception beginning at 6:30 p.m. followed by an evening of provocative artistic performances highlighting the ongoing need for Dr. King’s vision and activism. At 8:30 p.m., the Azzaam Hameed R&B Ensemble featuring Annette Harris will perform. Reservations are requested.

Saturday events will include a Sunrise Movement workshop and meeting from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Frederick Allen Lodge on Beekman Street; a program entitled “Conversations in Freedom” from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. at Caffee Lena on Phila Street featuring story and song about America’s black working class in the early twentieth century performed by Black Stars and Black Diamonds with Penny Meacham, Donald “The Soul Man” Hyman, Sister Amelia and dancer Estreja Turner; an original documentary theater performance based on black history, current events and the personal experiences of the cast called “Whitewashed: A Racism Project” from 3 to 4:30 p.m. also at Caffe Lena; and a talk with author Uwem Akpan entitled “Writing Across Boundaries: Violence, Race, Religion and Beyond” at Spring Street Gallery on Spring Street from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

On Sunday, the Presbyterian New England Congregational Church on Circular Street will host several events: “A Joyful Noise” from 1 to 2:30 p.m., will be a soul-cleansing, spirit-raising program with the gospel choir Lena’s Inspirational Voices directed by Garland Nelson; from 4 to 5:30 p.m., performance artist and farmer Amani Olugbala of Soul Fire Farm will present “Farming While Black: Ending Racism and Seeding Sovereignty” and from 6 to 7:30 p.m. join a community dinner.

Monday is a Day of Service with community service projects available from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Saratoga Springs Community Library on Fifth Avenue, followed by a Dr. King CommUNITY Commemoration Program, from 2 to 4 p.m. at Saratoga Springs United Methodist Church on Fifth Avenue, with guest speakers. The event will be followed by “If It Melts, It’s Ruined!” and ice cream social sponsored by Ben & Jerry’s of Saratoga Springs.

For more information and reservations, visit www.mlksaratoga.org/celebration.

VERMONT

Manchester

Southern Vermont Arts Center will host a family open studio honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Monday, Jan. 20, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Kids ages 10 and up and their adults are invited to join artist Carol Adinolfi in a fun and meaningful open house collaborative art project honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Participants will create 3-D art objects combining original writing and a variety of media. All skill levels are welcome. The morning will provide opportunities for self-expression around the topic of social justice and will culminate in an exhibition.

This event is free; donations toward materials costs are welcome.

Registration is required, either online at www.svac.org or at 802-362-1405 the day of the event.

Southern Vermont Arts Center is located at 930 SVAC Drive, West Road, Manchester Center, Vermont.

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