MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The National Civil Rights Museum will remember the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., one of the most prolific humanitarians and leaders of the American Civil Rights Movement, on the national holiday Monday, Jan. 15.
The focus of the celebration is community service and social justice in honor of Dr. King’s impact on the global society. Activities include daylong performances, youth-centered "edutainment," a health pavilion and the National Civil Rights Museum experience. In the spirit of service, the Museum will hold its annual drives for Mid-South Food Bank and Lifeblood, and serve as a center for community resources and engagement.
King Day Highlights
- Visitors can tour the museum 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. for $5 all ages. Tickets are $3 with food donation that benefits Mid-South Food Bank and tickets are free with a blood donation to LifeBlood. 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, 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 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 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, Jan. 15, it will work in partnership with United Way, Clean Memphis, Memphis City Beautiful and several organizations.
Because the safety of museum visitors is a priority, there will be a few road closures for pedestrian traffic around the Museum's campus.
- Huling Avenue at South Main Street
- Huling Avenue at St. Martin Street
- Butler Avenue at South Main
- Mulberry at G.E. Patterson
- LIMITED ACCESS to St. Martin Street from Second Avenue to G.E. Patterson
The Museum's visitor parking lot will be closed Friday, Jan. 12-15, due to setup of children's activities, community resources and health pavilion hosted there on the holiday. On-street parking and public parking lots (some paid) are available off campus.
Museum visitors should leave behind weapons, tools, self-defense items that might trigger an alarm during the metal detection and bag check process. Guests will be asked to return any prohibited items to their vehicles before entering the Museum.
Annual Mid-South Food Bank Drive
- $3 Admission with Canned Good/Non-Perishable Food Donations
Observed as a day of service, the King Holiday at the Museum is a chance for visitors to give back to the community and receive discounted admission by making food donations to benefit Mid-South Food Bank. Visitors bringing canned goods or non-perishable items receive $3 special admission on Jan. 15 only.
Non-perishable items include canned meats (tuna, stews, chili, Spam, soups), canned fruit and veggies, canned juices, and peanut butter. NO glass containers.
The Food Drive is just one way everyone can serve the community and take in important history while honoring Dr. King's legacy, as one of Dr. King's last initiatives was the Poor People's Campaign.
King Day Lifeblood Drive with Blood Donation, Receive Free Admission for up to Four People on King Day Only
Give the gift of life during the King Holiday. Lifeblood mobiles will be onsite 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 15 to receive blood donations. Donors receive free admission valid only on King Day for up to four people with a one-pint donation. Also, donors who give blood the week of Jan. 8-14 at Lifeblood Centers receive an admission voucher for King Day.
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