Martin Luther King Jr. Day is Jan. 20. Connecticut marks the life of the legendary reverend with concerts, film screenings, dance, fundraisers through the end of the month. Here are some highlights, some of them somber, some of them celebratory.
Before Jan. 20
“Beyond the Speech” at Saint Joseph University: Subtitled, “An Exploration of MLK’s Life and College Years,” this program will be presented Jan. 16 from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. at The Autorino Center for the Arts and Humanities, in the Bruyette Athenaeum at University of Saint Joseph, 1678 Asylum Ave. in West Hartford. The university’s annual salute to King will feature keynote speaker Glenn Spencer, the historian for King’s fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha; Alpha Phi Alpha member Jessie White, who is interim principal of Bloomfield High School; a musical performance by Sacred Harmony of Bloomfield; and a step show performance by the undergraduate Alpha Phi Alpha chapter. Snow date is Jan. 23. facebook.com.
Environmental and Social Justice: Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, 170 Whitney Ave. in New Haven, presents its 24th annual focus on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Legacy of Environmental and Social Justice, on Jan. 19 from noon to 4 p.m. and Jan. 20 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. On Jan. 19 from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., a teen summit will be held at Kroon Hall on 195 Prospect St. On Jan. 20 from 11 a.m. to noon, the Zannette Lewis Environmental and Social Justice Professional Poetry Slam and Community Open Mic will be at Kroon Hall. Free. Go to peabody.yale.edu for updated information.
Panel discussion in South Windsor: King’s legacy and accomplishments will be the topic of a panel discussion with Duncan Harris, CEO of Capital Community College; Dr. Tanya Millner, president and CEO of Manchester Community College; and Alfred Carter, former dean of students of Manchester Community College. It will be Jan. 16 at 6:30 p.m. at South Windsor Library, 1550 Sullivan Ave. Free. facebook.com.
Diversity Celebration of Music in Simsbury: Live fiddle and guitar concert by The Lost Acres string duo (Gordon Swift on violin and Paul Howard on guitar) performing music from a variety of cultures. Jan. 19 at 2 p.m. at The Storyteller’s Cottage, 750 Hopmeadow St. in Simsbury. storytellerscottage.com.
Voter suppression talk in Westport: “Voter Suppression in America,” a talk by Emory University Prof. Carol Anderson, will be the keynote address at the 14th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration, on Jan. 19 at 3 p.m. at Westport Country Playhouse, 25 Powers Court, off Route 1. Admission is free but registration is required at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Warriors Don’t Cry” in Bloomfield: “Warriors Don’t Cry,” a one-woman presentation based on the memoir of the Little Rock Nine written by Dr. Melba Pattillo Beals, stars Jessica Maria Wright. The evening will also feature radio personality Brad Davis, Bishop Dr. Riggins Earl and a performance by gospel artist Gene Moore. Free Jan. 19 at 5 p.m. at The First Cathedral, 1151 Blue Hills Ave. in Bloomfield. facebook.com.
Learning and Literacy Gala: The Martin Luther King Gala for Learning and Literacy 2020 is Jan. 19 from 6 to 11 p.m. at Hartford Marriott Downtown, 200 Columbus Blvd. The event, presented by The Scribe’s Institute, raises money for its Young Scribes Literary Program for Hartford youth. It features a dinner, auctions, dancing, networking. Honorees include Harvard Prof. Elizabeth Hinton, Tiffany Young of the Hartford Yard Goats Foundation, UConn theoretical physicist Dr. Ronald Mallett and David O’Rourke & Jazz Generation. $119. thescribesinstitute.org.
On Jan. 20
Film screenings at Real Art Ways: Real Art Ways, 56 Arbor St. in Hartford, will show three documentaries: “Mighty Times: The Legacy of Rosa Parks” at 11 a.m.; “Selma: The Bridge to the Ballot” at noon; and “Soundtrack for a Revolution” at 1 p.m. Free. realartways.org.
Community Day at Wadsworth: The annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Day, themed “Reflections,” is at Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, 600 Main St. in Hartford, on from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Presented in partnership with The Amistad Center for Art & Culture. Two collaborative art-making experiences led by Ed Johnetta Miller and Carl Joe Williams, live music, performances and tours. Free. thewadsworth.org.
Harriet Beecher Stowe Center: Free admission to a day of activities celebrating King. House tours and letter writing from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Salon at Stowe at non, on the subject of racial injustice. “Cornbread and Caffeine” from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., sharing King’s favorite food. Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, 77 Forest St. in Hartford. stowecenter.org.
Community Day at NBMAA: Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2020 Community Day is at New Britain Museum of American Art, 56 Lexington St., from noon to 4 p.m. African-American Artists tour at 1 p.m., the Main Street Children’s Choir concert at 2 p.m.. Arts and crafts stations throughout the museum. Free. nbmaa.org.
Day of Dance at GHAA: The Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Dance, presented by the Connecticut Dance Alliance, will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts, 15 Vernon St. in Hartford. The event features master classes, seminars and a panel discussion on the African-American dance experience. $35, $25 for CREC students and CDC members. ctdanceall.org.
Stories, pin making at Imagine Nation, One Pleasant St. in Bristol. A day of activities from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.: pin making, storytime, sharing ideas for hope and peace. Free with museum admission of $10. imaginenation.org.
Family day at the Bruce: Martin Luther King Jr. Family Day is at Bruce Museum, One Museum Drive in Greenwich, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Create artwork inspired by King’s values of compassion, love, courage and forgiveness. Live performances at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. of “A So-Long Journey: The Early Years of Phillis Wheatley,” who was the first published African-American woman poet, starring Karima A. Robinson. Donation drive for Filling in the Blanks, which delivers weekend meals to children in low-income households. Free. brucemuseum.org.
African American Freedom Movement, at Yale: Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, 121 Wall St., on the campus of Yale University in New Haven, will present “Dr. King and the African American Freedom Movement” from noon to 4 p.m. Selections of the library’s collection of items relating to King and the African-American freedom movement will be on exhibit. Free. beinecke.library.yale.edu.
Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr at JCC: Mandell JCC, 335 Bloomfield Ave. in West Hartford, will present a brunch from 12:15 to 1:30 p.m. The Rev. Alvan Johnson of Hartford Seminary will speak on “Dream Work: Honoring the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.” Admission is $35. At the same time, the JCC will have an “MLK Jr.” event to assemble care packages for people in need. Open to anyone with a donation of new adult socks and a loaf of bread. Mandelljcc.org.
MLK Jr. townwide celebration in Simsbury: The annual ceremony focuses on King’s summers in Simsbury in 1944 and 1947 — when he worked at Culbro Tobacco Farm — will be at 2 p.m. The day will include readings from King’s speeches and live choral music. Free. First Church of Christ — Simsbury, 689 Hopmeadow St. fccsimsbury.org.
Scholarship breakfast: The 35th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr Scholarship Breakfast, presented by the Hartford Alumnae Chapter of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, features a keynote address by Daran Mitchell of Trinity A.M.E. Zion Church. 9 a.m. at Connecticut Convention Center, 100 Columbus Blvd. in Hartford. Admission is $55. dsthartford.com.
After Jan. 20
“We Shall Overcome: “We Shall Overcome: A Celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr.” is a concert of music from across the African American musical traditions, including gospel, classical, jazz, Broadway and spirituals. Jan. 23 at 7:30 p.m. at Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts, 2132 Hillside Road, on the campus of UConn in Storrs. $25 to $36. jorgensen.uconn.edu.
In Celebration of the Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: Crowell Concert Hall at Wesleyan University in Middletown is the site of a free presentation on Jan. 31 from 12:15 to 1:15 p.m. The speaker is artist Bree Newsome, who made headlines in 2015 when she climbed a flagpole at the South Carolina capitol and removed a Confederate battle flag. wesleyan.edu/mlk.