Pittsburgh honors Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy in entertaining ways
Long before President Ronald Reagan signed the 1983 bill marking a federal holiday to remember Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., honoring the legacy of the slain civil-rights leader has been important to the black community and beyond, says Alecia Shipman from the August Wilson Center for African American Culture.
“In addition to his contributions that he provided to just the African-American community, it's important to understand his commitment to equality and accessibility and equity,” says Shipman, director of artistic initiatives for the Downtown center. “For us, Martin Luther King Jr. Day is really important, because it's important to remember his legacy. ... It's really great that he is being celebrated.
“Outside of how we generally appreciate his contributions to civil rights and equality, we just even more so appreciate his legacy of discipline and commitment that he gave to the African-American community, and just the discipline that he showcased for the injustices that he saw ... and wrongs that needed to be righted,” Shipman says.
While many people honor Martin Luther King Jr. Day by doing volunteer work, some area organizations, including the August Wilson Center, are providing entertainment, either on the holiday, which is Monday, or within a few days.
Here are a few opportunities to seek out:
• The August Wilson Center will open its doors with free admission Monday for “Martin Luther King Community Day.” The event includes family activities such as arts and crafts, movies, and performances by the August Wilson Dance Ensemble. The Downtown center will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Details: 412-258-2700 or www.augustwilsoncenter.org
• Two MLK events will happen Monday in East Liberty. Activities will start with “East Liberty Celebrates Martin Luther King Jr.” at the Kelly-Strayhorn Theater at 2 p.m., with two hours of lobby activities, such as family-friendly crafts. Visitors also can learn about many organizations making a difference in the community. From 2 to 4 p.m., several community groups — including Dreams of Hope and Alumni Theater Company — will give free performances at the theater.
Janera Solomon, executive director of the theater, says that the Kelly-Strayhorn's MLK event honors King's admonishment to use the creative community to make the world better.
After the theater performances, visitors will march to the Union Project's annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration, at Eastminster Presbyterian Church at 250 N. Highland Ave. The free event includes a meal, and a discussion about how people in the community are living out King's dream. The Union Project event is from 4 to 7 p.m., with dinner served at 4:30 p.m. Details: www.kelly-strayhorn.org
• Vanessa German — a multidisciplinary artist who is an actress, photographer, sculptor and more — will be performing Saturday the “Let Freedom Sing” show with the Pittsburgh Gospel Choir. The show — beginning at 7 p.m. at Sixth Mt. Zion Baptist Church in East Liberty — features inspirational American gospel music to honor King. “Let Freedom Sing” will repeat at 7 p.m. Monday at Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville. Admission is free, but donations will be accepted to benefit the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank and the Westmoreland County Food Bank. Details: 412-512-0589
• “MLK Jr. Day in the Park!” will be celebrated from 1 to 4 p.m. Monday at Schenley Park Ice Rink. The free event celebrates diversity and the power of individuals to make a difference. Activities include ice-skating, snowshoeing, educational projects and art activities. Children must bring signed parental release forms, available through Venture Outdoors. Details: 412-255-0564 or e-mail email@example.com
• Kids and parents can enjoy a family-friendly “Celebrate Dr. King's Birthday” event Monday at the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh on the North Side. From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., children and adults can learn about King's more memorable words. The Saturday Light Brigade will host a radio show and invite visitors of all ages to stand at the microphone and read portions of King's speeches during a five-hour marathon. At 2 p.m. in the museum's theater, actor Greg Kenney will tell stories about King's legacy with excerpts from his original show, “I Had a Dream: A Conversation with a Friend.” Activities are included with general admission of $13; $12 for ages 2 to 18 and senior citizens. Details: 412-322-5058 or www.pittsburghkids.org
Kellie B. Gormly is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-320-7824.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Rossi: Looking at the next great Steeler
- Steelers swap draft pick for Eagles cornerback
- McCullers’, McLendon’s prowess in clogging trenches crucial to Steelers defense
- Reds solve Cole, stave off Pirates’ 9th-inning rally
- After early criticism, Haley has Steelers offense poised to be even better
- Steelers notebook: Injuries finally become issue at training camp
- Pirates notebook: New acquisition Happ more than happy to fill spot in rotation
- Penguins not alone in top-heavy approach to salary cap
- Starting 9: Examining Pirates’ deadline decisions
- Shell shovels millions into proposed Beaver County plant site
- Roman Catholic Church in midst of culture clash over gays