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LIST: Northeast Ohio organizations hosting celebrations honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Posted at 3:24 PM, Jan 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-18 07:19:05-05

CLEVELAND — From the Karamu House to the Cleveland Museum of Art, organizations across Cleveland are finding creative ways, despite COVID-19 restrictions, to celebrate the legacy of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Sunday and Monday.

Sunday events

Tri-C honoring students

On Sunday, Jan. 17 at 2:30 p.m., Tri-C will have a virtual celebration to honor scholarship winners who embody the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. There will be musical performances by the Tri-C Orchestra, the Contemporary Youth Orchestra, and the Tri-C Vocal Arts Choir with special guests. More here.

The Akron Public Library
Award-winning producer and University of Akron grad Matthew Cherry will discuss how his creative works reflect Dr. King’s vision and dream.

Cherry produced “Hair Love,” which won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film in 2020. His film was adapted into a picture book that immediately became a New York Times Bestseller.


Participants should register to receive a Zoom link to hear Cherry. Click here.

Monday events

The Karamu House

Beginning Monday through Jan. 25, Karamu House will premiere “Infinite Hope,” a celebration honoring Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This 50-minute presentation of spoken word, song, and dance is free, but registration is required. More here.

The Cleveland Museum of Art

While it’s not planning any in-person events through the coming months or on the reopening day, there will be a special virtual event, “Martin Luther King Day: Becoming a Beloved Community,” scheduled for 6 p.m.

Poets will use Michelangelo Lovelace’s "My Home Town" painting as a departure point to explore King’s community. More here.

The Great Lakes Science Center

What normally attracts thousands of residents from Northeast Ohio to the Great Lakes Science Center, will be virtual this year. The science center is migrating its Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrations to an online format due to the global pandemic. The free virtual programming will be available via its YouTube Channel and Facebook Page from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Jan. 18.

Special events include talks with the first Black person in space and longtime Northeast Ohio resident Dr. Guion S. Bluford, Jr., who was deployed on space shuttle challenger on Aug. 30, 1983, as well as diversity in STEM careers. More here.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will reopen Sunday. Free admission will also be available on Jan. 18 in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Free admission will also be available on Jan. 18 in honor of Dr. King. More here.

The Cleveland Orchestra

Beginning on Jan. 14, an encore broadcast of the Orchestra’s 38th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration concert will be free on the Adella streaming app and website.

“This year’s celebration highlights the work of Black composers George Walker, Florence Price, Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson, and Cleveland native Leslie Adams in new and recent video recordings performed by members of The Cleveland Orchestra,” said Mark Williams, Chief Artistic Officer. “The celebration includes an opportunity to watch the 2018 Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Concert for free on Adella. This concert featured Music Director Franz Welser-Möst leading The Cleveland Orchestra, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Chorus, soloist Ryan Speedo Green, and narrator James Pickens, Jr. in a reverent and uplifting performance paying homage to Dr. King’s message of unity and equality.”

More here.

The Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage

Maltz Museum will reopen with a celebration honoring the life of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. There will be free admission, virtual family activities, and a special online program featuring Dr. David Pilgrim of the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia. More here.

The Greater Cleveland Aquarium

The Greater Cleveland Aquarium is hosting a live interactive Aquarium tour on Jan. 18 at 4 p.m. For just $5, you will get up-close views of animals in the Tropical Forest Gallery while learning about the conservation of endangered habitats. Registration is $5 and all fees will be donated to the United Black Fund. More here.

Summit Metro Parks

Grab your coat and head outside for a walk-on Alder Trail beginning Monday, Jan. 18-24. More here.

If you have an event celebrating the life and legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and would like it added to this list, email me at