MLK Community Events



Hartford Public Library presents New York actor David Mills performing “Dare to Dream: The Words of Martin Luther King Jr.” Wednesday, Jan. 18, at 2 p.m. at the Downtown Library on the main floor near the new books. At 4 p.m., Mills performs at the Albany Branch, 1250 Albany Ave. As MLK, he will deliver excerpts from “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” “Early Days,” “Be the Best,” “Promised Land,” “If I Had Sneezed” and the “I Have a Dream” speech from the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963.

The Hill-Stead Museum in Farmington hosts a Martin Luther King Day vacation workshop on Monday, Jan. 16, from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. for ages 7 to 11. $40 members; $50 non-members. Register at and at 860-677-4787, x140.

“Writers Resist,” an event bringing together writers reading their work, which discusses civil liberties, freedom of speech and their hopes and fears for the future in a new political landscape, will be presented at Real Art Ways, 56 Arbor St. in Hartford, from 6:30 to 9 p.m., and at the Public Library of New London, 63 Huntington St., from 2 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 15. Admission is free to both events.

The Connecticut Convention Center, Hartford hosts the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.’s 32nd annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship Breakfast featuring keynote speaker Dr. Freeman A. Hrabowski, III, on Monday, Jan. 16, at 9 a.m. Hrabowski is president of UMBC (University of Maryland, Baltimore County) since 1992. Doors open at 8:30 a.m. Donation is $55.

Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, Hartford hosts a free open house, Monday, Jan. 16, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., featuring tours, hands-on writing and crafts activities for all ages, bell ringing for nonviolence and peace and a discussion of the film “13th,” director Ava Duvernay’s in-depth look at the prison system in the United States.

Yale Peabody Museum in New Haven hosts its annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Legacy of Environmental and Social Justice weekend on Sunday and Monday, Jan. 15 and 16.

Admission is free and includes performances, interactive museum displays and storytelling. Sunday hours are noon to 4 p.m.; Monday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 203-432-3776 and

The State of Connecticut Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Commission will partake in the 31st annual Bell Ringing of the Liberty Bell as a symbol of freedom and justice to honor the live of Dr. King on Monday, Jan. 16, in the Hall of Flags of the State Capitol Building, Hartford. The event begins at 10 a.m. with a continental breakfast and the ceremony begins at 11. The Commission will also present service awards to its 2017 honorees, including Patricia Johnson Wrice, former director of Operation Fuel. Free.

Congregation Beth Israel, West Hartford presents the Rev. Dr. Alvan N. Johnson, Jr. speaks about King on Friday, Jan. 13, at 7:30 p.m. Johnson served for 30 years at Bethel A.M.E. Church in Bloomfield, and then as presiding elder in the Brooklyn-Westchester District of the A.M.E. Church. He is currently pastor of Grant A.M.E. Church in Boston.

The Buttonwood Tree, Middletown presents Warren Byrd’s Byrdspeak Sessions, with special guest Mixashawn, on Jan. 21, at 8 p.m. The program, Refresh MLK, will evoke the spirit of King with music and spoken word, $10.

The Stepping Stones Museum for Children, Norwalk opens Monday, Jan. 16, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visitors can make paper doves and watch King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech from 11 a.m. to noon. $15 adults and children and $10 for seniors. Children under 1 are free. 203-899-0606 and

Windsor Town Hall in Council Chambers: Archer Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church hosts its annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration for the community on Monday, Jan. 16, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. with music, performances and words of reflection. The keynote speaker is Uyi Osunde, principal of Windsor High School and former NFL player. Free. Refreshments after the program. 860-688-5225.

Greater New Haven Peace Council sponsors a community reading of King’s speeches Friday, Jan. 13, at noon at the Amistad statue in front of New Haven City Hall. To read a part of the speech, call 203-389-9547 or e-mail

Westport Country Playhouse’s free Martin Luther King Day Celebration, featuring keynote speaker Professor Tricia Rose of Brown University, will be on Sunday, Jan. 15, at 3 p.m. and will include choral music by the Men’s Community Gospel Chorus of Norwalk, led by Greg Detroy. Students from Trumbull’s Regional Center for the Arts will present a spoken-word piece, “A World That Listens,” based on King’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.” Refreshments will be served. 203-227-4177.

Bruce Museum, Greenwich, hosts family activities on Monday, Jan. 16, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., that are included with admission. Activities include an African and African American storytelling performance by Eshu Bumpus at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Bumpus captivates his audience by telling tales leavened with music, humor and mystery. His stories encourage laughter, creativity and participation. Limited seating.

Events courtesy of

Events for Kids

Fairfield County

Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Family Day Celebration—Greenwich
From 10-4, the Bruce Museum will be hosting family activities in honor of Dr. King in the Education Workshop. African American storytelling by Eshu Bumpus will be offered at 11am and again at 1pm, free with museum admission.

1 Museum Drive, Greenwich  203-869-0376

Seeds of Diversity—Wilton
Kids will explore Dr. King’s dream during a workshop lead by Museum Educator Lola Chen allowing children to plant seeds of various shapes, sizes and colors, which will later sprout side by side. Kids will get to take home their seeds and watch them sprout seedlings. Includes a snack that children will make themselves “Birds of Pizza.”

224 Danbury Road, Wilton 203-762-7257

Peace Doves—Norwalk
Kids will have an opportunity to create their own paper doves using their own painted hand prints and watch Dr. King’s “I have a dream” speech. Included with museum admission.

303 West Avenue, Norwalk  203-899-0606

Family Focus Day: MLK—Fairfield 
Join the Fairfield Museum for a scavenger hunt in the “Creating Community” gallery to discover people who have made a difference in the community. Bring a photo of your own to create a handmade portrait in the Education Classroom.

370 Beach Road, Fairfield 203-259-1598

Peace, Love and Understanding for MLK Day—Westport
From creating dream clouds for the future, making love beads and peace sign wreaths, WHS has planned a  fun-filled day of MLK celebrations. The historical society’s drop-off program is for children age 6-11 to learn about the civil rights leader.

25 Avery Place, Westport  203-222-1424

Cards for Kids—Norwalk

To honor Martin Luther King Day, the Norwalk Historical Society is hosting a family-friendly Service Day Project on Sunday January 15th from 1-4pm. The free event will allow children to create cards for children suffering from life-threatening illnesses.

141 East Avenue, Norwalk 203-846-0525

Hartford County

Community Day at NBMAA—New Britain
Guests can enjoy free admission to the New Britain Museum of American Art which will be offering a variety of ways to celebrate MLK day including a jazz-inspired art collection, a story reading and a hands-on activity in the ArtLab where visitors can create their own interpretation of Dr. King’s question, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question: what are you doing for others?”

56 Lexington Street, New Britain 860-229-0257

Celebrating the Life of Martin Luther King Jr.—West Hartford
West Hartford’s 21st annual celebration paying tribute to Dr. King’s ideals and vision is free and open all. This year’s event, at the West Hartford Town Hall features keynote speaker Victoria Christgau, a lifelong peace and nonviolence advocate, and Pastor James A. Lane, Jr. of the Connecticut Center for Nonviolence. The Hall High School Jazz Combo, Sedwick Sounds and Conard’s Voices of the World Choir will offer musical performances. Free.

50 S Main Street, Hartford 860-561-7500

Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Day: Spread the Word—Hartford
The museum sponsors an annual day-long celebration with hands-on activities, art-making, and a 2pm performance called “Freedom: In 3 Acts,” by Bated Breath Theatre Company in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Free.

600 Main Street, Hartford 860-278-2670

Martin Luther King Day Open House—Hartford
Free tours of the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center will be offered from 9:30am- 5pm with plenty of hands-on activities and programs in the Visitor Center. Join the bell ringing for peace at noon. Visitors are encouraged to bring new bath towels and feminine products to be collected by the Muslim Coalition of Connecticut and distributed to local homeless shelters. Free.

77 Forest Street, Hartford 860-522-9258

New Haven County

21st Annual Celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Legacy of Environmental and Social Justice—New Haven
On Sunday and Monday, the Yale Peabody Museum will open its doors once again in honor of Dr. King and his efforts to ensure environmental and social justice among all people. Of particular interest to young children is the storytelling which takes place at the New Haven Museum on Monday from noon to 4:00pm. Free.

170 Whitney Avenue, New Haven 203-432-5050

Martin Luther King, Jr. Conference—New Haven
Celebrate Dr. King’s legacy at this community-wide event featuring over 700 participants offering student performances, storytelling, arts and crafts and educational workshops. The MLK conference at Wexler-Grant Community School will be held from 8:30am-3pm. Free raffles and prizes and a continental breakfast and hot lunch will be served. The event is FREE but registration required.

55 Foote Street, New Haven 

MLK Day at Common Ground—New Haven

Children ages 5-12 will choose from a variety of farm and nature-based activities at Common Ground High School. The MLK program will be offered from 9am-2pm with an optional extended day from -4pm.

358 Springside Ave, New Haven 203-389-4333

Family Pottery Wheel lesson—New Haven

Try your hand on the pottery wheel at The Clay Date’s family one-time pottery wheel lesson. This 1.5 hour lesson offered for kids ages six and up at 10am. The Clay Date will be open from 10am-4pm for drop-in ceramics.

146 Amity Road, New Haven 203-387-2521