Dream Day! Inspiring Ways to Spend Your MLK Day

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Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is Monday, January 17. No school for this important holiday means your kids have a chance to honor and explore Dr. King’s inspiring legacy through family activities. Read on for the best MLK happenings in Chicago!

photo: Museum of Science & Industry

Museum of Science and Industry's Black Creativity Juried Art Exhibition

Established in 1970, the Museum of Science and Industry’s Juried Art Exhibition is the nation’s longest-running exhibition of African-American Art, presenting more than 100 works of art from emerging and established African American artists. The exhibition is just one part of the Museum’s Black Creativity program which showcases achievements in scientific, artistic and technical fields by African-Americans.

Jan. 17-Apr. 17; Museum of Science & Industry, 5700 S. Lake Shore Dr., Hyde Park; Online: msichicago.org

Chicago Sinfonietta's Martin Luther King, Jr. Tribute Concert

Leading the nation in programming works by women and diverse, under-represented composers, Chicago Sinfonietta, the nation’s most diverse orchestra, presents its annual MLK Tribute Concert, celebrating the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. through family, equity and the encouragement to execute positive change. 

Jan. 16, 3 p.m.; Wentz Concert Hall, 171 E. Chicago Ave. Naperville; Online: chicagosinfonietta.org

Jan. 17, 7:30 p.m.; Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan Ave., Loop; Online: chicagosinfonietta.org 

photo: Rowland Scherman

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day at the Chicago History Museum

Commemorate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at the Chicago History Museum's day-long family event. Join the museum as they reflect on his life and work, particularly in Chicago with the Chicago Freedom Movement, through special family-friendly activities and performances. 

Jan. 17; 10:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.; Chicago History Museum, 1601 N. Clark St., Lincoln Park; Online: chicagohistory.org

Cradles to Crayons Donation Drive

Cradles to Crayons invites Chicagoland families to honor Martin Luther King Jr. Day by donating new or gently-used children's items at one of their 37 drop-off locations. The nonprofit organization provides essentials such as clothing, coats, books and toys to ensure all children, regardless of their socio-economic status, have what they need to feel safe, warm and valued. Click this link for a list of accepted items. 

Jan. 17; 10 a.m.-1 p.m.; Various drop-off locations; Online: cradlestocrayons.org

photo: Maria Chambers

Chicago History Museum's Remembering Dr. King

Remembering Dr. King is a collection of 25 photographs depicting key moments in Dr. King's work during the Civil Rights Movement. The exhibit places a special emphasis on his time in Chicago shedding light on the existence of discrimination and segregation. the abysmal state of housing and the realities of poverty in the north.

Ongoing through Jul. 4; Chicago History Museum, 1601 N. Clark St., Lincoln Park; Online: chicagohistory.org

DuSable Museum of African American History

Home to hundreds of artifacts from the Civil Rights Movement, Chicago’s DuSable Museum of African American History's virtual exhibit The March invites all to become one of the 250,000+ people who witnessed Martin Luther King Jr.'s I Have a Dream speech. This immersive production re-creates one of the most iconic moments in American History, the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. 

DuSable Museum, 740 E. 56th Pl., Washington Park; Online: dusablemuseum.org

— Amy Bizzarri & Maria Chambers


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