Despite COVID-19, area museums will honor the life and legacy of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. this weekend and Monday, the national holiday that commemorates him.
The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston invites all to attend its 20th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Open House on Mondays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with free admission—including access to special exhibits—for all Massachusetts residents .
“Celebrate Dr. King’s legacy by surrounding yourself with art, culture and community,” the press invitation notes.
Highlights include the chance to see ‘Paper Stories, Layered Dreams’, an exhibition of over 40 vibrant works of art by Roxbury artist Ekua Holmes, award-winning children’s book illustrations. All reflect his commitment to the imagery and representation of black people. Take-out art kits inspired by his work will be available in the lower rotunda from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Kits available while supplies last.
DJ WhySham, a Dorchester native and three-time Boston Music Awards DJ of the Year nominee, will be spinning records and entertaining in the Shapiro family backyard from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Visitors also have their last chance to see “Black Histories, Black Futures,” the teen-curated exhibit dedicated to 20th-century artists of color, which wraps up its successful two-year run on MLK Day.
Citizens sponsor the open house as they have for two decades. Beginning Saturday, all visitors 12 and older must show proof of a COVID-19 vaccination to enter the MFA as per the City of Boston’s mandate. See full vaccination policy at www.mfa.org.
At the Discovery Museum in Acton, Small Acts, Big Impacts: A Day of Service takes place Saturday from 1-3 p.m., and Sunday and Monday from 10 a.m.-noon. Participants in this National Day of Service activity can help assemble no-sew beds and create simple toys for local shelter animals.
The museum is also helping to collect “Birthday-in-a-Box” supplies to support two local charities – Birthday Wishes and The Confetti Foundation – whose missions are to create birthday moments for children who are homeless or hospitalized on their birthday. It takes birthday paper goods, banners and candles, boxed cake mixes and canned frosting, and disposable cake pans. Donations will be accepted until the end of the month and can be dropped off in the lobby collection bin anytime this month. To visit https://www.discoveryacton.org/event/small-acts-big-impacts-day-service-3 for more details.
The Peabody-Essex Museum in Salem is commemorating MLK Jr. Day with a free online collage session at 4 p.m. Artists Luis Martin and Aaron Marin will guide attendees and spark conversation about social and civic issues, injustice and race while tapping into their lives. experiences as Latino and black men. Viewers will have free access to a digital collage download with images and visuals selected by the artists. To register, visit https://my.pem.org/16159/16263.
The Concord Museum, usually closed on Mondays, will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Martin Luther King Jr. Day and walk-ins are welcome. To visit www.concordmuseum.org.
The Boston Children’s Museum is also open on MLK Day, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with timed admission tickets available at https://bostonchildrensmuseum.org/ticketing. Visit website for COVID-19 guidelines and masking requirements.
LAST CHANCE: If you haven’t seen the provocative “What the Nazis Stole from Richard Neumann (and the Search to Recover It)” at the Worcester Art Museum, you still have time – but barely. It closes on Sunday. During this weekend, there are a few art cart activities, a docent-led highlights tour, and other exhibits on view. To visit https://www.worcesterart.org/events/ for composing.
FREE SOIL EVENT: Free Soil Arts Collective’s Vital Voices Series offers a free, livestreamed YouTube talk with visual artist Gwendolyn Lanier to attendees’ homes at 6 p.m. on January 26. of reality. Enterprise Bank is the presenting sponsor. To see, visit https://youtu.be/le5mksVZJak.
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