Twin Cities Mom Collective

4 Ways to Celebrate MLK Day in the Twin Cities


This year, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Day falls on Monday, January 16th.  In 1983, President Ronald Reagan signed the federal holiday into law, and it was first celebrated three years later. It wasn’t until the year 2000 that it was officially observed in all 50 states.

MLK is known as the leader of activism during the Civil Rights Movement.  His actions and words shaped a generation and advanced the rights of people of color through nonviolence and civil disobedience. He remained a prominent leader in the movement until his assassination in 1968.

His legacy and work are important for all Americans to observe.  Below are two concerts commemorating and celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr Day in the Twin Cities. We’ve also provided a few other ideas to observe MLK’s life with your family.

Sounds of Blackness’  “Music for Martin”

The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts | January 13 @ 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM

Sounds of Blackness

Hear stylized arrangements of the music that fueled the Civil Rights movement along with poignant narration and audio-visual elements interwoven into excerpts from the great speeches of the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Jr.

42nd Annual Martin Luther King Jr Tribute Concert

Ted Mann Concert Hall | January 15 @ 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM

This special event features musical performances from U of M students and the greater Twin Cities community. Hosted and curated by U of M School of Music alumnus G. Phillip Shoultz, III of VocalEssence.

This event is free of charge, and registration/tickets are not required. Visit this page for more information. A live stream will be available on this page (click on “Ted Mann Concert Hall Events” in the right call-out box).


Volunteer with your Family

serve with kids

MLK Day is the only federal holiday designated as a National Day of Service to encourage Americans to volunteer in their communities to improve their cities and the lives of others. Over the last 25 years, the MLK Day of Service has grown, and its impact has increased as more individuals and families have embraced the idea that taking an active role in improving their city is a good way to understand the needs of their community and be helpful in producing change.

We have a really helpful list of ideas for serving in the Twin Cities with family or kids.

Read About MLK

One of the best ways to celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr is to read about his life with your kids.  Introducing children to the important work of MLK at an early age will help solidify his importance in their lives and in the world.  We recommend visiting one of the many wonderful independent bookstores in the Twin Cities to peruse their collection of books about MLK.  Here are a few we like.

Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
March On! The Day My Brother Martin Changed the World
I Am Brave: A Little Book About Martin Luther King, Jr.
Little People Big Dreams: Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin’s Dream (Ana & Andrew)


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