MLK waving

The 34th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration, coordinated by the MLK Steering Committee, will be held on Sunday, Jan. 14, 2018 at Uihlein Hall at Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, 929 N. Water St., Milwaukee. The program will begin at 1 p.m and highlight youth who interpreted Dr. King’s works through art, speech and writing contests.

The only cities that have celebrated Dr. King’s Birthday annually since 1984 are Atlanta, Georgia and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The theme for this year’s program is “Take a Stand for Truth & Justice.”

Young people who are involved in the performing arts will also be highlighted as they salute Dr. King’s legacy through music, dance, and song. This year’s performers include The Milwaukee Flyers Tumbling Team, MPS’ Milwaukee High School of the Arts Jazz Ensemble, Latino Arts Strings, United Indians of Milwaukee and more.

This year will also feature a new performing art group, O.N.F.Y.A.H (Our Nation For Youth Arts & Healing). The professional dance and drum company was founded by Akinyomi Courtney and Jo'Niece Monk with the mission of providing youth ages 4-19 a positive outlet while experiencing West African culture and African American influences throughout the African diaspora. O.N.F.Y.A.H strives to give children the chance to experience their culture by using drumming and dancing to create confidence, a sense of community, and a safe space to heal.

The event concludes with the Paulette Y. Copeland Reception at 3 p.m. Admission to the event, as well as the reception, is free and open to the community. Complimentary parking in the Marcus Center parking structure will also be available.

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