6 ways to honor Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Pittsburgh

Turn a day off into a day on.

Martin Luther King Monument
ash_crow / Flickr
Rossilynne Culgan

In recognition of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, there are plenty of ways to turn a day off into a day on — a day focused on celebrating the civil rights leader’s legacy.

Make your mark decorating journals to inspire local kids to dream. Or share your vision for a better world in a dream mural. Or meet with fellow Pittsburghers in a spirit of collaboration. Here are six ways to celebrate the day.


Decorate ‘I Have a Dream’ journals for local kids

Get crafty and decorate "I have a dream" journals for children attending after-school programs run by Repair the World's local partner organizations: Assemble, Homewood Children's Village, Higher Achievement and School 2 Career. The event, hosted by Family Service Corps, is free, but attendees are asked to RSVP.

Where: Repair The World: Pittsburgh at 6022 Broad St. (East Liberty)

When: January 15, 2018 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

How much: Free admission


Share your vision in a collaborative dream mural

Watch a screening of Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech and contribute to a collaborative dream mural by sharing your hopes for our collective future at the Carnegie Museums in Oakland. The day will also feature a chance to see the film "The People Are The Light," explore the photography of Teenie Harris, and visit natural history exhibits that highlight civil rights and environmental justice issues.

Where: Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History at 4400 Forbes Ave. (Oakland)

When: January 15, 2018 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

How much: Activities included with museum admission


At ‘King for a Day,’ read iconic speeches aloud

Read aloud the speeches of Dr. King at the "King for a Day" program, during which anybody is invited to take to the microphone and the podium. Then, listen to local teens host a live five-hour webcast exploring civil rights accomplishments, challenges and dreams for the future. Visitors are also invited to create collages from the Pittsburgh civil rights movement and the national civil rights movement.

Where: Children's Museum of Pittsburgh at 10 Childrens Way (North Side)

When: January 15, 2018 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.


Remember MLK at this daylong performance series

On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the Kelly Strayhorn Theater is hosting a day of performances and activities to celebrate the civil rights leader's legacy. Braddock Library, BOOM Concepts, New Voices Pittsburgh, Centre for Creative Reuse and Assemble PGH will bring family-friendly activities. At 2 p.m., host Dustin Gibson will take the stage, introducing performances from Blak Rapp Madusa, Hope Academy, Nick Daniels - The DANA Movement Ensemble 2.0, Alumni Theater Company and Dreams of Hope. Here are five more ways to honor Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Pittsburgh.

Where: Kelly Strayhorn Theater at 5941 Penn Ave. (East Liberty)

When: January 15, 2018 from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

How much: Pay what you wish


Imagine an ‘I have a dream’ cityscape

Collaborate on an “I Have A Dream”-inspired cityscape at the Mattress Factory museum's annual MLK Day Birthday Bash. Guests can also enjoy a piece of birthday cake and make thank you cards.

Where: Mattress Factory museum at 505 Jacksonia St. (North Side)

When: January 15, 2018 from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

How much: Pay what you can


Guests at the 2017 Union Project Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Day Celebration.

Guests at the 2017 Union Project Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Day Celebration.

Photo by Kate Hagerty / Courtesy of the Union Project

Break bread, build collaboration

Through discussion, creative group activities and a communal meal, this event will explore how to come together productively with "unarmed truth and unconditional love" in the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. ASL interpreters will be on site for this evening.

Where: Union Project at 801 N Negley Ave. (Highland Park)

When: January 15, 2018 from 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

How much: Free


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