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Monday, January 17, 2011

Things to do in New York City on MLK Day 2011

So, here it is. January 17th. Situated nicely in the middle of a cold winter and wedged between carious snow storms. Just when everyone has finished recuperating from Holidays, along comes Martin Luther King Jr. Day. 

For many throughout New York, MLK Day usually means a nice break and an extra day off to complete the trifecta of a beloved three day weekend. However, if you're interested in doing a little more today to celebrate the life of one of America's best-known activist and civil leaders, The Big Adventure once again has you covered. Below are three events that caught our eye. All are happening today and all free. Some solid options if you want to step back and reflect on the day in some unique, Big Apple ways.

23rd Annual King Commemorative March- 10:00 AM - Strawberry Fields in Central Park (enter at 72nd and Central Park West) http://www.manhattancountryschool.org/news_events.html 

Join some ethics-minded high-quality eighth-graders from the Manhattan Country School as they take time from their day off to lead a tour throughout the park. Along the scenic walk, the group will stop in several places to give speeches on the theme, "We Have Another Dream: Civil Rights in the 21st Century." Bonus: it ends with hot chocolate being served by the school at the completion of the walk.

Screening & Live Event of "King: A Filmed Record... Montgomery To Memphis" - 3:00 PM -  35th Ave & 37th St. Astoria, Queens

What a perfect reason to make the trip to the recent renovated and just re-opened Museum of the Moving Image! The Big Adventure loves this place in part because of their numerous screenings.  This tribute documentary uses archival footage of King's life, from the 1955 Montgomery bus boycott to his assassination in 1968, intercut with dramatic readings and interviews by friends. Good: A timely perspective as it was made in 1970. Not so Good: 185 minutes running time. 

Artists Celebrate Dr. King - 6:30 p.m., Symphony Space, Broadway at 95th St.

Renewing this annual tradition, everyone is invited to this presentation of powerful work by artists whose vision coincides with King's voice for justice, peace and civil rights. Enjoy tunes from acclaimed jazz musician Craig Harris and ensemble performs excerpts from God's Trombones, a musical which is centered around bringing to life the teachings of black preachers, but really, just sounds like a joyous thing to hear. 

Also part of the evening is dancing from Remembrance of Things Past,  sampling the text of King's Drum Major speech with dance and video.And some stellar vocalists along with members of the Green Pastures Baptist Church Choir will mix up the sounds of Carlebach and African American spirituals.

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