Celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in Los Angeles

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Photo courtesy of The King Center, Facebook

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is an American federal holiday marking the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. The holiday is observed on the third Monday in January of each year, which is around King's birthday, January 15. Dr. King was a key figure and spokesman in the Civil Rights Movement. He received the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize for combating racial inequality through nonviolence. The campaign for a federal holiday in King's honor began soon after his assassination in 1968. President Ronald Reagan signed the holiday into law in 1983, and it was first observed three years later. It was officially observed in all 50 states for the first time in 2000.

Read on for a guide to Los Angeles events that celebrate the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. The following MLK Day events take place on Monday, Jan. 15, 2018 unless otherwise noted.

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Photo courtesy of CAAM

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration - CAAM

Located in the eastern end of Exposition Park, the California African American Museum (CAAM) exists to research, collect, preserve and interpret the history, art and culture of African Americans. Opened during the 1984 Summer Olympic Games, the museum houses a permanent collection of 4,000 objects of art, historical artifacts and memorabilia.

On Monday, Jan. 15 CAAM presents the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration, taking place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Highlights of the family-friendly event include kids art-making activities, a Women of the Civil Rights Movement panel, a marathon reading of Dr. King's speeches, and a reading from the critically acclaimed play, The Mountaintop. Free admission.

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U.S. Senator Kamala Harris of California

33rd Annual Kingdom Day Parade



Presented by the Congress Of Racial Equality of California (CORE-CA), the Kingdom Day Parade is regarded as America’s largest celebration of the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. With the theme “When They Go Low, We Go High,” the 33rd edition of the parade is taking place on Monday, Jan. 15 beginning at 10am and will be televised live on ABC 7 starting at 11am. U.S. Senator Kamala Harris of California is the 2018 Grand Marshal. The parade route starts at Western Avenue and runs west along Martin Luther King Boulevard, turns south on Crenshaw Boulevard, then east on Vernon Avenue before it ends at Leimert Plaza Park. The post-parade festival at the park features music, dancing, food and more.

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"California Sol" on MLK Day | Photo courtesy of Ace Hotel Downtown L.A.

California Sol - Upstairs at Ace Hotel



Presented by Motown On Mondays L.A., California Sol is a rooftop soirée taking place at Upstairs at Ace Hotel from 2-10pm. California Sol features special guests The Baka Boyz (DJs Eric V & Nick V) and Inka One, all-vinyl poolside vibes by Phyz Ed, and MOM LA resident DJs Expo, Phatrick, Monalisa, Sloe Poke and C-Minus spinning originals, remixes, re-edits, and cover versions of Motown, Soul, Funk, Disco, Afro, Latin sounds, and more. All ages until 8pm, 21 and over after 8pm. Free admission all day and night! RSVP: www.calisol.eventbrite.com

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Kids Club Arts & Crafts | Photo courtesy of FIGat7th

Kids Club Arts & Crafts - FIGat7th (Jan. 13, 2018)



Kids Club Arts & Crafts takes place from 2-4pm on the second and fourth Saturday of every month on the lower level of FIGat7th. On Saturday, Jan. 13, find inspiration in the words and deeds of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King to create colorful poster art. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Art workshops are suitable for all children ages 3 and older. Free and open to the public.

Target Free Holiday Monday - LACMA



On Jan. 15, visitors of all ages are invited to Target Free Holiday Monday at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), with bilingual tours, art workshops, and live music by Diana Purim & Eyedentity at 12:30 and 2:45 pm.

Note: Children must be accompanied by an adult. Target Free Holiday Monday excludes admission to specially ticketed exhibitions. To ensure a safe and pleasant visitor experience, tickets to the Boone Children's Gallery on Target Free Holiday Monday will be timed and distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Pick up your free, timed ticket in the Boone Children's Gallery on the day of the event. Timed tickets allow for a 30-minute visit.

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Lula Washington Dance Theatre | Photo courtesy of The Wallis

Lula Washington Dance Theatre - The Wallis (Jan. 11-13, 2018)



Since opening its doors in October 2013, The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts has produced or presented more than 150 dance, theatre, opera, classical music and family programs. L.A.-based company, Lula Washington Dance Theatre celebrates the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. with three different programs of dance over the MLK holiday weekend: African American Male Voices (Thursday, Jan. 11); Dance, Jazz & Social Meaning (Friday, Jan. 12); and Movement For The Soul Of It (Saturday, Jan. 13). All programs are performed with Marcus L. Miller and his Freedom Jazz Movement band. For more upcoming L.A. theatre events, visit our guide to The Best of 2018: Theatre & Musicals.

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MLK Day of Service | Photo courtesy of Mujeres de la Tierra

MLK Day of Service - Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area (Jan. 14, 2018)



Held the third Monday of every January, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service is the only federal holiday observed as a national day of service – a "day on, not a day off." On Sunday, Jan. 14 join Mujeres de la Tierra, the County of Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation, and Baldwin Hills Conservancy for the annual MLK Day of Service at Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area. Taking place 8am-1pm, the event includes restoration and beautification projects for all ages, tree planting, refreshments, L.A. River Rover and more. Lunch and t-shirts provided for all volunteers! Light drizzle or shine; rain will cancel.

Martin Luther King Celebration - Kidspace Children's Museum (Jan. 13-15, 2018)



Located at Brookside Park in Pasadena, the Kidspace Children's Museum provides 2.2 acres of outdoor learning environments that are designed to encourage children to discover the excitement of learning while engaging in creative play.

Kidspace will celebrate the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. from Saturday to Monday, Jan. 13-15. The three-day Martin Luther King Celebration includes creative activities, collaborative art, and story sharing that will help everyone discover ways we can serve and include others to make our communities stronger. Make a kindness stone to share a message of love and respect with each other!