Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday, and his ideals, are being commemorated this weekend with a variety of events in and around Santa Monica. The theme of Santa Monica’s events is “Democracy Is Not a Spectator Sport; We Must Act Now!”
These are some of the events that have happened or are happening:
Saturday, Jan. 15, the actual birthday of Dr. King, featured a “Kidz Party” at the Virginia Avenue Park Kidz Zone, with face painting, storytelling, a diversity art project, theatre and improv games, and live music by Michael Cladis. Also, at the Talking Stick in Venice, the NAACP Santa Monica-Venice Branch, the Santa Monica Human Relations Council, and the Pico Youth and Family.
Center held a “Peace-In” for teens with music, poetry/spoken word, and discussions about peace solutions. And in Culver City, a Martin Luther King Day celebration took place at the Culver City Senior Center, with performances, guest speakers, food, storytelling, a panel discussion, a film screening of the documentary “Freedom Riders,” and host Keith David.
Today, Jan. 16, at 3:30 pm., the Santa Monica Symphony will present a commemorative concert for MLK Day, with violinist Danielle Belén performing Revueltas’ “Redes,” Vieuxtemps’ “Violin Concerto No.5” and Mendelssohn’s “Symphony No. 5² (the Reformation symphony). The free concert will be at the SGI Auditorium, 525 Wilshire Boulevard, Santa Monica.
This event is sponsored by The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Westside Coalition in cooperation with the Westside Interfaith Coalition and the Santa Monica Symphony Orchestra.
Tomorrow, Jan. 17, the largest of the MLK Jr. Day events will be held at the SGI Auditorium. A free, multiethnic, interfaith program will be held at 9 a.m., with guest speaker Val Zavala, well-known for her appearances on KCET’s “Life and Times,” and “SoCal Connected,” and winner of 14 L.A. Area Emmys, eight Golden Mikes and numerous L.A. Press Club awards.
Following this will be a Community Involvement Fair from 10:30 a.m. to noon, at 606 Wilshire Boulevard. The events are co-sponsored by Santa Monica College, Santa Monica College Associates, the City of Santa Monica, RAND Corp., and SGI-USA.
The Martin Luther King Jr. weekend is also marked by the annual MLK Day of Service, sponsored by United We Serve