By Tennessee Tribune News Service
The National Civil Rights Museum has pivoted to present King Day: An All-Day Hybrid Celebration on January 17, 2022, with free admission to the museum from 8 am to 6 pm. The museum is at limited capacity to uphold health and safety protocols. Guests must reserve museum passes online at kingday.org.
Due to the surge in COVID cases, the museum is foregoing its courtyard entertainment, resource stations, and children’s activities where people would gather in close proximity. Guests are required to wear masks. Sanitation stations will be posted throughout the experience.
The virtual celebration will feature musical performances by Memphis musicians Garry Goin, TykeT, Karen Brown, and many more. Museum educator and historian Ryan Jones is “DJ Thriller” and will spin the turntables in a special salute to Dr. King’s life and legacy. Spoken word artist Carin Malone, a.k.a Writeous Soul, will deliver a tribute to the civil rights leader. The virtual event is free and can be watched starting at 8:00am Central. Viewers should register for the live stream link.
For young virtual viewers, museum educator Dory Lerner will present ideas for children and families to remember Dr. King, his character, and the virtues he taught around love, peace, and justice. To access the virtual program link, participants can register on the museum’s website.
“We never miss an opportunity to celebrate Dr. King and all he has meant to us, COVID or not. This year’s celebration reaches visitors coming to the museum and those joining virtually around the world in paying tribute to the man known as the greatest humanitarian who ever lived,” said Faith Morris, Chief Marketing & External Affairs Officer. “In keeping with Dr. King’s service to mankind, we dedicate this King Day to Double V – Vaccines and Voting. We encourage everyone to do their part in protecting themselves and those around them. Get Vaccinated! And, let your voice be heard. Vote! Happy birthday, Dr. King!” she said.
Visitors can tour the museum from 8 am–6 pm. To secure admission, making online reservations is highly recommended for King Day, January 17.
There will be music, announcements, and recorded speeches by Dr. King from the Main Stage outdoors.
The emphasis is on “Double V,” vaccines and voting, to address vaccine hesitancy and voter apathy, two issues that are particularly adverse for communities of color in the U.S. and globally.
Through the Communities for Immunity project, the museum is sharing online resources and a survey to gauge response to the urgency of COVID and getting vaccinated.
For its food drive benefitting the Mid-South Food Bank, the museum is requesting that guests bring canned good donations to help feed the growing number of hungry families in the Mid-South.
The museum continues its annual blood drive with Vitalant to help with the critical shortage. Anyone donating blood receives a free admission pass for up to four people any day in 2022.
The NATIONAL CIVIL RIGHTS MUSEUM, located at the historic Lorraine Motel where civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated, gives a comprehensive overview of the American Civil Rights Movement from slavery to the present. Since the Museum opened in 1991, millions of visitors from around the world have come, including more than 90,000 student visits annually. The Museum is steadfast in its mission to chronicle the American civil rights movement and tell the story of the ongoing struggle for human rights. It educates and serves as a catalyst to inspire action to create positive social change.
A Smithsonian Affiliate and an internationally acclaimed cultural institution, the Museum is recognized as a 2019 National Medal Award recipient by the Institute of Museums and Library Services (IMLS), the top national honor for museums and libraries. It is a TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Top 5% U.S. Museum, USA Today’s Top 10 Best American Iconic Attractions; Top 10 Best Historical Spots in the U.S. by TLC’s Family Travel; Must See by the Age of 15 by Budget Travel and Kids; Top 10, American Treasures by USA Today; and Best Memphis Attraction by The Commercial Appeal and the Memphis Business Journal.