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Museum Celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. Day


Family-friendly day and Chicago Voices program commemorate the life of Dr. King

The Chicago History Museum presents “Martin Luther King Jr. Day,” a celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. King featuring music performances, craft activities, storytelling and more.

The annual favorite family-friendly event takes place on Monday, January 16 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Chicago History Museum. Museum admission is complimentary for Illinois residents on this day.

Visitors can enjoy a production of “The MLK Project: The Fight for Civil Rights,” by Writers Theatre and a musical performance by the Chicago Chamber Choir, along with storytelling and crafts for kids that reflect Dr. King’s messages of peace and justice. Award-winning storyteller Oba William King will perform a reenactment of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

A full schedule of the day’s activities and events can be found at

For visitors looking to learn more about Civil Rights, the Chicago Voices program “Gospel: Mahalia Jackson & the Civil Rights Movement,” revisits gospel legend Mahalia Jackson and her contributions to the 1960s American Civil Rights Movement. The program will be held on Dr. King’s Birthday, Sunday, January 15 at 5 p.m. at the Chicago History Museum.

Mahalia Jackson’s choir robe, a letter addressed to Jackson from Dr. King and other rarely seen Civil Rights artifacts from the Museum’s collection will be on display for the evening. Panelists include Robert Marovich, author of “A City Called Heaven: Chicago & the Birth of Gospel Music;” Joy Bivins, director of curatorial affairs at the Chicago History Museum; and Johari Jabir, associate professor of African-American Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Members of the renowned Trinity United Church of Christ gospel choir will perform live.

The program is part of Chicago Voices TALK, a series of three panel discussions and live performances presented by Lyric Unlimited and the Chicago History Museum. Tickets for the general public are $10 (or $25 for all three panels) and can be purchased at Discounted tickets are available to students, Lyric Opera subscribers, and Chicago History Museum members by calling 312- 642-4600.


The Chicago History Museum is situated on ancestral homelands of the Potawatomi people, who cared for the land until forced out by non-Native settlers. Established in 1856, the Museum is now at 1601 N. Clark Street in Lincoln Park, its third location. As a major museum and research center for Chicago and U.S. history, the Chicago History Museum strives to be a destination for learning, inspiration and civic engagement. Through dynamic exhibitions, tours, publications, special events and programming, the Museum connects people to Chicago’s history and to each other. To share Chicago stories, the Museum collects and preserves millions of artifacts, documents, images and other items that are relevant to the city’s history. The Museum gratefully acknowledges the support of the Chicago Park District on behalf of the people of Chicago. 

Chicago History Museum Sharing Chicago Stories