Several free events are happening around the city of Boston this Monday to honor Martin Luther King Jr. Here are ways you can participate in hands-on art projects, do volunteer work for needy families, and watch live musical performances inspired by King’s words.
You can contribute to a collage inspired by the Institute for Contemporary Art’s “Nina Chanel Abney,” a new mural that addresses social tensions in the digital age, during the ICA’s free admission day. Guests can also watch a screening of narrative and abstract films about jazz in the museum’s Barbara Lee Family Foundation Theater. The films will play on loop throughout the day. (11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Institute for Contemporary Art, Boston; all ages)
Give back to the community during a Monday day of service at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Visitors can craft a care package for survivors of domestic violence at the Elizabeth Stone House and join a hands-on planting project while learning about the New Garden Society’s horticultural training for local incarcerated students. Jazz musician Gregory Groover Jr. will perform “A Tribute to Dr. King,” a modern interpretation of King’s speeches using jazz, gospel, and the spoken word, and 8 Legs, a New England Conservatory student quartet, will perform Latin jazz. Guests can also examine a traveling art installation about guns in America created by French artist JR and Time magazine. Excerpts from King’s speeches will play hourly in the museum’s courtyard. The museum asks that participants bring a donation of food, toiletries, or garden supplies. (11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston; all ages)
At this annual free event, enjoy live performances by Dorchester’s Boston City Singers and Project STEP, join a story hour about Martin Luther King Jr., and drop by an art-making station. Mayor Marty Walsh will speak at noon to commemorate King’s life, and guided tours highlighting works by artists of color will take place throughout the day. Student winners of a city-wide essay contest about King will read excerpts of their work. Guests can also contribute to an interactive art installation with the MFA Teen Arts Council that explores the values of unity and liberation. (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; all ages)
Guests of both Franklin Park Zoo and Stone Zoo will get free admission on Monday, and have a zookeeper chat about the animals. At Franklin Park Zoo, you can also write messages of hope and peace on a special mural created in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. in the Tropical Forest Pavilion. (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Franklin Park Zoo, Boston, and Stone Zoo, Stoneham; all ages)
You can roll up your sleeves and take part in several service projects in Cambridge on Monday. Participants in the Martin Luther King Jr. Cambridge Day of Service will be making fleece scarves and blankets for homeless families, creating Valentine’s Day cards for the elderly and veterans, sorting food and toiletries for people in need, and more. The event organizer, Many Helping Hands 365, asks that participants bring donations of food, clothing, and books for people in need. (2 to 5 p.m.; Cambridge City Hall and other locations in Central Square; all ages)