Columbia SC will celebrate the life of Civil Rights Leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. through art, music, service and activism. Here are some ways to commemorate the legacy of Dr. King.

King Day at the Dome

The annual event, usually held at the South Carolina State House, will move to a virtual format again this year. The event will begin at 10 a.m. on Jan. 17, and feature Leon Russell, chairman of the NAACP’s National Board of Directors, as keynote speaker. Visit the South Carolina NAACP’s website or Facebook page for more information.

UofSC MLK Celebration

The University of South Carolina is celebrating the MLK holiday with a breakfast honoring the Civil Rights leader on Jan. 14. The keynote speaker for the MLK Commemorative Breakfast is Hope Rivers, Ph.D., president of Piedmont Technical College. Two faculty members and a student will also be recognized for their social justice efforts on campus an in the community. Tickets are $10 for faculty, staff and the public. Students and the Carolina community will also have its annual MLK Day of Service on Jan. 15.

More Than Rhythm, a Black Music Series with Dr. Tony McNeill

The Columbia Museum of Art will launch the More Than Rhythm series on Jan. 15 from 6 – 7:30 p.m. with The Heritage Celebration Choral featuring choral music educators, enthusiasts and vocal artists from the Carolinas and Georgia. Led by Dr. Tony McNeill, the program offers sacred choral works by Black composers that span several genres. The audience becomes the choir during various sing-along opportunities throughout the concert. Tickets are $20, $10 for members and free for students.

FAAAC MLK celebration

In celebration of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and to bid farewell to the artistry of the 30 Americans exhibition on closing day, join the Friends of African American Art & Culture (FAAAC) for a storytelling event on Jan. 17. The exhibition brings together the work of 30 artists who explore the multifaceted intersections of the Black experience from varying perspectives. Five storytellers stationed throughout the galleries tell stories inspired by the surrounding artists — Southern tales, city tales, and sure 'nuf tales that will make you laugh, cry, and appreciate the beauty within Black art. Enjoy free refreshments provided by the CMA and FAAAC in the Reception Gallery followed by storytellers in the exhibition galleries. The reception will be held from 11 a.m. – noon, galley stories from noon – 1 p.m. The event is free.

Additionally, public tours of 30 Americans will be held at CMA from 11 a.m. – noon, 2-3 p.m. and 4-5 p.m. Learn more about works from the likes of Kehinde Wiley, Mickalene Thomas, Nick Cave, and more with a guided tour.


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Let’s Talk Race Community Conversation

The Columbia Museum of Art joins Richland Library in their ongoing series Let’s Talk Race to facilitate discussions that tackle a variety of topics through the lens of race, equity, and inclusion. On Jan. 17, Let’s Talk Race features discussion around works from the exhibition 30 Americans — a dynamic showcase of contemporary Black art offering an intersectional series of varying perspectives that has helped fuel the drive to fill historical gaps in American museum collections — on its closing day. This event will be held in the exhibition galleries and is free. Registration is required as space is limited.

Visit Stone of Hope in MLK Jr. Park

The Martin Luther King Jr. Park is the perfect addition to your outdoor adventures this week. Located in the historic Lower Waverly area near Five Points, the park features the Stone of Hope, a concrete and stone fountain located at the entrance featuring plaques with quotes from Dr. King. The memorial includes natural elements – water, stone and trees – to underscore the themes of justice, democracy and hope.


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