New York City Events To Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2023

To celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., here are some events around New York City: 


NYC Parks Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service 

Date: Jan. 14 to Jan. 16, 10 a.m. start 

Where: Parks across the city 

Join NYC Parks and volunteers to help clean up and care for parks across the five boroughs and honor Martin Luther King Jr. through service. 

2023 Annual MLK Serve-A-Thon 

Date: Jan. 12 to Jan. 16

Join Hunger Free America for their annual 2023 MLK-Serve-a-thon. There is a wide variety of opportunities to serve, both in person and virtually, through volunteer events, panels, and workshops to honor Martin Luther King Jr. through acts of service and community engagement. 



The 37th Annual Brooklyn Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Location: BAM Howard Gilman Opera House 30 Lafayette Ave, Brooklyn, NY

Date: Jan 16 at 10:30 a.m.

Presented by BAM and Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso, the 37th annual Brooklyn Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. invites artists, activists, civic leaders, and community members to celebrate Dr. King’s life and mission. Nationally recognized civil rights lawyer and law professor Sherrilyn Ifill gives the keynote address. Grammy-nominated performer Allison Russell and Vy Higginsen’s award-winning choir Sing Harlem performs. Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso serves as the master of ceremony. The program will be shared as a video simulcast at 10:30 a.m. at The largest such gathering in New York City, the annual program encourages us to continue in his radical spirit: relentlessly pressing forward in pursuit of justice—even against the odds—and celebrating the strength and power of community to create change. Free, open to the public, and accessible via livestream. Tickets will be distributed on a first-come, first-seated basis starting at 8 a.m.

Visual Art: “Freedom!” 

Location: The BAM signage screen (corner of Flatbush Ave & Lafayette Ave.), Brooklyn, NY

Date: Jan 12—20, 2023, looped continuously

“Freedom!” is a group exhibition inspired by the work of playwright and activist Lorraine Hansberry and the Freedom newspaper. On view for a limited time, the digital billboard-based project is a provocative exploration of the meaning of Freedom as an idea and aspiration toward self-actualization. Seven visual artists— Allison Janae Hamilton, Chinaedu Nwadiba, Dawoud Bey, Leslie Hewitt, Robert Pruitt, and Stacey Robinson + Kamau Grantham— engage compelling questions on notions of freedom. Timed to coincide with the annual celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, the project also pays homage to the legacy of the civil rights activist and encourages viewers to reflect on the questions: What is freedom to you? How can we think about freedom from a broader perspective? 

BAMkids Celebrates MLK Day: Courage Takes Creativity 

Location: Fishman Space, Hillman Studio (BAM Fisher) 321 Ashland Pl., Brooklyn, NY 

Date: Jan. 16 from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

For kids six to 11 years old. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. encouraged the world to use time creatively, saying that “the time is always ripe to do what is right.” Knowing that courage takes creativity, this family-friendly program, co-curated with the BAMkids Parent Advisory Circle, immerses young people in art forms that have been important expressions of social justice movements. Art has helped raise awareness, build community, and challenge power structures. Throughout the day, families can drum, dance, craft, color and even put themselves in moments of civil rights history from Dr. King’s lifetime. Visit for more information. 



Wave Hill House Family Art Project: Freedom Quilters of Gee’s Bend

Create your own fabric collage out of bountiful squares of fabric scraps to honor Dr. King’s Birthday and the inspiring women quilters of Gee’s Bend.

Date: Jan. 14, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Location: Wave Hill, 4900 Independence Ave, The Bronx, NY 10471



The World Famous Harlem Gospel Choir: Martin Luther King Jr. Day Matinee 

Date:  Jan. 16, 1:30 p.m.  

Location: Sony Hall, 235 W 46th St, New York, NY 10036 

The world-famous Harlem Gospel Choir puts on a matinee concert celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. and his legacy. 

Apollo Theater’s Uptown Hall: MLK – Blueprint For The Culture  

Date: Sunday, Jan. 15, 3 p.m.  

Location: Apollo Theater, 253 W 125th St, New York, NY 10027 

The 17th annual Apollo Uptown Hall MLK celebration focuses on Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement of the 60’s as the template for modern social and civil justice movements. 

Martin Luther King Jr. Day at Jackie Robinson Museum 

Date: Jan. 16, 12 p.m. – 3 p.m. 

Location: One Hudson Square Building, 75 Varick St, New York, NY 10013 

Honor the legacy of Dr. King and the fight for civil rights at the Jackie Robinson Museum, where you can learn about Jackie Robinson and Dr. King’s close friendship and their collaboration during landmark campaigns of the Civil Rights Movement. 



Queens Botanical Garden MLK Day Celebration 

Date: Jan. 16, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.  

Location: Queens Botanical Garden, 43-50 Main Street Flushing, NY 11355 

Come for crafts, storytime and a guided winter walk centered on and promoting love, hope and unity. Recommended for ages 5 and up. 



Staten Island Children’s Museum: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Music Programs with Walter Rutledge

Location: Staten Island Children’s Museum, 1000 Richmond Terrace, Building M, Staten Island, NY 10301

Date: Jan. 16 at 11:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., 2:30 p.m., and 3:30 p.m.

A special program titled “It Is Only in Darkness That You Can See The Stars” will be hosted during the 11:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. sessions. It will feature live vocal and and keyboard accompaniment by Staten Island native Jeannine Otis. The two afternoon sessions, at 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m., will offer a special MLK Dance Party combining children’s music favorites and music from the Civil Rights movement.