MLK birthday celebration planned

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. will be celebrated in Eureka Springs on Sunday, Jan. 20, with a Sound Art parade at 1 p.m., followed by a program at The Auditorium that includes a showing of King's "I Have A Dream" speech and live music.

The procession starts at Basin Park and will feature local musicians following Ranaga Farbiarz's 'Give Peace a Chance' sound sculpture. The program at The Auditorium, which is free, will include a slide show by John Rankine, a presentation by performance artist Adrian Frost and music by '13 Moons and Tomorrow,' Martin Johnson, Quinn Withy, Ivan Thompson, Isaac Sivyer and others. Videos of King's "I Have a Dream" speech and one of Marion Anderson singing "My Country 'Tis of Thee" will be shown. An all-ages party will be held afterwards at the Paradise Club on Main Street, with dance music by D.J. Hammerheart. A prize for best photograph of the day's event will be awarded by the Kabob Kafe.

The MLK observance is sponsored by Flora Roja Community Acupuncture, and is the first of its kind, according to organizer Quinn Withy. The idea grew out of the local Occupy movement, Withy said, whose participants were concerned that the lack of an MLK Day observance in Eureka Springs and decided to do something about it. The federal holiday is on the third Monday of January, which this year is Jan. 21, inauguration day.

Martin Luther King Jr. was born on Jan. 15, 1929, in Atlanta. He made his famous "I Have a Dream" speech in August of 1963 during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. In 1964, he received the Nobel Prize for his nonviolent work for racial equality. His birthday has been observed as a federal holiday since 1986, and was established as a national day of service in his honor in 1994. King, who was killed by an assassin's bullet at the age of 39, would have been 84 years old.

For more information about the Eureka Springs MLK event, go to "The Flora Roja Sound Art Parade and Recital for Dr. King" on facebook. Contact information for participating in the parade and program is also on the facebook page.

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