13th Annual Martin Luther King Community Festival Reminds Indianapolis Civil Rights Work is Never Finished

What better way to celebrate the life of one of America’s greatest humanitarian leaders than an absolutely free festival where participants can take part in a huge number of cross cultural activities? That’s the idea behind the 13th annual Martin Luther King Community Festival taking place at the Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis on Saturday, January 15, 2011. The people at the Peace Learning Center have put together a comprehensive program of events for the 13th annual Martin Luther King Community Festival that should have a little something for everyone, including some unexpected surprises. Encompassing dance, Indianapolis art, music, and poetry, this Indianapolis festival at Christian Theological Seminary is an excellent way to remember the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

An important part of the 13th annual Martin Luther King Community Festival is the music. There will be African drumming by Indianapolis music favorite Joshua Strodtman, one of the minds behind the United States of Mind community center on 40th and Boulevard which won one of NUVO Newsweekly‘s Cultural Vision Awards in 2004. Strodtman will be supplemented by an ongoing performance by Branches Breath, an Indianapolis band that plays melodic Native American flute music. Their new album, A Walk Through the Woods, will probably be on sale at the Martin Luther King Community Festival. Be sure to stick around for the sublime chants of the festival’s Tibetan monks. Capoeira (“fight dancing” from Brazil) will also be rounding out the music at the Martin Luther King Community Festival with plenty of flips, hand stands, sweep kicks, and pounding rhythms.

Music is just one experience you can have at the 13th annual Martin Luther King Community Festival. Families (even Indianapolis children) are invited to take part in a free and open Family Yoga session sponsored by Peace Through Yoga. Carol Tharp Perrin, an artist and one of the yoga instructors for the festival, will also be showcasing community art. Another Indianapolis artist, Denis Ryan Kelly Jr., will be displaying his photographs from his “world touring multimedia exhibition,” “Holy Lands, Journeys of a Pilgrim Artist.” Budding wordsmiths might enjoy listening to the Spoken Word workshop that will be presented by Indianapolis poet Blair Karsch, a native Hoosier who graduated from Indiana University and now reaches out to Indy youth through his poetry and open mic sessions.

But the 13th annual Martin Luther King Community Festival isn’t all about experiencing other cultures and having fun. Though we’ve come a long way in the forty three years since Martin Luther King’s death, there’s still a lot to do before our country (and the world) is a place of peace and freedom for all. The Peace Learning Center recognizes the need for change, so the 13th annual Martin Luther King Community Festival will feature plenty of opportunities for you to get involved in the Circle City community. A community panel of immigration, featuring the Latino Youth Collective, will be taking place during the Indianapolis event, and 25 “community tables” will be set up, each with a bevy of community service and volunteer projects that you can get involved with. Change starts at home, and there’s no better way to improve your community than volunteering.

The 13th annual Martin Luther King Community Festival takes place on Saturday, January 15, 2011 starting at 11:00 a.m. and ending at 3:00 p.m. The event is completely free for all Indianapolis people, and guests are encouraged to stay all day and take in all the events at the festival. Christian Theological Seminary, the location for the event, is located on the southwest corner of Butler University on West 42nd Street in downtown Indianapolis. If you’re still skeptical about attending this festival, this might put you on the right side of the fence: in addition to the dancing, music, community activism, art, and poetry, a free lunch is involved. Come to Christian Theological Seminary on January 15, 2011 to honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., the civil rights movement, and cultures around the world.

13th Annual Martin Luther King Community Festival
Saturday, January 15, 2011 from 11:00 to 3:00
Tickets: FREE
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Christian Theological Seminary
1000 W 42nd St
Indianapolis, IN 46254

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