Martin Luther King Jr. Day events


Here is a list of Berkshire County events observing the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

Friday, Jan. 15

• The Revs. Josh Breindel, rabbi of Temple Anshe Amunim and Sheila Sholes-Ross, pastor of First Baptist Church of Pittsfield will hold an innovative joint service in commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, beginning at 7 p.m. at the temple, located at 26 Broad St. in Pittsfield. All are welcome, and a light dessert reception will follow. The service will reflect the joint themes of social action and awareness, and will include inspirational readings as well as music by the Temple Anshe Amunim and First Baptist Church choirs. Info: 413-442-5910 or

Sunday, Jan. 17

• Hevreh's Yachad family program will be hosting a Day of Service to honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. and community service as a Jewish value. From 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., families are welcome to participate in projects, such as preparing food for soup kitchens, gathering and sorting food for the People's Pantry, and other service projects around town. Hevreh is located at 270 State Road in Great Barrington. Info: or 413-528-6378.

• The Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge will present "The Pullman Porter: Norman Rockwell's Boy in Dining Car," a talk and brunch starting at 11 a.m. Stephanie Haboush Plunkett, the museum's deputy director and chief curator, will take an in-depth look at Norman Rockwell's 1946 "Saturday Evening Post" cover, "Boy in Dining Car." For more than a century, African-American Pullman porters were a part of American train travel. Ms. Plunkett will explore the history of the Pullman porter, and look behind the scenes at Rockwell's process behind one of his most iconic works. The talk is being presented as part of the museum's "Food for Thought: Curatorial Perspectives" series, and will include a continental brunch. Admission is $20, $15 for museum members, and includes museum gallery admission. Info: or 413-298-4100.

• The documentary film "Joachim Prinz: I Shall Not Be Silent," (57 minutes) will be screened at 11 a.m. at The Triplex in Great Barrington. This film is a documentary about a leading rabbi in 1930s Berlin who emigrated to America. Prinz became one of Martin Luther King Jr.'s closest confidantes, and was the speaker just prior to King at the 1963 March on Washington at the Lincoln Memorial. Prinz's address has been widely acclaimed throughout the history of the civil rights movement, and the rabbi is remembered for his assertion that in the face of discrimination, "the most urgent, the most disgraceful, the most shameful and the most tragic problem is silence." Only 100 tickets are available to this screening, which is $10 general admission. Tickets: 413-528-6378.

• The Cantilena Chamber Choir will present at 3 p.m., a Martin Luther King Jr. weekend open sing featuring psalms and spirituals at Trinity Church, 88 Walker St., Lenox. Special guests include the Zion AME Church Choir from Pittsfield and community activist Shirley Edgerton. King will be remembered in poems and speeches, but the focus of the program will be a spiritual sing along with the choirs; words and music will be provided. The choirs will also perform works by Nathaniel Dett and Rollo Dilworth. Admission is free of charge but with a suggested donation of $15 per ticket. Info: or 518-791-0185.

Monday, Jan. 18

• The Northern Berkshire Community Coalition's Martin Luther King Jr. Day Committee welcomes everyone to join them in a Day of Service and celebratory luncheon. The event begins at 9 a.m. at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts Church Street Center in North Adams. Enjoy fellowship, coffee and pastries before embarking on a community project at various locations including the Louison House, Northern Berkshire YMCA, individual homes for weatherization, food collection sites, or one of various projects offered onsite at the MCLA Church Street Center. Additional volunteer opportunities are listed at

The free luncheon begins at 12:30 p.m., featuring local entertainment and spoken word addresses. A presentation of the annual Peacemaker Award will be made during this time to PopCares Inc., a local nonprofit charity that offers support and acts of kindness to those who are battling cancer in Northern Berkshire and bordering Southern Vermont towns. Info: Kathy Keeser at or 413-664-4006; Liz Boland at 413-663-7588; Thomas Alexander at; Spencer Moser at 413-662-5440 or; or Christopher Hantman at 413-662-5384 or

• Berkshire Community College's Service Learning Department seeks volunteers for its third annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, which will be held from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Volunteers should meet at the First United Methodist Church of Pittsfield, 55 Fenn St. Breakfast and lunch are included for volunteers, and will be served there. Participants may choose to work at one of three community service sites: The First United Methodist Church, where volunteers will cook and serve a free community lunch; Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity, where volunteers will assist in an indoor demolition and cleanup project, and the Gladys Allen Brigham Community Center, where volunteers will assist staff in activities with kids. To learn more or sign-up, contact program coordinator Brianne Morrison at 413-236-2177 or

• The Southern Berkshire Clergy Association and Interfaith Committee of Southern Berkshire will celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day from noon to 1 p.m., at the First Congregational Church, 251 Main St., Great Barrington. This event is free and open to all.

• The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown will present a free public screening of Ava DuVernay's acclaimed film "Selma" (rated PG-13; 128 minutes) at 2 p.m. in the Michael Conforti Pavilion.

The film tells the true story of the tumultuous three-month period in 1965, when King led a dangerous campaign to secure equal voting rights in the face of violent opposition. The epic march from Selma to Montgomery culminated in President Lyndon B. Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The Clark's galleries will also be open on Monday with regular admission charges for entry. Info: or 413-458-2303.


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