Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration

Keeping the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. alive!

A Milwaukee Tradition for more than 3 decades!

The only cities that have celebrated Dr. King’s Birthday annually since 1984 are Atlanta, Georgia and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration programming highlights the youth in our community who every year interpret Dr. King’s words through an art, speech and writing contest.


How to Participate in the Program

The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration is organized by a steering committee of long-time community members, school representatives, corporate leaders, and Marcus Center staff.

This community event is free and open to the public. There are no tickets or reservations required to attend this event.

Seating in Uihlein Hall is on a first come, first serve basis.

More Information and Funding Opportunities

For more information about the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration, or for funding opportunities, please contact Anthony D. Smith – Director of Community Engagement and Inclusion at 414.273.7121 or email A Smith.

MLK Teacher of the Year Award

The Marcus Center for the Performing Arts is proud to recognize teachers who have continuously championed and encouraged their students to participate in the Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration Contests throughout the years.

MULTI-Cultural organizations celebrating and remembering

In addition, various cultural arts organizations take center stage in Uihlein Hall, truly demonstrating the excellence of our arts community.

Talent on stage in Uihlein Hall

Some of the groups celebrating with us have included United Indians of Milwaukee, Latino Arts Strings, Milwaukee Flyers Tumbling Team, O.N.F.Y.A.H, MPS’ Milwaukee High School of the Arts Jazz Ensemble, Majestic Community Choir and more!

The event concludes with the Paulette Y. Copeland Reception in Bradley Pavilion.

Steering Community

Paul Mathews, Marcus Center for the Performing Arts
Janan Najeeb, Milwaukee Muslim Women’s Coalition

Event Producer:
Martha Love, Martha Love Association

Organizing Committee:
Teon Austin, Cardinal Stritch University
Mark Barnes, MCPA
George Batayias, MCPA
Marquette Baylor, Aurora Health Care
Nuntiata Buck, MPS
Faithe Colas, Salvation Army
Faye Collins, MCPA
Donelle Johnson, Community Volunteer/Writing Contest Founder
Deb Jolitz, MPS
Molly Quirk, MPS
Karen Ryan, We Energies
Anthony Smith, MCPA
Molly Sommerhalder, MCPA
Mallori Taylor, MCPA
Sally Witte, City of Milwaukee
Jacqueline Zeledon, Milwaukee County Transit System
Melissa Zombor, MTEA


Thank you for your service!