Thursday, January 13, 2011

Downtown honors Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Monday, Jan. 17 is a day dedicated to the achievements and the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Many Downtown venues will hold special events. For a complete calendar of events, call Indianapolis Downtown, Inc. at 237.2222 or search online at

Madame Walker Theatre Center and Indiana Avenue

To celebrate and honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on the 25th anniversary of the federal holiday, the Madame Walker Theatre Center will host a free breakfast at the Urban League at 10 a.m. before the annual Freedom Walk on the Avenue. The Freedom Walk will begin at the Indianapolis Urban League on Jan. 17 at 10:45 a.m. and will follow the walkway of Indiana Avenue to the Madame Walker Theatre Center. Preceding the Freedom walk, The Madame Walker Theatre Center will commemorate American icon Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with a film produced by the College of Aspiring Artists at 11a.m. and then begin a commemorative celebration at noon. The program entitled Feel the Movement will feature local and national artists, dance ensembles, prayer and guest speakers. This program will also be filmed as part of a national documentary for the Presidents Library in Washington, D.C. This annual celebration is FREE to the public. For more information, call 236.2099 or visit at

FREE admission at White River State Park attractions

Visitors who bring a canned good for Gleaners Food Bank will receive one FREE admission per person per attraction in White River State Park on Monday, Jan. 17 in recognition of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Bring donated items to the Indiana State Museum, Indianapolis Zoo, IMAX Theater, Eiteljorg Museum, NCAA Hall of Champions and Victory Field. There is one FREE admission for each can of food contributed. The Park is also offering FREE parking on MLK, Jr. Day. Visitors may park in the underground garage located off Washington Street in front of the Indiana State Museum, in the parking lots at the Indianapolis Zoo and Victory Field and in the lot across from Victory Field next to the Visitor’s Center.

Visitors can immerse themselves in the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians & Western Art from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit the West in the RB Annis Western Family Experience. See how four families live in the West and walk into a Navajo Hogan or climb aboard a true-to-life stagecoach. More information is available by calling 636.9378 or visiting

Visit the IMAX Theater and experience in IMAX® 3D a great adventure from the dinosaur age with Sea Rex: Journey to a Prehistoric World. Immerse yourself in a lost age and get ready for a face-to-face encounter with the T-Rex of the seas! Five FREE show times for Sea Rex are 9 a.m., 10:15 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 12:45 p.m. and 2 p.m. The IMAX will officially launch this movie in February. Call 233.4629 or log on to for more information.

Join the Indiana State Museum’s celebration honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with documentary films and performances throughout the day, along with FREE admission to the museum galleries from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ODD Indiana in the new Lincoln Financial Foundation Gallery will be open, along with the core galleries on the first and second floors. Visit for more information or call 232.1637.

The Indianapolis Zoo will be open from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Visitors can walk the grounds and see lots of animals and enjoy the exhibits with smaller crowds. Favorite activities will include the 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. dolphin shows, shark petting in the nation’s largest shark touch pool and heating things up with the meerkats in the Deserts Dome, where it’s a comfy 82°. Log on to or call 630.2001 for more information.

The NCAA Hall of Champions will have several student-athletes from IUPUI to lead fitness clinics at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Throughout the day, there will also be small arts and crafts and opportunities to win official NCAA merchandise. Come learn about what will take place on April 4 when the NCAA commemorates Senator Robert Kennedy’s historic Indianapolis speech that took place on the evening of Dr. Martin Luther King’s tragic death. Open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Log on to for more information.

New this year will be FREE health screenings indoors at Victory Field, courtesy of Wishard Health Services. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., health care professionals from Wishard will offer blood pressure, glucose and cholesterol screenings. Body Mass Index (BMI) screenings will also be offered, along with healthy advice regarding portion sizes and what folks should eat relative to their weight, etc.

The Indiana Historical Society will offer FREE admission on Monday, Jan. 17, as it honors and celebrates the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Enjoy FREE admission to the Indiana Experience, behind-the-scene tours of the History Center, programs featuring You Are There historic interpreters and crafts, as well as family-friendly fare in the Stardust Terrace Café, operated by Hoaglin To Go. The History Center will also host the Martin Luther King Community Center's Living the Legacy Awards in the Frank and Katrina Basile Theater. Performances of music, poetry and dance will take place throughout the day. The History Center is normally closed on Mondays but will be open on Jan. 17 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Celebrate the life, dream and legacy of the late Dr. King at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis Jan. 17 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. The museum will offer all guests special entertainment throughout the day with FREE admission! For more information, log on to or call 317.334.3322 for more information.

The Indianapolis Museum of Art celebrates the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. from noon – 5 p.m. Spend the day exploring the galleries with the docents, playing art-related games and make some of your own art. FREE. Visit or call 923.1331 for more information.

IUPUI's Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service is an annual campus tradition. Hundreds of IUPUI students, faculty, staff and guests volunteer at community sites across Indianapolis from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. as a way to honor Dr. King's commitment to service and social justice. Visit for more info.

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