Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was one of the most prominent civil rights leaders in history. His actions have had a long-lasting effect on society today. MLK Saratoga helps to promote Dr. King’s vision of peace and justice for all by promoting inclusivity, diversity, and social justice throughout the community. MLK Saratoga has held annual celebrations for the nation’s most remarkable civil rights leaders for years. 

This year will be the 8th Annual Dr. King Celebration Weekend that MLK Saratoga will be holding. Many different events will take place throughout the weekend, honoring and celebrating Dr. King. 

The annual celebration includes events such as interactive performances, presentations, and panel discussions, as well as kids' events, and volunteer opportunities. The weekend kicks off on Friday, January 13th with Dj Hollys8d’s energetic show of regional performers.


  • 5:30 pm: The 8th Annual Dr. King Challenge: More Music Less Violence hosted and curated by Capital Region’s DJ Hollyw8d, featuring several performing artists. Reception food & cash bar, fun art projects, photo booth, dancing!
  • Location: Holiday Inn, 323 Broadway, Saratoga Springs | Donations appreciated 


  • 10:30 am: How the Negro Got His Song join storyteller Jae Gayle for this interactive performance and workshop based on an African American folktale.
  • Location: Saratoga Springs Public Library
  • 12:30 pm: Restorative Justice in Schools: Promoting and Protecting Dignity and Justice for Everyone presentation and panel discussion with educators and students from South Glens Falls District about their school-based restorative practices.
  • Location: Saratoga Springs Public Library
  • 3:00 pm: Erasing Spaces & Faces: The Legacy of Urban Renewal in Saratoga Springs Join CREATE Community Art Studios for the unveiling of their multi-media exhibition, and a presentation and panel discussion with historians, artists, and community members.
  • Location: Saratoga Springs Public Library
  • 6:00 pm: Greatest Love of All: The Roots & Revolution of Black Women in Pop: Yaddo artist, award-winning journalist, and author of Shine Bright: A Very Personal History of Black Women in Pop, Danyel Smith, will be in conversation with Skidmore’s Dr. Emmanuel Balogun & Dr. Tammy Owens, with a special performance by artist/poet D. Colin.
  • Location: The Pines @ Saratoga Performing Arts Center | Reservations required. 


  • 3:00 pm: Little Folks MLK Celebration with Nikara Warren Trio: this afternoon program is intended for families, introducing children to jazz as part of the story of America.
  • Location: Caffe Lena, 47 Phila St
  • 6:30 pm: Nikara Warren Trio: this performance will begin with an interview with Nikara Warren before her ensemble brings her infectious compositional sense, a post-modern patchwork of influences and cultural signposts, and her fearless musicality to the stage. 
  • Location: Caffe Lena, 47 Phila St | Reservations suggested


  • 9:30 am – 12:00 pm National Day of Service: in-person volunteer projects and actions in collaboration with a variety of community organizations. Projects for all ages.
  • LocationCheck the website for project details and locations: celebration-weekendhttps://www.mlksaratoga.org/
  • 2:00 pm Songs are the Soul of a Movement: We will close the Dr. King Celebration Weekend by honoring Dr. King with music and community, with a little history and activism sprinkled in. Host Soulist Garland Nelson with a performance by Don Hyman, followed by Jermaine Wells and the Ill Funk Ensemble who will perform historical civil rights and contemporary protest songs, providing some history and energizing inspiration. Community speakers and our city's first poet laureate, Joseph Bruchac. There will be refreshments and fellowship, too.
  • Location: Saratoga Springs United Methodist Church, 175 Fifth Ave


The Dr. King Celebration weekend is a historical tribute to MLK that can’t be missed. Register for events online before spots are gone! For more information, visit www.mlksaratoga.org.


~"Songs are the soul of a movement” - Martin Luther King Jr.~