In celebration of the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., the city of Peoria is hosting its second annual MLK Day of Service, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Jan. 14, at the Peoria Community Center, 8335 W. Jefferson St.
“This event is an opportunity for the community to volunteer and support local nonprofits and the good work they are doing,” said Marylou Stephens, Peoria director of arts, culture and library services. “We are pleased to bring our community together in the wonderful spirit of service that Martin Luther King Jr. embodied.”
The city has invited a variety of health and wellness organizations and local community assistance groups to highlight their services to residents. In addition, the event will feature multicultural activities, volunteer opportunities, complimentary meal and beverages, free books for children, and a variety of service providers and community resources.
The formal program begins at 10 a.m. with opening remarks and introduction from Peoria Mayor Jason Beck, a Presentation of Colors by the Buffalo Soldiers, and the National Anthem performance by Valley blues legend Francine Reed. Featured music entertainment will begin at 10:15 a.m. and continue through the duration of the event with periodic breaks until 1 p.m.
Spoken word performances by Sean Avery Medlin will occur on the main stage at 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. A variety of fun and interactive activities will be available for all ages to enjoy, including participatory drumming circle presentations by Dr. Lydia Woods. The drumming circle sessions will take place inside the Peoria Community Center at 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., and 12:30 p.m.
Live mural painting by local artist Gina Ribaudo will take place on Jefferson Street, near the community center entrance, as well as an interactive “I have a dream” wall where adults and children are encouraged to write their dreams on the collaborative art piece. Additionally, a free, plated meal will be served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the community center, along with free beverages from local food vendors.
For more information about the MLK Day of Service, visit www.peoriaaz.gov/events or call 623-773-7436.