King Day | National Civil Rights Museum


A celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday

Monday, January 16 • 8:00am – 6:00pm

Museum Campus • Free Admission

The National Civil Rights Museum has pivoted to present King Day: An All-Day Celebration on January 16, 2023, with free admission to the museum from 8:00am to 6:00pm, thanks to FedEx.

King Day will kick off yearlong observances themed “Freedom Can’t Wait” as the Museum focuses on major civil rights milestones with anniversaries in 2023.

The museum continues its commitment to a day of service by encouraging guests to bring nonperishable food items to support the Mid-South Food Bank and to be prepared to give blood to support the Vitalant blood drive.



  • Visitors can tour the museum from 8:00am–6:00pm. Free admission is sponsored by FedEx.
  • A new exhibition, Tarred Healing, opens on King Day. It features photography by Cornell Watson, an award-winning Black photographer based in Durham, North Carolina, whose work is centered around sharing the stories of Black people.
  • The museum is continuing its day of service partnerships with its annual blood drive with Vitalant to help with the critical blood shortage. Anyone donating blood will receive additional free admission for up to four people on any day in 2023.
  • For its food drive benefitting the Mid-South Food Bank, the museum is requesting guests bring canned goods and nonperishables to help feed the growing number of hungry families in the Mid-South. 
  • A full day of entertainment on The Main Stage, sponsored by Ford Motor Company Fund, includes performances by Karen Brown, Gerald Richardson, Cordova High School Choir, and Satellite Band of Stax Music Academy.
  • The Pavilion, sponsored by Wells Fargo, features family activities and entertainment including magic shows, balloon making, face painting, African drumming, craft activities, music, community resources, and more!
  • Museum Members receive express entry into the museum on King Day. No waiting. Get membership info here.

Presenting SPONSORS




Annual Mid-South Food Bank Drive

Bring Canned Good/Non-Perishable Food Donations

FoodBank_logoObserved as a day of service, the King Holiday at the Museum is a chance for visitors to give back to the community and receive discounted admission by making food donations to benefit Mid-South Food Bank. 

Non-perishable items include canned meats (tuna, stews, chili, Spam, soups), canned fruit and veggies, canned juices, and peanut butter. NO glass containers.

The Food Drive is just one way everyone can serve the community and take in important history while honoring Dr. King's legacy. One of Dr. King's last initiatives was the Poor People's Campaign, so giving to help those in need furthers this cause. Feed the need!

About Mid-South Food Bank

King Day Vitalant blood Drive

With blood donation, receive free admission for up to 4 people.

LifebloodLogo2014Give the gift of life during the King Holiday. Vitalant mobiles will be onsite on the January 16 from 8:00am to 4:00pm to receive blood donations. Donors receive free admission with express line access on King Day for up to four people PLUS four guest passes for up to four people to visit the museum again any day in 2023. Donors must be present January 16 to receive additional passes. Also, donors who give blood the week of January 9-16 at Vitalant Centers receive an admission voucher.

About Vitalant














made possible by 









Main stage

made possible by 

Music and ENTERTAINMENT include:

  • Karen Brown
  • Gerald Richardson
  • Cordova High School Choir
  • Satellite Band, Stax Music Academy



The Pavilion

made possible by 


  • Ms. B Looney & Balloon Grammy – Making Balloon Art for kids
  • Magic Mr. Nick (performing) – Magic shows for all ages
  • Ekpe Abioto (performing) – African Drumming and Music
  • 901 Parties – Facepainting for children
  • Butteriffic Bakery – Cookie Fun Packs
  • Memphis Botanic Garden – Planting Seeds of Peace activity
  • Ryan Stewart + Siphne Aaye (visual artists) – Chalk Activity on Mulberry Street (NOT in Children’s & Community Tent)
  • Girls Inc. of Memphis – Craft Activity + promoting their programming which serves local youth
  • HOME DEPOT – CRAFT TENT (separate from Children’s and Community Tent)
  • Memphis City Beautiful – Recycling boxes and encouraging community cleanup/tool bank use
  • Memphis Public Library – Community Quilt Project + Storytelling on stage
  • Caza Teatro – program info at table + performance on tent stage
  • Southern College of Optometry – Craft Stem Glasses AND VISION TESTING
  • Porter-Leath/Books From Birth – Registration for free book program; Sharing Job opps/Preschool Info
  • BRIDGES – Activity + Bridgebuilder Program Promotion
  • Facing History and Ourselves – Activity + FHAO Program Promotion
  • Memphis Artists for Change & Official Black Lives Matter Memphis Chapter & Beyond Educating – Program Promotion/Sharing of Community Resources/Volunteer Opps to serve community
  • Hattiloo – (re: shows and Theatre School) + short performance on Tent Stage
  • In[HEIR]itance Project – Sharing Program Info + short performance on Tent Stage
  • Wells Fargo – Information on personal finance and banking
  • Vitalant
  • Mid-South Food Bank

Street Closures

There will be a few street closures allowing for pedestrian-only traffic around the Museum's campus.

  • Huling Avenue at Mulberry Street
  • Huling Avenue at St. Martin Street
  • Butler Avenue at South Main
  • Mulberry at G.E. Patterson
  • LIMITED ACCESS to St. Martin Street from Second Avenue to G.E. Patterson


The Museum's visitor parking lot will be closed Thursday, January 12 - Monday, January 16, due to setup of the Pavilion for children's activities and community resources for the holiday.  On-street parking and public parking lots (some paid) are available off campus.  There is paid parking nearby.

Limited Guest Parking

Limited Guest Parking is permitted north of the Temple of Deliverance in the church's overflow parking lot at G.E. Patterson and Butler Avenues. Please note: the parking lot will close at 4:00 pm and all cars must be moved by this time. All guest parking is parking at their own risk. The National Civil Rights Museum and the Temple of Deliverance are NOT responsible for theft, loss, or damage to vehicles or vehicle contents.

Security check

Museum visitors should leave behind weapons, tools, self-defense items that might trigger an alarm during the metal detection and bag check process. Guests will be asked to return any prohibited items to their vehicles before entering the Museum.

Photography NOTICE

Visitors may be photographed or recorded by a museum-commissioned photographer or videographer. It is not always possible to notify those who photographed. Individuals or groups photographed do not receive any compensation or have review opportunity. Images may be used for Museum archival, educational or promotional purposes.

"Life's most persistent and urgent question is what are you doing for others?"

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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