City of Carmel to hold inaugural event honoring MLK


By Maria Cook

The City of Carmel will celebrate the life and accomplishments of Martin Luther King Jr. on Jan. 21. The event will be the first in Carmel history to focus on honoring the late civil rights activist.

The Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre, 3 Center Green, will showcase a program that includes singing, dancing and monologue performances by students at the KJI Institute for the Arts, among others. The program will feature two halves, with an intermission. The event is open to the public. Admission is free.

“The main goal is to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr., his accomplishments and what he has given to society,” said Kelli Prader, a project manager for the City of Carmel and planner for the event. “The program includes dancing performances, songs and different things that are inspired by Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision and what he’s done for our community, our state and the world.”

Audience members will have an opportunity to donate to the Indiana Chapter of the United Negro College Fund, an organization that funds scholarships for black students and general scholarship funds for historically black colleges and universities. Attendees can also meet three African-American authors from Indiana – Angela Jackson Brown, Maurice Broaddus and Tamara Winfrey Harris – and purchase their works.

Dee Thornton of the Mayor’s Advisory Commission on Human Relations also helped plan the Carmel event. Kimberly Janelle, a teaching artist and founder of the KJI Institute, is the event’s creative director. The program will begin at 6 p.m. and is expected to run for approximately 90 minutes.

“We’re very lucky when community partners step up to put together an event like this,” Prater said. “Hopefully, it will be the first of many.”


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