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Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration: Free Admission Day at Rock Hall

  • Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 1100 East 9th Street Cleveland, OH, 44114 United States (map)

Music was an integral part to the Civil Rights Movement, and musicians often stood alongside Dr. King during many of his appearances in the name of racial justice. From 2018 Inductees Nina Simone and Sister Rosetta Tharpe to the Freedom Singers, Mahalia Jackson, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, and Sam Cooke, musicians have regularly played a role in advocating for social change.

Throughout the day, visitors can enjoy live performances, an art demonstration, education programs, and family activities that highlight how people have used music to find their voice and create a sense of community. The event will be emceed and DJ’d by Jason Walker. The Rock Hall’s many exhibits, including its featured Stay Tuned: Rock on TV, showcase how artists have used popular music to communicate ideas and incite social change.

Service in the spirit of Dr. King, the Rock Hall will also take donations of hats, scarves, gloves and other cold weather clothes to benefit Clevelanders in need.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS (subject to change)

10:15 a.m. FILM: STANDING IN THE SHADOWS OF MOTOWN (Rated PG, 1 hr 56 minutes), Foster Theater

An evocative profile of Motown's studio musicians known as the Funk Brothers, the house band that backed The Temptations, The Supremes, The Miracles, the Four Tops, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, and Mary Wells, among others.

10:30 a.m. PERFORMANCE BY RAINEY INSTITUTE DANCE TEAM, Klipsch Audio Main Stage

11 a.m.-4 p.m. FAMILY ACTIVITIES, Voinovich Atrium (Lower Level)

Enjoy crafts and activities such as creating your own protest signs and adding to the Rock Hall’s dream wall.

12:30 p.m. ALBUM SPOTLIGHT: JANET JACKSON’S CONTROL, Foster Theater

Listen to 2019 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Janet Jackson's classic 1986 album Control like never before! Rock Hall experts introduce the album and audience members are encouraged to share their Janet Jackson memories.

1:00 p.m. PERFORMANCE BY JUL BIG GREEN, Klipsch Audio Main Stage

A soul rock fusion band from Cleveland.

1:30 p.m. CLEVELAND IS THE CITY: A FAMILY EDUCATIONAL SESSION, Foster Theater

Explore the history of soul and rhythm and blues music in Cleveland, one of the cities that gave birth to rock and roll music. The class explores artists from Screamin’ Jay Hawkins to LeVert and venues such as Leo’s Casino that helped to create the city’s culture.

2:30 p.m. ROCK & ROLL AND THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT

Learn how a range of artists, from Mahalia Jackson and Sam Cooke to Berry Gordy at Motown and rock & roll pioneer Fats Domino created a popular music that empowered African Americans to take their rightful place in American society.

3:00 p.m. PERFORMANCE BY MOURNING [A] BLKSTAR, Klipsch Audio Main Stage

A local self-described DIY Afrofuturist soul group that’s received national attention and acclaim for their music, which communicates their vision and love for the community while collectively creating greater opportunities to create and share.

3:30 p.m. FILM: STANDING IN THE SHADOWS OF MOTOWN (Rated PG, 1 hr 56 minutes), Foster Theater

An evocative profile of Motown's studio musicians known as the Funk Brothers, the house band that backed The Temptations, The Supremes, The Miracles, the Four Tops, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, and Mary Wells, among others.