Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service

Monday, January 20, 11 am - 4 pm
Throughout the Museum

Carry on the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Enjoy special performances by artists committed to social justice and service, including Artist-in-Residence storyteller Gcina Mhlophe, and Porsha Olayiwola—Boston Poet Laureate and the Gardner Museum's own Neighborhood Salon Luminary.

Join in a hands-on service project, enjoy Project STEP student musicians.

From 1–4 pm, join #ReclaimMLK: The Power of Protest Action workshops with Wee The People, a Boston-based social justice project for children ages 4-12.

#ReclaimMLK: The Power of Protest Action

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke of love, peace, and brotherhood. Yet he was also jailed 29 times in 10 years, and branded by our government as "the most dangerous Negro in America." How can that be?

Join social justice project Wee The People for an interactive, family-friendly workshop that guides young and old in unlearning and reclaiming the legacy of MLK. Together we will explore MLK's practice as a radical disruptor and honor his most important act of love: resistance. Activities include sign-making tributes to protest movements, a #ReclaimMLK photo booth, and timed acts of resistance inside the Museum.

Donations for Elizabeth Stone House

We are proud to coordinate a toiletry drive with Elizabeth Stone House again this year! Visitors are encouraged to bring donations of new toiletries to create care packages for families served by the Elizabeth Stone House, a Roxbury-based organization that partners with adult and child survivors of domestic violence and related trauma to achieve safety, stability, and overall well-being. Suggested donation items include:

  • toothbrushes
  • toothpaste
  • tampons & pads
  • lotions
  • soap
  • hand sanitizer
  • deodorant
  • baby wipes (full size or travel size packages)

Travel-size toiletries are preferred. The donation box will be located in the Education Studio.


Free admission will be available at the Museum entrance starting at 11 AM, on a first-come, first-served basis. Admission includes access to the entire Museum, including special exhibitions. To ensure everyone's experience at the Museum is pleasant, entry is timed every 30 minutes, with the last entry at 4 PM.

Due to the nature of the collection, capacity regulations, and the high attendance we see on holidays, the Museum may only admit a specific number of visitors at once. For your safety and the safety of the collection, visitors may be asked to wait in line to enter. Groups of 10 or more cannot be accommodated on this day.

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum experience is best suited for children ages seven and older. Visitors under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service is generously supported by Maureen and Michael Ruettgers.

Education and community programs are funded in part by the Liberty Mutual Foundation, Janet Burke Mann Foundation, Rowland Foundation, and the Yawkey Foundation. Studio activities are generously sponsored by the Polly Thayer Starr Charitable Trust. These programs are funded in part by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, which receives support from the State of Massachusetts and the National Endowment for the Arts.