Arlington's Annual MLK Tribute, "The Man and the Mission,&q

Published on January 09, 2018

Note: The MLK Day of Service event will take place Monday, January 15. The MLK Tribute Event will take place Sunday, January 14. An earlier version of this release gave the wrong date for the Day of Service event.

  • Entertainment to include Duke Ellington School of the Arts students and faculty

  • Program written by Arlington resident Anne Smith

Arlington will celebrate Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s life and legacy on Sunday, January 14, 5-6:30 p.m. at Wakefield High School. Held annually for the past 49 years, the MLK Tribute event was created by the community and County staff the year after his assassination in 1968. The goal of the program is to bring the community together and uphold MLK's vision for social equality.

"This long-standing community program is as necessary and timely today as it was at its inception," Arlington County Board Chair Katie Cristol said. "The program keeps Dr. King's spirit alive, and inspires our residents to stand up for what's right."

In partnership with Duke Ellington School of the Arts, the program will tell the story of Dr. King's childhood, college life and his leadership roles through his untimely death. Ellington students will participate in musical, dance and spoken word roles throughout the program. Dance Department Chair and Laurence Olivier Award for Best Theatre Choreographer winner Charles Augins will direct.

About the program

Program talent will be rounded out by local performers. Spoken word artist Kim B. Miller will perform her original work, "Break the Chains". Arlington resident Karen D. Archer will perform a solo version of the Gospel hymn "I Know I've Been Changed" with accompaniment from Macedonia Baptist Church Minister of Music David Nelson. Freedom Rider and lifelong Arlington resident Joan Mulholland will participate in the program with a reading. Other participants will include Teen Network Board members and winners of the Arlington Public Schools' MLK Literary and Visual Arts Contest.

The 2018 program was written by Arlington resident Anne Smith, an author, poet, playwright, musician and arts educator. Smith teaches music and drama at Jefferson-Houston School in Alexandria, and directs the Sanctuary Choir and musicians for the Youth Choir at St. John's Baptist Church in Arlington. Smith is the author of the book Good News: Innovators and Originators of Gospel Music.

The event is free and open to the public. Guests will be seated on a first-come, first-served basis. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. Overflow space with a live stream of the program will be available should the auditorium reach capacity. Guests are encouraged to bring non-perishable goods to donate to Arlington Food Assistance Center.

Day of Service

On Monday, January 15, from 8:30 a.m.-noon at Arlington Career Center, Volunteer Arlington will host the first-ever Arlington-wide MLK Day of Service. Volunteer opportunities include service projects and volunteer training with a number of local non-profit organizations. The event is free, however, registration is required. Learn more and register for the MLK Day of Service.

Learn more about the 2018 MLK Tribute event at or call 703-228-3329.