Nearly 500 students, adults and volunteers celebrated the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday and his ideals of peaceful social change at the Providence school that bears his name. On January 19, the Mt. Hope Learning Center and the Rhode Island School of Design hosted the 4th annual Day of Arts and Service, a community-building day to exemplify Dr. King’s vision of cultures blending together peacefully.
The day of service stems from the federal King Holiday and Service Act passed in 1994 that challenges American citizens to volunteer on Dr. King’s celebrated day to honor his volunteer activism and to make a difference.
The event included art projects such as silk screening, T-shirt making, cookie decorating, and mural painting with volunteers from the Rhode Island School of Design and performances by community groups. Participants worked on writing and poem reading activities that gave insight into King’s most powerful ideal of “The Beloved Community,” in which people of goodwill throughout the world are committed to and trained in the philosophy of sharing the earth.
“RISD and the Mt. Hope Learning Center transform King Elementary School into a beloved community each year by sharing our two worlds with the City of Providence under one roof for a greater part of the day,” said Eric Telfort, executive director of the Mt. Hope Learning Center.