April 4th is a holy day in Memphis. Its memorial saint is, of course, Martin Luther King Jr., who was killed on that day 45 years ago. Memphis may have only been incidental in King's biography — the geographical place of his death — but King is integral to the fabric of Memphis.
Many good Memphians are celebrating his life on the anniversary of his death with a panoply of events. To focus on one: "Dream Out Loud" will be held at Crosstown Arts in Midtown.
Organizers are singling out King's "I Have a Dream" speech (50 years old now). The event starts at 7 p.m. with an art viewing featuring work by participants in Bridge Builders' "I AM Project" and a musical performance by Jarad Bingham and Robin Salant. Beginning at 7:30 p.m., a group of performers will take turns reading the full text of the "Dream" speech, with live music and dance accompaniment. At 8:15 p.m., a procession through the Crosstown neighborhood will feature the Mighty Souls Brass Band — Memphis' magnificent, stirring group led by Sean Murphy.
"This is a celebration and a remembering of Martin's inciting dream, which isn't finished as we move into another year without civil rights for our LGBTQ fellow citizens," says Sarah Ledbetter, who created the event along with Maggie Rawling-Endicott. "Lyrics for 'Keep Your Eyes on the Prize' are in the program, and we are going to funk that song out," Ledbetter says.
The all-ages event is free, mixed-abilities accessible, and LGBTQ-friendly.
Dream Out Loud, Thursday, April 4th, 7 p.m. at Crosstown Arts, 430 N. Cleveland (288-9364).