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Conner Prairie MLK Day celebration features interactive experience

FISHERS, Ind. (WISH) — Conner Prairie took a new approach this year to honor civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr.

Partnering with social justice agencies, artists, poets and more, the Fishers museum welcomed guests for the MLK Day of Celebration.

Years ago, King had a dream that Black children and white children could come together.

Today, Conner Prairie has put together a list of immersive activities allowing children from all backgrounds in their families to come together to remember and honor Dr. King. The museum had free admission for the holiday.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day means a lot to the Jackson family; that’s why Ron Jackson brought his daughter Khloe Jackson to the celebration. “This time is very important to me and it’s something she’s going to always remember,” Ron Jackson said.

A mural at Conner Prairie is an ode to King. It offers a look back in time. Israel Solomon designed it with bright colors and clean lines “This is a good time just to remind ourselves of what Dr. King stood for. What’s depicted in this particular mural is the March on Selma. Which where they were fighting for voting rights,” Solomon said.

The guests at Conner Prairie helped bring the mural to life, using stencils and markers to add their own touches. There’s an image of King and other civil rights icons out front covered in words like “unity,” “diversity” and “equity.”

Khloe Jackson said, “I did the one that said ‘unity.’ I did that one because we really need that, and since we’ve gone through so much as Black people it really matters for us to at least have some kind of moment to celebrate it.”

Conner Prairie representatives said they wanted to look at Martin Luther King Jr. Day with a new approach. So this year, there’s the interactive mural, speeches, poetry, music, and the interactive “Quilts for Racial Justice,” where families can create a patch that will eventually form a whole quilt.

Marian Carpenter with Conner Prairie said, “So, I wanted to make sure that not only do we talk about Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy but also talk about social justice and make it relevant today.”

Representatives said topics surrounding civil rights and justice can be tough to have with children, and they hope this program design makes having those conversations a little easier and even fun.

Khloe Jackson said, “I think it’s amazing especially because I love history in Black history and stuff. It’s amazing for me to learn more about it.”