Freedom Center offering free admission for MLK Day

Press Release


MEDIA CONTACT: Cody Hefner (513) 608-5777,

Freedom Center offering free admission for MLK Day

Registration also open for virtual King Legacy Celebration January 17

CINCINNATI — The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is offering free admission on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. The Freedom Center will be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. with a robust slate of programming on January 17. Tickets are free but guests are recommended to secure theirs online prior to visiting.

“Dr. King’s enduring legacy demonstrates the power of hope, inspiring generation after generation to pursue a nation built on equity,” said Woodrow Keown, Jr., president & COO of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. “That his legacy continues to guide us also demonstrates how entrenched many systemic inequities are in our country. But we will continue to follow Dr. King’s example until his legacy can finally rest knowing we’ve achieved inclusive freedom for all.”

One of the activities for the day is a paint station hosted by artist Brent Billingsley whose work was previously featured at the Freedom Center as part of ArtsWave’s Truth & Reconciliation Visual Art Exhibition. Billingsley’s “One Piece at a Time” invites guests to lend their own artistic touch to the community art piece. Equality and simple access to the voting booth was a significant achievement during the Civil Rights movement and the local chapter of the NAACP is ensuring people can make their voices heard by hosting a voter registration booth. A stringed quartet from the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra will be performing in the Harriet Tubman Theater. The Cincinnati Art Museum is providing activity kits that will be available to guests on MLK Day and Freedom Center staff will have educational information stations available with take-home kits created for grades K-6 complete with activities and coloring pages. Additionally, a special self-guided experience celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. King will be available for ages 10 and up. The Kroger Company will be hosting the Kroger Warming Station at the North Star Café on the Freedom Center’s plaza level.

Hoxworth Blood Center will host its annual MLK Day blood drive at the Freedom Center from 9 to 11:45 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m. Two mobile units will be available for donors and walk-ins are encouraged.

Admission is free on January 17 but the Freedom Center is setting capacity limits to ensure proper distancing between guests. Guests are encouraged to reserve their tickets online prior to visiting to ensure entry. Masks are required for entry.

King Legacy Celebration

The Freedom Center is also hosting its annual King Legacy Celebration virtually on January 17. A collection of speakers will address what Dr. King called the three evils of society: poverty, racism and militarism. Keynote speaker Lance Wheeler, published historian and director of exhibits at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, will examine how we can bridge the generational gap of history for hope, freedom and equity in a new era of civil and human rights.


About the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center opened in August 2004 on the banks of the Ohio River in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio. Since then, more than 1.3 million people have visited its permanent and changing exhibits and public programs, inspiring everyone to take courageous steps for freedom. Two million people have utilized educational resources online at, working to connect the lessons of the Underground Railroad to inform and inspire today’s global and local fight for freedom. Partnerships include Historians Against Slavery, Polaris Project, Free the Slaves, US Department of State and International Justice Mission. In 2014, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center launched a new online resource in the fight against modern slavery,

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