Martin Luther King Jr. Day might be the nation’s first day off after the winter holiday season, but D.C.’s arts centers will be far from quiet. Today, the Folger Shakespeare Library reminds us that it’s not “Just Another Day Off”; that’s the name of its free event that started at 11 a.m., featuring dramatic presentations of protest-themed poetry and speeches. Elsewhere, the American History Museum will wrap up a weekend of memorial events with actor Xavier Carnegie, who will perform excerpts from MLK’s best-known speeches and sermons throughout the day in the Flag Hall. In Bethesda, Strathmore has a 4 p.m. concert of Negro spirituals and civil rights-era music performed by high school students; the Washington National Cathedral (the location of King’s final Sunday sermon before he was assassinated in 1968) will hold its annual concert at 2 p.m.; and that evening, the Kennedy Center is putting on “Let Freedom Ring,” a free concert with Bobby McFerrin and a gospel choir that will take listeners to church. But let’s not forget the still-new and still-controversial memorial to the civil rights leader off the Tidal Basin: The National Park Service laid a wreath this morning and will provide educational programs at the site throughout the day. (Shani Hilton)


The Corcoran is open and free all day. Take note that both Hank Willis Thomas’ “Strange Fruit” and “Gordon Parks: Photos From the Collection” close today.

Why, might you need a volunteer opportunity? You’re in luck.


Swedish heavy-rock longhairs Graveyard headline DC9 tonight. It could rule. Radio Moscow and Daniel Davies open. 8:30 p.m. doors. $10.