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2018 MLK Jr. Celebration: Film & Music Festival | Yerba Buena Gardens

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Monday, January 15, 2018 - All Day | Cost: FREE
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts | 701 Mission St, San Francisco, CA



Every year on the third Monday in January, over 15,000 attendees come to San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and Gardens to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy.

Join the annual MLK Jr. March at Caltrain, or head straight over to Yerba Buena Gardens for the MLK Jr. Festival or visit the galleries for this special MLK Day Free Museum Day at the YBCA.

Please note that many event details are missing, so we recommend you always check sfmlkday.org/ for the latest updates before heading out. 

2018 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration
Monday, January 15, 2018 | 10:30 am to 3 pm
YBCA, 701 Mission St., San Francisco
Most Events FREE

2018 Schedule

  • 8:00am: MLK2018 Labor and Community Breakfast at Marriott Marquis Ballroom – $25
  • 10:30am: MLK Liberation Film Festival:  Film Screening – The Death of a King – Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) Screening Room
  • 11:00am: MLK2018 March/Parade – Starts at Caltrain Station – Commemoriating the Selma to Montgomery March
  • 11:00am: MLK2018 Health & Wellness Festival – YBCA Forum
  • 11:00am: Black Comix Arts Expo:  BCAF Expo – City View @ Metreon
  • 11:45am: MLK2018 Interfaith Commemoration – Esplanade Stage at Yerba Buena Gardens.
  • 12:00pm: MLK Liberation Film Festival:  Film Screening – Resilience w/conversation – Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater
  • 1:00pm: MLK2018 Celebration Program – The Urgency of Now – Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
  • 1:30pm: MLK Liberation Film Festival:  Yemanja w/ conversation – YBCA Screening Room
  • 1:30pm: MLK2018 Music Festival – Esplanade Stage at Yerba Buena Gardens
  • 3:00pm: MLK2018 Program:  Panel Conversation – Making Government Work for You – Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

Interfaith Commemoration of MLK Jr. – January 15th at 11:45am – Takes place on the Esplanade Stage at Yerba Buena Gardens.

Main ProgramJanuary 15th at 1pm – YBCA Theater
The marquee event of the celebration day brings Tje Urgency of Now to life and features our Grade-A Social Justice panel, featuring a leading activist, actor, athlete, academic, and artist. They will be in conversation with two-time Peabody Award-winning investigative journalist and performer Al Letson. The program begins at 1:00pm on Monday in the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater.

Music Festival – January 15th at 1:30pm – Yerba Buena Gardens
Enjoy an afternoon of live music and poetry on the lawn in Yerba Buena Gardens. Renown artists will highlight the MLK2018 Music Festival on the Esplanade Stage in Yerba Buena Gardens. Follow us on Twitter @norcalmlk for updates on special guests.

Health Festival – January 15th – 11am – YBCA Forum
In partnership with SFEnvironment, The San Francisco Chapter of The Links, Incorporated, the American Red Cross, San Francisco Aids Foundation BBE program, along with numerous special programs and services, the MLK2018 Health and Wellness Festival brings together the region’s health providers for a one-day event of free services and exciting activities during the MLK celebration. The goal is to promote health, wellness, sustainability, and preparedness as essential elements of fair, just, and vibrant communities.

2018 Black Comix Arts Festival – January 15th at City View / Metreon
The Black Comix Arts Festival (BCAF) celebrates African Americans’ creativity in the comic arts and popular visual culture and is dedicated to the notion that all audiences deserve to be subject in the culture in which we participate. The two-day event includes a grand expo, kids activities, film screenings, panels and conversations, cosplay events and much more.

2018 King & Faith Lectures
January 13 – February 17 – All conversations are free, with limited seating.

The King & Faith Lectures are designed to create a space to critique, analyze and thoughtfully question assumptions about King and faith, King and community, and King and society. The lecture series looks to ignite greater dialogue and programs of action that will infuse “where we go from here.” Key questions about freedom, liberation and mission within the present global paradigm will bring to the forefront the tensions that emerge when confronted with the need to make space for those voices that speak against erasure, simplification, and displacement of the cultural narratives that a truly democratic society needs to survive.- See the full events schedule

Screen Shot 2016-01-12 at 11.56.10 AM2018 Liberation Film Festival
January 15 – All screenings are free at the YBCA, with limited theater seating on a first-come first-serve basis.

The Liberation Film Festival (LFF) is dedicated to bringing human interest documentary works and short features to fresh, diverse audiences. It was launched in November of 2011 by the NorcalMLK Foundation and premiered its first screenings in January of 2012 and runs concurrently with the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday celebration events and takes advantage of the thousands of celebrants attending every year in January. View the film schedule

  • 10:30am – The Death of King
  • Noon – Resilience
  • 1:30pm – Yemanja

Event Details


Cost: FREE

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Categories: **Annual Event**, *Top Pick*, Art & Museums, Fairs & Festivals, Free Museum Day, MLK Day, San Francisco
Address: 701 Mission St, San Francisco, CA
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