San Antonio’s Martin Luther King, Jr. March, now in its 31st year, has become one of the nation’s largest marches of its kind. But the march is just one part of a growing event filled with festivities that celebrate MLK’s legacy of education, tolerance, and cultural diversity.
The sixth annual DreamWeek Summit, beginning January 5, includes more than 200 symposiums, panel discussions, performances, and other activities — all designed to foster an environment for civic and civil engagement.
“Participation and interest in our 2018 summit has been tremendous,” said Shokare Nakpodia, president of the organizing DreamVoice venture, in a news release. “With 180 local hosting partners, 120 participating venues, and 100 volunteers, DreamWeek is the fruit of a community driven endeavor and has become a one-of-a-kind collaboration that is now attracting national interest. More than ever, San Antonio is emerging as the face of America’s future.”
This year’s DreamWeek Summit has grown thanks in part to new partners, such as the American Civil Liberties Union, American Red Cross, Healy-Murphy Center, and Linda Pace Foundation. DreamWeek 2018 begins on January 5 with a breakfast ceremony from 8-9:30 am at the Briscoe Western Art Museum.
In addition to remarks by Mayor Ron Nirenberg, a keynote address will be offered by noted musician/author/lecturer Daryl Davis, who has developed a reputation for forging a unique approach toward race relations. Davis, an African-American, has spent his career traveling the nation interviewing Ku Klux Klan leaders and members.
In preparation for the 15 day celebration, we've rounded up a few other DreamWeek events worth checking out. It should be noted that some DreamWeek events also double as activities for the concurrent San Antonio Cocktail Conference, as well as the city’s tricentennial celebration.
Friday, January 5
- Free screening of the documentary film Accidental Courtesy, about Davis’ race relations experiences. Screening held from 4-6 pm at Carver Public Library.
- 80th Annual Founders’ Day Gala marks the 80th anniversary of the founding of Alamo City Black Chamber of Commerce. From 6-11 pm at Pearl Stables.
Saturday, January 6
- Public Space East presents Brunch and Build at Burleson Yard Beer Garden — East Side chefs will prepare dishes as area artists create artwork to be installed along paths and play areas at Dignowity and Lockwood parks. Admission is free; food ticket is $10 for adults, free for children age 12-under. From 11 am-4 pm
Sunday, January 7
- The Impact Guild hosts a global community dinner at 708 W. Summit Ave. This will be a progressive dinner, involving dishes from different cultures and regions, and an opportunity to talk with new people about new ideas. The dinner will be held from 6-8 pm and admission is $40.
Monday, January 8
- SA RISE (Rising in Solidarity for Equity) presents an open conversation about equity in local public education. From 6-8 pm at Brick at Blue Star. Admission is free.
Tuesday, January 9
- San Antonio LGBT Chamber of Commerce hosts an an after hours mixer. From 6-8 pm at the Plaza Club, 100 W. Houston St. Admission is free.
Wednesday, January 10
- Free screening of the new documentary, Walk On the River: A Black History of Alamo City. The film highlights the contributions that African-Americans have made to San Antonio’s evolution. Held from 7-9 pm at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema - Park North.
- Women Shaking It Up: Inspiring Women Superheroes helps to also kick off the cocktail conference. The event recognizes female bartenders and chefs, as well as other notable women making their mark in business, sports, politics, and more. Event held from 7:30-11 pm at Zaza Gardens. Admission is $65.
Thursday, January 11
- Dr. J.R. Bowie III Scholarship Foundation’s Awards Banquet and Concert — Community members get to meet the original Mississippi Freedom Riders, and recognize special individuals with the Freedom Rider Jesse James Davis Scholarship. Event runs from 6:30-11 pm at Continental Café and Event Center, 6390 Fairdale Drive. Admission is $25-$28.
- Trinity University’s MLK commemorative lecture featuring Kathleen Neal Cleaver. Listen to an inspiring talk by a woman who has spent most of her life fighting for human rights. She is currently co-director of the Human Rights Research Fund. Lecture begins at 7:30 pm in the Laurie Auditorium. Admission is free.
- Bettye LaVette performs at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts. 7:30 pm, tickets available from $39.50-$75
Friday, January 12
- DreamWeek Awards Luncheon —This lunch honors organizations and individuals who embody DreamVoice's mission of “advancing the voices of tolerance, equality, and diversity.” This year’s event will include a keynote address by Amal Kassir, a Syrian-American spoken word poet and activist. Luncheon begins 11:30 am in the La Orilla Del Rio Ballroom, 203 S. St. Mary's St. Admission begins at $50.
- The Renaissance Guild offers The Eastwood Project: A Blues Continuum, an evening of music and dance that recalls the legendary Eastwood Country Club, which helped to bring popular black entertainers to a local integrated audience decades ago. Concert begins at 8 pm at Carver Community Cultural Center. Additional performances Jan. 13-21. Admission is $25.
Saturday, January 13
- San Antonio for Growth on the Eastside (SAGE) hosts its fourth annual Taste the Dream Gala. Enjoy a celebration of diversity through food with proceeds benefiting SAGE. Featured chefs include Johnny Hernandez, David “Bully” Page, Luis Colon, and Charassri Saengon. Dinner from 6-11 pm at the Witte Museum. Admission is $150. This is also a tricentennial event.
- Evolution of Beauty Defined: From Sarah Baartman to Billions — Gwen Devoe, creator of Full Figure Fashion Week, will be among the industry experts discussing how body shaming has turned into a billion-dollar industry that celebrates women's curves. Living mannequins will pose among the guests. Show begins at 5 pm at the Quarry Golf Club. Admission is $25.
Monday, January 15
- 2018 MLK March begins at Martin Luther King, Jr. Academy and ends at Pittman-Sullivan Park. At the park, the public will gather for a program commemorating King’s legacy. There will be speeches and food vendors, as well as business and community service information. March begins at 10 am and admission is free.
Tuesday, January 16
- Diversity in Action lets LGBTQ youth to take part in free, artistic, peer-connecting activities. Event begins at 6:30 pm at University Presbyterian Church.
Wednesday, January 17
- Confluence Park Grand Opening — The San Antonio River Foundation and San Antonio River Authority have been working to develop the former industrial yard into a public space for interactive ecological education and recreation. 10:30 am at 310 W. Mitchell St. Admission is free.
Thursday, January 18
- The band The Foreign Arm will present a narrative musical performance. Event begins at 8 pm at Carmen de la Calle, 320 N. Flores St. Admission is $10.
Friday, January 19
SA2020 luncheon will celebrate the release of the SA2020 2017 Impact Report. Every year, the nonprofit charts the community’s progress in several elements, from economic development to public health. Lunch begins at 11:30 am at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center. Admission is $50.
Saturday, January 20
- The Mayor’s Ball closes out DreamWeek with local musical, theatrical, comedic, and cultural performance talent. Ball begins at 7 pm at the Empire Theater, and admission is $200.