An afternoon of celebration and reflection honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Now in its 17th year, Westport’s celebration extended to three days culminating in a keynote address by author, creative artist, filmmaker, playwright, and multi-dimensional performance artist Junauda Petrus.
Petrus’ work centers around Black wildness, laughter, futurism, ancestral healing, sweetness, spectacle, and shimmer. Her debut novel, The Stars and the Blackness Between Them, received the 2020 Coretta Scott King Book Award, and she is currently writing a screenplay adaptation of the book. Copies of Petrus book will be available for purchase on-site, with Petrus signing copies after her address.
Sunday’s program also included a dance performance by students from Regional Center for the Arts, a part-time, public inter-district magnet high school for Fairfield County students interested in the performing arts. RCA promotes voluntary integration by encouraging collaboration and cooperation among socioeconomic and ethnically diverse school districts.
Presented by The Westport Library, Westport Country Playhouse, TEAM Westport, Westport/Weston Interfaith Council, and the Westport/Weston Interfaith Clergy.
I am overjoyed to be reflecting on the legacies of justice, tenderness, and peace that honoring MLK Jr. situates us in"Janauda Petrus
MEET our keynote speaker
We are delighted to have Junauda Petrus in Westport with her talent as an award-winning writer, poet, and performance artist. Her strength as a young adult author should broaden our engagement of young people throughout the area.
Harold Bailey, Jr
Chair, TEAM Westport
Trustee, Westport Country Playhouse
Schedule of Events
Petrus’ visit to Westport will focus on reimagining community diversity, engagement, and civility. Saturday and Sunday events are FREE and open to the public with RSVP.
Friday, January 13
Workshops in Westport Public Schools.
Saturday, January 14
Justice, Art and Healing: An Afternoon of Creative Activism with Junauda Petrus and Guest Artists
The Westport Library
11AM – 4PM
The library presents an afternoon of creativity and community gathering in the spirit of the transformative life and legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Junauda Petrus and local artists offer workshops in multiple creative mediums throughout the day, culminating in a group panel discussion on the theme of Justice, Art + Healing. Community partners working within the space of social justice will also be on hand to share information and offer opportunities for engagement.
For Full Schedule and to RSVP to the day’s events visit The Westport Library website.
Sunday, January 15
The three-day celebration culminates on Sunday at 3 pm with a keynote address delivered by Petrus at the Westport Country Playhouse. Copies of her book will be available for purchase on-site, with Petrus signing copies after her address. The program includes a dance performed by the Regional Center for the Arts.
All events, artists, dates, and times are subject to change.
A call to action
Petrus’ visit to Westport will focus on reimagining community diversity, engagement, and civility. She will be in town starting Friday, January 13, presenting for local schools. She will visit The Westport Library on Saturday, January 14, at 2PM for an experiential workshop with local artists, followed by a 3PM panel discussion with the artists.
The three-day celebration culminates on Sunday, January 15, with a keynote address delivered by Petrus at the Westport Country Playhouse.
For our community’s 17th annual celebration of the life and work of Dr. King, the Playhouse is once again partnering with the Westport Library, TEAM Westport, The Westport/Weston Interfaith Council, and the Westport/Weston Interfaith Clergy.
Together, we invite our entire community — those who live, work, study, and participate in the life of Westport, Fairfield County, and adjacent counties — to join us as we begin the work needed to continue King’s call to action, as urgent now as it was in 1968. For a members of a community such as Westport, that begins with a challenge to understand our place of comfort and the work we each, as individuals, need to do to transform ourselves and our society into a more equitable and just one.
As of December 14, 2022, for the keynote address at the Playhouse, masks are strongly encouraged but not required. The Playhouse no longer requires proof of vaccination. Current CDC guidelines recommend N95 and KN95 masks.
The Playhouse may update these requirements should conditions change in January, thus we recommend checking for current protocols before attending. Please review our full safety protocols here.