Hutchinson community celebrates MLK Day with music

MLK day celebrations in Hutchinson KS.
MLK day celebrations in Hutchinson KS.(KWCH)
Published: Jan. 16, 2022 at 9:45 PM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Many Martin Luther King Jr. events took place Sunday, starting the MLK holiday celebration on Monday. But several planned events have been canceled due to the recent rise in covid numbers.

Organizers at an event in Hutchinson said it was a concern of theirs too. People were expected to wear masks at Hutchinson Community College’s Stringer Fine Arts Center, ‘Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. though music. Darrell Pope is one of the event organizers.

We thought about that, that’s why we had the masks out there at the table and sanitation for people,” said Second Vice-President of NAACP Hutchinson, Darrell Pope. “And we emphasized, we wanted people to make sure they had their shots because we wanted to make sure we do everything we can to promote safety.”

While celebration and unity were the target, caution and distancing quickly become a forethought given the drastic increase of covid cases. Hutch CC’s Director of choral activities, Neal Allsup said this was a virtual event last year so he’s happy to be back in person.

“We just absolutely adore coming over and celebrating and learning and trying to make an impact on our community. All that music touches the heart in more in a special way than just the words do,” said Neal Allsup, Director of choral activities and vocal jazz at Hutch Community College.

Mahleah Marshall is a 15-year-old student at Hutchinson High School who was recommended by the local NAACP leader to read a speech about what MLK day means to her.

“He was something I thought of a lot when something would happen to me like when someone would say something to me that was racist or something,” said Marshall. “So, it was just something I would think about when I wrote the speech. So she kind of just put me out there which was really cool. I enjoyed it.”

Organizers moved this event from the smaller confines of the original Secondary Missionary Baptist Church to Hutch CC to allow for more spacing between attendees.

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