David Howse to deliver keynote speech at Jaffrey Civic Center Martin Luther King Jr. Day event

  • David C. Howse. COURTESY PHOTO

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Thursday, January 04, 2018 8:31AM

David C. Howse has always drawn inspiration from Martin Luther King Jr., so much so that he didn’t hesitate when offered the chance to deliver the keynote speech at the Jaffrey Civic Center’s annual MLK Day celebration.

“I wholeheartedly embrace any opportunity I have to speak on his legacy… and the theme [What is the Dream Today?] deeply resonates with me, especially in today’s political climate,” said Howse, associate vice president of Emerson College, executive director of ArtsEmerson and formerly the executive director of the Boston Children’s Chorus. “So much has changed, and yet so much has remained the same.”

Howse will give his speech during the Civic Center’s celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, Jan 15. The event starts at 5 p.m. and will take place at the United Church of Jaffrey. The event will be heralded at 4:45 p.m. by a ringing of the church’s Paul Revere Bell, as a part of the MLK National Bell-Ringing Ceremony, “Let Freedom Ring: Choose Non-Violence”

“The hard process is landing on all of the points… but it allows me a moment of reflection,” said Howse, of constructing his speech. “I’m very excited to be going. My hope is that these conversations won’t just be pointed to one day or month of the year.”

Howse said this year is a banner year to celebrate the legacy of Dr. King, given that it marks the 50th anniversary of his assassination. Rather than celebrating Dr. King’s death, Howse will choose to look at Dr. King’s life, what he accomplished, and what has lived on since his passing. 

“I’m inspired by the awakening that has happened… this current political administration has helped bring a number of issues to the forefront,” said Howse, a speaker who focuses on topics such as diversity in the arts, arts and social change, cross cultural understanding through music, youth empowerment, and building community through the arts.

Howse feels that much good work has been done to continue Dr. King’s legacy, but still more needs to be done. Continuing forward Dr. King’s message, according to Howse, comes in the form of not only having a dream, but working to execute it. 

“The issues that we face as a country are dynamic,” said Howse. “We have to find our own dreams.”

The event also features recognitions and awards in the MLK Middle School Poster Contest and High School Essay Contest. Jaffrey and Rindge student choirs will perform musical pieces.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information or in case of questionable weather consult www.jaffreyciviccenter.com or the Jaffrey Civic Center Facebook page, or contact the Civic Center at 603-532-6527 or info@jaffreyciviccenter.com.