The Lineup of Dreamfest 2021 in Cary

Cary, NC — This will be the 38th year of celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the United States, and no surprise, it will look a bit different in 2021.

The Town of Cary’s annual event series, MLK Jr. Dreamfest, will run from Friday, January 15 to Monday, January 18, 2021. This local series, rooted in honoring the civil rights icon, will include five virtual events from performances and films to a live interfaith service.

2021 Dreamfest Food Drive

The new addition to this year’s celebration is the Dreamfest Food Drive running from January 1-31. This month-long campaign aims to address the need for food assistance in and around Cary that has more than doubled since the start of the pandemic. Donations will be distributed by the Dorcas Ministries’ community food pantry.

In partnership with Good Hope Farm and Dorcas, the Town of Cary needs volunteers to create front porch donation stations. If you are interested in making a food donation or in providing a community donation station at your home or business, see these additional instructions.

January 15-18 Performance Lineup

The performances and films listed below will be available to view for free between January 15-18, 2021.

Storyteller Willa Brigham

Willa Brigham, an avid writer of short stories, poetry and songs, uses her multiple talents and contagious energy to stimulate audiences of all ages. Join her on a quest for excitement, adventure and a joyous tour of your creative imagination.

Her goal is to empower audiences to believe in themselves via the spoken word. Willa will be presenting stories that honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. and the struggle for equal rights appropriate for ages preschool and up.

This performance will be made available to view from January 16-18 on this Cary Theater webpage.

Harriet Tubman featuring storyteller Janice Greene

Harriet Tubman comes to life through the captivating storytelling of Janice Greene who embodies the essence of this courageous and amazing woman. Relive the quest to free enslaved people using safe houses known as the Underground Railroad.

Janice Curtis Greene is an accomplished storyteller who has been telling African, African American and Multicultural stories for over 25 years. This presentation is also appropriate for ages preschool and up.

This performance will be made available to view from January 16-18 on this Cary Theater webpage.

Jackie Robinson: A Game Apart featuring actor Mike Wiley

A Game Apart provides a glimpse of Jackie Robinson’s life during a bygone era of separate and unequal locker rooms, of whites-only hotels and of restaurants with only a back door for colored athletes to enter. Witness the hopeless humiliation of a star player who was showered with adulation on the field and became a second-hand citizen when he walked off the diamond.

Meet Jackie’s compatriots fighting the same battles between the end zones, inside the ring and around the track. A Game Apart is a powerful lesson of courage through dedication, perseverance and leadership. This film is appropriate for grades 3 through adult.

This performance will be made available to view from January 16-18 on this Cary Theater webpage.

John Lewis: Good Trouble

This film chronicles the life and career of the legendary civil rights activist and Democratic Representative from Georgia and his 60-plus years of social activism and legislative action on civil rights, voting rights, gun control, health-care reform and immigration.

Using interviews with Lewis filmed not long before his passing, the film explores his childhood experiences, his inspiring family and his fateful meeting with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1957. Tickets to view this free film screening will be limited and will be available soon through The Cary Theater’s virtual cinema.

Dreamfest Interfaith Service

On Sunday, January 17 Christ the King Lutheran Church will live stream their yearly interfaith service at 3:30 PM.

This service will feature guest preacher, Rev. Brenda Smith from Chicago, special music by Dr. Abe Caceres, the Pleasant Grove Church Praise Team as well as a presentation by the “virtualMLK Project” of NC State University led by Dr. Vicki Gallagher.

Living up to the name, the event will be sponsored by various faith organizations including Christ the King Lutheran Church, Congregation Beth Shalom, Islamic Association/Cary Mosque and the Cary Area Ministerial Alliance.


Story from staff reports. Photos from the Town of Cary and The Cary Theater.

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