The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center was incorporated in 1922 as the Newport Community Center to provide recreational activities for community residents, and was renamed in honor of Dr. King in June of 1968. The founders were a group of Trustees of the Newport Historical Society. The Historical Society had just been left the Great Friends Meeting House on the corner of Marlborough and Farewell Streets and was looking for a way to breathe new life into the old building, while honoring the legacy of its founders.
From its 1922 opening, the Center immediately became a gathering place for people of all cultures and communities. Its board, staff, and clients were from every background and every neighborhood in town. In 1968, the Newport Community Center moved into the former Navy USO building in Newport’s Washington Square neighborhood and was renamed in honor of Dr. King.
Over the past ninety-four years, the MLK Community Center has grown in response to community need and become a multi-service agency providing a wide variety of human services and enrichment activities to meet the diverse needs of the residents of Newport County. Programs include urgent food services, educational programs for children Preschool– Grade 5, and engaging programs for adults. We are truly a group of neighbors helping neighbors.