• MLK Community Center

Concerts, Collaging, and Canned Goods 🎶🎨🥫

Updated: Jun 5


LIVE FROM THE [LOADING] DOCK: The MLK's Outdoor Summer Concert Series Debuts This Wednesday, June 9th

The MLK Community Center is bringing live, upbeat entertainment for all ages to the community free of charge - live from our loading dock - on the second Wednesday each month throughout the summer.

WATCH: Yacouba Diabate on the kora

Kicking off "Live from the [Loading] Dock" this coming Wednesday, June 9th at 4:30 pm is West African native Yacouba Diabate on the kora, thanks to the generosity of event sponsor Jeff Brooks, Realtor - Hogan Associates. This music series is presented in conjunction with Common Fence Music.

CALENDARS FOR COMMUNITY: Middletown High School Senior Capstone Project Raised Funds for the MLK

There's never been anything better than an Aquidneck Island sunset... Until now - sunsets that sustain crucial community resources.

Aidan Paolo (pictured, left, along with the MLK's Alyson Novick, Nancy Harten and Heather Hole Strout), a senior at Middletown High School and longtime friend of the Center, came up with a senior Capstone project that combined creativity with community.

Aidan photographed the famously stunning sunsets of Aquidneck Island and compiled them into 2022 wall calendars. He then sold the calendars throughout the community, and 100% of proceeds benefitted the Center.

Support of the MLK Community Center is a family affair: Aidan's amazing mother and older brother are longtime volunteers at the Center.

We are thrilled that many young people in our community are finding creative ways to meet senior project and community service requirements in supporting the Center. Aidan's Capstone project is the perfect example: an intersection of his artistic abilities and a love of helping others. We wish Aidan and the Class of 2021 all the best in the great things their futures will bring!

THE MLK'S TWICE-WEEKLY GRAB & GO LUNCH IS HERE TO STAY, thanks to generous donations from Blount Fine Foods

The Center's popular Grab & Go lunch program continues twice weekly (Tuesday & Thursday, 11:30 AM - 1 PM) throughout the year. Born out of necessity when daily meal sites around Newport County closed their doors due to COVID-19, Grab & Go meals have quickly become a community mainstay. Blount Fine Foods is now donating all of the delicious, hearty soup to sustain this essential program, and for us to offer in the Food Pantry too. It's a huge amount: in a month, that's a whopping 2,400 cups of soup!

In addition to Blount's amazing generosity, the Grab & Go meal program is seeing some other changes as well: the program is now completely staffed by volunteers who prepare and serve the meal (and clean up, too). We can't say it enough: volunteers are truly the heart of the Center.

Be sure to stop by the Center for Grab & Go lunch each Tuesday and Thursday between 11:30 AM and 1 PM for a bite, and say be sure to say hi to our "souper" volunteers while you're there!


Reserve your family's tickets to Newport Music Festival's MLK Family concert before they're gone!

Newport Music Festival presents Grammy-Award winning musicians Third Coast Percussion for an exclusive concert for families with children enrolled in MLK Center programs! Friday, July 9th's energetic, family-friendly outdoor concert will be held on the basketball court behind the Center starting at 4:30 pm. If your child is enrolled in the MLK's Preschool, After School, and/or Summer Camp program(s), your family is eligible to attend this FREE concert!Watch Third Coast Percussion's NPR Tiny Desk concert here.

These reserved seats will no longer be available after next week! Starting June 15th, tickets will open up to the general public, and they're sure to sell out. So, if you're interested, be sure to reserve your family's spot now!

  • To register: Your child, if currently attending the Center, took a Third Coast Percussion flyer home with them (pictured). If you still have it, register on this webpage and use the special passcode listed on the flyer. You will not be able to get tickets without the passcode. If you no longer have access to the flyer, you can a.) ask your child's teacher, or b.) contact the Center (via email or call 401-846-4828) and we will provide you with the passcode for registration or c.) join our Facebook group for MLK parents and find the registration code there.

This performance is generously sponsored by Betsy Blair and Jim Van Winkle, with additional support provided by BankNewport and NewportFed Charitable Foundation.

FOOD PANTRY FEATURE: We need low-sodium foods

This month's Food Pantry Feature is low-sodium foods. We know: this is a pretty broad category of foods, but the demand in our pantry is great.

Have you been there? Your doctor reviews your lab report and tells you to reduce your salt intake ... immediately. For many of us, lifestyle changes like this are challenging enough on their own. But combatting food insecurity on top of that? What would you do if access to low sodium foods wasn't possible?

That's where the MLK comes in. Low-sodium foods are among our most-requested items. Many seniors in our Food 2 Friends program follow a sodium-restricted diet, as well as so many others that we see at our Mobile Food Pantries and on-site food pantry. For those who have or are at risk of kidney disease, heart disease, high blood pressure, or simply anyone trying to adopt a healthier lifestyle, low sodium foods are essential.

Are you able to donate some low sodium foods throughout the month? We need items like: low sodium soups, canned beans, canned vegetables, diced tomatoes, etc. You can also look for low sodium packaged rice and stovetop pasta dishes, low sodium spice mixes... really anything that says "Low Sodium" or "No Salt" on the packaging!

We accept donations of non-perishable food, fresh produce, household cleaning and personal care items at our loading dock Monday - Friday 8:30 am – 5:00 pm. Thank you!


Calling all creatives, of all ages! Have you registered for tomorrow's FREE collage workshop with the Jamestown Arts Center!? All are welcome!

This free, instructor-led workshop will explore the influential works of West African-born, Brooklyn-based modern artist Aboudia, and teach collage techniques through a modern lens. All ages are invited to attend (children with parental supervision).

Where: The MLK Community Center, Newport, RI

When: TOMORROW: Saturday, June 5th, 11 AM - 1 PM

This workshop is FREE, but registration is required. REGISTRATION CLOSES AT 8 PM TONIGHT (FRIDAY, JUNE 4TH)

When you give, the MLK can keep helping. Click here to donate.


View all: Google Calendar / Facebook events

Volunteers wanted! The MLK is currently seeking Volunteer Cooks to prepare meals for our Breakfast program. You don't have to be a morning person either, you can meal prep in advance! If you're interested in volunteering with us, please fill out an online volunteer application. Online registration is open: You can now register for Zumba, "Toning in '21," Yoga, and Sabores Latinos online! With this system, you can conveniently register, reschedule, and cancel appointments at your convenience. We suggest you make an account for easy account management (after you sign up for your first class, it will prompt you). If you aren't able to register online, you are always able to contact Mel via email or by phone to register: (401) 846-4828. Facebook Groups: We've recently opened two private Facebook groups: one group for Parents & Families of MLK Students, and one group for MLK Community Center Volunteers. Please join the conversation! (Parents: we've been sharing reminders, registration links for MLK family events, and soon: the Preschool Graduation Zoom link!)

  • Grab & Go Breakfast Mon-Fri, 7:30 - 8:30 am. (Marcus Wheatland Blvd entrance)

  • Food Pantry: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10 am to 2 pm and Wednesday evenings from 4 pm to 6 pm; first Saturday of each month from 10 am to 12 pm

  • Food 2 Friends delivery for homebound seniors. Contact Ed for more info

  • Mobile Food Pantry visits to communities throughout Newport County. Schedule

  • Daily Bread: Mon-Fri at the Marcus Wheatland Blvd entrance, while supplies last

  • Produce to the People @ the MLK (formerly Veggie Days): weekly vegetable distribution, Thursdays 10 am to 1 pm or while supplies last.

  • Produce to the People @ Newport Heights: The Center's weekly free vegetable distribution is hitting the road for the summer! Beginning June 1st, every Tuesday throughout the summer from 10 am - 1 pm (or while supplies last), get free, local produce for you and your family. Located at W Evans St., between Girard & Fahey, behind the Florence Gray Center in Newport.

  • Grab & Go Lunch: Every Tuesday and Thursday from 11:30 am to 1 pm. Now sponsored by Blount Fine Foods. Free! Menu TBD.

  • Live from the [Loading] Dock, Summer Concert Series: Nothing says "summer" like an outdoor concert! June - August, bring a blanket/lawn chair to the Center's front lawn on the 2nd Wednesday of the month for upbeat music from diverse musicians and a meal. Wednesday, June 9th at 4:30 enjoy the sounds of Yacouba Dibate on the kora (traditional West African stringed instrument), thanks to the generosity of our music sponsor