Wisconsin will celebrate the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. live at noon Jan. 20 from the Capitol rotunda in Madison.

Jonathan Overby. Photo courtesy WPR/J. Potter.

Produced, directed and hosted by Wisconsin Public Radio’s Jonathan Overby, the 40th annual official state ceremony is the oldest state celebration in the country. “Today, we as a nation are still struggling to overcome the challenges that divide us,” Overby said in a news release. “This event, perhaps more so than any other in the past, seeks to bring healing, stand firmly for justice, and celebrate the human spirit here in Wisconsin, across our nation and around the world.”

Ollie Watts Davis will deliver the keynote address. Davis is the Distinguished Professor of Music at the University of Illinois, where she serves as professor of voice and is the music director and conductor of the Black Chorus. She is a recording artist and has performed with orchestras and operas internationally. Her work also includes a mentoring curriculum for young women, Talks My Mother Never Had With Me.

Joining Davis on the platform will be Gov. Tony Evers, the MLK Women’s Mass Choir, the Fall Gospel Fest Choir and the acclaimed Milwaukee duo Sista Strings.

The MLK Tribute & Ceremony is free and open to the public with limited seating and standing. People throughout the state can listen live on all WPR stations and at wpr.org. PBS Wisconsin’s Wisconsin Channel and pbswisconsin.org will also carry the event live. A one-hour highlights broadcast airs on PBS Wisconsin’s flagship channel at 9 p.m.

Find details at wpr.org/mlk.

Photo courtesy WPR/J. Potter.