Hidden Gems Of Connecticut: MLK Edition 2022


MANCHESTER/SIMSBURY, CT — This week, we make two trips to Hidden Gems in Connecticut that pay tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz was so impressed by one of them that she made it her holiday tribute photo.

The MLK Memorial includes a series of glass panels that each discuss different aspects of Dr. King’s life. The panels represent King’s family history, his journey to Simsbury, his time in Simsbury and the impact it had on his life, his departure and return to the segregated South and MLK’s legacy.

The memorial is not just a monument but rather a place where people can sit, reflect, and learn about Dr. King. It serves to educate people about the struggle that MLK dedicated his life to then, and continues today, to obtain equal rights. King was a young student when he worked in Simsbury and was heavily impacted by the integrated community.

The memorial is located in the center of town, on the grounds of Simsbury Free Library.

See more about the MLK memorial here.

Manchester

In Feb 2021, the town partnered on the project with CT Murals to fashion an MLK mural. It now takes up an entire exterior wall of the Mahoney Recreation Center. CT Murals is a project started by the non-profit The RiseUP Group in 2015 to create public art that is “inclusive and accessible for all.”

The artist is Ben Keller, a young professional painter/mural artist who launched his own business in 2018. He started painting at the age of 12. Keller’s vision for “Birthing of a Legacy” depicts MLK “as a man bringing light to darkness and represents a symbol for more equal and positive times ahead. While the work will always continue, this mural is a reminder that the light is shining on 2021.”

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The Hidden Gems series features out-of-the-way mom and pop restaurants, small specialty stores you may have never heard of, little-known historical markers or beautiful nature spots that may be a bit off the beaten path, all located within Connecticut .

Columns in this series in 2022 include:

Columns in this series from 2021 include:

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