MLK Free Day at Conner Prairie: BE LOVE Essay Contest Open to Students

People making a heart with their hands

Conner Prairie is hosting an essay contest as part of its Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration, giving students the opportunity to explore the theme of love in their lives.

FISHERS, IN (Dec. 21, 2022) – Conner Prairie is celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 2023 by inviting students to write an essay in which they reflect on this year’s MLK Day theme: love.

The essay contest is one way Conner Prairie is engaging students to honor Martin Luther King Jr. and the many activists who inspired the Civil Rights Movement. The contest is open to students in grades 3 through 12. In their essays, students should reflect on how they have experienced love in their lives and how they can pledge to “BE LOVE” for themselves, their family, their community, and the world.  

“We were inspired by bell hooks’ book “All About Love” for our theme this year,” Director of Education Brandy Whitaker said. “Love gives us strength, hope, and comfort throughout hardships and internal battles we fight in our lives. This invitation to our youth gives us the privilege of listening to the way love shows up in their lives and helps to elevate their often  silenced voices.”

The contest is open to home-schooled students and students in local school districts in the following counties: Hamilton, Marion, Tipton, Boone, Hendricks, Madison, Morgan, Johnson, Shelby, and Hancock. 

To be considered, all entries should be submitted to by February 14. All submissions should include the following: name, age, grade level, and county of residence. The winning essays will be published on Conner Prairie’s website and displayed at Conner Prairie’s MLK Day celebration January 16, 2023. Winners will also receive a Conner Prairie Plus membership.

In addition to the essay contest, Conner Prairie is celebrating MLK Day by offering free admission to the museum January 16. Guests will be able to experience inspirational programming throughout the day including a march through the grounds, blood drive, collaborative art projects, opportunities to learn about influential Civil Rights activists, and an opportunity to pledge to BE LOVE, an initiative by The King Center.

To learn more about the BE LOVE essay contest and activities for MLK Free Day at Conner Prairie click here.

About Conner Prairie
Spanning more than 1,000 wooded acres in Central Indiana, Conner Prairie welcomes more than 400,000 visitors of all ages annually. As Indiana’s first Smithsonian affiliate, Conner Prairie offers various outdoor, historically themed encounters and indoor experiential learning spaces that combine history and art with science, technology, engineering and math to offer an authentic look into history that shapes society today. Conner Prairie is a 501(c)3, nonprofit organization – accredited by the American Alliance of Museums – that relies on grants and philanthropic donations from individuals, corporations, and foundations for sustainability and growth. For more information visit

Holly Pasquinelli
Senior Manager of PR and Communications
317.776.6000 EXT. 267