A 3’ x 6’ portrait of Nina Simone is being installed today in the Out of Town News Kiosk in Harvard Square as a prelude to Martin Luther King’s Day on Monday, January 18th. Harvard Square Business Association (HSBA), is collaborating with renowned artist, Lennie Peterson and Cambridge Forum, in a live Zoom event on Tuesday, January 19th at 3 pm.  The event, “MARKERS AND REMINDERS: MLK to BLM” will feature several speakers who will address essential aspects of our local and national history with regard to black icons and activists.

Today’s artwork is generously loaned to the HSBA by artist and musician, Lennie Peterson, who specializes in largescale portraits of musicians including Billie Holiday, John Coltrane and Miles Davis. Peterson has traveled the world dedicating his life to visual art, music, and arts education in a wide variety of capacities. His award-winning artwork and illustrations have been featured in exhibitions in galleries throughout the U.S., Japan, Spain, Argentina and Kuwait. Peterson is also a former professor at Boston’s Berklee College of Music and is currently a professional freelance musician, visual artist, and public speaker who has toured extensively with several renowned symphony orchestras in the world. For more information on Peterson’s work and commissions contact:

Denise Jillson, Executive Director of HSBA, is thrilled about the range and reach of this program with Cambridge Forum, which will be recorded for broadcast on YouTube, GBH Forum Network and NPR. Details for joining the event are available via

In addition to Jillson, the live program will include Cambridge City Councillor, Denise Simmons who will talk about the significance of local landmarks including the Prince Hall memorial on Cambridge Common. The Forum will then reach across the river to interview Imari Paris Jeffries, the Executive Director of King Boston who will detail the design for “Embrace” the three-story memorial dedicated to Dr. King, and also plans for the Center for Economic Justice.

For additional information about related events, please see the links below:

Register in advance for Cambridge Forum Webinar: