Athenaeum Youth Art Exhibition Call for Entries:


This is What Freedom Looks Like to Me.


Entries are due by June 30, 2022

In recognition of Juneteenth, the Athenaeum Gallery is calling for artworks by young people that represent what Freedom means to them for an online exhibition on the Athenaeum website There is no cost to enter.


This exhibition asks young people to share through artistic expression how they interpret independence in various ways, from freedom of speech, freedom to affirm their humanity, freedom to tell the truth, freedom of dress and expression, and freedom to establish new cultural norms and break free of expectations set by others. It will also include reflections on the historical significance of the story of Juneteenth and how it relates to today’s culture.


“June nineteenth” or, “Juneteenth” marks the day in 1865 when federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, to take control of the state and ensure that all enslaved people were freed following the outcome of the Civil War. It came as a surprise to many of the enslaved that they were two and a half years late in getting news after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation commemorating the end to slavery in the United States. Today, Juneteenth celebrates African American freedom and it emphasizes the education and achievement of African Americans and Black culture in America. Above all, it’s a day meant for self-reflection, understanding the truths of the past and the realities of the present.


Artworks Selection Criteria:


The exhibit will be online on the website. Entries can be in any form of visual art, in any media, and any size, and should be submitted via a digital photograph of the work. Poetry, and video art 3 minutes or less in length, can also be submitted.


Works will be judged and selected for inclusion in this show based on:


- Is it a unique and creative interpretation of the theme?


- Does it represent Black and American culture, history, and place in the world today?


- Would it give non-African-Americans a better understanding or perspective on the Black experience and history?


The entries will be reviewed and a selection to be featured in the show will be included in an online exhibition on the Athenaeum Gallery website.


Works for inclusion in MY FREEDOM! This is What Freedom Looks Like to Me will be selected by Athenaeum Gallery Director, Twig Murray and C. Alexandria-Bernard Thomas, Poet, Orator, Teaching Artist. Works will be chosen that show aesthetic excellence, mastery of media, creativity and thoughtfulness, and are relevant to the exhibition theme.


Please email your submission to with the subject line “MY FREEDOM!”




To be eligible to participate in this art entry, artwork must be created by individuals between the ages of 10 and 17, who live in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia. There is no cost to enter.




Entries are due by June 30, 2022

The online exhibition will open on June 15, 2022, and entries will be added as we receive them.

suliman abdulah_Montage Akello.jpeg

Photo, Montage Akello, by Suliman Abdullah

Celebrate Juneteenth with Carlyle House Historic Park and the Athenaeum!

Sunday, June 19, 12- 4 pm

Come by the Carlyle House as we honor Juneteenth, the day the Emancipation Proclamation reached the last people held in slavey within the former Confederate States, two years after it had taken effect.

The event is presented in collaboration with C. Alexandria-Bernard Thomas, the Carlyle House and the Athenaeum. The event will be held outside in the gardens, on the lawn and the tented terrace of the Carlyle House located in the heart of Old Town Alexandria. Attendees can discover the history of Juneteenth through hands-on activities, art, history, and poetry readings. Activities are part of the planned offerings to commemorate the day that marks the liberation of Black Americans on June 19, 1865.

Four wonderful poets will be performing: The New Poet Laureate Zeina Azzam, Khalil Houston, Simply Sherri and Destinae, the 20’ & 21’ Youth Poet Laureate of Baltimore. Visitors will have the opportunity to talk with the artists after and in-between performances as well as share their written and/or drawn reactions to the powerful performances. There will be a professional photographer on site to capture free father/child portraits, in celebration of it also being Father’s Day. The Athenaeum is offering an African themed hands-on activity for all ages. There will also be a creative writing workshop presented by Enoch the Poet.

This FREE community event is at The Carlyle House Historic Park located at 121 N. Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA

Questions? Call 703-549-2997 or email us at:


Write Like a Woman Networking Workshop

Saturday, July 16, 1 - 3 pm



Enjoy an afternoon of engaging conversation and writing! Facilitated by poet, author, and Poet Laureate of Alexandria, KaNikki Jakarta, this workshop welcomes amateur to professional women writers ages 18–100. Each workshop centers on uplifting and inspiring through writing and allows participants to enhance their writing styles.

Masks are required and social distancing will be practiced.


Space is limited, please RSVP to KaNikki


This is a free program; donations are accepted.


Yoga at the Athenaeum

Wednesdays at 5:30 pm

The Last Saturday of the Month at 10:00 am


Join Barbara Douglass and Jeneen Piccuirro for gentle flowing yoga classes that will build flexibility, strength and balance, and also bring a sense of peace and calm to your soul.


$10 cash, Venmo, PayPal, pay at the door

Please bring a yoga mat

For more information about yoga classes click HERE!


© 2019 The Athenaeum/NVFAA   201 Prince Street

Alexandria, VA  22314   703-548-0035

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