Athenaeum Youth Art Exhibition Call for Entries:


This is What Freedom Looks Like to Me.


Entries are due by June 8, 2022

In recognition of Juneteenth, the Athenaeum Gallery is calling for artworks by young African American or Black artists that represent what Freedom means to them for an online exhibition on the Athenaeum website There is no cost to enter and three $100 prizes will be awarded.


This exhibition asks young Black 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 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 the artist’s particular African-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 who identify as African-American or Black between the ages of 10 and 17, who live in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia. There is no cost to enter and three $100 prizes will be awarded.




Entries are due by June 8, 2022

Selection of artworks to display will occur on June 10, 2022

Artists will be notified on June 13, 2022

Online exhibition will open on June 15, 2022

Headshot KJ 1.jpg


Thursday, June 2, 6:30 pm

Program begins at 7 pm


Join us for a poetry inspired Q&A, poetry reading, and discussion with the past and present Poet Laureates of The City of Alexandria. 


Moderated by:

KaNikki Jakarta, Athenaeum Inaugural Poet In Residence 



Zeina Azzam

Wendi Kaplan

Tori Lane

Mary Mcelveen

RSVP required, please RSVP to KaNikki

Masks Required

Minimized for Social Distancing


This is a free program; donations are accepted.



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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