In 2021, the Saint Louis Art Museum offered a unique, virtual edition of the annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Celebration. Local Black performing artists Joel P. E. King, Heather Beal and Anita Jackson, a 2022 St. Louis Arts Awards honoree, responded to photographs by Pulitzer Prize-winner Moneta Sleet, Jr. through music, dance and theatrical presentations.

Watch Anita Jackson below as she performs her original work, "None Will Give Us Freedom", in response to Moneta Sleet, Jr.’s photograph, "Selma Marchers on Road to Montgomery”. Or click here to see the full 2021 program.

This year the celebration will again be virtual and is inspired by photographs by Moneta Sleet Jr. that embody the concept of joy as an act of resistance. Local Black performing artists, Robert Crenshaw, Alicia Revé and Freeman Word, will respond to the photographs from the Museum’s collection through dance, music and spoken word.

This on-demand virtual program will become available on Monday, January 17, 2022, and can be viewed anytime through the end of 2022. Registration is not required. Slam.org/MLKfreedomcelebration

Anita Jackson is being recognized at the 2022 St. Louis Arts Awards on Monday, May 23, 2022, with an Excellence in the Arts Award. Learn more about the St. Louis Arts Awards here.

Did you know you can celebrate Anita Jackson with a St. Louis Arts Awards Tribute Gift? A tribute gift is a great way to honor and celebrate honorees. When a tribute gift is received, we will send an acknowledgment to the honoree indicated, notifying them of your thoughtful donation, but will not reveal the amount of the donation. Every gift is tax-deductible, and you will receive an acknowledgment of your contribution. Make a gift here.