2015 Selma Essay Contest Winners

On Tuesday, April 21, 2015, the National Liberty Museum was thrilled to host an award ceremony that marked the culmination of the national Selma Speech & Essay Contest, made possible thanks to grant funding from the John Templeton Foundation and in-kind charitable gifts from Paramount Pictures.

 

Out of almost 800 submissions from 43 states, twelve finalists were chosen, and the top three – Ifeoma White-Thorpe, Evan Lehmann, and Edan Armas – were welcomed to the National Liberty Museum for the Selma Award Ceremony.

The ceremony kicked off with a spectacular red carpet welcome for the students, who were accompanied by their family members and their adult sponsors who guided them throughout the contest.

As the students entered the Museum, former Pennsylvania Senator Harris Wofford rang the NLM Liberty Bell to start the ceremony. Senator Wofford was an original Selma marcher and adviser to Martin Luther King, Jr.

NLM CEO Gwen Borowsky then welcomed the Girard College Cavalier Band & Choir (directed by former Teacher as Hero winner, Paul Eaton). The students set an inspirational tone for the day with their moving rendition of “Glory.” Next, guests watched special remarks from SELMA actor David Oyelowo and director Ava DuVernay.

The ceremony was hosted by KYW news reporter Cherri Gregg, who welcomed Senator Wofford to speak about his experience in Selma, as well as his work with Dr. King. Senator Wofford went on to tell the students what an inspiration they are: “Mr. Armas, Mr. Lehmann, and Miss White-Thorpe, you have used your voices to speak about individual freedom and self-determination in a way that would have made Dr. King proud.”

Cherri Gregg explained to the audience that while the students knew they were in the top three, none of them knew what place they had actually won. Ms. Gregg then invited each student to the stage, where they shared their inspiration and gave their speeches. Before making the big announcement, the students were surprised with recorded messages of support and congratulations from their schools. Then, it was finally time to learn who would be taking home the grand prize of $5,000. Edan Armas was named the third place winner, and then came the biggest surprise of the day – Gwen Borowsky announced that Evan and Ifeoma tied for first place! Each student scored identically to one hundredth of a point!

After each student received their prize, Deputy City Representative Elka Battle read a proclamation from Mayor Nutter proclaiming April 21, 2015 “Voices of Liberty Day.”


Free Indie Lens Pop-Up Film Festival... RSVP today!

Indie Lens Pop-Up is a neighborhood series that brings people together for FREE film screenings and community-driven conversations. Four films are scheduled for the coming months. After each FREE screening, we will host a thought-provoking panel discussion. Learn more and RSVP Today!

The Treachery of Images,
an Exhibit of Glass Pipes

Opening on Friday, April 7, this new temporary exhibit will showcase works that traditionally have been marginalized as “functional” glass art due to their association with an illicit activity. The “Treachery of Images” Exhibit embraces both the technical and social challenges of this art form by celebrating the unconventional designs and amazing craftsmanship of glass pipemakers. The work shown here, Freija by Banjo and Snic Barnes, is one of dozens of works that will be on display. Click here to learn more.

Holocaust Remembrance Program

Provided by the Fegelson–Young–Feinberg Post #697 of the Jewish War Veterans of the United States

This free program will be presented on Wednesday, April 19, from 2:00-4:00pm.
The two participating speakers are Daniel Goldsmith, who was a “hidden child” in Belgium during the Holocaust and survived through the aid of Catholic organizations; and
Pfc. Bernard Lens, who served in the U.S. Army under General George Patton and was among the troops who discovered and liberated the concentration “death” camps.
Click here to learn more.

Lectures on Important Foreign Policy Issues

The National Liberty Museum co-sponsors and hosts a series of lectures on important foreign policy issues. Click here to learn about the upcoming event on March 28.

Transparency,
An LGBT+ Glass Art Exhibition

Opening on Friday, June 2 to coincide with “LGBT Pride Month,” this will be the nation’s FIRST museum exhibit of studio glass works produced exclusively by artists of the LGBT+ community. It will showcase the diverse subjects, methods, and styles explored by these artists. The work shown here by Pearl Dick will be among dozens of works on display. Click here to learn more.

TD Bank Young Heroes Awards... Nominate someone today!

Nominations for our 2017 TD Bank Young Heroes Award are now open. Each year, we look for young people who have championed liberty through civic engagement, resolving conflicts respectfully, promoting diversity, and demonstrating leadership in their school or community. Learn more and submit your nomination today!

NLM's 2017 Glass Auction & Gala

This year’s GLASS AUCTION & GALA will be held Saturday evening, October 7 at the Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown Hotel, 201 N 17th St, Philadelphia, PA. An outstanding collection of art is being assembled. Sponsorships will soon be available. The artist honoree is Pearl Dick from Chicago. Click here for more information.

NLM Travel is headed to Wisconsin

Join the NLM on an arts-filled tour of parts of Wisconsin, Sept. 6-11, 2017. From Milwaukee’s art museums, to private collections, to a stop in beautiful Door County, which juts directly into Lake Michigan, you’ll follow host Arlene Silvers for a one-of-a-kind experience. Click here for more information.