Call for Artwork: Remembering 1619

The Equal Justice Society is accepting submissions of artwork to be considered for a one-night exhibition as part of an artistic performance at the San Francisco Jazz Center on Tuesday, August 20, 2019, from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The artistic performance is part of Remembering 1619, a series of events and activities hosted by EJS throughout 2019 to observe the 400th anniversary of slavery in the United States. The performance will feature musicians, actors and dancers from the acclaimed Marcus Shelby Orchestra and Zaccho Dance Theatre, as well as actor Steven Anthony Jones, filmmaker Cheo Tyehimba Taylor, and vocalist Faye Carol.


On August 19 or 20, 1619, twenty Africans stepped ashore at Jamestown, Virginia, “cargo” stolen by European pirates from a ship that had been bound for the West Indies, thus beginning the monstrous American system of slavery. This brought the European slave trade, which had begun in 1444, and continued for more than four hundred years, to the English colonies. As a result, Africa lost an estimated 40 million people.

The Equal Justice Society will be commemorating this anniversary:

  • to remind people of our history and to acquaint people with the facts, reality, and feel of slavery;
  • to show the impact the enslavement of Africans has had on every part of our nation and how it has informed the present political, economic, and cultural moment;
  • to recognize our resistance and rebellion through non-violent protest, marches, boycotts, and legal action; and
  • to commemorate our resilience in the face of monstrous evil and attempts to crush our souls, our spirits, and our bodies.

The year 1619 was the beginning of much misery, degradation, evil, and pain in this country. Many have fought mightily to undo the damage.  EJS hopes that we can shine a light on our history while invoking the “better angels of our nature.” To see more about our year-long observance, please visit


“Remembering 1619” Artistic Presentation
Tuesday, August 20, 2019
6:30 pm – 9:00 pm
SFJAZZ Center — 201 Franklin Street, San Francisco, CA 94102
Save the date on Facebook or Eventbrite.


We invite established and emerging artists who are residents of California to submit artwork. You do not have to be a professional artist. We welcome submissions from members of the legal profession, youth* and community members who make art as a process of personal, political or cultural expression and truth-telling.

*Please note that if an artist is under 18 years old, we will require consent from their parent/guardian, except in special circumstances, in order to exhibit their work.


To be considered for the exhibition, the work must relate to the theme of slavery in America, from its beginnings to the rippling, invasive, pejorative effects it has had and continues to have on our political, economic, and social systems, as well as the ongoing struggle, resistance, rebellion against it.

By heeding the call to create art in observance of 1619, you are contributing to our collective efforts to reflect on our dark history and re-engage with our ongoing struggle for justice. If your work is selected, it will be seen and recognized by many of the movers and shakers in the Bay Area social justice community who will be attending our event.

Pieces will be offered for silent auction with 100% of the selling price to be donated to the Equal Justice Society, provided that the artwork is sold at a price equal or greater than the price determined by the artist.

The Equal Justice Society and its partners are committed to reflecting the diversity and cultural richness of the Bay Area and California at large in the selection of artists and artworks.


Submissions are due Thursday, July 25, 2019 at 5 p.m. (Pacific Standard Time).


Each applicant is required to submit an email that includes:

  • No more than two (2) images of artwork to be considered for the exhibition (only one (1) will be selected)
  • An artist statement about the work(s) submitted (not to exceed 300 words)
  • A short biographical statement (not to exceed 300 words)

All applications must be emailed to Ginger Johnson at by Thursday, July 25, 2019 at 5 p.m. Pacific Time.


For questions about the project or selection process, please contact the Equal Justice Society at 415-288-8700 or For more information about the Equal Justice Society, please visit

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