Expression of Freedom

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Date: June 25, 2012
Contact: Nathan Hatfield, 318 356-8441

Natchitoches, LA- Calling all teenage film makers, poets, and photographers! The National Park Service, in partnership with the National Park Foundation's African American Experience Fund, today launched Expressions of Freedom, a nationwide artistic competition to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.  

Contest submissions will be accepted from students 13 to 18 years old in three categories - photography, poetry, and digital short films. The first-place winner in each category will receive a $2,500 academic scholarship and the second-place winner will receive a $1,000 academic scholarship. The deadline for entries is October 15, 2012. Details are available at

"The issue that was at the heart of the Civil War - the continual struggle for equality for all - remains relevant today," said Jonathan B. Jarvis, Director of the National Park Service. "This contest encourages young people to reflect on their own personal meanings of freedom and creatively express those thoughts." 

Expressions of Freedom is designed to connect student artists to the significance of the American Civil War, the Emancipation Proclamation, and the system of national parks that commemorate events associated with the Civil War and the Civil Rights Movement.

Cane River Creole NHP's Oakland and Magnolia Plantations were once home to hundreds of enslaved laborers. Many of those individuals, along with their descendants remained on the plantations well into the 20th century. One of those individuals, Solomon Williams was a highly skilled blacksmith whose decorative iron cross grave markers are currently housed in the park's museum collection.

To learn more about Solomon Williams and other members of the plantation community visit Cane River Creole NHP's Oakland Plantation and Magnolia Plantation Complex.

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

400 Rapides Dr. ( Headquarters and Administrative offices)
Natchitoches, LA 71457


(318) 352-0383 x101
Oakland Plantation - 318-352-0383, ext. 316 Magnolia Plantation 318-352-0383, ext. 316 Headquarters - 318-352-0383, ext. 101 (Monday-Friday)

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