National Mall’s public art exhibit explores American resilience and untold stories

DC International School | Washington, DC

“Pulling Together” is the first-ever curated public art exhibition on the National Mall that explores enduring narratives of American resilience and examines Indigenous legacies, the history of enslavement, civil rights, LGBTQ+ activism, immigration pathways, environmental justice, and more.

Students from DC International School, who are part of the PBS NewsHour’s Student Reporting Labs network, spoke to one of the artists, Paul Ramírez Jonas. Jonas created “Let Freedom Ring,” an interactive bell tower that plays “My Country ’Tis of Thee” with the help of passersby. The musical exhibit was inspired by renowned Black opera singer Marian Anderson’s performance of this song on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1939. She was banned from performing at Constitution Hall nearby due to segregation.

This story was produced by students Morgan Hawkins and Ajani Obaseki with instruction provided by educator Ashley Porter. Additional support by Rawan Elbaba.

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