Let Freedom Ring: Commemorating the 60th Anniversary of the March on Washington


MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL (08/7/2023) — On Aug 28, the Twin Cities community will come together to honor the enduring legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and commemorate the 60th anniversary of the historic March on Washington for Jobs & Freedom.

Press photos and communications kit can be found here.


College of Liberal Arts, Northrop, and VocalEssence Present

Let Freedom Ring: The 60th Anniversary of the March on Washington

Mon, Aug 28, 6:30 pm

Carlson Family Stage, Northrop

Free Event, Registration Required


Let Freedom Ring, a free celebration presented by the College of Liberal Arts, Northrop, and VocalEssence, starts with a commemorative procession down Northrop Mall at the University of Minnesota, followed by a concert on Northrop’s Carlson Family Stage. All are welcome to join. The concert, curated by G. Phillip Shoultz, III, associate artistic director of VocalEssence, will feature dynamic artists who will activate memories of the Civil Rights era, inspiring us to stand in solidarity as we renew our commitment to do the work required to secure liberty and justice for all. Among the featured artists are:


  • Jovonta Patton: As a five-time #1 chart-topping Billboard recording artist, Jovonta Patton's uplifting and accessible "pop-gospel" music has captured the hearts of many.
  • Joe Davis & The Poetic Diaspora: Blending old school and new school hip hop, R&B, funk, and soul, Joe Davis & The Poetic Diaspora will present a soul-stirring performance that tells stories of struggle, resilience, and celebration.
  • Threads Dance Project: A contemporary ballet company that seeks to celebrate and explore the threads that unite humanity, Threads Dance Project will use dance as a powerful medium to create dialogue, acceptance, and understanding.
  • Phillip Shoultz, III: No stranger to using the power of spoken word and song to inspire communities, G. Phillip Shoultz, III fosters unity and action among people of all ages and abilities.


The event will kick off at 5:30 pm with a commemorative procession down Northrop Mall, culminating with remarks from the steps of Northrop. The procession will be led by a group of community elders, including some who attended the March on Washington, community leaders who have been engaged in efforts to expand civil rights within the Twin Cities community, as well as student, faculty and staff leaders from the University community. At 6:00 pm, the audience will be seated for the Let Freedom Ring concert. Local resource tables from several organizations, including Sweet Potato Comfort Pie and the University’s Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Program will be available for exploration during this time.


Admission to the Let Freedom Ring concert is free, but reservations are required. Attendees can reserve their tickets online or by calling the Northrop Box Office at 612-624-2345 to secure their spot for this unforgettable evening of celebration and remembrance.


This event is made possible by the collaborative efforts of the UMN College of Liberal Arts, Northrop, and VocalEssence. The concert is the signature event of CLA’s Dream Initiative, which encourages Twin Cities organizations and communities to engage in activities that commemorate, reflect upon, educate, and amplify shared social justice goals.


Let Freedom Ring is a not-to-be-missed event that promises to inspire, uplift, and ignite our collective passion for justice and equality. All are welcome to attend on Aug 28 at Carlson Family Stage, Northrop, to celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the March on Washington for Jobs & Freedom.


For media inquiries and interview requests, please contact:

Tessa Eagan

Director of Marketing & Communications, College of Liberal Arts

[email protected]


Amanda Timmer

Director of Marketing and Communications, VocalEssence

[email protected]



UPDATED 8-14-23:

The “Let Freedom Ring” Commemoration is Presented by


University of Minnesota College of Liberal Arts, Northrop, and VocalEssence


Extending our gratitude to all who have supported this event



TigerLion Arts, Juxtaposition Arts



General Mills, The Givens Foundation for African American Literature, Medtronic, The Minneapolis Foundation, Minnesota Public Radio, Smaby Family Foundation, University of Minnesota Foundation, and the University of Minnesota



Robert H Bruininks & Susan A Hagstrum, Louis & Alissa Clark, John Coleman & Laura Leitch, and Michael Perry


About College of Liberal Arts

For more than 150 years, the College of Liberal Arts (CLA) has played a central and enduring role in shaping lives, for the good of Minnesota and the world. CLA is the largest college in the University of Minnesota system with nearly 500 world-class faculty instructing more than 12,000 undergraduate and 1,400 graduate students. CLA is home to 31 academic departments and 20+ interdisciplinary research centers in the arts, social sciences, and humanities. Learn more at cla.umn.edu.


About Northrop

Situated at the heart of the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus and a state historic landmark, Northrop has served as the University’s primary gathering place for the performing arts, world-renowned dance performances, concerts, academic ceremonies, and major civic events for nearly 100 years. From touring international and favorite local dance companies, musicians, and film screenings to the hottest comedy acts, renowned speakers, celebrated authors, and prestigious UMN lectures, Northrop offers opportunities for all ages to explore, learn, and engage.


About VocalEssence

VocalEssence, the choral organization Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones says “sings magnificently,” provides opportunities that draw upon the power of singing together to nurture community, inspire creativity, affirm the value of all persons, and expand the impact of choral music. VocalEssence was founded in 1969 and through its performance series has debuted more than 300 commissions and world premieres. VocalEssence Learning & Engagement programs help people of all ages bridge, create, and learn across cultures by connecting them with renowned choral experts to provide exceptional role models, grow community self-esteem, self-expression, and engagement. For more information, visit www.vocalessence.org.