City of Bloomington

the show goes on

Black History Month 2021

This year's theme "The Show Goes On", speaks to the resilience of a people who utilized some of their most valuable assets - creative and artistic expression - to overcome obstacles, navigate uncertain circumstances, and still come out on top. From gospel to blues to rap; dance to poetry to literature; photography and visual arts - we can find stories of the journey to freedom, civil rights and equity. By acknowledging and honoring the timeless artistic contributions of the Black community, we will reflect upon how and why the arts have been a source of inspiration and uplift that will bolster our community for generations to come.

Black History Month 2021 Virtual Gala


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Show starts at 16:04

Black History Month Gala

The 17th Annual Black History Month Gala which will take place on Saturday, February 27th virtually beginning at 6 p.m., the ticketed, public event will be held over Zoom video conferencing. E-tickets to attend the event over Zoom must be made in advance at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater, online at or by phone at 812-323-3020. E-ticket options include a 4"x4" or "6x6" Charcuterie Board by Blooming Boards.

The Camisha R. Sims Memorial Nursing Scholarship Fund

Contributions to the Camisha R. Sims Memorial Nursing Scholarship Fund can be made online at or by check to the Community Foundation of Bloomington Monroe County, 100 South College Avenue, Suite 240, Bloomington, IN 47404. Checks should be made out to the Community Foundation of Bloomington Monroe County. Please indicate "The Camisha R. Sims Memorial Nursing Scholarship Fund" on the memo line of your check.

Silent Auction

Black History Month Gala Silent Auction

Red Carpet Spotlight

Send us your Gala Look to be featured during Red Carpet Spotlight!

Black History Month Calendar

Listing of events sponsored by the City of Bloomington, Indiana University Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center ,and community partners

Black history month signiture events

Black History Month Kickoff

State of the Black Community Address

Black History Month Essay Contest

2021 Black history month Awards

Acknowledging, honoring, and celebrating the accomplishments of African-Americans who have devoted their time, talents, and resources to make a difference in the Bloomington community and beyond.
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Living Legend Award

Joel Washington

Joel Washington is a self-taught, Indiana-based artist. His one-of-a-kind acrylic paintings have been showcased at the Indiana State Museum, London's Parallax Art Fair and the U.S. Embassy in Thailand.

He began his journey as an artist after seeing the Beatles' movie "Yellow Submarine" when he was a child. Along with the Beatles, Joel counts jazz, vintage Disney animation, comic books, classic films and the art of the 1960s among his influences. Read more about Joel.

Joel accepts commissions for artwork from around the country. He also produces a line of custom skateboards featuring his work.

Outstanding Black Leaders of Tomorrow

David Norris

Adult Male Recipient

Cherelle Hines

Adult Female Recipient

JaQualon Roberts

High School Male Recipient

2021 Essay Contest Winners

Elementary School

  • 1st Place - Lauren T., Binford Elementary

  • 2nd Place- Annika S., Clear Creek Elementary

  • 3rd Place -Avi D., University Elementary

middle School

  • 1st Place - Irene F., Jackson Creek Middle

  • 2nd Place- Heejoo A., Jackson Creek Middle

  • 3rd Place -Eva H., Jackson Creek Middle

High School

  • 1st Place - Willow S., Homeschool

  • 2nd Place- Jackson C., North High School

  • 3rd Place -Trinity K., The Academy of Science and Entrepreneurship

2021 Black history month sponsors

Let us know if you'll be attending!