Freedom Award- Keepers of the Dream

Keepers of the Dream

The Kentucky Center’s ArtsReach program, River City Drum Corp and the Office of Mayor Greg Fischer hosted the Keepers of the Dream, a Community Arts Celebration of Dr. King’s Vision on Sunday, January 14. 

The 8th annual Keepers of the Dream, emceed by Ahmaad Edmund, featured the presentation of the Mayor’s Freedom Award, sponsored by Republic Bank, ArtsReach Living the Vision Awards, Jawan Bowman’s recitation of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s speech Where Do We Go From Here, along with dance, music, and spoken word.

Rev. Charles ElliottThe Freedom Award, first presented in 1988, recognizes citizens that have dedicated their lives to promoting justice, peace, freedom, non-violence, racial equality and civic activism. This year's recipient is Rev. Dr. Charles Elliott, Jr., an Alabama native who moved to Louisville in the early 1950s, has been pastor of King Solomon Missionary Baptist Church since 1961. He has devoted his life to helping the poor, fighting the corrupt and teaching children that education and jobs – and not violence or gangs – are their tickets out of poverty and despair. Read more about Rev. Dr. Charles Elliott, Jr. here

Elliott was presented an award of blown glass created by Ché Rhodes, Associate Professor, Head of Glass, University of Louisville Hite Art Institute.

The ArtsReach Living the Vision Award were presented to community artist educators Keith McGill, Joan Brannon, Keith Cook, Troy Bell and Lynn Johnson, Chestnut Street YMCA Director of Black Achievers.

Performances included ArtsReach Dance, Percussion and Violin Studios from Louisville Central Community Centers, Inc., Metro Parks Shawnee Arts and Cultural Center, Metro Parks Newburg Community Center, WESTEC and West End School.  Other featured artists are Belizean Dance Intermix, poet Leen Abozaid, Ty Brown, featured artist Alexis Stix Brown, poet NAM, and the River City Drum Corp.


Keepers of the Dream

Republic Bank

Freedom Award Recipients: 

  • Lyman T. Johnson, 1988
  • Rev. W. J. Hodge, 1989
  • Former State Senator Georgia Davis Powers, 1990
  • Rev. William E. Summers III, 1991
  • Rev. Thomas F. Moffett, 1992
  • Father Patrick Delahanty, 1993
  • Art Walters, 1994
  • Sam Watkins, 1995
  • Willie Gray, 1996
  • Deborah Todd, 1997
  • Dr. Kevin Cosby, 1998
  • Rev. Charles E. Kirby, 2000
  • Dr. Samuel Robinson, 2001
  • Dr. J. Blaine Hudson, 2002
  • Ed Hamilton, 2004
  • Beverly Watts, 2005
  • Raoul Cunningham, 2006
  • Ben Richmond, 2007
  • James O. Chatham, 2008
  • Dr. Bernard Minnis, 2009
  • Mervin Aubespin, 2010
  • Charlie Johnson, 2011
  • Darryl T. Owens, 2012
  • Ishmon Burks, 2013
  • Suzanne "Suzy" Post, 2014
  • Ed White, 2015
  • George Burney, 2016
  • Manfred Reid, 2017
  • Rev. Charles Elliott, 2018