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Service Alert

The Bellevue/William O. Lockridge Library is closed temporarily for major repairs to the HVAC system. Work has begun and additional parts have been ordered to complete the repairs. The library will reopen once the repairs are complete. The book drop will be locked. Due dates and hold expiration dates will be extended. 

Arthur Capper TechExpress is closed for critical repairs to the HVAC system. The Department of General Services has completed their assessment, identified the issue and ordered the necessary parts. Once the parts arrive, they will require two days to complete the repairs. The earliest that TechExpress will open is Monday, July 1. The Book Return will remain locked. Available holds have been transferred to the Northeast Library. Expiration dates have been extended.

Know Your Power: A civic engagement art contest  for D.C. teens, 13 - 19. A joint partnership of DC Public Library, Pepco, An Exelon Company and the DC Public Library Foundation.

Contest Overview

A charcoal drawing of a middle aged man sleeping on a couch

Art is a powerful tool to share social messages and inspire change. Visual artists like Shepard Fairey, musicians like Beyonce and authors like Mira Jacob have used their creative voices to speak truth to power and raise awareness of the important issues facing us today. Pepco, the DC Public Library Foundation and DC Public Library invite you to find your power and use it to creatively address a topic that is important to you. What change would you like to see in the world?  We are calling on youth between the ages of 13 - 19 to use their creative voice to make a difference. 

We are excited to share the results of the 2023 Know Your Power contest.

"Sink" Illustration by Skye Jones, 2022 visual art winner

Submit Your Entry

Submit an entry to the 2024 Know Your Power civic engagements arts contest


Submissions open on May 28, 2024 and close August 9, 2024. 

What are the Contest Rules?

  1. This contest is open to participants between the ages of 13 and 19.
  2. You can submit multiple entries in multiple categories.
  3. Writing can be up to 1,500 words long and be in the format of a poem or short story.
  4. Photography entries may include 1 - 10 photos that make up a photo story.
  5. Video entries can be up to 6 minutes long.
  6. Music should be submitted as an .mp3 and be 1 - 3 minutes in length.
  7. Your submission must be original work. ​​​​​

Attend a Know Your Power Event

Know Your Power Party. Make Art, Make Change.

Know Your Power Party 

Saturday, June 8, 1 p.m., Southwest Library

Teens are invited to a celebration of arts and activism with food, art activities, creative writing, music and performers from Words, Beats, and Life, an open mic, prizes, info and activities from local organizations like Writopia Lab, Artechouse, and the National Gallery of Art, and a special author talk from Politics and Prose. This program is made possible by the DC Public Library Foundation and Pepco.

Author Talk featuring Tomi Adeyemi, June 26, 7 p.m., MLK Library

Children of Anguish and Anarchy with Tomi Adeyemi

Wednesday, June 26, 7 p.m. | Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library

DC Public Library is excited to host #1 New York Times bestselling author, Tomi Ademeyi, for her book Children of Anguish & Anarchy, the highly anticipated and final book in the trilogy. One of the most exciting books of the summer, and we're hosting the author, right here in DC at the Martin Luther King Jr. Library downtown. Grab your teens & come out for a thrilling evening!

Teen writing on a computer at the library

Know Your Power Residency with Imagination Stage

Thursdays at 4 p.m., Lamond Riggs/Lillian J. Huff Library

Unleash your creative talents in this workshop series with Imagination Stage. By the end of the program series, teens will have created an original work of art, writing, or music based on an issue they are passionate about that they can submit to the Know Your Power civic engagement arts contest. Teaching artists from Imagination Stage will help teens brainstorm ideas through a variety of creative exercises and explore different types of genres. At the last session, youth will showcase their work in a celebratory public event at the library.

Teens reading at the MLK Library

Know Your Power with Project Create

Multiple Dates, Multiple Locations

Are you looking for a space to get your creative juices flowing? Come join a workshop to learn from brilliant teaching artists as they share their expertise in a variety of artistic disciplines as you practice your creative skills and bring your beautiful ideas to life! 

Youth Poet Laureate Performing at a microphone

Youth Poet Laureate Tour

Multiple Dates, Multiple Locations

Teens are invited to hear spoken word poetry performed by one of the DMV’s Youth Poet Laureates, then write poetry of their own in a free workshop. 

See All Upcoming Know Your Power Events

Books About Writing