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MEDIA ALERT: Brooklyn Public Library and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts Launch Open Call for Contemporary Anthem


Brooklyn Public Library and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts Launch Open Call for Contemporary Anthem

“Anthem to US” Calls on the Public to Add a Piece to the Nation’s Songbook and Create an Anthem Reflective of Our Current Hopes, Struggles, and Untold Histories

Offering Unprecedented Mentorship Opportunities with Leading Writers, Composers, and Musicians


NEW YORK, NY (JANUARY 23, 2024) – Brooklyn Public Library and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts today announced Anthem to US, a new project presented in collaboration with The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts and Queens Public Library that invites members of the public to create a contemporary anthem to add to the nation’s songbook. As we approach the country’s 250th anniversary, Anthem to US invites all voices —those born within these borders and those who made their way here—to create an anthem of today echoing our collective hopes, struggles, and untold histories. The program will offer unprecedented mentorship opportunities linking members of the public to the nation’s leading writers, composers, and musicians. 

Paying homage to the anthem genre, Anthem to US will create a modern piece to add to the canon, which includes "America the Beautiful", "We Shall Overcome", "My Country Tis of Thee", and "Lift Every Voice and Sing", reflecting the experiences, realities, hopes and dreams of a new generation.

Interested participants of all ages will have until Tuesday, February 6, 2024 at 11:59 pm (ET) to submit their vision for an anthem. Following, up to 160 selected participants will embark on an immersive three-part writing workshop series led by experienced instructors. The workshops will explore themes, song structures and melodies across diverse styles, with eight outstanding sets of lyrics emerging from the workshops. Three applicants will advance to collaborate with composers, including Damien L. Sneed, Jaime Lozano, and Martha Redbone & Aaron Whitby to craft a finished piece. 

The final three anthems will be judged by luminaries including Laurie Anderson and others, and brought to life with performances on Saturday, July 6, 2024 at Brooklyn Public Library and Lincoln Center, as part of their Summer for the City festival. 

“This project aims to transform the way we create meaningful art by inviting the public to create a piece reflective of their own stories and experiences living in the United States,” said László Jakab Orsós, Vice President of Arts and Culture, Brooklyn Public Library. “Music and the written word have always had the power to help us face challenging realities, celebrate moments of triumph and, in the best cases, art fosters unity in the face of divisions. We are thrilled to find excellent partners in Lincoln Center, and look forward to a landmark program that explores and pays homage to the unique genre of the anthem, delves into the current essence of our nation, and offers participants invaluable mentorship opportunities.” 

“As a cultural and civic institution, we are continually thinking of ways we can deepen the connections between the arts and civic engagement,” said Shanta Thake, Ehrenkranz Chief Artistic Officer of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. “Anthems have been adopted over the centuries as a communal way to honor and uplift—weaving in collective histories, struggles, and aspirations. We are thrilled to be partnering with such incredible organizations and artists on this opportunity for new voices to create a unique anthem for our times, and provide a blueprint for celebrating the multitude of stories that live within our nation.”

Interested candidates can find more information at

Download imagery here.





About Brooklyn Public Library

Brooklyn Public Library is one of the nation’s largest library systems and among New York City’s most democratic institutions. As a leader in developing modern 21st century libraries, we provide resources to support personal advancement, foster civic literacy, and strengthen the fabric of community among the more than 2.7 million individuals who call Brooklyn home. We provide nearly 65,000 free programs a year with writers, thinkers, artists, and educators—from around the corner and around the world. And we give patrons millions of opportunities to enjoy one of life’s greatest satisfactions: the joy of a good book. 


About Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts

Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts (LCPA) is a cultural and civic cornerstone of New York City. The primary advocate for the entire Lincoln Center campus, our strategic priorities include: fostering collaboration and deepening impact across the Lincoln Center resident organizations; championing inclusion and increasing the accessibility and reach of Lincoln Center’s work; and nurturing innovation on stage and off to help ensure the arts are at the center of civic life for all. LCPA presents hundreds of programs each year, offered primarily for free and choose-what-you-pay, including many specially designed for young audiences, families, and those with disabilities.





Brooklyn Public Library: Fritzi Bodenheimer, [email protected]
Lincoln Center: Jenni Klauder, [email protected]
Madeleine Rosen, [email protected]