LIFT: Contemporary Expressions of the African American Experience presents area contemporary artists' responses to Jacksonville’s rich artistic African American heritage, with an emphasis on creating an artful platform to discuss issues around race, equity, and community. Using the original lyrics to “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing,” a song written by Jacksonville natives James Weldon Johnson and John Rosamond Johnson in 1900 for a celebration of Lincoln’s birthday, artists Thony Aiuppy, Glendia Cooper, Ingrid Damiani, Overstreet Ducasse, Dustin Harewood, Marsha Hatcher, Hiromi Moneyhun, Princess Simpson Rashid, Chip Southworth, and Roosevelt Watson III created works that present their views about the complex state of race relations in this city and beyond. From literal interpretations of the lyrics to more abstract emotional responses, these new works inspire, challenge, confront, and uplift, giving a contemporary view to the words and social relevance of the Johnson brothers' masterpiece.