African American art expresses a lived experience for African, Caribbean, and Black Americans and encompasses visual and performing arts, literature, fashion, folklore, language, film, music, architecture, food, and other expressions of culture and life. For Black Americans, the arts have been and are a means of preserving memory and history as well as celebrating and empowering community. Join us as we celebrate and acknowledge the richness and complexity of the past, present, and future of Black Arts.
For more information and to register for programs, please visit our events calendar. All programs are subject to change to a virtual format.
The St. Louis Public Library’s Black History Month programming is made possible by the St. Louis Public Library Foundation.
St. Louis Icons Coloring Collage
2/1-2/29 | Carpenter, Kingshighway, Barr and Central Express Libraries | Drop-in
We'll be spotlighting five renowned African-American figures from St. Louis whose contributions have left an indelible mark on the arts through our coloring collage sheet.
Faith Ringgold's Story Quilts
2/1 | Central Children’s Library | 4:30-5:30 p.m.
2/2-2/29 | Central Library | Drop-in
Faith Ringgold is a celebrated Black artist known for her story quilts. Join us on February 1st for a special Storytime featuring one of Faith Ringgold's picture books. Throughout the month of February, stop by the Children's Library to design your very own part of our community story quilt!
Inspiration in Ink: Custom Buttons & Stickers
2/1 | Central Library | 5-6 p.m.
2/14 | Julia Davis Library | 4-6 p.m.
Unleash your artistic flair by designing your own custom buttons and stickers that reflect the vibrancy of Black culture! From quotes that empower and uplift, to depictions of historical events that have left an indelible mark. Our dedicated crafting stations will be equipped with a variety of materials, images, and templates that showcase iconic figures, symbols, and pivotal moments in Black history.
Saturday Sing-Along @ SLPL: Dreamgirls
2/3|Central Library’s Auditorium | 1- 3 p.m.
From Jennifer Hudson to Jamie Foxx to Beyoncé, the star-studded Dreamgirls is a cinematic experience like no other. This program is an interactive experience. Costumes are always welcome.
Step Dance Workshop
2/3 | Cabanne Library | 12:30-1:30 p.m.
Come use your body as an instrument in this exciting dance workshop! Schlafly Library, in collaboration with CKDC, is hosting a step dance class with professional step dancer, Kevin Lee.
Registration required. Adults, Grades 9-12, Families
Paint Our Graffiti Wall
2/5-2/8 | Julia Davis Library | 4-5 p.m.
Join us as we celebrate the beauty of graffiti by transforming our Auditorium from a blank space and welcome tweens and teens to learn the history of graffiti as well as create their own designs.
Radiant Roots: Custom Jewelry and Keychains
2/5 | Barr Library | 6 -8 p.m.
2/21| Julia Davis Library |4 -6 p.m.
Join us as we create meaningful, wearable art that celebrates the resilience, creativity, and beauty of Black culture. Join us in embracing the past, celebrating the present, and envisioning a future built on unity and equality during this Black History Month workshop.
Registration required. All Ages
Afrofuturism Family Movie Series: The Wiz (1978)
2/6 |Buder Library |5 - 8 p.m.
Bring the whole family for popcorn, crafts, and a screening of The Wiz as we celebrate the Afrofuturist art movement. In The Wiz, a shy Harlem schoolteacher makes an epic journey through a magical version of New York City in this musical inspired by "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz." Starring Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Nipsey Russell. Rated G. 2h 14m.
Black Arts Docu Series: The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975 (2011)
2/7 |Buder Library | 6 -8 p.m
Join us for a viewing and discussion of The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975 (2011) that shows archival footage of the Black Power Movement and interviews with artists and historians.
Empowering Voices: Custom Poster Design
2/7 | Julia Davis Library | 4 - 6 p.m.
2/15 | Central Library | 5 - 7 p.m.
2/26 |Barr Library | 6 - 8 p.m.
Join us for a remarkable journey through history as we celebrate Black History Month by designing custom posters that pay homage to the rich and diverse contributions of the African American community.
Botanical Prints Inspired by George Washington Carver
2/8 | Julia Davis Library | 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Join the Julia Davis Library and the Griot Museum of Black History for an arts and crafts program inspired by the artwork of George Washington Carver. Using leaves brought from your yard and paint, you can create unique botanical prints.
Empower the Journey: Custom Mugs & Coasters
2/8 |Central Library | 6 - 8 p.m.
2/19 | Barr Library | 6- 8 p.m.
2/28 | Julia Davis Library | 4 -6 p.m.
Join us as we embark on a creative journey that pays tribute to the rich and diverse history, achievements, and contributions of the African American community. Discover the joy of self-expression as you design your own custom mugs and coasters. Use vibrant colors, powerful symbols, and meaningful quotes to create unique pieces that reflect the essence of Black History Month.
Registration Required. All Ages
Inexhaustible Explanations: An Educational Puppet Show
2/10 | Carpenter Library |10:30-11:30 a.m.
WHO!?! Well, that is the question this month! We will learn all about Jessye Norman, an American Opera Singer and pioneer of Black classical music in this family-friendly puppet show with various themes all designed for learning.
Grades K-6, Families
2/11| Schlafly Library | 1:30 - 3:30 p.m.
Join us at Schlafly Library as we celebrate the history of jazz and music in St. Louis and create our own musical instruments, presented in partnership with the Griot Museum of Black History and Gundia Lock-Clay!
Registration is recommended but not required. Preschool, Grades K-3rd
Like the Artist: Jean-Michel Basquiat
2/13 |Cabanne Library | 4 - 5 p.m.
Create your own artwork inspired by artist Jean-Michel Basquiat! During this program you will recreate Basquiat's most famous piece with a variety of materials. All supplies are provided.
Preschool, Grades K-6
Afrofuturism Family Movie Series: A Wrinkle in Time ( 2018)
2/13|Buder Library | 5 - 8 p.m.
Bring the whole family for popcorn, crafts, and a screening of A Wrinkle in Time as we celebrate the Afrofuturist art movement. Afrofuturism explores a future for Black people without oppressive systems. A Wrinkle in Time: After the disappearance of her scientist father, three peculiar beings send Meg, her brother, and her friend to space in order to find him. Starring Storm Reid, Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon. Rated PG. 1h 49
Black Arts Docu Series: Wattstax
2/15 | Buder Library | 6 -8 p.m.
Join us for a celebration of Black History Month and Black Arts with us with a viewing and discussion of the concert documentary Wattstax. The Watts Summer Festival in 1972, organized by Stax Records, was an enormous gathering and celebration of Black performers and remembrance for the Watts Rebellion in 1965.
Local Black Artist Panel
2/17 | Carpenter Library | 1 - 2 p.m.
Celebrate Black History Month at the Carpenter Library this February 17! You are invited to join local Black artists Alisha Taylor, Sherelle Speed, De’Joneiro Jones, and Bee Newton for a discussion on the 2024 theme for Black History Month, “African Americans in the Arts.” Attendees are encouraged to bring questions for the panelists.
Grades 9 - Adults
The Black Rep: Theatre Workshop
2/17 | Julia Davis Library | 2 - 4 p.m.
Schlafly Library and The Black Rep are hosting a theater workshop as part of our celebration of Black History Month. The Black Rep is a legacy Black arts organization and “Theatre of the Soul” founded by Producing Director Ron Himes in 1976. Their mission is to provide platforms for theater, dance, and other creative expressions from the African-American perspective that heighten the social and cultural awareness of its audience.
Registration is recommended but not required. Adults, Families
Afrofuturism Family Movie Series: Black Panther (2018)
2/20 | Buder Library | 5 - 8 p.m.
Family Movie Series: Black Panther (2018) Bring the whole family for popcorn, crafts, and a screening of Black Panther as we celebrate the Afrofuturist art movement. In Black Panther, T'Challa, heir to the hidden but advanced kingdom of Wakanda, must step forward to lead his people into a new future and must confront a challenger from his country's past. Starring Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong'o. Rated PG-13. 2h 15m
Black Arts Docu Series: Summer of Soul: ...Or, When a Revolution Could Not be Televised
2/24 | Buder Library | 1 - 3 p.m.
Join us for a celebration of Black History Month and Black Arts with a viewing and discussion of the concert documentary Summer of Soul: ...Or, When a Revolution Could Not be Televised that explores and reclaims the legacy of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival.
The Shared History of German Immigrants and African Americans in Missouri
2/24 | Carpenter Library | 2 - 3 p.m.
Historians Cecilia Nadal and Sydney Norton examine the contributions of German immigrants who dedicated their lives to ending slavery and who worked with African Americans to institute laws of social and political equality after emancipation. They shed light on the legacy of these fruitful collaborations through research on current relationships within these two ethnic groups.
Afrofuturism Family Movie Series: Spider-man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)
2/27 | Buder Library |5 - 8 p.m.
Bring the whole family for popcorn, crafts, and a screening of Spider-man: Into the Spider-Verse as we celebrate the Afrofuturist art movement. Teen Miles Morales becomes the Spider-Man of his universe and must join with five spider-powered individuals from other dimensions to stop a threat for all realities. Starring Shameik Moore, Jake Johnson, Hailee Steinfeld. Rated PG. 1h 57m.
Storytelling and Comics with Steenz
2/29 | Carpenter Library | 5 - 6:30 p.m.
In this workshop and lecture Steenz will walk attendees through storytelling basics with sequential storytelling. We will go over the 3-Act Structure, Pacing and how to fold your own zine. Get ready to draw!
Registration is recommended but not required. Grades 6-12
The Black Artists’ Group of St. Louis: Creation Equals Movement (Documentary Screening)
2/29 | Central Library’s Auditorium | 7 - 8 p.m.
Join us in Central Library’s Auditorium for a screening of BAG: Creation Equals Movement, a 2020 film about the Black Artists’ Movement of St. Louis. The Black Artists’ Group of St. Louis (BAG) formed in the late 1960s as an arts collective devoted to raising black consciousness, battling social injustice, and exploring the far reaches of experimental performance. Growing out of the Black Arts Movement, BAG was unique with its blending of music, poetry, drama, dance, and the visual arts.