Announcing the 2023 Official Festival Artist: Keyonna Jones

The National Bell Festival has tapped D.C.-based muralist and creative powerhouse Keyonna Jones to serve as the 2023 Official Festival Artist for the fourth annual festival on New Year’s Day.

Born and raised in Washington, D.C., Keyonna founded Congress Heights Arts and Culture Center (CHACC) with a mission to excite, inspire, and engage with the arts and culture of the African diaspora in the community east of the Anacostia River. Under her stewardship, CHACC seeks to integrate children and youth into the economic revitalization occurring in Wards 7 and 8, while empowering artistic opportunities for all residents.

In June 2020, Keyonna had the honor of being one of seven artists challenged to paint the monumental yellow words 'Black Lives Matter' on the stretch of 16th St. NW (since renamed Black Lives Matter Plaza) that leads directly to the White House. She has continued art installations across the city including, most recently, for the National Bell Festival.

“We are so excited to welcome Keyonna as our Official Festival Artist and to commission a new public work of art for the city,” said Paul Ashe, director of the National Bell Festival. “Her personal ethos of inclusivity, creativity, and dynamism is in perfect alignment with how we ring in the New Year – and we can’t wait to see what she develops.”

The new work of art will be unveiled nearer the festival at a location in Southeast D.C. A limited edition of prints will be made available to donors supporting the National Bell Festival’s bell restoration and commissioning projects. Keyonna’s work will follow in the steps of previous Official Festival Artists, including photographer Daniel Horowitz (2022) and watercolorist Cris Clapp Logan (2021).