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Juneteenth Celebration

Free festival | A day of visual and literary arts, music, entertainment and education.

All activities and performances are FREE and open to the public. FREE tickets available for programs where noted. Off-site parking and shuttle service will be available at Kauffman Gardens, 4800 Rockhill Rd. from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States. Also known as Freedom Day, Juneteenth is an abbreviation of “June nineteenth.”  It commemorates the announcement of the abolition of slavery in Texas on June 19, 1865.  The history of freedom and equal rights after emancipation is a long and complex one; indeed, that history is still being written today. Juneteenth recognizes this ongoing struggle while celebrating the enduring contributions of African Americans.

Performances and Presentations
Opening Program
10:30-11:30 a.m. Kirkwood Hall, Plaza Level, Nelson-Atkins Building

Preschool Story Times
10:30-11 & 11:30 a.m.-noon, Spencer Art Reference Library, Level 2, Bloch Building

Pop Up Art Talks
11:30-11:45 a.m., & 1:45-2 p.m., Gallery 214

Special Presentation by Featured Artist Renée Stout
12-12:45 p.m., Atkins Auditorium
In celebration of Juneteenth and museum’s newly acquired nkisi nkondi in the African Art collection, Renée Stout will discuss how her early encounter with an Nkisi Nkondi at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, as a child, continues to inspire and influence her work as an artist. She will also touch on the themes of appropriation and how the creative process can be a source of self-discovery, healing and empowerment.

Story Telling by Tracy Milsap
12-12:15 & 1-1:15 p.m., Gallery 219, Level 2, Nelson-Atkins Building

Live Music
1-1:30 p.m. Kirkwood Hall, Plaza Level, Nelson-Atkins Building
The Kansas City Boys Choir and Kansas City Girls Choir

Spoken Word
1-1:20 & 2-2:20 p.m., Project Space, Gallery L8, Lobby Level, Bloch Building
Glenn North

Live Music
2-2:40 p.m., Atkins Auditorium, Nelson-Atkins Building
The Divas.

Drop-In Reading Event
2-4 p.m., Spencer Art Reference Library, Level 2, Bloch Building

Kansas City 2Step Demonstration and Dance
2:30-3:15 p.m. Demonstration
3:15-4 p.m. Free Dancing
Kirkwood Hall, Plaza Level, Nelson-Atkins Building
DJ Joe and De Barker from the Big Step Off

Artist Demonstration
Gullah Basket Weavers
10 a.m.-4 p.m., Bloch Lobby

NedRa Bonds
10 a.m.-1 p.m., Bloch Lobby
Local, award-winning textile artist

Michael Toombs
Noon-4 p.m., Bloch Lobby
Local muralist

Paul Anthony Smith
Noon-2 p.m., Room 7
Visit the open studio of Charlotte Street Foundation Artist in Residence

Ongoing Activities
10 a.m.-4 p.m., Bloch Building

The Black Archives of Mid-America in Kansas City
Bloch Lobby

Discussions with Museum Guides
Gallery L5, Bloch Building

Traveling Trunk of Black Inventors & Innovators
Lens 2 & Lens 2 Mezzanine, Bloch Building

Art Activity
Rockhill Room, Level 2, Bloch Building

Food for Purchase
11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Chef Marcus Locke of American Dining Creations and The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

Magnolia’s on the Move Southern Cuisine.

Program details are subject to change.

The museum is grateful to textile artist Sonié Joi Thompson-Ruffin and JuneteenthKC Director Makeda Peterson for their partnership and collaboration. The museum wishes to acknowledge Juneteenth KC, brought to Kansas City in 1980 by Horace Peterson, founder and director of the Black Archives of Mid-America.

Saturday, June 17 | Noon to 9 p.m.
The Historic Jazz District
18th & Vine

The members of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, whose support makes festivals like this possible.

10:00 AM - 4:00 PM