Welcoming Remarks
Juneteenth: Coming Together

with Special Guest, Makeda Peterson, JuneteenthKC

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we can’t be together at the museum right now, but we offer a virtual commemoration of Juneteenth with visual and literary arts, music, entertainment, and education. At this important moment in our history – as we seek justice and commit ourselves to equity and inclusion – it is even more important to reflect on the lessons we can learn from this historic event.

Also known as Freedom Day, Juneteenth is an abbreviation of “June nineteenth” and honors the announcement on June 19, 1865, in Texas of the end of slavery by executive order. 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

We extend a sincere thank you to our partners for the ongoing collaboration in Juneteenth commemorations and their continued support.
Learn more about activities and events being held throughout June here.

Juneteenth Live!

Presented by DJ Joe and DJ Ice Kole

Get ready for a special Juneteenth tribute with some of Kansas City’s favorite performers!


Video production and coordination by Joseph Straws III, and Nikol Straws, 2 The MAAXE Audio and Visual Services

VIDEO PARTICIPANTS: Charlotte Fletcher of Charlotte Fletcher & Soigne, Glenn North, Amber “Flutienastiness” Underwood, George Pettigrew, Buffalo Soldiers, Alexander/Madison Chapter of KC Area Ninth & Tenth (Horse) Calvary Association; Ajia Morris and Phoenix Grae Morris, Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey: Choreographer, Tyrone Aiken; Dancers: Kennedy Banks, Courtney Collado, Psalm Gadson, Abram Hawkins, Marcus Johnson and Christopher Peacock, Lee Langston and Desmond Mason


Kevin Willmott—Clips & Conversations

Listen in as Academy Award-winning filmmaker, co-writer for BlacKkKlansman, and Kansas native Kevin Willmott discusses his repertoire featuring clips from his films through the lens of race, history, identity, and beauty.

(This recorded event was held in conjunction with the 30 Americans featured exhibition at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Shared with permission of the filmmaker. The video content has been made available for informal and educational purposes only.)

Spotify Playlist

As you’re exploring the virtual Juneteenth: Coming Together, click and enjoy a Spotify playlist created by the Kansas City-based Community Advisory Group for the museum’s recent presentation of 30 Americans.

This playlist contains language that some people might find offensive. If you would like to avoid explicit language in the playlist, learn more about settings on Spotify here.

Collection Highlights

Juneteenth is an opportunity to reflect on history and see the present through the eyes of Black artists while celebrating their creative impact.

Explore a selection of art from the Nelson-Atkins collection by Black artists. We encourage you to dive deep into these works and the stories of the artists who created them.

Find a more extensive list of works by Black artists from the Nelson-Atkins collection here.

Children's Book List

One of the highlights of the Nelson-Atkins Juneteenth events is the book reading for children and the accompanying book lists.

In the Juneteenth live performance reel above, listen to Ajia Morris read from the children’s book, Dream Big, Little One, and check out the children’s book list about African American artists and history put together by the Spencer Art Reference Library at the Nelson-Atkins.


Printmaking Demo

Artists Elizabeth Catlett and Hale Woodruff are two well-known Black printmakers, who advocated for social change through their art. The art of printmaking is a process by which artists reproduce an image by transferring ink from a matrix (wood, metal, or glass template) onto paper. Printmaking includes various techniques, such as lithography, screen printing, woodcuts, and linocuts. Printmaking also allows artists to recreate an image multiple times using the same template.

Follow along with Michelle Dreher, owner of Two Tone Press and instructor for the Ford Learning Center at the Nelson-Atkins, as she demonstrates how to create your own print.

Elizabeth Catlett, American (1915-2012). A Second Generation (aka A New Earth), 1992. Color lithograph, edition 42/99, 15 3/4 × 13 5/8 inches. Purchase: acquired through the generosity of the Print Society, 2014.8. © Catlett Mora Family Trust / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

See. Think. Wonder.

There are stories captured in works of art and the inspiration behind them. This activity encourages your imagination and senses to discover what you think they might be.

We invite you to spend some time looking at the following work of art from the museum’s collection with the following questions in mind. You could do this with someone or on your own.

Check out the Actvity

Tree of Life

Quilting is a tradition with a long history of bringing people together. Create a paper quilt celebrating those who care for you, inspire you, and warm your heart.


The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art stands with Black Lives Matter. We stand against police brutality, institutionalized racism, and systemic discrimination that targets Black Americans.