JuneteenthJoin us in-person June 11, 2022 for our 6th annual Juneteenth Celebration!

10 a.m.–4 p.m.  |  All activities and performances are FREE.


2021 Virtual Celebration

Juneteenth 2021 Logo


Welcome to our virtual celebration!

This is the fifth annual celebration at the Nelson-Atkins and the tenth annual for JuneteenthKC. This year’s virtual commemoration features the museum’s exhibition Testimony: African American Artists Collective, a new performance video, children’s book author Tiffany Taylor, and Rozzelle Court Restaurant’s Chef Marcus’s secret BBQ sauce recipe. In addition, we invite you to explore and learn about Kansas City’s Black history in a citywide scavenger hunt and tour the Nelson-Atkins collection with a new digital Family Gallery Guide.

Juneteenth Celebration with JuneteenthKC and the Nelson-Atkins

Juneteenth Celebration/JuneteenthKC committee members (from left to right): Tessa Pulido, Michael Toombs, Kreshaun McKinney, Sonie Joi Thompson-Ruffin, Julián Zugazagoitia, Makeda Peterson, Taylor Jackson, Glenn North, Sarah Hyde Schmiedeler, Anne Manning.

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

Juneteenth in the City!

VIDEO PARTICIPANTS: Kemet Coleman, Tristian Griffin, Paula Saunders and Amber Underwood.

Experience Juneteenth across the city with various Kansas City-based artists, brought to you by Joseph Straws III and Nikol Straws of 2 The MAAXE Audio/Video & Event Solutions.

Testimony African American Artists Collective

Expressed through a range of media and amplified by the artists’ own words, the testimonies offered by the Kansas City-based African American Artists Collective in this exhibition are diverse in style and theme. This collaboration between the AAAC and The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art embodies the reciprocal powers of authentically speaking one’s truth and being called to stand in witness. Together, this work of telling and receiving truths lays the foundation for community.

The AAAC grew from a 2014 gathering of local artists around a table at Gates Bar-B-Q on Main Street. Since then, the AAAC has been committed to increasing the visibility of African American and Black artists throughout Kansas City and beyond. With a roster of more than 150 members, the AAAC advances professional development, builds networks, provides mentorship, and engages in social justice.

To learn more about AAAC, its mission, and members, visit www.aaackc.org.
Organized by The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.
Media Partner: The Independent

Artists' Inspirations


A new digital Family Gallery Guide tours the many inspirations of Black artists featured in the Nelson-Atkins collection.

Artist Inspiration

You are invited to visit the museum and access the new digital Family Gallery Guide at naguide.org.

Recipe Rozzelle Court Barbeque Sauce Recipe

Discover the secret barbeque sauce recipe served in Rozzelle Court Restaurant by Executive Chef Marcus Locke.

Make our special barbeque sauce yourself:

Barbeque Recipe


2 cups ketchup
2 cups ground tomatoes
1 ¼ cup brown sugar
1 ¼ cup red wine vinegar
½ cup molasses
3 tablespoons liquid smoke
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons cumin
4 teaspoons onion powder
1 tablespoon chili powder
4 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons ground celery seed
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
4 teaspoons salt
4 teaspoons black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and stir well, simmer for 30 minutes over low heat until reduced and thickened slightly.

Remove from heat and strain into a food storage container; chill in an ice bath, label, and refrigerate.

Printable Recipe


Executive Chef Marcus Locke, American Dining Creations, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

BBQ Sauce Images

Children's Book 2 Halves Make Me Whole

Tiffany Taylor
Tiffany D. Taylor, Author, 2 Halves Make Me Whole

Check out 2 Halves Make Me Whole by local children’s book author Tiffany Taylor! The story follows the life of Jackson, a little boy who chronicles his journey with parents who are co-parenting nearly a thousand miles apart. Purchase your copy now in the Museum Store.

Purchase Now

Scavenger Hunt

Kansas City is rich in African American history! From jazz, to the arts, to the Negro Leagues, check out these KC highlights featuring people and places with pride!

Citywide Scavenger Hunt

A special thank you to JuneteenthKC, MOXIE Solutions Development and Kansas City Art Institute, who collaborated on this project. For answers and more, click here.

In addition, we invite you to check out historic tours led by local historian Erik Stafford at  Kansas City Tour Company, along with the African American Heritage Trail of Kansas City, Missouri.

Scavenger Hunt Map

Emancipation Proclamation Displayed at the Nelson-Atkins

Newspaper Picture of Line to see Emancipation Proclamation in 1980

In 1980, the Kansas City region witnessed a historic occasion: The National Archives in Washington, D.C. lent the actual Emancipation Proclamation to the Midwest for the first time.

See More

Thank You To our partners and sponsors

We extend a sincere thank you to our partners for their ongoing collaboration in Juneteenth commemorations and to our sponsors for their continued support.


African American Artists Collective

MOXIE Solutions Development

2 The MAAXE Audio, Video and Event Solutions

JE Dunn Construction

Hallmark Cards, Inc.

Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

Juneteenth festival images from 2019