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Features Musical Performances by Nona Hendryx, Helga Davis, Vernon Reid, Marcelle Davies-Lashley, Kimberly Nichole, Toshi Reagon and BIGLovely.


Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts today announced a new commission, an evening-long performance commemorating Juneteenth, I Dream a Dream That Dreams Back at Me, A Juneteenth Celebration. Conceived and curated by award-winning poet and artist Carl Hancock Rux, the site-specific experience will unfold in four distinct parts across the Lincoln Center campus on June 19, 2021. It is presented as part of Restart Stages, a program of the SNF-Lincoln Center Agora Initiative with the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, which activates outdoor space through artistic and community initiatives that speak to our current moment and reimagines public space for a new era.

Drawing inspiration from the narratives of enslaved people seeking and finding freedom, visitors will begin the evening on Hearst Plaza for Part I Prelude: Doctrine of Three Angels, a musical performance chronicling the journey taken by abolitionist and activist Harriet Tubman. Vocalists Nona Hendryx, Marcelle Davies-Lashley, and Kimberly Nichole perform original music by Vernon Reid and Nona Hendryx, with lyrics by Lynn Nottage. The performers wear original paper dress creations by interdisciplinary artist Dianne Smith while standing in the Paul Milstein Pool-with the shallow reflecting pool representative of the river at low tide through which Tubman traveled as she rescued and brought enslaved people to freedom.

Audience members will then journey to the next part of the exploration, Part II Consecration: One Tall Angel Say with multidisciplinary artist and singer Helga Davis. Davis, donning another creation by Dianne Smith, performs her interpretation of a deconstructed National Anthem, reckoning with the question of whether true freedom has ever fully been achieved.

The evening culminates with a performance in Damrosch Park by Toshi Reagon and BIGLovely, Part III In Service: Another River On The Other Side. Reagon fuses her no-holds-barred approach to rock, blues, and R&B for a musical experience that encapsulates the spectrum of the freedom journey thus far, culminating in a proclamation of emancipation for the 21st century.

As the evening progresses, Reagon and her band will be joined by the performing artists from the first parts of the evening for the final conclusion, Part IV Postlude/Benediction: Freedom Is A Strong Seed.

"When I was asked by Lincoln Center to craft a program for Juneteenth, I gave careful consideration to this annual celebration that began when enslaved peoples were finally informed (two years after Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation) that they were 'free.' The importance of an annual celebration that enables us to learn about history and understand our past-where we came from and how we got where we are today-is without question," said Carl Hancock Rux. "Slavery in the United States is not only a part of American history, but of the world. It is very hard for many of us to understand how and why slavery happened in America. Yet, this history of human bondage and eventual emancipation makes me wonder if in fact any of us can be made free until we are all free of the ideological values of racism and injustice.

Rux continued, "Curated as Sight, Sound, and sensory perception, this particular dream of 'freedom' is carefully constructed from the tattered remnants of abolitionism, and escaped enslaved peoples courageously traversing the shores and deep waters of justice. Perhaps along this journey, all who say they believe in freedom must seek out a collective healing; must not get weary as we continuously embark upon our journey to be free."

Free tickets to this performance will be made available through the TodayTix Lottery, the Official Ticketing Partner of Restart Stages. The TodayTix Lottery will open for entries two weeks before the performance and close three days prior to the performance at 12:59pm EDT. Attendees who secure tickets will be required to follow safety protocols. For more information visit or download the TodayTix app.*


I Dream a Dream That Dreams Back at Me
A Juneteenth Celebration
Art Installation & Costumes by Dianne Smith
Lyrics (Part I) by Lynn Nottage
Hearst Plaza and Damrosch Park
Saturday, June 19, 2021 at 7:00pm

Part I

Prelude: Doctrine of Three Angels
Hearst Plaza at 7:00pm
Nona Hendryx, vocalist/composer
Vernon Reid, composer /musician
Marcelle Davies-Lashley, vocalist
Kimberly Nichole, vocalist

Part II

Consecration: One Tall Angel Say
Helga Davis, vocalist

Part III

In Service: Another River On The Other Side
Toshi Reagon and BIGLovely
Damrosch Park at 8:00pm
Toshi Reagon, guitar and vocals
Carla Duren, vocals
Josette Newsam, vocals
Alex Nolan, guitar
Ganessa James, bass
Kim Jordan, keys
Allison Miller, drums

Part IV

Postlude/Benediction: Freedom Is A Strong Seed
Damrosch Park
Toshi Reagon and BIG Lovely featuring:
Helga Davis
Marcelle Davies-Lashley
Kimberly Nichole
Nona Hendryx

Additional programming marking Juneteenth will be part of Restart Stages and announced in the coming weeks.

*No purchase is necessary to enter the TodayTix Lottery and reserve free tickets for this performance. The prize value of tickets is $0. The odds of winning tickets depend on the number of eligible entries received. The TodayTix Lottery is open to legal residents of the 50 United States and D.C., age 18 or over. Complete official rules, prize description, and giveaway entry information will be available on the TodayTix and Lincoln Center websites.

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