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651 ARTS Presents the Second Annual Juneteenth Celebration

The event will be held on the Plaza at 300 Ashland in Downtown Brooklyn, on Saturday, June 18th  from 1pm – 8:30 pm. 

651 ARTS Presents the Second Annual Juneteenth Celebration

651 ARTS, in association with Downtown Brooklyn Partnership and The Center for Fiction, presents its Second Annual Juneteenth Celebration: Sonic Liberation with DJ Reborn and Friends hosted by dancer/choreographer and STooPS founder Kendra J. Ross. Centering around the role that sound plays in the quest towards freedom, this year's Celebration will include a day of events and activities featuring a panel discussion at The Center for Fiction, community DJ lessons, and a dance party - both to be held on the Plaza at 300 Ashland in Downtown Brooklyn, on Saturday, June 18th from 1pm - 8:30 pm.

Co-curated by DJ Reborn - a pioneering female DJ whose influence extends into other influential artist rites of passage activities - and 651 ARTS' Chief Curator and Director of Programs Monica L. Williams, this year's Juneteenth Celebration focuses on the concept of Black women as sound ambassadors and griots, and reflects on the legacy of somatic healing, intimacy and emancipation present in Black expressive culture, and sonic practices. The day will begin with an opening panel at The Center for Fiction, "Sonic Liberation: In Conversation with DJ Reborn," featuring a panel of world-renowned Brooklyn-based artists, including singer/musician Madison McFerrin, American contemporary painter Kara Walker, Tony-nominated Broadway actress Kara Young and global sonic scholar Lynnée Denise. The discussion will be moderated by Monica L. Williams and will spotlight the role of sonic liberation in Black art and Black womanhood.

The next part of the day will kick off at the Plaza at 300 Ashland with an opening invocation from MC, poet, actor and writer Malik Work and host Kendra J. Ross leading a line dancing demonstration followed by DJ Reborn and other Black women mixmasters providing one-on-one DJ lessons for all ages. 651's Juneteenth Celebration will culminate with the Sonic Liberation Dance Party. Opening with Brooklyn Technical Highschool Lady Dragons, the dance party will draw from African Diasporic genres ranging from jazz, gospel, future soul, hip hop, dance, afrobeat, and more with DJ sets from multidisciplinary artists and world-renowned DJs Quinnette, Lynnée Denise and Reborn.

"We are so excited for this year's Juneteenth Celebration. This year, we really wanted to create an aesthetic that feels like a return to the spirit of celebration. From there, we explored the concept of sound and how, through sound and music, we find celebration. We find joy. We find expression. We find freedom" said Monica L. Williams, Chief Curator and Director of Programs for 651 ARTS. "DJ Reborn and I have created experiences like this together for audiences of various ages for over a decade. It is exciting to come together at home in Brooklyn and continue to lift, to inspire and move others to get free."

"651 ARTS' mission is to deepen awareness of and appreciation for contemporary performing arts and culture of the African Diaspora, and to provide professional and creative opportunities for artists of African descent. 651 ARTS Second Annual Juneteenth Celebration: Sonic Liberation is an extension of 651 ARTS' vision to be a leading institution in the performing arts ecology that illuminates the evolving stories and varied cultural experiences of the African Diaspora, and an institution whose impact and influence transforms individual lives, neighborhoods, and global communities," says 651 ARTS' Interim Executive Director Toya Lillard.

651 ARTS' Juneteenth Celebration is an annual commemoration of African-American liberation, resilience and self-determination featuring performances, panels and community engagement activities that honors the brilliance and vitality of Black culture.

The Celebration's location is also especially significant for the institution as the event will be hosted on the Plaza of 651 ARTS' future new space at 10 Lafayette. The eventual move is a milestone in the organization's history as it will be the first time in its history that 651 ARTS will have a permanent space in which to independently program and operate, allowing it to comprehensively foster artists and cultivate new audiences. The organization is expected to take residence in Spring, 2023.

Juneteenth is an annual commemoration of the end of slavery in the United States. Though the Emancipation Proclamation freeing slaves was signed January 1, 1863, enslaved African-Americans in Galveston Bay, Texas learned of their freedom from the Union Army, June 19, 1865, after the Emancipation Proclamation was announced. Juneteenth is the longest standing African-American holiday observed in the United States.



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