Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe Will Host Juneteenth Arts Festival Next Month

The event is on Sunday, June 16, from 12-6:30 p.m.

By: May. 23, 2024
Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe Will Host Juneteenth Arts Festival Next Month
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 Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe will present its second annual Juneteenth Arts Festival on Sunday, June 16, from 12-6:30 p.m. WBTT will host numerous businesses, organizations and food vendors, screen short films by students from Ringling College of Art & Design, and present dance and live music on an outdoor stage. There will be art on display, part of an exhibit that begins at WBTT on May 31. Additionally, there will be free seats to a performance of WBTT's summer production, "Coconut Cake," which will round out the festival experience; the show starts at 7:30 p.m.

This year's feature film is "Into The Storm," the documentary about Booker High School's 1966-67 state championship basketball team, which will be shown in WBTT's Donelly Theatre at 2:30 p.m. There will be musical performances on the outdoor stage from 12:30-6 p.m., including a dance presentation by Monessa Salley from Sarasota Contemporary Dance, musical numbers by WBTT's Stage of Discovery students, and popular WBTT performers taking the stage as the closing act.

“As the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the U.S., Juneteenth holds great significance for the Black community as well as all those who believe in social justice and equal rights for all,” said WBTT Founder/Artistic Director Nate Jacobs. “Our organization’s mission is to promote and celebrate African American history and experience; our hope is to bring the community together to enjoy a diverse offering of arts experiences while recognizing this important historical milestone.”

Celebrating Juneteenth on Father’s Day has inspired planned family-friendly activities such as free haircuts for dads and Toni Kennedy’s “What’s Poppin’ Penny,” an interactive, educational and entertaining show for children.  

The art exhibition is being curated by Diaspora Fine Arts and Kezia Oumoye Awusu-Ankomah and organized by Peterly Jean Baptiste. Artists being featured include painter/mixed media artist Jewel Teiko Eklu, ceramic artist Osa Atoe, visual artist/painter Georgetta Bundley, and photographer Michael J. Kinsey. There will be an opening night celebration at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, May 31 and the show runs through June 16; check WBTT's website for hours.


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