Juneteenth Celebration returns live and in person on June 16 | Arts & Theater
Juneteenth Celebration will return this year with all live, in-person events June 16-18 in Winston-Salem.
The celebration, presented by Triad Cultural Arts, will culminate with a day-long festival at Biotech Place and Bailey Park on June 18. Activities will include performances, children’s events, food and panel discussions.
This year’s theme for Juneteenth Celebration is “Black Health and Wellness: Healing Rituals & Traditions”.
In keeping with this theme, The Breathing Room will host mini yoga sessions between performances on the main stage from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. of the festival.
“We have incorporated our June 19 activities into the 2022 ASALH (Association for the Study of African American Life and History) Black History Month theme – “Health and Well- being black” – so that we can be part of a national voice on important concerns that deserve public attention,” said Cheryl Harry, Director of Triad Cultural Arts. “As a result, our art exhibit will feature healthcare professionals from the Twin City Medical Society who offer diversity in healthcare as an intentional way to address health disparities.
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“The health panel will address the intention to diversify the medical workforce. We will have several health and wellness exhibitors, ranging from a holistic birth doula to herbal beauty and wellness products.
Presenting partners for the celebration are Food Lion and the City of Winston-Salem.
Activities will begin with an art exhibition opening reception from 6 to 8 p.m. on June 16 in the main gallery of the Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts at 251 N. Spruce St. The exhibition, a partnership between Triad Cultural Arts and Arts Council of Winston – Salem/Forsyth County, call themselves “Guardians of Wellbeing”. It celebrates black healthcare professionals past and present through art, photography and their stories. Other exhibition viewing dates are July 16-23.
New to the celebration this year is the Queen Juneteenth Scholarship Competition at 7 p.m. on June 17 at the Paisley IB Magnet School. Thirteen high school girls will compete for a renewable four-year scholarship to a historically black college or university (HBCU). Talitha Vickers, former WXII news anchor, will host the culture-based theatrical production.
On June 18, the Juneteenth Festival will feature a variety of events indoors at Biotech Place, 575 Patterson Ave., and outdoors at Bailey Park, 445 Patterson Ave., in the Innovation District.
Biotech Place will host events from 1 to 5 p.m., including performances, panel discussions and heritage demonstrations. Bailey Park events will run from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. and will include vendors, exhibits, music and food.
P-Funk Connection described by Harry as “an old-school Atlanta-based band that has the DNA of Mr. George Clinton, Parliament Funkadelic” will headline the entertainment. The band will take the stage at 6 p.m.
More than 80 wellness, merchandise and nonprofit exhibitors and vendors will participate, including food trucks with soul food dishes.
Festival-goers are encouraged to bring lawn chairs, blankets and umbrellas.
The Black Health Roundtable, sponsored by Atrium Health, will begin at 2 p.m. at the festival’s Biotech Place on June 18. The topic is “Workforce Diversity: Reducing Disparities Through Intentional Focus”.
Panelists are Fernando G. Little, director of corporate diversity for Atrium Health and Kayla Mays, MD candidate. Dr. Brenda Latham-Sadler, Senior Associate Dean for Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion and Associate Professor of Family and Community Medicine at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, is the moderator.
The objectives of the roundtable are the reduction of financial barriers to education and training, the intentional development of pathways for minority students and methods of academic support and professional development of students in health careers. .
“Atrium Health’s bold diversity equity and inclusion goal aims to achieve transformative equity in healthcare, leadership, workforce, learners and community” , said Jakki Opollo, vice president of talent initiatives and regional director of diversity at Wake Forest Baptist. “We want our workforce, leadership and learner population to reflect the patient population we serve. To that end, we have specific strategies and tactics aimed at ensuring equitable opportunities for representation in leadership, workforce, learning, recruiting, retention, and pipelines for all.
Especially for children
In the youth zone inside Biotech Place, Delta Arts Center will offer craft activities, and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority will offer children’s songs, a Juneteenth Tea Party and a special project to paint T-shirts that will be shipped in different countries by the soles Organization of the 4 souls.
Additionally, Amir Alexander, healthcare professional and author, will read excerpts from his book, “Gio’s Heart,” which shares real lessons learned through a difficult experience in intensive care and a journey with hypoplastic left heart syndrome ( HLHS).
Other activities for children will include face painting, bingo, crowd participation in the African movement and crowd participation in the progress demonstration.
Many activities will be offered on three stages of the festival. They include Piney Grove Baptist Church Choir, Deborah Patterson, Renaissance Choir, Greater Vision Company, Quick Image Band, Otesha Creative Arts Ensemble, Band Clazz and Big Ron Hunter.
Hunter, often called “the happiest blues man alive”, has hosted the festival for years. He’ll perform old-school blues and gospel songs at 2 p.m. on the Bailey Park Outdoor Stage.
He said he would definitely play two of his favorite gospel songs – “I’m Gonna Live So God Can Use Me” and “You’ve Got to Move”.
He likes to play happy blues songs.
“A blues song I’m going to play is called ‘The Things I Used to Do’,” Hunter said with a laugh. “It’s a crazy blues song… It’s crazy, but it’s a happy blues song.”
Juneteenth commemorates the emancipation of enslaved African Americans and became a federal holiday in 2021.
“Juneteenth, the longest-running celebration of the abolition of slavery in the nation, is a testament to our nation’s core values - freedom and justice for all,” Harry said.
“I agree with journalist Candice Harrison who said the holidays ‘do not simply reflect the values of the nation. They anchor these values in us. They teach us who and what matters, what to remember and what to forget.