The city embraces Juneteenth by presenting The Flea commissioned works created by Ebony Noelle Golden, James Scruggs, and Chanon Judson simultaneously across NYC and Fire Island from June 11-19.
The artists were given full autonomy over artistic vision and their budgets. Flea Artistic Director Niegel Smith will also participate as a performance artist. The Flea has also launched a partnership with the Black and Brown Equity Coalition of Fire Island to support the 2nd annual Mx. Juneteenth Drag Pageant on Fire Island.
An informative symposium about Juneteenth and this year’s line-up will take place at The Flea on June 16, at 7p.m. The symposium will feature all commissioned artists with moderation by acclaimed artist, scholar, and ritual-maker Nia Witherspoon.
“Juneteenth marks the beginning of our journey toward liberation, and I’m thrilled The Flea can continue that legacy by commissioning exceptional Black artists and presenting their work in public spaces for our city,” said Smith.
Nona Hendryx, co-chair of The Flea’s board of directors, said, “Juneteenth is a day of celebration and a day of remembrance of freedom, freedom to be who you are, to love, dance, sing, create, enjoy and live your best life in no one’s shadow. On Juneteenth, look for the four Black artists and a drag pageant supported by The Flea Theater, celebrating and showing their True Colors!”
“World culture is influenced by American culture. American culture is influenced by Black culture and therefore Black culture influences everything. BaBEC is excited to be partnering with The Flea for a celebration of Black liberation and jubilee during the week of Juneteenth. As equity architects we are empowering Black artists to utilize their multiple mediums of expression to remind everyone who this world’s tastemakers really are,” said Tomik
Dash, founder and president of the Black and Brown Equity Coalition of Fire Island (BaBEC).
Some highlights include “The Worthy,” by Niegel Smith, on Saturday, June 11, and Sunday, June 19—11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3:30 p.m. shows on both days. Tickets: www.theflea.org. Join an Afro-futuristic griot (Niegel Smith) on a Juneteenth walk exploring our city through the lens of liberation, Black love, queer joy, and community healing. Co-led by Talu Green with his commanding Djembe drumming, “The Worthy” is a performance that will take you through the African Burial Ground National Monument, past civic buildings, and through the streets of lower Manhattan as we consider the worth of Black and Queer folks. The walk will conclude at The Flea.
Check www.theflea.org for up-to-date information about each performance.