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Juneteenth 2023

Saturday, June 17 at 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM


The festivities start at 9 AM when the John and Joyce Caddell Sculpture Garden gates open to a Second Line-style processional parade accompanied by Jonathan Michael and the G.W. Carver High School band and flag team. Visitors are invited and encouraged to join the processional and can pick up flags and noisemakers at the gates starting at 8:30 AM.

Following the parade, visitors can participate in art-making activities by designing their celebratory tambourines and Juneteenth flags. Throughout the morning, attendees will enjoy live music from Jonathan Michael, create sidewalk chalk art inspired by the holiday, and get a family portrait at our photo booth with Juneteenth-inspired flair. Featured artist EL Chisolm, based in Atlanta and a Birmingham native, will lead a collaborative mural project with a reveal of the completed mural near the end of the event. Delicious, free snacks and strawberry lemonade will be available on a first come, first serve basis from the Museum’s cafe, Verde.

Inside the Museum, visitors can explore The Bias Inside Us, an exhibition from the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service designed to raise awareness about the social science and psychology of implicit bias, the impact of this bias, and what people can do about it. Also on view are two exhibitions of youth art by local students from Valiant Cross Academy and the MMFA’s Teen Arts and Activism Camp, with themes that celebrate the role of art in social change.

To learn more about what Juneteenth events are happening around Montgomery, visit the City of Montgomery website.

What is Juneteenth?

Juneteenth is a federal holiday in the United States that celebrates the emancipation of enslaved African Americans. Juneteenth’s commemoration is held on the anniversary of June 19, 1865, when Army Major General Gordon Granger proclaimed freedom for enslaved people in Texas, the last state of the Confederacy with institutional slavery, due to the ratification of the Emancipation Proclamation. Originating in Galveston, Texas, Juneteenth has been celebrated annually on June 19 in various parts of the United States since 1866 as a celebration of African American culture. It became a federal holiday on June 17, 2021, the first new federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was adopted in 1983.

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