Juneteenth Public Performances
JUNETEENTH PUBLIC PERFORMANCE COMMISSIONS ✊🏽✊🏾✊🏿🌈
Get ready to explore New York City this June 14-19 as we’re serving up our Juneteenth public performances celebrating Black joy✨, dreams✨, experiences✨, queerness✨, resistance✨, and liberation✨. Featuring new works by Jack Fuller, Shelley Nicole, Trebien Pollard, and Niegel Smith.
Schedule of Events
THE FLEA’S JUNETEENTH PUBLIC PERFORMANCE SYMPOSIUM
June 14 at 7pm ET | FREE, Reservation required
at The Flea Theater
Please join moderator Monique Martin and commissioned artists Jack Fuller, Shelley Nicole, Trebien Pollard, and Niegel Smith for a symposium offering a deeper exploration of each artist’s unique approach to Juneteenth as a prompt for their creative work. Come hear about the creative process, the intersection of performance and public life, and all the ways liberation can play out street by street in our beautiful city. GET TICKETS
MOVING STORIES OF LIBERATION AND TRUTH…
June 16th at 5pm | FREE, No reservation required
at McCarren Park, beginning at the corner of Nassau Avenue and Lorimer Street
by Trebien Pollard and featuring Dr. Gaynell Sherrod
there are so many stories to be told. so many stories to unfold the mysteries of life and death as they live in the thriving and writhing lives of dying stories. stories that pierce the heart while also tearing the soul apart. stories that disappear and stories that get caught in fear.
What does it mean to reclaim language and discover the words one does not have. This new dance by Trebien Pollard is in dialogue with Audre Lorde’s essays entitled, The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action and Poetry is Not a Luxury.
June 17th at 11:30am and 4pm | FREE, Reservation required | at The African Burial Ground Monument
by Niegel Smith and featuring Talu Green
“Niegel Smith is a gift to modern theater.” – Ebony Magazine
Join an afro-futuristic griot (Niegel Smith) on a Juneteenth walk exploring our city through the lens of black love and queer liberation. 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 celebrate the intrinsic worth of Queer Black folks. The walk will conclude at The Flea. GET TICKETS
THOUGHTS AND INVOLUNTARY MANTRAS (STRIPPED)
June 18 at 3pm | FREE, No reservation required
at Open Streets Vanderbilt Ave, in front of 584 Vanderbilt (between St. Marks & Bergen)
by Jack Fuller
Join icon Jack Fuller through the musical feast that is Thoughts and Involuntary Mantras. This epic new work is the story of the inner life of a black queer overthinker’s first time falling in love. This public act of singing, music, and action takes you on a trip into the ways the self internalizes love, or struggles to do so. This unique piece of music theater will unfold on Vanderbilt Ave during Open Streets NYC.
FREEDOM IS FREE: REST, RESTORATION, REMEMBERING AND RESTITUTION
June 19th at 11am | FREE, No reservation required
at Brower Park
by Shelley Nicole
For three years Juneteenth has been a nationally recognized holiday (for better or worse) and it’s already becoming commercialized with sales and consumer events. It feels like the spirit and understanding of what this day meant to enslaved Africans is being pushed aside and is in danger of being erased. While Juneteenth is a time to celebrate it’s also a terrible tale of white supremacy and how enslaved Africans in Texas were not informed of their freedom until two years later so that slave owners could get their harvest in one last time with free labor.
With that in mind, my Juneteenth commission will focus on rest, restoration, remembering and restitution, in the spirit of Sankofa, “Go back and get it!” On this day I will offer a space of intentional breathing, gentle movement, calling in our ancestors, speaking love (self and community) into the circle and lifting our voices in song. We will also make a community altar to celebrate those who chose to survive and ultimately made it possible for us to be here today.
I ask folks to wear white or light colors, bring a blanket or something to sit on, items to place on the community altar (photos, flowers, crystals, candles, etc.), a water bottle and an open heart.