LOCAL NON-PROFITS PARTNER FOR FIRST TIME TO CREATE A WEEKEND OF EVENTS CELEBRATING JUNETEENTH
Free Weekend of Activities in Morristown Ranging from Art Openings to an Outdoor Festival on the Green
Morristown Juneteenth Weekend brings together five non-profit organizations to create a three-day event that commemorates the emancipation of enslaved African Americans. This FREE weekend celebrates the African American community and offers the public access to local artists, food, music, and other festivities at major cultural venues in Morristown and Morris Township. Partner organizations for this event are Morris Arts, Art in the Atrium, Sankofa Heritage Collective of Morris County, Mayo Performing Arts Center and the Morris Museum.
Juneteenth, traditionally observed on June 19, commemorates Black liberation from the institution of slavery that took place at the end of the Civil War when President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation became the law in all states. The day also highlights the resilience, solidarity, and culture of the Black Community. June 19, 1865 was the day word reached the enslaved in Galveston, Texas, though this emancipation actually ended slavery on paper two years earlier on January 1, 1863.
“We’re honored to be part of the local organizations coming together to celebrate Juneteenth through art. Collaborations such as these help our community grow and thrive in solidarity.” said Tom Werder, Executive Director of Morris Arts.
The weekend kicks off at the Atrium Gallery with an opening reception of Black Art in the Sun presented by Art in the Atrium, Inc. (ATA) on Thursday, June 15. Its signature event and the 31st Annual Exhibit of Black Fine Art will feature artist Ron ‘REAP’ Powell and will include the work of 30 other artists. The exhibition will be on view from May 15 through August 15, 2023.
The party continues at the Morris Museum on Friday, June 16 for a happy hour event when the public is invited to meet artists from the special exhibition, Each One Teach One, and hear spoken word poetry from local poets. This free event will have delicious catering by Dominiques Dishes, an open bar, and music from DJ Rich.
The weekend culminates on Saturday, June 17 on the Morristown Green and Pioneer Plaza with FREEDOM DAY: The Juneteenth Festival of Morris County! This lively event was created for all families to celebrate the resilience, solidarity, history, and culture of the Black community. The day includes live performances by The Kofi and Sankofa Drum & Dance Ensemble, local artists, and a tribute to famed abolitionist Frederick Douglass, who made a historic visit to Morristown, NJ in 1865. Enjoy DJ sets, food, community resource tables, the Atlantic Health pavilion, and a main stage filled with live entertainment.
See Juneteenth Morristown Weekend schedule below
Thursday, June 15 | 6 – 9PM
Art in the Atrium’s Opening of “Black Art in the Sun”
Morris County Administration & Records Building
Friday, June 16 | 6 – 9PM
Morris Museum’s Juneteenth Party Celebration
Saturday, June 17 | 12 – 5 PM
Sankofa’s Juneteenth Festival of Morris County
The Green & Pioneer Plaza
For more information on the Juneteenth Weekend, visit: morrismuseum.org/juneteenth
#JuneteenthMorristown #morrismuseum #artintheatrium #morrisarts
About Morris Arts
Founded in 1973, Morris Arts is celebrating 50 years of fulfilling its mission of “building community through the arts”. Their guiding principles include the belief that the arts are vital to the social fabric and economic prosperity of the area, act as a catalyst for social change, and enrich the lives of everyone in the community. Their varied programs and services serve to inspire, connect and engage. They include arts education programs for children in grades K-12, the creation of innovative community-building arts events, including concerts, gallery walks and public art exhibits, and support of area artists and arts organizations through funding, advocacy, and professional development.
About Art in the Atrium
Art in the Atrium, Inc. (ATA) is a Black-led critically-acclaimed, culture keeping institution founded in Morristown, New Jersey in 1991, that is committed to the celebration and advancement of Black culture. ATA supports and invests in black fine art, and established and emerging artists by giving them visibility and a creative space to breathe. Since its founding, in addition to its exhibits, ATA has provided unique arts education programming through its Artist in the Schools program and gives scholarships to promising black arts students.
About Mayo Performing Arts Center
Mayo Performing Arts Center, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, presents a wide range of programs that entertain, enrich, and educate the diverse population of the region and enhance the economic vitality of Northern New Jersey. The 2022-2023 season is made possible, in part, by a grant the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as support received from the F.M. Kirby Foundation, The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation and numerous corporations, foundations and individuals. Mayo Performing Arts Center was named 2016 Outstanding Historic Theatre by the League of Historic American Theatres, and is ranked in the top 50 mid-sized performing arts centers by Pollstar Magazine.
About the Morris Museum
Founded in 1913, the Morris Museum is an award-winning, multifaceted arts and cultural institution serving the public through its exhibitions and performances, which strive to interpret the past and discover the future through art, sound, and motion. The Museum is home to the historic and internationally-significant Murtogh D. Guinness Collection of Mechanical Musical Instruments and Automata. The Museum’s Bickford Theatre is a 312-seat performing arts facility, offering unique programming in film, jazz, and live performance through its innovative series, Live Arts. As New Jersey’s only Smithsonian Affiliate, Morris Museum launched Spark!Lab, a dynamic, Smithsonian-created learning space that will inspire young visitors to create, collaborate, and innovate.
The Sankofa Heritage Collective of Morris County was created to connect generations of people of African descent by expanding and documenting the contributions they have made to the community. The group connects the past, present, and future through workshops, forums, programs, and events that raise consciousness in regard to the historical and cultural heritage of African Americans.
Ron EA Powell REAP13; Wings of Osiris, 2023; Oil and impasto on canvas; 36″ × 48″; Photo by Marcus Romero.
Kern Bruce; Black American Refugee, 2022; Mixed media; 16″ x 21”; On loan courtesy of the artist.
Sankofa Event; Photo by John Cox.