New York

Black artists and performers take over Fort Greene Park for Juneteenth Jubilee

The Blacksmiths and the Wide Awakes are hosting the programme of live music, performances and art installations in Brooklyn this weekend

Performers at the Juneteenth Jubilee 2020 in Harlem, New York Courtesy The Blacksmiths and the Wide Awakes. Photo by Pascal Perich

This weekend, the arts groups The Blacksmiths and the Wide Awakes have teamed up to co-host Juneteenth Jubilee 2021, a free outdoor event in Fort Greene Park, Brooklyn celebrating Black culture, liberation, and resiliency. The programme includes live music, with a performance stage located near the Prison Ship Martyrs Monument, and an art walk of outdoor installations and participatory experiences by Black women artists.

A highlight of the event will be the unveiling of the Ethiopian American artist Helina Metaferia’s new mural on the site of the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Art’s forthcoming sculpture garden at 48 Lafayette Avenue. Titled Headdress 21 (2021), the mural features a portrait of the Wide Awakes artist Wildcat Ebony Brown under a collaged crown of images of civil rights activism. The mural, part of Metaferia’s By Way of Revolution series (2018-present) , was organised for the Not a Monolith project by ArtBridge, Facebook Open Arts, and We The Culture.

Throughout the day, there will be live music and roving performances by groups including The Blacksmiths’ WE INSIST! marching band led by musical directors Mimi Jones (bassist) and Candice Hoyes (singer-songwriter), as well as performances by singer-songwriter Carmen Rodgers, and The Resistance Revival Chorus. Cultural partners include The Lay Out, a community event in Fort Greene Park that reclaims Black space and joy.

In addition to the art programming, the event’s organisers are supporting community outreach initiatives, such as The Wide Awakes’ Mobil Soup Kitchen.

Juneteenth Jubilee 2021, Saturday, 19 June from 12-6 pm, Fort Greene, Brooklyn. For full details on performances, see The Blacksmiths and the Wide Awakes Instagram pages