Juneteenth Preview

Juneteenth commemorates the declaration that all Black people in Galveston, Texas were “free.” This announcement, made on June 19, 1865, came more than two years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation and is considered by Black people in the United States as “Emancipation Day.” The date is celebrated annually to commemorate the end of slavery in the country; however, last year, the State of New York State announced that this date would become an official state holiday beginning in 2021. The welcome announcement has prompted additional celebrations and events throughout Westchester County. 

Below is a line-up of upcoming Juneteenth programs.  Additional details for these events will be reported in the June issue of ArtsNews.

June 1

• Virtual Countywide Juneteenth Kickoff Program  (via Facebook and Zoom at 7pm)

Presented by ArtsWestchester, the Westchester African American Advisory Board, White Plains Juneteenth Heritage Inc. and the Juneteenth Committees of Mt. Vernon, Peekskill, Yonkers, Irvington and Haverstraw. This virtual program, featuring lectures, music and dance, will mark the beginning of a month-long celebration of Juneteenth activities throughout the County.

June 12

• City of White Plains Virtual Juneteenth Celebration
(Telecast on Fios channel 47, Optimum channel 75 and streamed online, 11am) Presented by White Plains Juneteenth Heritage, Inc.

June 18-20

• City of Yonkers: Citywide Juneteenth African Heritage Festival Weekend 2021

June 18-19

• Town of Haverstraw
 Presented by Haverstraw African American Connection

June 19

• City of Peekskill: Juneteenth Celebration (12pm)

• City of Irvington (Main Street School, 1-3pm)

• City of Mount Vernon (TBD)

A version of this article first appeared in the May issue of ArtsNews, ArtsWestchester’s monthly publication. ArtsNews is distributed throughout Westchester County. A digital copy is also available at artsw.org/artsnews.

About ArtsWestchester

For more than 50 years, ArtsWestchester has been the community’s connection to the arts. Founded in 1965, it is the largest private not-for-profit arts council in New York State. Its mission is to create an equitable, inclusive, vibrant and sustainable Westchester County in which the arts are integral to and integrated into every facet of life. ArtsWestchester provides programs and services that enrich the lives of everyone in Westchester County. ArtsWestchester helps fund concerts, exhibitions and plays through grants; brings artists into schools and community centers; advocates for the arts; and builds audiences through diverse marketing initiatives. In 1998, ArtsWestchester purchased the nine-story neo-classical bank building at 31 Mamaroneck Avenue which has since been transformed into a multi-use resource for artists, cultural organizations and the community. A two-story gallery is located on the first floor of ArtsWestchester’s historic building on Mamaroneck Avenue. artsw.org