In celebration of Juneteenth, The Flea's line-up of public programming begins across New York City and Fire Island June 11. The selection of performances and events, curated by Ebony Noelle Golden, James Scruggs, and Chanon Judson who were commissioned for the task, will run through June 19.
“Juneteenth marks the beginning of our journey toward liberation, and I’m thrilled The Flea can continue that legacy by commissioning exceptional Black artists, and presenting their work in public spaces for our city,” says Flea Artistic Director Niegel Smith.
Niegel Smith presents The Worthy, a walk exploring the city through the lens of liberation, black love, queer joy, and community healing co-led by Talu Green with Djembe drumming, while James Scruggs hosts ISSUE MAN... JUNETEENTH!, a conversation about race, racism, and Juneteenth being held on the steps of the New York Public Library.
Two ritual-based events are also being presented: Chanon Judson's Time's Up; A Liberation Ritual, a dane performance community ritual, and Ebony Noelle Golden's The Blueing: Ceremonies From In The Name of The Mother Tree, a collective ritual for water veneration at Marcus Garvey Park.
Nia O. Witherspoon will moderate an informative symposium about Juneteenth, and this year’s line-up, June 16 at 7 PM at The Flea featuring all of this year's commissioned artists.
The Flea has also partnered with the Black and Brown Equity Coalition of Fire Island to support the 2nd Annual Mx. Juneteenth Drag Pageant on Fire Island, celebrating Black drag artistry at The Ice Palace Resort on Fire Island June 18.
“World culture is influenced by American culture. American culture is influenced by Black culture, and therefore Black culture influences everything. BaBEC is excited to be partnering with The Flea for a celebration of Black liberation and jubilee during the week of Juneteenth. As equity architects, we are empowering Black artists to utilize their multiple mediums of expression to remind everyone who this world's tastemakers really are,” says Tomik Dash, founder and president of the Black and Brown Equity Coalition of Fire Island, in a statement.
The Flea’s Juneteenth Public Performance Program is also part of the Festival of New York, a growing collective of organizations from across New York City's five boroughs.