04 May News Release: Juneteenth and Jazz Community Celebration returns to Eiteljorg June 18
Celebrate freedom with live music, performances, activities and more; admission is free
At the Eiteljorg Museum’s Juneteenth and Jazz Community Celebration on June 18, the Freetown Village Singers are scheduled to give a performance. Admission is free.
INDIANAPOLIS — The annual Juneteenth and Jazz Community Celebration returns to the Eiteljorg Museum of Native American and Western Art on Saturday, June 18, with the much-anticipated addition of jazz performances. With live music, poetry readings, actors in character as civil rights leaders from history and art activities, Juneteenth will be offered with free admission at the Eiteljorg from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. that day.
“With the help of numerous community partners, the Eiteljorg Museum hosted its first Juneteenth Community Celebration in 2015 on the 150th anniversary of Juneteenth; and our event became so popular that it has become an annual tradition. The museum’s free celebration has developed over the years to include a focus on cultural and musical performances, and now is an integral part of the Indianapolis community’s celebration of Juneteenth,” said Alisa Nordholt-Dean, Eiteljorg vice president for public programs and Beeler family director of education. “We look forward to welcoming guests from across the community to the Eiteljorg for this annual celebration of freedom.”
The free Juneteenth festivities will start with a welcome from Tamara L. Cooper, a local community advocate, influencer and college professor, followed by a poetry reading from Patrice Stokes. The Freetown Village Singers, an African American heritage vocal group, will perform.
During the event, the Lewis Storytellers will present performances in character as African American women civil rights leaders from history: as 19th-century crusading journalist Ida B. Wells-Barnett (portrayed by Linda Lewis), as Malcolm X’s spouse Betty Shabazz (portrayed by Lana Talib), and as 1960s voting-rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer (portrayed by Gloria Vaughn.)
While the Eiteljorg has hosted jazz performances before, there will be a special emphasis on jazz this year. Performers include the Rob Dixon Quartet and Greg Sansing and the JAZZsetters, both on the outdoor stage under The Sails. In case of inclement weather, performances will be moved indoors.
Families will enjoy several art-making activities, including collages and painting pour-overs, a project involving mixed paint poured over CDs in fun patterns.
Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. In June 1865, federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, to announce the Civil War was over and that all enslaved people were freed, 2 ½ years after Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. Long observed in African American communities as Juneteenth, Jubilee Day or Freedom Day, the holiday is traditionally celebrated with barbecues, parades, prayer services and more. Juneteenth officially became a federal holiday in 2021.
Support for the Juneteenth and Jazz Community Celebration at the Eiteljorg has been provided by the Arts Council of the City of Indianapolis and the Indiana Arts Commission. The event is free; for a complete schedule of events, visit Eiteljorg.org/events or visit the Eiteljorg Museum’s social media.
About the Eiteljorg
A cultural pillar for nearly 33 years in downtown Indianapolis’ scenic White River State Park, the Eiteljorg Museum seeks to inspire an appreciation and understanding of the arts, histories and cultures of the Native peoples of North America and of the American West by telling amazing stories. Located on the Central Canal at 500 West Washington St., the Eiteljorg is a 501c3 nonprofit organization. It was named one of the USA Today Readers’ Choice 10 Best Indiana Attractions.
Eiteljorg Museum Contacts
Public Relations Manager
Director of Marketing and Communications
Digital Marketing Coordinator
Marketing and Communications Intern