Juneteenth — which commemorates the emancipation of the last enslaved African Americans on June 19, 1865 — is finally getting the recognition it deserves. Despite the right wing’s efforts to prevent schoolkids from learning about America’s slave past, President Joe Biden made June 19 a federal holiday in 2021, The New York Times Magazine won a Pulitzer Prize for Nikole Hannah-Jones’ The 1619 Project (1619education.org), and Colorado Springs is celebrating Juneteenth and Black culture with a deep list of events…
The Juneteenth fest in America the Beautiful Park is back for its second year, offering a massive, family-friendly entertainment lineup that includes: a car show, live music (with gospel on Sunday), a farmers market, health fair, poetry, an emancipation ceremony and lots more. Lil’ Miss Story Hour will take the main stage on Saturday at noon, sharing I Am Perfectly Designed by Karamo and Jason Brown, All Different Now by Angela Johnson, and Harlem’s Little Blackbird by Renee Watson. The free weekend (donations are welcome) kicks off at 4 p.m. Friday and opens again at 9 a.m. Saturday and noon on Sunday, with activities into the evening each night. 126 Cimino Drive, csjuneteenthfestival.com.
“Hearts and Minds,” by influential Colorado artist Floyd D. Tunson, “invites us to move slowly across its monumental surface … to absorb the profound and somber message. Bullseye targets flank tenderly rendered portraits of young Black men. A column of cash, the architecture of inequity, stands beneath disembodied arms and young people behind bars. It is a densely layered memento mori, an artistic assemblage of objects that serve as a reminder of the fragility of human life here presented as skulls, cash, guns, flies, and two perfectly depicted pistols gleaming metal and heavy.”
A multi-day event encompassing Tunson’s art and works by collaborators in response to “Hearts and Minds” will include Tomás Doncker & The True Groove All-Stars’ premiere of Endangered on Friday, June 17 with a second show Saturday — it’s “a live music and multi-sensory installation performance steeped in 21st Century Psychedelic Soul.”
All the activity is based at the Fine Arts Center and Kathryn Mohrman Theatre, 30 W. Dale St. and 14 E. Cache La Poudre St.; June 15-18; you will find details and ticket information at tinyurl.com/fac-ftun.
Cottonwood Center for the Arts’ second annual Juneteenth Afro-Caribbean Celebration, with works by a dozen established and emerging visual artists from Colorado, will be on display through June. Cottonwood invites you “to come reflect on history, and to celebrate the arts and their importance to community togetherness with us.” Free; 427 E. Colorado Ave., cottonwoodcenterforthearts.com.
Tunson’s “Hearts and Minds” will be on display through July 9.
Green Mountain Falls’ annual dance/music/art/community celebration kicks off Saturday, June 18, with the unveiling of the long-awaited Skyspace, one of 80-plus such works around the world by light/space explorer James Turrell. The deep list of offerings both high-brow and family-friendly includes performances by New York City’s Ballet Hispánico along with concerts, “Artdesk Conversations,” stargazing with s’mores, a pooch parade, art workshops, Shakespeare and salsa making. Through July 4; ticket info and more at greenboxarts.org.
There’s an all-evening gathering Friday, June 17, in celebration of Pride Month. It starts with a clothing swap at 5 p.m., segues into an open mic at 7 (with music by Nova and the Ghost), which is followed by a dance party with DJ Meche. It all comes to you via Keep Colorado Springs Queer, CC Mobile Arts and COATI Uprise (it’s happening in their alleyway, 514 S. Tejon St.). It’s free, but a $5-$10 donation is suggested. Info at tinyurl.com/keep-the-springs-queer.
Join your friends and neighbors and fill the Colorado sky with color. This free, family-friendly celebration of wind — 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, June 18 in Falcon — includes music and a talk about weather in the Pikes Peak region, along with kite-making, a create-a-wind-propelled craft project, face painting, bubble-blowing, games, vendors and contests. Multipurpose Field, Falcon Regional Park, 10990 Eastonville Road, Falcon. More info at tinyurl.com/windy-in-epco.
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