Enjoy the various events taking place throughout Akron to celebrate Juneteenth!
Click here for the official Juneteenth map.
Ride METRO free when you show the digital or paper map to the bus operator. Valid Saturday, June 19th only from 8am-10pm. For more information on routes, or to plan your trip, visit akronmetro.org.
Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. From its Galveston, Texas origin in 1865, the observance of June 19th as the African American Emancipation Day has spread across the United States and beyond.Today Juneteenth commemorates African American freedom and emphasizes education and achievement (juneteenth.com). To learn more, click here.
While you are in downtown, be sure to check out all of the other great events happening on June 19 and make plans to grab a drink, a bite to eat or even do some shopping.
Augmented Reality Window Experience | The Bowery
Take a walk down Main Street to find the augmented reality (AR) window experience in the Circulation Building at The Bowery (near the Akron Civic Theatre). This Juneteenth themed window is a celebration of freedom and features artwork from Dara Harper and Diane Johnson. The AR component is best experienced in the evening and the window will be viewable through the end of June. This experience is made possible through a collaboration between Downtown Akron Partnership, Inda Blatch-Geib Designs, S3 Technologies, Knight Foundation and Puzzle Creative.
Breakdance Workshop with Illstyle Rockers | 11 a.m-12 p.m. | Akron Art Museum Garden
Join Dre Live from Illstyle Rockers for a FREE hip hop breaking class in the Bud and Susie Rogers Garden at the Akron Art Museum. This class will teach the basics of break dancing and is suitable for all ages. Reserve your spot for this FREE class with B-Boy Dre Live from Illstyle Rockers. Pre-registration is encouraged as space is limited. Click here to register. *If it is raining, the class will be moved to the 3rd floor at Summit Artspace, just a block away from the Akron Art Museum. If the class has to be moved indoors, you will be notified by email and information will be posted in the Facebook event.*
Gospel on the Plaza | 3:30-4:15 p.m. | Cascade Plaza
In celebration of Juneteenth, join Durrell LeGrair and Downtown Akron Partnership for an afternoon of hope and harmony through Gospel music. Durrell will lead the group in singing a selection of songs to help fill downtown with music. All are welcome to join, even those who don't wish to sing. Click here for more information.
Live Music | Various Times | Locations throughout downtown Akron
See the schedule below for a list of times, locations and musicians. Thank you to the Akron Black Artist Guild for helping coordinate these performances.
4-5 p.m. | Church of Starry Wisdom | outside the Akron Civic Theatre on Main Street
4-5 p.m. | Nathan-Paul Davis | El Patron patio
6-7 p.m. | DJ Chosen | outside Smack Yo Mamma Wings & Things
7-8 p.m. | JT's Electrik BlackOut | Cilantro patio
Akron All-Star Drive In - Free Black! & Pablo Speaks | 6-10 p.m. | Akron Recording Company
Live music is back & so are your favorite drive in concerts at ARC! Kicking off the series is Pablo Speaks from 7-7:30 p.m. and Free Black! from 8-9 p.m. Tickets are $50/ 1 car or 2 bikes and can be purchased here.
Skate Night with Phuture Boogie | 6-9 p.m. | Cascade Plaza
Join DJ group Phuture Boogie (Forrest Getemgump, Darrell Stout and Andre Leone) from the first Skate Night of the season. Skates will be available to rent for $2/pair and food and drinks will be available for purchase. If skating isn't your thing, join the dance party on the inside of the "rink." Skating is on the concrete of Cascade Plaza. Click here to learn more.
Akron Symphony presents The Outside Voices Concert Series | 7:30 p.m. | Lock 3 ****UPDATE: See Below****
The Outside Voices Concert Series focuses on the music of under-represented composers who are “outside” of the standard repertoire, along with numerous audience favorites. The series presents an opportunity for the ASO to expand its musical offerings and share a diversity of composers with the Northeast Ohio community. Click here to learn more.
****The Juneteenth Akron Symphony Outside Voices performance scheduled in Lock 3 has been moved to EJ Thomas Hall!
Due to the forecast of rain, we are moving tonight’s Outside Voices Concert to E.J. Thomas Hall.
The doors to the hall will open at 6:30 p.m. and the concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. Free parking is available in the E.J. Thomas deck or the surface lot across the street.
Per CDC guidelines, those who are fully vaccinated are not required to wear a mask. Masks are strongly recommended for those who are unvaccinated.
Seating will be limited to the lower level. Come in, find a seat, get comfortable and enjoy the concert!
Community Talk Back Equality and Equity | 10-11 a.m. | Perkins Stone Mansion
Moderated by Rev. Dr. David Nelson, New Hope Baptist Church and Summit County Historical Society board director. Click Here to learn more.
Carla Chapman - Akron Public Schools, Chief Diversity Officer
Leslie Parker Barnes - Founder and Artistic Director of YEPAW, Youth Excellence Performing Arts Workshop
Pastor Robert DeJournett - Greater Akron Chamber and St. Ashworth Temple C.O.G.I.C.
Dr. Jennifer Ross - Akron Urban League, Director of Diversity & Strategic Initiatives
Pastor Kevin Rushings - United Baptist Church
Lt. Michael Miller - Akron Police Department
Community Picnic | 11 a.m.- 1 p.m. | Perkins Stone Mansion
A community picnic will be catered by A Taste of Fine Dining from 11:00 am-1:00 pm. Reservations are requested on Eventbrite starting June 3 to assist in planning for enough food for our attendees. There will also be tastings by Nicole's Restaurant and Ire Jamaican Kitchen.
"The Life of John Brown" a short play by Reva Golden | 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. | Perkins Stone Mansion
Reva Golden, local actress, playwright and Society educational staff member, has written a short play about John Brown. She will perform as Harriet Tubman along with regional actors De Lemire as narrator, Dennis Runkle as John Brown and Corin B Self as Frederick Douglass. The performance will be taking place at 11:30 am and 12:30 pm.
18th Annual Juneteenth Festival | 12-7 p.m. | Stoner/Hawkins Park
Free food for kids and family fun for all. The festival will run from 12pm-7pm.
Schedule of Events:
1 p.m. - Opening ceremony and Buy Black Business Market opens
2 p.m. - Sponsor messages, youth activities, and giveaways
3-5 p.m. - Gerald R. Carter Teen Talent Show as well as founder appreciation
5-7 p.m. - Open mic and community conversation
7 p.m. - Closing and Westside Car Show.
Please come join in this family friendly celebration of Black Heritage and Liberation. This event is free through sponsorship from Greater Akron businesses and communities. Donations to go towards Gerald R. Carter's 18th Annual Original Akron Juneteenth Celebration can be sent to https://gofund.me/50a60c96, all proceeds go DIRECTLY toward Akron's Black Youth. Questions can be directed to Juneteenth Festival Coordinator, Fela Sutton, BBA, at 330-303-1531. Click here to learn more.
Interconnected Liberation: Art and Conversation About Interconnected Identity | 762 Elma Street, Akron, OH 44302
Juneteenth and World Refugee Day Celebration and Conversations (Two-day event)
Juneteenth - June 19
7 p.m. - An interactive, pre-movie discussion/panel led by Dr. Lathardus Goggins II.
Dusk - At dusk there will be an outdoor screening of the movie One Night in Miami.
Lathardus Goggins II, Ed.D. is an educator, advocate, scholar, and author. Dr. Goggins’ books are Foundations: African-centered Education (2017), Bringing the Light into a New Day: African-centered Rites of Passage (2012); 365 Black: Nuggets of Wisdom for Each Day of the Year (2012); African Centered Rites of Passage & Education (1996). Dr Goggins is the Publisher/Owner of Saint Rest Publications; and Principal Consultant at Applied Academic Solutions. For information and to connect visit Dr. Goggins’ website SuccessfulAcademics.com
World Refugee Day - June 20
1-3 p.m. - World Refugee Day celebration with multimedia festival/collage of performances led by Hsa Win, a North Hill community member
3:30-5 p.m. - An interactive, post-performance discussion/panel led by Dr. Anuj Gurung.
Anuj Gurung, PhD. is originally from Kathmandu, Nepal. He works at NACDC and Kent State's School of Peace and Conflict Studies. His research focus is on refugee integration and community-based conflict resolution, specifically centered on the North Hill's community.
NCCAkron REFRAME / REMNANT / RITUAL Film Premiere | 3 p.m. | NCCAkron's YouTube Channel
Join NCCAkron for the premiere of a collection of short dance films by Cara Hagan (Boone, NC/Australia) and her artistic collaborators as part of NCCAkron’s Community Commissioning Residency. Hagan’s artistic collaborators include Ananya Chatterjea (Minneapolis, MN), Paloma McGregor (New York, NY/St. Croix, USVI), and Tamara (Fákẹ́mi) Williams (Charlotte, NC). The cohort works closely with poet Jacinta V. White (Winston-Salem, NC) and dramaturg Sharon Bridgforth (Los Angeles, CA) in the collaborative process.
The premiere date lands on Juneteenth, also known as African American Freedom Day or Emancipation Day. During the premiere, the artists will introduce their processes and films. The virtual premiere is free and open to the public. Click here to learn more.