7 wonderful performances and events celebrating Juneteenth in Seattle

Jun 3 2021, 1:21 pm

This year, the Northwest African American Museum (NAAM) is hosting a Juneteenth Week to educate Washingtonians on the importance of the holiday. 

From June 13 to 21 the week-long celebration features nine days of dynamic educational programming for people of all ages.

“Each year, the Northwest African American Museum commemorates Juneteenth with family-friendly activities that help us to remember and reflect upon our shared past,” said LaNesha DeBardelaben, President and CEO of NAAM, in a press release. “This year, with nine days of programs and the world premiere of our new African American Cultural Ensemble, NAAM is making Juneteenth mean even more to our current times.”

Events for the week are set to take place both in-person at various locations throughout Seattle and online.

Here are some of the performances and events you aren’t going to want to miss:

NAAM’s Interactive Storytime

Join NAAM for its newest culturally relevant story read aloud. Former Seattle Sounders FC player and Broadcast Analyst Steve Zakuani will read Sing a Song: How to Lift Every Voice and Sing Inspired Generations by Kelly Starling Lyons, followed by an interactive art session led by Teddy ‘Stat’ Phillips.

Art will also be displayed in the Seattle Sounders FC and Rave Foundation “Goals for Art” program. Any families in need of art supplies can reserve and pick them up on Saturday, June 12, from 11 am to 2 pm. Pickup details will be shared on NAAM’s website.

When: June 13
Time: 1 pm
Where: online

Juneteenth Youth Night

To celebrate 2021 graduates, NAAM will host a drive-in Black Graduation at the Lumen Field North Lot as part of Juneteenth Week 2021 Youth Night. This event will celebrate graduates from pre-K through college. Youth Night will also recognize the accomplishments of NAAM’s 2020 Dr. Carver Gayton Youth Curators for the amazing work that they completed in the midst of a pandemic. Immediately following the celebration, families can enjoy a drive-in movie.

When: June 17
Time: 8 pm
Where: Lumen Field North Lot

ELEVATE (v.) raise or lift to a higher position

ELEVATE is a community showcase of Black and Brown voices uplifting one another through the art of the spoken word. This event will feature raw, bold, breathtaking performances from our youth, local historians, and unsung heroes, followed by a community conversation.

When: June 16
Time: 6:30
Where: Online

Juneteenth Jamboree

The Northwest African American Museum and Rec’N The Streets present the Juneteenth Jamboree. The event will feature live performances, live storytime, book giveaway, COVID-19 vaccinations, blood pressure screenings, horseback rides, food, music, and more.

When: June 19
Time: 12 to 6 pm
Where: registration required; location tbd

Knowledge is Power: BlkFreedom

NAAM joins the Carl Maxey Center in Spokane in celebrating the grand opening of its newly remodeled community center and for their Juneteenth celebration. NAAM will distribute books to local youth through its popular the Knowledge is Power Book Giveaway program.

When: June 20
Time: 1:30 pm
Where: Carl Maxey Center — 3114 East 5th Avenue, Spokane

NAAM’s Juneteenth Encore and Black Music Month Monday Program: THE E RATIO: Entertainment vs Education

Author of the critically acclaimed book BlackOut, Paul Porter, unveils the real nature and motivations behind the music that gets played on radio and TV.  Porter shares his first-hand experiences with detailed insight as an insider and decision-maker at the highest levels of the industry. A thought leader in the radio and music industry, he is a go-to expert on music, race, and culture for major media outlets like CNN, MSNBC, Entertainment Tonight, FOX News, Billboard, and Rolling Stone.

When: June 21
Time: 6 pm
Where: Online

Juneteenth 2021 Artist Collective

NAAM has teamed up with the Diversity, Equality, and Inclusivity Committee of the Space Needle and Chihuly Garden and Glass, One Vibe Africa, and Wa Na Wari to celebrate Juneteenth by raising the voices of Black and African American artists to Seattle through a virtual show. Two artists or artist groups in four categories, including poetry/written word, music, dance, and visual arts, will perform. The top entries in each category will also receive a $500 Visa gift card and an invitation to participate in the Juneteenth Jamboree hosted by NAAM on June 19.

When: June 18
Time: 7 pm
Where: online

Alyssa TherrienAlyssa Therrien

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