Sunday, June 19
Central Park – NYC Dept. of Parks & Recreation, New York
Head to Seneca Village this Juneteenth for a family-friendly celebration of Black culture and accomplishment through music, storytelling, dance, poetry and more!
- Performances & Activities: Presented throughout Seneca Village, on a timed rotation between 10:00 am until 1:00 pm
Before the construction of Central Park in 1858, the landscape along what is now the Park’s perimeter from West 82-89th Streets was home to a predominately African-American?community that existed from 1825-1857. The City acquired the land through the process of eminent domain, ultimately displacing the residents to build Central Park.
Guests will be invited to explore six historically significant Seneca Village sites through dance, music, spoken word, storytelling sculpture, and activities. Themes of education, community, enfranchisement and empowerment will be told through an ensemble of award-winning Black artists and musicians. This includes:
- Senegalese percussionist Abdou M’Boup, performing on the kora and various African percussion instruments.
- 5-string banjo player Ayodele Maakheru and Grammy award nominee Gha’il Rhodes Benjamin, telling stories near the site of Seneca Village’s schoolhouse.
- Award-winning poet and author Marilyn Nelson reading My Seneca Village while professional interpretive dancers Kia Sillman, Tislarm Bouie, and Tiarah Sowell-Hearne channel Nelson’s words through creative expression and movement.
- Actor and tap dancer DeWitt Fleming, Jr. explores and imagines Andrew Williams’ world, a Seneca Village landowner and shoeshine, through the lens of his tap shoes.
- Singer and actor Miche Braden, guitarist Angela Johnson-Swan, and vocalist Carla Cook bring imagined conversations between Seneca Village’s women to life through song, music, and spoken word.
- Myles Nurse’s “Dancing Ancestors” sculptures will pay tribute to the Black residents that made Seneca Village home. The Community Legacy Project will create “Arts as Adovacy Legacy Bracelets,” inspired after the beads found at the Seneca Village site during archaeological excavations.
- Award-winning cellist Akua Dixon, harpist Ashley Jackson, and drummer and percussionist Shirazette Tinnin deliver a curated musical performance in celebration of both what is gone and what remains of this important Black community.