The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is offering two opportunities for guests to experience its museum for free during Juneteenth weekend. An evening of spoken word performances, poetry and cocktails will be free for guests 21 and up from 7 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, June 18 and admission for all guests will be free from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, June 19.
Juneteenth commemorates the moment when, on June 19, 1865, Union troops landed in Galveston, Texas with news the Civil War was over and the enslaved people were now free. Celebrations of the date that came to be known as Juneteenth has continued in communities across the country for the past 150 years, but Juneteenth was recognized as a national holiday in 2021. It has been recognized by some as the second independence day or even true independence day.
Admission to the Freedom Center’s Saturday, June 18 evening event is free and includes two drink tickets and light bites but advance registration is required. The event runs from 7 to 9 p.m. and is sponsored by Gallagher Insurance. Performing artists include Siri Imani, JeRod Lindsey and more.
Admission for Sunday, June 19 is free from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., courtesy of the Freedom Center’s Fifth Third Community Days, supported by the Fifth Third Foundation. Activities include:
- “One Piece at a Time” chalk community art project with artist Brent Billingsley from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Dramatic readings with educator and interpreter Novella Nimmo at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.
- Artist Brent Billingsley will discuss his piece “I’m Listening,” part of ArtsWave’s Truth and Reconciliation Project from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The piece is on display at the Freedom Center now.
- Juneteenth mini lecture from 12:30 to 1 p.m.
- Performance by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra’s Mark Lomax Quartet from 2 to 3 p.m.
- Admission to Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration is included for all guests. Artist Xavier Hadley will be available for interpretation and discussion of the artwork.
- Education activity kits will be available for students in grades K-8 throughout the day
Juneteenth Evening at the Museum, Saturday, June 18 from 7 to 9 p.m.
Juneteenth free admission, Sunday, June 19 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
WHERE: National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, 50 E. Freedom Way, Cincinnati, OH 45202