The 1865 emancipation of enslaved African Americans will be commemorated throughout the month of June for the Pump House Center Arts’ annual Juneteenth Celebration which begins this Thursday, June 1st.
Juneteenth derives its name from combining “June” and “nineteenth”, and celebrates the anniversary of the order issued on June 19th of 1865 proclaiming freedom for American slaves.
Juneteenth has been observed annually in various parts of United States since the late 19th century but has only been recognized as a federal holiday in the U.S. since 2021. Since then, the Pump House Center for the Arts in Chillicothe has dedicated the entire month of June to celebrating the holiday and African American culture as a whole.
The Pump House’s 2023 month-long Juneteenth Celebration will begin on Thursday, June 1st and then continue through Friday, June 30th.
The June celebrations will offer an art exhibit titled “Artists of Color” which will feature artwork from both adult and youth artists. The adult portion of the exhibit “Celebrating Artists of Color” will offer pieces from local and statewide artists over the age of 16, while the youth portion of the exhibit “Celebrating Youth Artists” will display pieces submitted by local artists in grades 4 thru 8. The youth segment of the Juneteenth exhibit will also include a handful of pieces submitted by young artists from the King Arts Complex in Columbus.
Monetary awards will be presented to participating youth artists in categories of first, second and third place, as well as Best of Show and Honorable Mention. The Best of Show award will also include a monetary award for the art department of the local school attended by the selected young artist.
The opening reception for the “Artists of Color” exhibit will be held this Friday, June 2nd from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Pump House Art Gallery.
In addition to the Juneteenth art exhibits at the Pump House, an official Juneteenth observation will take place on Sunday, June 18th.
Pump House 1st Vice President Angela Young is now in her third year of planning the Pump House’s Juneteenth celebrations and she says they have a lot in store for this year's June 18th program.
“The June 18th program is going to be similar to what we’ve done in the past,” said Young. “We’re going to have a guest speaker, Reverend Victor Davis from Quinn Chapel Church, and the Voices of Thunder from Springfield, Ohio have also agreed to comeback again this year - which If you’ve not seen them, you’re going to want to come out and see them, they’re wonderful to listen to.”
The June 18th celebration will also offer a prelude of instrumental gospel music courtesy of the BBJ Project at 2:30 p.m. followed by the official Juneteenth program at 3:00 p.m. The program itself will include the presentation from Reverend Davis, the performance by the Voices of Thunder, an All-Faith Worship service, and a performance from the Carver Community Center’s All God’s Children Dance Group. Food trucks are also scheduled to be open on the Pump House grounds that Sunday, accompanied by a vendor fair. It’ll also include the announcement of the selected winners of the youth art exhibit.
The full schedule for the month-long Juneteenth Celebration at the Pump House is as follows.
Thursday, June 1: Opening of “Artists of Color” and “Celebrating Youth Artists” art exhiblts.
Friday, June 2: Juneteenth Art Exhibit Opening Reception - 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Sunday, June 18: Official Juneteenth Program - 11:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m., BBJ Project Gospel Prelude 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m., All-Faith Service 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.