Weeklong Juneteenth Jubilee Offers Celebration of History and Culture


By LB Indy Staff

Los Angeles singing group VISION will perform at the Neighborhood Congregational Church on Saturday, June 24. Photo courtesy of VISION

The Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center has partnered with Neighborhood Congregational Church to create Juneteenth Jubilee, a celebration of history and cultures that will include an array of events and activities at both venues.

On Monday, June 19, the Juneteenth national holiday, at 1 p.m., the Cultural Arts Center will show “Ted Hawkins: Amazing Grace,” a film about the resilience of the human spirit embodied by the late musician Ted Hawkins, followed by a talk with the film’s director Janice Engel and his manager, Nancy Meyer; at 2:30 p.m., a stirring presentation by Los Angeles poet, storyteller and author Dorothy Randall Gray, and at 3:30 p.m., a concert by renowned Chicago Blues musician and social activist Brother Yusef.

On Wednesday, June 21, at 7 p.m., the Cultural Arts Center will offer a free screening of “Summer of Soul,” the joyous, inspiring documentary about a 1969 Harlem music festival that featured a superlative lineup of Black musicians. Admission is free, donations are welcome.

Continuing the emancipation celebration are events on Saturday, June 24 at the Neighborhood Congregational Church, 340 St. Ann’s Drive at Glenneyre. At 5:30 p.m., guests can enjoy a Tibetan meal prepared by Nawang Jungtuktsang of Cafe Zambala in Emeryville, Calif. and Tenpa Dorjee of Tibet Handicrafts in Laguna Beach. At 6 p.m., the four powerful female voices of Los Angeles Black group VISION will perform a soul-stirring concert.

The church will display artworks by two notable Black artists. Allyson Allen uses traditional materials to create unique, dimensional textile art, quilts, dolls, and handmade books. Her work often references social issues, Black history, and African folklore. Many of her quilts are explicitly created for storytelling presentations. Her works were displayed last year at the church and the Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center after being ejected from the Wells Fargo Bank building in downtown Laguna for generating discomfort among bank patrons.

Also on display at the church will be Los Angeles artist Eugene Warren’s oversize sculpture series titled “A Guide for African Americans: How to Survive a Police Stop.” Warren’s art piece is designed to save lives. It includes step-by-step procedural instructions for drivers of color, especially young men, encouraging conversational exchange. His artistic and practical goal is to reduce shootings arising from police officers’ fear. Part of the exhibition is a memorial of 50 Black and brown people killed during police encounters. Allen’s and Warren’s art will be on display at the church on weekdays, June 18 to 30 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission is free. Those interested in purchasing tickets to any of these events can visit lbculturalartscenter.org.



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