Annual NWA Juneteenth Celebration Continues to Grow

Annual NWA Juneteenth Celebration Continues to Grow
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The U of A and the NWA Juneteenth Committee invite the Northwest Arkansas community, friends and family to the annual Juneteenth Celebration on Father’s Day weekend. 

The weekend is part of the country-wide holiday that commemorates the anniversary of the emancipation of African Americans.

Between Thursday, June 16, and Sunday, June 19, various free events are open to the public throughout the Northwest Arkansas region. The celebration will be capped with the “Freedom Festival” in downtown Springdale on Sunday, June 19, the official Juneteenth holiday. 


In partnership with Music Moves, Community Cohesion Project and Interform Fashion, the Freedom Festival will take place on Sunday, June 19, in downtown Springdale at the Shiloh Pavilion (106 W. Emma Ave., Springdale, AR, 72764) from 1-9 p.m.

Attendees can expect giveaways and kids’ activities, as well as a number of musical performances including Montell Jordan, Morris Day and The Time, Gospel artist Lamar Campbell, Mr. Sipp ”The Mississippi Blues Child,” JukeBoxx Party Band and MORE!

For up to date information, visit the Freedom Festival – Celebrating Juneteenth Facebook event page.


The NWA Juneteenth Committee, in association with DAYVISION Films, Crystal Bridges and the Community Cohesion Project, brings the African American film experience to Northwest Arkansas in an effort to bring awareness, education, exposure and networking opportunities for Black Arkansans, both native and residential.

The showcase will take place on Thursday, June 16, from 6-10 p.m. at Crystal Bridges and is free to the public.

For up-to-date information on this event, visit the Second Annual Arkansas Black Film Showcase Facebook page.


The Dirty South: Contemporary Art, Material Culture, and the Sonic Impulse is an art exhibit organized by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and will examine the aesthetic and musical traditions of Southern Black culture in the past century, influences now common throughout the American South and contemporary American art and culture. 

In an immersive experience that engages multiple senses, The Dirty South spotlights the Southern landscape through its musical heritage, spiritual complexity and regional swagger. The exhibition features works of sculpture, paintings, works on paper, assemblage, textiles and music, as well as ephemera from music culture, including instruments, music videos, costumes, lyrics and personal effects. 

Ultimately, The Dirty South creates an engaging opportunity to experience a deeper understanding of the African American South and its undeniable imprint on the history of American art.

The exhibit is free to the public and will be open on Saturday, June 18, and Sunday, June 19, from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. at Crystal Bridges.

For more information, visit the Crystal Bridges website.

The Juneteenth Celebration events are sponsored by:

Community sponsors: Walton Family Foundation, Walmart/Sam's, Tyson Foods, Tyson Family Foundation, The Community Cohesion Project, Interform Art, Crystal Bridges, DAYVISION films, Secondhand Smoke BBQ, Shiloh Museum. Hill City Lodge #347 and Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Incorporated.

U of A sponsors include: Division of Student Affairs; Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; Sam. M. Walton College of Business - Dr. Barbara Lofton Office of Diversity and Inclusion; Office of Equal Opportunity, Compliance and Title IX; University Police Department.


Juneteenth, or the "19th of June," is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. It recognizes June 19, 1865, in Galveston, Texas, when Union Gen. Gordon Granger announced freedom for all slaves in the Southwest. 

This was the last major vestige of slavery in the United States following the end of the Civil War and occurred more than two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued by Pres. Abraham Lincoln. Upon the reading of General Order No. 3 by Granger, the former slaves celebrated jubilantly, establishing America's second Independence Day celebration and the oldest African-American holiday observance. 

In 2006, the Arkansas legislature first recognized Juneteenth as a state memorial day commemorated by the issuance of a proclamation from Gov. Mike Huckabee.

Last year, Juneteenth officially became a national holiday in the United States.

Juneteenth today celebrates African American freedom and achievement while encouraging continuous self-development and respect for all cultures. 

For more information about the Northwest Arkansas Juneteenth Celebration, please visit the or contact Danielle Williams at

About the University of Arkansas: As Arkansas' flagship institution, the U of A provides an internationally competitive education in more than 200 academic programs. Founded in 1871, the U of A contributes more than $2.2 billion to Arkansas’ economy through the teaching of new knowledge and skills, entrepreneurship and job development, discovery through research and creative activity while also providing training for professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the U of A among the top 3% of U.S. colleges and universities with the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the U of A among the top public universities in the nation. See how the U of A works to build a better world at Arkansas Research News.


Danielle Williams, associate vice chancellor & executive director
Office of Equal Opportunity and Compliance


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