Juneteenth, a combination of "June" and "nineteenth," has been a day of celebration in Texas for more than 150 years. The day commemorates June 19, 1865, when news of the federal order ending slavery in the United States reached enslaved people in Galveston, Texas—more than two months after the end of the Civil War and more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued in January 1863.
The Juneteenth Block Party, which is free and open to the public, is scheduled from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 19. Vendors and food trucks will be set up between the AMA and Create Arlington along West Main Street, which will be closed to vehicle traffic between Pecan and South Center streets. Free parking is available throughout Downtown.
During the Block Party, the Arlington Museum of Art will waive the cost of admission to its 30 Americans exhibit, a showcase of works by 30 emerging and established African American artists. Curated by the Rubell Museum, the exhibit includes works by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Mickalene Thomas, Kara Walker, Carrie Mae Weems, and Kehinde Wiley. Scroll down to watch a City of Arlington Culture Buzz episode featuring 30 Americans.
Block partygoers are invited to stay in Downtown to enjoy more free music at the Levitt Pavilion. Soul-Pop, R&B, Rock & Afro-beat singer/songwriter Key LeBlanc opens the show at 7 p.m., followed by American Idol singer/songwriter finalist Ron Bultongez at 8 p.m. Click here to learn more about the Levitt's free summer concert series.