June 18, 2020

Scottsdale Arts to Observe Juneteenth

Scottsdale Arts will observe Juneteenth on Friday, June 19, as a formal, company-wide, paid holiday in solidarity with our Black employees and to support the greater Black community by giving this day the recognition it deserves. 

Juneteenth is recognized nationwide to commemorate the formal emancipation of enslaved people in the United States. Slavery continued in many states following the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863. On June 19, 1865—more than two years after the proclamation—the Union Army in Galveston, Texas, informed some of the last remaining enslaved people that they were free. Thus, June 19 marks the formal end of slavery in the United States. 

We hope this day can be used for some personal respite, to reflect on what is happening across our nation and how we can all play a part to move us forward as one people.  

Scottsdale Arts will also recognize Juneteenth through our support of the Emancipation Marathon, an annual literary marathon produced by Emancipation Arts

The Emancipation Marathon is led by Clottee Hammons, the founder of Emancipation Arts and a community partner and advisor for Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts. The event features contemporary and historical readings about slavery in the United States to honor the human victims of that institution. 

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Emancipation Arts moved the Marathon online this year. The readings were recorded at Heritage Square in downtown Phoenix, and videos of the readings will be hosted on the Scottsdale Arts YouTube channel and shared throughout the weekend via social media posts by Emancipation Arts and Scottsdale Arts. We encourage you to view the readings and share the social media posts.

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