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Juneteenth Virginia

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Scene from "A Summer Memory" at Towne St. Theatre
Photo by Nathaniel Bellamy

An annual outdoor festival is held the 3rd weekend in June.  Year round we use theatre arts to look back at difficult history without shame or blame.  The work of  Juneteenth builds a bridge from yesterday into the future.

Our Mission -- to promote healing and unity by examining the difficult history of slavery in America without shame or blame.

JuneteenthVA methodology mixes pop culture activities like paintball, skateboarding, the "Amazing Race" tv show with putt-putt golf, puppets, gardening and almost anything that helps people learn about the wild, unadulterated facts of history!  
Juneteenth History plays are always well-researched and entertaining.  
Our work seeks to connect the historical dots.  In 1712 on the banks of the James River, a letter written by slaveholder WILLIE LYNCH was shared with Virginia slaveholders looking for advice on how "to build a better slave."  Ironically, despite his disapproval of ruining good property, Willie Lynch still gave his last name to the horrific acts of lawlessness and inhumanity that saw 1000's of Black men hunted, beaten, cut-up, strung-up, skinned, boiled and fried alive in the 100 years between 1868 and 1968.  In 2008 lynching has been replaced by imprisonment with the threat of death.  In the midst of the pain there are also many very inspiring stories like that of James Armistead Lafayette, a Portsmouth, VA Revolutionary-era enslaved Black man who spied on Cornwallis at Yorktown.  His worked helped the newly formed American nation to win its independence, but he did not receive his own freedom for another 12 years.
The power of the theatre is that we are able to educate by appealing to diverse audiences of young and olddark and light, male and female

February 2007
the Virginia General Assembly
passed two significant resolutions: 
"Expression of Profound Regret for Slavery"
"Juneteenth Freedom Day"

Abolitionists' Museum, 8 abolitionists debate rebel flag
Afrikan Kingz & Queenz, a gameshow musical comedy
Army of 1: James Armistead Lafayette, American hero
Auction, a family is torn apart in a cruel system
Ben & Jefferson, 2 thinkers & tinkers were penpals
Chillin' on Death Row (w) Big doG, a man's last hour 
Oprah Wintrey & JuneteenthVA Puppets, interviews
Stars of Cavalier Manor, a star studded variety show
2 Harriets, Tubman & Beecher-Stowe in song & story

Juneteenth Celebrates Freedom For All!