Annual celebration of freedom will be held on June 15 in Viola Gibson Park

CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA (April 26, 2019) — The African American Museum of Iowa is excited to announce the mainstage entertainment for our 2019 Juneteenth celebration. Our largest free event, this annual program will be held at Viola Gibson Park in Cedar Rapids on June 15, 11AM-4PM. In addition to the mainstage performers, attendees will be able to enjoy local food and retail vendors and family-friendly activities. Juneteenth is an annual, nation-wide celebration of the freeing of the last slaves in the United States on June 19, 1865, when news of the Emancipation Proclamation at last reached Confederate Galveston, Texas.

Mainstage performers for the AAMI celebration will include:

  • CBS2/FOX28 reporter Kayla James as the event MC;
  • DJ Tone Da Boss returning to provide musical entertainment;
  • Published poet and Washington High School student Diamond Roundtree performing a spoken-word piece;
  • Zette St Charles with a recitation of Myrlie Evers-Williams’ speech from Barak Obama’s 2013 inauguration;
  • Music from the Veritas Church choir; and
  • A solo music performance by Ruby Melendez.

Other activities will include past Juneteenth entertainer TJ the Clown returning to create balloon-art, artist Donald Hunt creating an interactive work of art that will ask attendees what Juneteenth means to them, face-painting by Nicolette Wordburn, games and crafts for kids, and an opportunity to interact with Cedar Rapids firefighters. Sponsors for the event will include Alliant Energy, Cedar Rapids Civil Rights Commission, and Iowa Friends of Civil Rights. More information about the event and additional performers and sponsors will be added to our website at as we approach the event.


About AAMI: The African American Museum of Iowa is a statewide museum dedicated to preserving, exhibiting, and teaching Iowa’s African American history. As Iowa’s leading educational resource on the topic, we educate more than 30,000 people each year through museum tours, traveling exhibits, research services, youth and adult education programs, and community and fundraising events.

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