Juneteenth observance scheduled June 21 at Deering Estate at Cutler

Deering Estate at Cutler-2Deering Estate Artist in Residence Michelle Grant-Murray will lead an observance of Juneteenth, the oldest and most celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. The event will take place on Sunday, June 21, from 1 to 4:30 p.m., at the Deering Estate at Cutler Visitor Center.

The afternoon will feature a panel discussion on the context of Juneteenth as part of the history of Black Miami, a dance performance by Olujimi Dance Theatre, and a special tour of the historic site and homes.

Special panelists and performers will include moderator Michelle Grant-Murray, Choreographic Artist in Residence at the Deering Estate at Cutler; with panelists Phyllis Baker, professor emeritus of Social Sciences at Miami Dade College Wolfson Campus and author of Myth, Ritual and Mysticism; Vanya Allen, choreographer, vocalist and performer; Allah Emmanuel Gore, visual artist, and Brittany Williams, founder and director of Dancing for Justice and national coordinator for Million Hoodies Movement for Justice.

The event is open free to the public, welcoming all community members, performing artists, and guests from the Dance USA Conference in Miami. RSVP is preferred by email to <stryky@miamidade.gov> or by calling 305-235-1668, ext. 238, as seating is limited to 50 guests. Regular park admission rates apply to those not attending the event by 1:30 p.m.

The Deering Estate at Cutler is located at 16701 SW 7 Ave. The Visitor Center and parking lot are located at the end of SW 168th Street east of Old Cutler Road in the Palmetto Bay Area.

Proclaimed as African-American Emancipation Day in Galveston, TX, on June 19, 1865, Juneteenth has grown to highlight the multi-generational educational, intellectual, spiritual, and artistic achievements of African Americans. Today, Juneteenth celebrations continue to venerate the united spirit of freedom and African-American Emancipation across the United States and beyond.

Michelle Grant-Murray, choreographer, performer, educator, author, and social activist, is the artistic director of Olujimi Dance Theatre and MDC Jubilation Dance Ensemble, and the coordinator of Dance at Miami Dade College Kendall Campus.

She has trained with prominent artists across the world and she has presented work in Europe, South America, Asia, the Caribbean, and the United States. Grant-Murray holds a Master of Arts degree from Florida International University in African Studies and a Master of Fine Arts degree from Jacksonville University in Choreography.

Grant-Murray is a current Artist in Residence at the Deering Estate at Cutler, representing the first Choreographer in Residence during the program’s eight-year history.

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