National Underground Railroad Freedom Center Celebrates Juneteenth

Press Release

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center Celebrates Juneteenth


Jamie Glavic
(513) 333-7511
(513) 802-7355

Assia Johnson
(513) 333-7555
(513) 787-2110


CINCINNATI, OH (May 19, 2016) — The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center will celebrate 151 years of Emancipation in honor of Juneteenth with a weekend of family friendly activities, featuring Celebrate Freedom: Juneteenth Paint Party with artist Brandon “Illzotic” Hawkins, Saturday, June 18 at 1:00 p.m.

Juneteenth has come to symbolize for many African Americans what the fourth of July represents for all Americans, freedom-- serving as an historical milestone reminding all of the triumph of the human spirit over the cruelty of slavery. On June 19, 1865, General Gordon Granger and Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas to issue General Order No. 3 proclaiming, “all slaves are free."

Juneteenth Programming, Saturday, June 18:

  • 1:00 p.m. Opening program in the Grand Hall, featuring musical selections from local folk artist, Sweet Betsy, performances by the New Jerusalem Mimes and spoken word from the Word Play Cincy Scribes.
  • 2:00 p.m. Enjoy refreshments and painting inspired by the history of Juneteenth. The Celebrate Freedom: Juneteenth Paint Party  is an experience for all ages that will allow each participant to channel their “inner artist” while being coached by masterful artist, Brandon “Illzotic” Hawkins. No experience is necessary, just an open mind! Advance registrations are required! To RSVP, visit or call (513) 333-7737 by May 26.

“We are delighted to present so many unique opportunities for visitors to connect with the history of emancipation through our Juneteenth programming,” says Dr. Clarence G. Newsome, president of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. “Historical connections are made through engagement, rich programming and exhibits—this weekend will bring families and communities together and provide them with a better understanding our collective history in a way that’s enjoyable and accessible.”

In addition to the programming on Saturday, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is open Sundays in summer beginning Memorial Day Weekend, providing more opportunities for the public to tour the museum's permanent and special exhibitions, including The Emancipation Proclamation and The Thirteenth Amendment before they close June 30.

To learn more about Juneteenth at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center and related programming, visit



The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center opened in August 2004 on the banks of the Ohio River in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio. Since then, more than 1.3 million people have visited its permanent and changing exhibits and public programs, inspiring everyone to take courageous steps for freedom. Two million people have utilized educational resources online at, working to connect the lessons of the Underground Railroad to inform and inspire today’s global and local fight for freedom. Partnerships include Historians Against Slavery, Polaris Project, Free the Slaves, US Department of State and International Justice Mission. In 2014, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center launched a new online resource in the fight against modern slavery,

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