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The Everson Museum of Art will be closed Sunday, June 19, 2022 to Commemorate Juneteenth.

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Juneteenth marks the day when federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, in 1865 to ensure that all enslaved people be freed from slavery. The troops’ arrival came a full two and a half years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, which declared that all enslaved people in the states “shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free.” Juneteenth honors the end to slavery in the United States and is a celebration of Black liberation across the country.

To fulfill our mission of educating, engaging, and enriching our community, we need to look inward at the health and wellness of our staff. The Everson has decided to solemnly close our doors on Juneteenth (Sunday, June 19) to allow our staff members to celebrate, reflect, and engage with this US federal holiday as they choose.

This decision is part of a greater commitment to centering Diversity, Equity, Access, and Inclusion within the Everson. We put this commitment into practice through acquiring and displaying works of art that are representative of the diverse communities we serve, removing access barriers to our programs and exhibitions, and through the implementation of a variety of institutional practices to safeguard and steward this commitment. These include the establishment of a dedicated fund to make yearly acquisitions of artworks by marginalized artists; the creation of an Equity and Engagement Committee which advises and takes action on internal Museum operations and external initiatives; continuing efforts to diversify the board, staff, and executive leadership; and the formation of a new Learning and Engagement Department that focuses on civic participation, dynamic community partnerships, and decentering whiteness.

But first and foremost, the Everson recognizes that institutional change begins and ends with people who occupy the Museum. While keeping our building open would allow access to valuable cultural resources during this time, it would deny our staff the same opportunity. By closing our doors to recognize this important day, we hope that in the future they will be open even wider. For other arts and culture options on Juneteenth, visit CNYarts.org.

Please join us on Saturday, June 18 for our Juneteenth Free Community Day of programming to commemorate and celebrate African and African-American culture and heritage. Enjoy a gallery walk with artist Sharif Bey, listen to stories of liberation from the Onondaga County Public Library, create Pan-African flags with artist and educator Vanessa Johnson, attend performances by musician James Gordon Williams, Syracuse Stage, and more!

Click below for more information about our Juneteenth Free Community Day or view the complete list of activities below.