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Saturday’s Juneteenth Jubilee to be a ‘celebration of joy and freedom’

Bill DeYoung

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Zulu Painter will be one of the artists participating in Saturday's event at The Factory. Image provided by the artist.

Saturday’s Juneteenth Jubilee at The Factory will bring together local creatives to celebrate not only the historical end of slavery (the day’s official designation), but to showcase and show off a rich array of talent from all disciplines.

Josh White. Photo by Saudade Toxosi.

Josh “Saint” White, the venue’s Creative Program Director, is producing a special film in collaboration with Factory artist Saudade Toxosi. Called Jubilee, “it will really help ground the spirit of the event through visual representation,” White explains.

“A lot of the story of the film is told through dance; we were thankfully able to collaborate with some really awesome dancers from the community. All different styles. Just really wanting to tell the narrative of what the Black experience is like through our lens.

“The media has a very distinct way that they portray Black people, which may misconstrue what our lives are. And how beautiful our lives are. It’s going to be a really joyful film, full of beautiful energy that I hope the audience finds impactful.”

Juneteenth Jubilee, taking place both indoors and out, from 10 p.m. until 2 a.m. Sunday, carries a “pay what you can” price tag.

“Our main goal is to bring the community together, and aid in more visibility for the Black artists in our immediate community,” White explains. “Ultimately, it’s just a big celebration of joy, freedom, liberation – it’s really just meant to be an exciting experience for everyone involved.”

White, whose Factory job description includes curation and artist relations as well as events, has secured numerous visual artists, many of whom have studios and/or galleries inside the facility’s Building 2. Also planned are pop-up exhibitions and a few “surprises.”

Saturday’s artist roster includes Zulu Painter, Ashley Rivers, Sean.mp3, Tri-Partisan Canvas, Eden’s Muse, Before the Storm Studios, Abstract Poet and Toxosi, a recent bay area arrival (profiled last week in the Catalyst).

“Saudade,” explains White, “has been instrumental in helping pull all this together, and making sure that it’s representative of all of the right elements. So that it can be a proper Juneteenth celebration.”

There will be Black-owned vendors and food trucks, and bar proceeds have been earmarked for the literary nonprofit Keep St. Pete Lit.

White has programmed a diverse lineup of emcees, DJs and musicians for the Juneteenth Jubilee stage, including ONLYONETWO, Queen of Ex, DJ Gay-Z, Synergy in a Cup and more.

Conspicuously absent from the stage will be DEA & SAINT, the hip hop/hardcore aggregate featuring White and his wife, Lynnsey June.

“We’re not performing this time,” says White. “We’re going to be facilitating and holding space. We really wanted to share the platform with the community. That’s first and foremost in our hearts.”

 

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