Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe Holds Second Annual Juneteenth Arts Festival

Arts & Culture

Pictured: Performers at the 2023 Juneteenth Arts Festival. Photo courtesy of WBTT.

This Sunday, Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe (WBTT) will host a celebration of one of the nation’s most important holidays, their second annual Juneteenth Arts Festival, a free, community-wide event that has something for everyone.

“The festival started off as us wanting to celebrate Juneteenth. As a black theater company, we’ve always done gigs here and there to celebrate the holiday, but we’d never done anything on our campus like this where we’re reaching out to the community and opening our doors to offer them a whole day to celebrate what some would call our second Independence Day or Jubilee day,” says Maicy Powell, marketing associate at Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe and one of the organizers of the event.

The Juneteenth Arts Festival will feature a sampler of all that the area has to offer, from food vendors and live music to family-oriented fun including free haircuts for dads in celebration of Father’s Day and a live taping of Toni Kennedy’s “What’s Poppin’ Penny” podcast, an educational show geared toward children. Most notably featured in the event, however, are all of the different forms of art available for attendees to enjoy.

“This year we’re going to have live performances by people in the community as well as some of the artists who perform here at WBTT, including some students from our Stage of Discovery program. That’s going to be on an outdoor stage. Inside our Donnelly Theatre, we’re going to have feature films on rotation, including Into The Storm, a documentary from Booker High School students about their school’s 1966-67 state basketball championship team,” says Powell. “That’s going to be featured in our mainstage theater and then in our black box we’ll have some short films on rotation from local filmmakers.”

Also included in the celebration will be an art exhibition currently on view at Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe and free seats to a performance of the organization’s summer show, Coconut Cake.

Sunday, June 16 Noon to 6:30pm, Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe, 1012 N. Orange Ave, Sarasota.


Pictured: Performers at the 2023 Juneteenth Arts Festival. Photo courtesy of WBTT.

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