Since 2021 it has been a paid holiday for NMOA staff. This year’s Juneteenth will be extra special with the new Harriet Tubman monument, The Shadow of a Face, looking on as Harriet Tubman Square comes alive with performance, food, and activities at “Juneteenth Around the Square” on Monday, June 19. Do stop by the Museum—we’ll be open from noon to 5pm and Admission is free.

Every day, I am proud that our Museum space is one of belonging and safety for the LGBTQIA+ community, as well as all oppressed groups. “Pride” is more than good vibes and parades – it’s about solidarity, equality, and freedom to be one’s true self.

Artists in our collections carry this ethos, from Mickalene Thomas’s elevated and powerful depictions of Black queer women to the interrogation of masculinity and desire in the striking photography by Shikeith – both artworks recently acquired by the Museum. Artists tell stories that inform and reflect the current moment, prompting conversation and connection for our visitors.

And stay tuned next month as Black filmmakers from across the country will gather for the 49th Annual Newark Black Film Festival (July 12 to 16). With opening and closing parties, live panel discussions, and exclusive screenings of films, the Festival will celebrate and center the experiences and perspectives of a new generation of Black filmmakers.

The Museum court turned into a dance floor at last year’s Pride Ball. Photo by Anja Maathes.

We’ll be honoring Pride and Emancipation all summer long. If you’re like me, your Pride will last well into the summer. On July 20, join us for the 4th Annual Pride Ball, in partnership with LGBTQIA+ community partners. We can’t wait to celebrate with you.

In solidarity,

Linda C. Harrison
Director and CEO
The Newark Museum of Art