On this day in 1865—two and a half years following the Emancipation Proclamation—the enslaved people of Galveston, Texas were finally informed that the American Civil War had ended and that they were at last free. Today, now known as Juneteenth, is the oldest commemoration of the end of slavery in the United States, and is a day for celebrating African American culture. Cal Shakes will be closed on Monday, June 20th in observation of this important anniversary.
This day is also a reminder of the legacy of Black organizing and resistance, and a day for non-Black POC (people of color) and white people to contribute to that legacy by supporting individuals and organizations doing this work in our communities today. Here are just a handful of Bay Area organizations Cal Shakes is proud to be in community with—please consider making a donation and supporting their work:
- Ways To Celebrate Juneteenth 2023 in the Bay Area — this year’s roundup of Juneteenth events celebrates the communities and organizations forging unity through education, technology, art, dance and music — highlighting joyful local traditions as well as innovative new projects and spaces honoring Black freedom.
- Grown Women Dance Collective — Grown Women Dance Collective creates cross-cultural, intergenerational, and cross-class connections, encouraging dialogue, empowering thought and action, and building cross-racial alliances through concert dance and wellness programs. Mature dancers challenge the stereotypes of aging and create artistic work that is relevant, accessible and inspiring to diverse and under-resourced audiences. Grown Women Dance promotes mind and body healing through health and wellness programs and creates economic opportunities for young people. (@grownwomendancecollective)
- Lorraine Hansberry Theatre — Named for the trailblazing playwright of A Raisin in the Sun, Lorraine Hansberry Theatre (LHT) was founded in 1981 by Stanley E. Williams and Quentin Easter. One of the West Coast’s oldest and most renowned African American Theatres, LHT is devoted to presenting a diverse selection of professional productions of works by leading and emerging Black and multicultural playwrights, as well as providing opportunities for theatre artists from multicultural backgrounds. (@lhtsf)
- Lower Bottom Playaz — Lower Bottom Playaz (LBP) was founded 1999 with the primary purpose of fostering the creation, production, and presentation of quality theater in the tradition of the Black Arts continuum. LBP is dedicated to the excavation, critical examination, and illumination of the conditions of North American cities and the lived realities of disenfranchised communities through the creation of original works, production of material available from the North American African canon, and the works of artists considered marginalized and/or whose works center Blackness.
- People’s Kitchen Collective — People’s Kitchen Collective (PKC) works at the intersection of art and activism as a food-centered political education project. Based in Oakland, California, PKC creates immersive experiences that honor the shared struggles of our people. PKC believes in radical hospitality as a strategy to address the urgent social issues of our time. (@peopleskitchencollective)
- RYSE Center — RYSE creates safe spaces grounded in social justice that build youth power for young people to love, learn, educate, heal and transform lives and communities. RYSE envisions a community that inspires youth to live with pride and purpose, where the sounds of gunshots have been replaced by the sounds of organizing, song, collaboration, laughter, and learning. (@ryseyouthcenter)
- San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Company (SFBATCO) — SFBATCO unites artists and audiences through live theatre that is reflective of the authentic perspective and history of the San Francisco Bay Area. This non-profit organization supports artists through creative development, full productions, and mentorship that aspire to engage a new generation of live theatre supporters. (@sfbatco)
- Youth Speaks — Founded in 1996 in San Francisco, Youth Speaks is a leading presenter of Spoken Word performance, education, and youth development programs. Trailblazers of local and national youth poetry slams, festivals, and more, Youth Speaks offers a comprehensive slate of literary arts education programs and provides numerous opportunities for youth to be published and heard. Youth Speaks has worked with hundreds of thousands of youth and has helped create partner programs in 47 cities across the United States. (@youthspeaks)
For more information about Cal Shakes’ anti-racism journey and on-going work as a company, visit https://calshakes.org/in-solidarity/.