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Press Contacts:
Rick Miramontez / Amanda Meyer / Morgan Zysman
rick@omdkc.com / amanda@omdkc.com / morgan@omdkc.com
212 695 7400




New York, NY (June 3, 2022) The Flea has commissioned Ebony Noelle Golden, James Scruggs, and Chanon Judson to devise and stage public performances in celebration of Juneteenth. These artists all have full autonomy over artistic vision and their budgets. Flea Artistic Director, Niegel Smith, will also participate as a performance artist. The Flea has also launched a partnership with the Black and Brown Equity Coalition of Fire Island to support the 2nd Annual Mx. Juneteenth Drag Pageant on Fire Island.

These works will occur simultaneously across NYC and Fire Island from June 11-19. The program centers artistic and budgetary autonomy for all participating lead artists. An informative symposium about Juneteenth and this year’s line-up will take place at The Flea on June 16th, at 7:00PM. The symposium will feature all commissioned artists with moderation by acclaimed artist, scholar, and ritual-maker Nia O. Witherspoon.

To view photos of all lead artists (headshots and performance photos) as well as logos for the Black and Brown Equity Coalition of Fire Island, please click here.

“Juneteenth marks the beginning of our journey toward liberation, and I’m thrilled The Flea can continue that legacy by commissioning exceptional Black artists and presenting their work in public spaces for our city,” said Niegel Smith, The Flea’s Artistic Director.

Nona Hendryx, Co- Chair of The Flea’s Board of Directors, said, “Juneteenth is a day of celebration and a day of remembrance of freedom, freedom to be who you are, to love, dance, sing, create, enjoy and live your best life in no one’s shadow. On Juneteenth, look for the 4 Black Artists and a drag pageant supported by The Flea Theater, celebrating and showing their True Colors!”

“World culture is influenced by American culture. American culture is influenced by Black culture and therefore Black culture influences everything. BaBEC is excited to be partnering with The Flea for a celebration of Black liberation and jubilee during the week of Juneteenth. As equity architects we are empowering Black artists to utilize their multiple mediums of expression to remind everyone who this world’s tastemakers really are,” said Tomik Dash, Founder and President of the Black and Brown Equity Coalition of Fire Island (BaBEC).

Schedule of Events:

The Worthy, by Niegel Smith

  • Sat, June 11th (press day) and Sun, June 19; 11:00am, 1:00pm, and 3:30pm shows on both days
  • Tickets: theflea.org
  • Join an afro-futuristic griot (Niegel Smith) on a Juneteenth walk exploring our city through the lens of liberation, black love, queer joy, and community healing. Co-led by Talu Green with his commanding Djembe drumming, The Worthy is a performance that will take you through the African Burial Ground National Monument, past civic buildings and through the streets of lower Manhattan as we consider the worth of Black and Queer folks. The walk will conclude at The Flea.

Time’s Up: A Liberation Ritual, by Chanon Judson

  • Rogers / Tilden / Veronica Place Garden, 2601 – 2603 Tilden Avenue, Brooklyn 11226 at 3pm
  • A Dance performance and community ritual that honors the Drivers and Dreamers of Liberation and Considers how we Activate the Spirit of NOW!

ISSUE MAN… JUNETEENTH!, by James Scruggs

  • Juneteenth, 12pm-4pm, NYPL
  • ISSUE-MAN will appear on the steps of the New York Public Library on Juneteenth wearing a sandwich board touting JUNETEENTH information. Audiences of small groups will experience ISSUE-MAN up close and personal and he will engage them in a conversation about Juneteenth in particular and race and racism in general. Special gifts and cash rewards for a brave few!

The Blueing: Ceremonies From In The Name Of The Mother Tree, by Ebony Noelle Golden

  • Marcus Garvey Park (At the Corner of Mt. Morris Park West and 124th Street). Time:  1:11 Date: June 19, 2022
  • The Blueing is a collective ritual for water veneration.  Audiences can expect a ritual performance by Ebony Noelle Golden and collaborators and a community water ceremony.  Come ready to walk, participate, and create.  Bring water offerings, water and a water vessel.

Mx. Juneteenth Fire Island Drag Pageant

  • Event description: It’s big, it’s bold and it’s back for its second year! The Mx. Juneteenth Fire Island Pageant is about to flip last year’s competition upside down! This pageant celebrates Black drag artistry of all gender expressions with the winner taking home a $2,000 prize! Special guests to be announced soon! Tickets on sale Saturday, May 14th.
  • Event details: Saturday, June 18th @ The Ice Palace Resort || Cherry Grove, Fire Island || 7:30pm – 10:30pm
  • Ticket link: https://igfn.us/form/9RyrRg

The Flea’s Juneteenth Public Performance Symposium

  • Thursday, June 16, 2022 @ The Flea Theater, 7:00PM
  • Meet the commissioned artists of The Flea’s 2nd Annual Juneteenth Public Performance Program. Featuring: Niegel Smith, Ebony Noelle Golden, James Scruggs, Chanon Judson, & (Fire Island rep). Moderated by Nia Witherspoon.
  • Space extremely limited, RSVPs required (theflea.org)

*Check www.theflea.org for up-to-date information about each performance

The Flea’s Juneteenth Public Performance Program is also part of the Festival of New York, a growing collective of 200+ organizations across the five boroughs collaborating to marshal the creativity, resiliency, diversity, and spirit of collaboration that makes New York one of the strongest and most inspiring cities on earth. [FestivalofNY.com]

The Juneteenth Public Performance Program was piloted by The Flea in 2021 to great success and commissioned and premiered four new public performances: Chanon Judson’s Time’s Up A Liberation Ritual, a new participatory dance piece in Fulton Park of Bed Stuy; James Scruggs’ Ask Me About Juneteenth, where an unusual character offered cotton blooms and cash to viewers willing to engage others in a frank conversation about race; Imani Uzuri’s Jus’ Like A Tree Planted By Water, a performance of experimental interpolations of African American spirituals in Harlem; and, Artistic Director Niegel Smith’s The Worthy, a celebratory walk for justice and Black men from the African Burial Ground to The Flea theater uplifting our souls.

Learn more at www.theflea.org.

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The Flea was refounded in 2021 with the mission to support and invest in experimental art by Black, brown, and queer artists. The Flea provides space, financial support, producing partnership and other resources so that they may develop and share their vision in community with audiences.

The Flea Theater, led by Artistic Director Niegel Smith and Board Co-Chair Nona Hendryx, supports and invests in experimental art by Black, brown and queer artists. Winner of several Obie Awards, a Special Drama Desk Award for outstanding achievement and an Otto Award for political theater, The Flea has presented over 100 theatrical, musical and dance performances since its inception in 1996. Past productions include premieres by Steven Banks, Thomas Bradshaw, Erin Courtney, Bathsheba Doran, Will Eno, Karen Finley, Amy Freed, Sarah Gancher, Sean Graney, A.R. Gurney, Jennifer Haley, Hamish Linklater, Enrique Gutiérrez Ortiz Monasterio, Itamar Moses, Anne Nelson, Qui Nguyen, Adam Rapp, Jonathan Reynolds, Kate Robbins, Roger Rosenblatt, Elizabeth Swados, and Mac Wellman. Successes include Drama Desk nominated She Kills Monsters, These Seven Sicknesses, Restoration Comedy, The Mysteries and ten World Premiere productions by A.R. Gurney, including the WSJ Best New Play of 2013, Family Furniture.

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