Fri, Jun 19 | Labyrinth in Audubon Park

Juneteenth Celebration!

Celebrate Juneteenth in a Friday evening site-specific performance and Saturday morning ballet class in Audubon Park. All proceeds go toward the New Orleans Peoples' Assembly. A Magnolia Dance & Co. and New Orleans School of Ballet collaboration.
Registration is Closed
Juneteenth Celebration!

Time & Location

Jun 19, 2020, 6:30 PM – Jun 20, 2020, 10:15 AM
Labyrinth in Audubon Park, New Orleans, LA 70118, USA

About The Event


Friday, June 19, 6:30-7:30 pm

Conceived by Nikki Hefko (Owner and Director of New Orleans School of Ballet) and Edward Spots (Artistic Director, Magnolia Dance & Co.), our Juneteenth Celebration will commemorate Black lives lost and to celebrate Black beauty, love, strength, and grace through a site specific dance performance, choreographed by Spots.  All donations will go to the New Orleans Peoples' Assembly and to benefit the work of the residents of Gordon Plaza.  Please donate for performance here.

Performances by Nikki Hefko, Edward Spots and special guests.

Audience members should assemble behind the Labyrinth's benches by 6:20 pm. 

Please bring candles for a candlelight vigil.  

Please remember to observe social distancing guidelines, wear masks and remain 6 feet apart.


Saturday, June 20, 9:00-10:15 am

Led by Drew Pearson, New Orleans School of Ballet faculty member, all class proceeds will go to the New Orleans Peoples' Assembly.  Class donation here.  

This is a socially distant outdoor ballet class for all ages and abilities at the Labyrinth at Audubon Park.  

Remain spaced 6-10 feet apart from others.

Wear sneakers and comfortable clothes, like shorts or leggings and a t-shirt.

Bring your water!

Juneteenth is a holiday celebrated on June 19 to commemorate when, on that date in 1865, Union General Granger read federal orders that all enslaved people in Texas had been freed. While the Emancipation Proclamation had been formally issued in 1863 and the defeat of the Confederate States of America took place in April of 1865, the news took time to reach Texas, the most remote of slave states.

The New Orleans Peoples' Assembly is a coalition of working class New Orleanians who fight against racism and economic oppression. They stand for quality public education, living wages for all workers, affordable healthcare, improved public transportation, affordable housing, prioritizing children and families, removal of symbols and systems of white supremacy, and the fully-funded relocation of Gordon Plaza.

Gordon Plaza, built in the 1970s, is an upper 9th ward residential community on top of the former Agriculture Street Landfill. Unbeknownst to the primarily African American homeowners the soil that their “American Dream” was built on was laced with toxic chemicals from decades of hazardous waste disposal. In 1994, the neighborhood was designated a Superfund site, the only site of its kind in Orleans Parish.  Superfund sites are polluted locations in the United States requiring a long-term response to clean up hazardous material contaminations that are dangerous to human health and development. Since then, the top layer of soil has been replaced, but periodic EPA reports indicate that harmful toxins are still present at detectable levels.   Three generations of New Orleans children have now been raised on this poisonous soil. As years pass without action, the damage wrought by deferred relocation becomes all the more evident. The latest figures from the Louisiana Tumor Registry demonstrate that residents in and around Gordon Plaza suffer from one of the highest cancer rates in the state. It is historical and contemporary injustices such as these which underlie the racial disparities in health that plague our city.

  • Juneteenth Performance
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  • Ballet for Justice & Peace

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