While Juneteenth was just officially approved of as a Federal holiday a few weeks ago, there was a different kind of celebration at the Academy Art Museum on Sunday. That was when the AAM noted their tenth anniversary in celebrating this day of acknowledgment of the end of slavery in the United States.
Over the years the Academy has found several creative ways to make Juneteenth memorable for the Mid-Shore, including art exhibitions and onsite art projects, which were seen on Sunday with a visual art project to occupy the AAM’s cube, and the stunning exhibit of the late Black artist and printmaker Norma Morgan.
But after so many years in the making, AAM’s celebration of Juneteenth has also turned out to be one of the best musical events on the Mid-Shore. Assisted with the help of musician Ray Remesch, the art center has developed a well-deserved reputation of bringing to the stage some of the most dynamic and gifted Black artists performing today. They have also found a special platform for some of the region’s promising musicians.
For 2021, that spotlight was put on Dorchester County’s Destinee Edmonds. A fifteen-year-old and rising junior at Cambridge-South Dorchester High School, Destinee, with approving parents seating in the front row, opened Juneteenth with classical renditions of Beethoven, Debussy, and Bach. Destinee was followed by world-class performers Alison Crockett and Julie Outrage.
The Spy captured Destinee’s surprisingly appropriate and moving version of J.S. Bach’s Prelude in C Major as well as a few introductory remarks from new AAM director Sarah Jesse and retired Talbot County Public School’s Vickie Wilson as M.C.
This video is approximately three minutes in length. For more information about the Academy Art Museum please go here.