Detroit Plans Big for Upcoming Juneteenth Holiday

Acclaimed muralist Dr. Hubert Massey will once again join high school students on Juneteenth for an annual repainting of the City’s first street mural “Power to the People.” The west side of Lower Woodward Avenue will be closed on June 19 and 20 for the project one year after its initial unveiling garnered national attention.

The Detroit Office of Arts, Culture and Entrepreneurship project, in partnership again with General Motors (GM), is designed to teach the students about art, about history and about careers in both. GM funding will provide stipends for the artists and offset costs of the project. Additionally, a team of GM designers are hosting a luncheon for the young painters to learn about career paths and discuss their futures in art. “General Motors is proud to again support this inspirational project and the young people who are creating it,” said Terry Rhadigan, GM’s executive director of corporate giving. “Juneteenth commemorates a defining moment in our nation’s history, and we are honored to help preserve this mural, which captures the spirit and heart of the city of Detroit.”

The mural is one of five in the City of Detroit’s Street Murals project. Thanks to the Kresge Foundation, artists and students will paint three more major street murals in the next year.

The project is part of the City’s commemoration of Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Liberation Day and Emancipation Day celebrating the emancipation of the formerly enslaved in the United States.

Led by the Civil Rights, Inclusion and Opportunity Department and Detroit ACE, the city will host a Citywide Virtual Juneteenth Celebration on June 19 featuring prayer, libations, drums, dance, spoken word and remarks by Mayor Mike Duggan and other elected officials and Kim Rustem, Director of the CRIO Department.

President Abraham Lincoln signed the proclamation to abolish slavery “in the rebellious states” in 1863. Juneteenth honors the day in 1865 that Union troops arrived in Galveston, Texas and the last of America’s enslaved were finally freed.

Detroit ACE also is partnering with the Charles Wright Museum of African American History on two events:

June 16:   A Reading of The Emancipation Proclamation that will be available for viewing 7 p.m. Friday June 18 on Channel 22 and on You Tube.

June 19:   Children and families are invited to participate in the first citywide Juneteenth Treasure Hunt. The hunt will connect participants to the great history of freedom and freedom workers from the City of Detroit. Treasure Hunters will be guided to visit sites around Detroit based on clues provided by the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. The clues are virtual; the hunt is real. Hunters can find the clues at The prize: Knowledge is the Treasure! But Detroit ACE is encouraging youth to write or draw about what they saw. Their treasures will be featured in a virtual exhibition on the ACE website and included in the July Art Undefeated Showcase celebrating artistic excellence all year. The hunt is being co-sponsored by the Wright, Chase Bank and ACE.

How it works:

1.      Families go to The Wright Museum’s website,, to get clues.

2.      Families follow the clues to find the historic locations.

3.      Kids draw or write about their experiences from The Hunt and send them to Detroit ACE at to become part of a future exhibition and showcase.

Visit for details about other CRIO programming. Visit for details about the Treasure Hunt.

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