Juneteenth Celebration

The Academy Art Museum is pleased to announce the 13th Annual Juneteenth Celebration: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, on Saturday, June 22 from Noon – 4 pm, presented by AAM, Building African American Minds (BAAM), the Frederick Douglass Honor Society, and the Talbot County Free Library. This year’s theme focuses on local fashion. Four exhibitors, Buzz Arts, Not a Phase Clothing, Black Squirrel Company, and Dinah Wilson, will showcase their unique fashions AAM’s outdoor runway. This free outdoor block party also features musical performances, a hands-on art project for families, vendors selling hand-made goods, and delicious food vendors, as well as an exhibition of works on paper by Washington, D.C./Tilghman Island-based artist Darlene Taylor in the Museum.

New this year, the Museum is offering a prize-based essay contest. School aged students from Grades 8 – 12 are invited to write essays that explore the theme: “What does Juneteenth Mean to Youth Today: Perspectives on Freedom and Equality.” Winners will share their essays at the Juneteenth Celebration. Learn more here.

AAM would like to thank Lead Sponsor Morgan Stanley: Lisa Hunter and Shane Hatfield at Morgan Stanley for supporting this year’s celebration. Additional support for this event is provided by Maryland Public Television, Bette S. Kenzie, Catherine Collins McCoy, Bay Imprint, Susan and Richard Granville and Talbot Arts.


Black Squirrel Company: Renata Philippe is a Washington, DC-based textile designer and soft goods manufacturer. She graduated with honors from the University of Delaware in 2003 with a Bachelor of Science in Apparel Design. In 2023, Renata received well-deserved recognition for her company and her commitment to the Artists & Makers Community. She is currently in her second year as an Emerging Artist with the American Craft Council in Baltimore, MD. The DC Chamber of Commerce and the DC Department of Small and Local Business Development named her “DC Maker of the Year” in 2023. These accolades are a testament to the hard work and dedication of Renata and her team.


Buzz Arts: Bulsby “Buzz” Duncan was born in Kingston, Jamaica, and raised in Washington, DC. Buzz is a self-taught artist whose work can be described as abstract, with deep emotion and energy. Buzz traces his artistic influence to the great abstract expressionists and contemporary artists of the 20th century. He began painting and drawing as soon as he was able to pick up a paintbrush or a pencil. Buzz explains, “For me, art just felt very natural.” Buzz had always been encouraged by family and friends to pursue his passion for painting, but it wasn’t until he met a local artist whose love and appreciation for creating art inspired him to more intentionally step into his purpose that he began his artistic journey in earnest.

NOT A PHASE: Terae Warner is an Eastern Shore native located in Denton, MD. He is the CEO of NOT A PHASE (NAP) Clothing. NAP is a brand that specializes in streetwear and sportswear clothing. The brand was launched in July 2018, and a brick-and-mortar store opened just one year later. Terae likes to view the storefront as a “one-stop shop.” Whether you are looking for a cool new pair of sneakers or a great new shirt, this is the place to visit. As the brand continues to grow, Terae’s goal is to have multiple locations and provide a wide variety of items for men, women, and kids: SHOP NAP!

Dinah Wilson is an Eastern Shore native who has always loved creating. She remembers making doll clothes with scraps of fabric that her mother had on hand and using tape or staples to hold them together. She reminisces, “Finally, I was old enough to use my mother’s sewing machine, and I’ve been sewing ever since.” Dinah has been designing clothing for 20+ years and has made award-winning gowns for weddings, pageants, and other special events. She is also well known for her custom tailoring for both men and women. Dinah declares, “There’s a big difference in what you have to do and what you love to do…and since I love what I do, I’ll do my very best for you.”


Devon Beck, Juneteenth’s MC, is a leader, builder, and connector who has held leadership roles in education, community development, and the music business. After receiving his undergraduate degree from University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Devon began working in the school system, mentoring and leading young students with those very lessons. Currently, he is the Facilitator of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for Talbot County Board of Education and guides leaders and organizations to remove barriers to inclusion. As co-Founder with Shelton Hawkins of Play In Color, an organization that uses basketball to build community, Beck continues to make strides to leave a positive impact on the region.

Ayla is a soulful, vibrant, seventeen-year-old who has the phenomenal gift of song. She has been selected to be a part of The Voice and currently working with Tena Clark. Ayla recently made a guest appearance for UNICEF and has also worked with R&B Singer Patti LaBelle for a JCPenny commercial. She is a local talent from Easton, MD who has been raised by a single mother who pushes her to use her gift. Look for Ayla’s performances in festivals and venues across the Eastern Shore.

Howard Barnett, Jr, professionally known in the business by the name DJ E-Shore, is a Talbot County native from St. Michaels, and longtime resident of Easton, MD. Howard has been working with music for more than half of his life. His love for music started when he convinced his parents to sign him up for drum lessons as an elementary student. Howard has always been enamored by the local DJs of his early adult years and marveled at their skill to mix, scratch and blend songs by way of vinyl records on the turntables. DJ E-Shore is also many things outside of being a DJ: he is a human resource professional for the United States Government with over 35 years of tenure, a loving husband and father of 2 sons.

Ruby Fisher is a sophomore at Saint Michaels High School. Fisher has had seven years of voice lessons and four years of choir and has performed in many musicals.

Mid Shore Voices United is a group of enthusiastic singers from several different religious denominations who cover an enormous amount of territory throughout MD, DE, and PA. The choir was founded in November 2023 when the Covenant Gospel Choir, Friends for Christ, and the Second Generation Community Chorus of Federalsburg, MD, came together to participate in a benefit for a local cause. This group brings together singers from St. Michaels, Wittman, Neavitt, Royal Oak, Bellevue, Easton, Federalsburg, Hurlock, Preston, Denton, Salisbury, and Cambridge, MD; Dover, Middletown, Milford, Millsboro, Seaford, Laurel, and Wilmington, DE; and Philadelphia, PA. The combined choir is under the joint direction of Leroy Potter (Covenant Gospel Choir), who is currently a music teacher in the Caroline County Public School System and Ambia Hooper (Second Generation Community Choir), who is a retired music teacher from The Talbot County School System.


In the exhibition HEIRLOOMS, Darlene R. Taylor (b. 1960) affirms the resonance of memory in material culture as she imagines portraits of Black women obscured in historical archives. History is a muse that guides Taylor to know the past from the women who lived it. HEIRLOOMS examines the presence of Black women in Maryland’s Talbot County communities and Taylor’s own ancestry and follows the artist’s experience researching and interpreting photographs found in archives and family albums. Taylor employs mixed-media collage using vintage linens, laces, cottons, and buttons collected and handed down from mother to daughter, friend to friend. Her use of women’s personal effects also draws inspiration in part from artifacts unearthed during two excavations commissioned by the Museum at the former home of Henny and James Freeman, one of the earliest- documented free Black landowning families who lived on the Hill Community site from 1787-1828.

The works on paper on view in HEIRLOOMS engage mid-19th century forms, including silhouette, dressmaking, and quilting. Weaving the language of prose and poetry in the collages, Taylor inscribes public records with reimaginings that reveal the interior longings of generations of Black women, terrain so often distorted or absent in archives. This hybrid form of history-mapping in poetic verse and fabrics once held by ancestors assembles an archive that remembers untold stories so that more can be known of what Taylor refers to as “the love, labor, and thriving of Black life and family.”

Food & Vendors

Juneteenth fan favorites such as Spanky’s Soul Food and Danielle’s Pit Stop will be back to serve their delicious food again this year. Juneteenth food vendors will be located on the corner of Harrison and South Streets.

The celebration will also include local vendors with handmade goods for sale as well as non-profit booths.