City of Santa Monica Hosts a Day of Free Juneteenth Activities

June 1, 2021 12:42 PM

SANTA MONICA, Calif. – On Saturday morning, June 19, 2021, the City of Santa Monica will present the 29th Annual Juneteenth Celebration online from 10:30 a.m. - noon, followed by Wade In the Water: A Tiny Film Fest in the evening at Historic Belmar Park from 8 - 10 p.m. These events commemorate America’s second Independence Day, when the Union general in Galveston, Texas read the federal orders of the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation proclaiming all previously enslaved people in Texas were free, two years after the adoption of the proclamation.  

The theme for this year’s virtual 29th Annual Juneteenth Celebration “The Change is Here” is inspired by the famous Sam Cook song that foretold A Change is Gonna Come. It was also developed as a response to the outpour of calls for change locally and nationally for a more equitable society. Similarly, Santa Monica’s Juneteenth Celebration has been a voice of change within the community since 1992 thanks to the leadership of LaVerne Ross, whose family has celebrated Juneteenth in Texas before she and her family relocated to Santa Monica in the 1950s.    

The program’s Master of Ceremonies will be spoken-word artist Sean Raymond Hill and the online presentation will include:  

The 29th Annual Juneteenth Celebration is presented in collaboration with the Juneteenth Celebration Committee, Inc. Registration for the online webinar event is available at  

More information about this free community online event is available at or by emailing or calling 310-458-8688.  

On the evening of June 19, 2021, from 8 - 10 p.m. at Historic Belmar Park, the City will host Wade in the Water: A Tiny Film Fest. This in-person outdoor screening of short films will celebrate Black culture and its connection to water. The screening will feature the premiere of BELONGING, a Belmar History + Art site-specific dance film honoring African Americans in Santa Monica.   

Pre-event activities will include food trucks and music by DJ Moni Vargas. Participants are also encouraged to explore the historic panels and public sculpture, “A Resurrection in Four Stanzas” along the park’s walking path.   

The panels and public art, along with the film, BELONGING, were developed as part of the Belmar History + Art project, which commemorates the home of a thriving African American community in the 1950s and honors the legacy of the historic Belmar neighborhood’s contributions to Santa Monica life.    

This event will follow LA County Department of Public Health’s COVID-19 protocols. For more information about Wade in the Water: A Tiny Film Fest, including COVID safety guidelines for the event, visit 


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Constance Farrell
Communications & Public Information Manager


Arts, Culture & Fun, Programs, The Arts


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