UK Happenings

UK to celebrate Juneteenth with collaborative event at Lyric Theatre and Cultural Arts Center

Juneteenth graphic.
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 10, 2024) — The University of Kentucky Center for Graduate and Professional Diversity Initiatives (CGPDI), in collaboration with the Lyric Theatre and Cultural Arts Center, is proud to announce a special celebration of Juneteenth. Taking place 4-9 p.m. Wednesday, June 19, the event will include vibrant cultural expressions, marking the importance of Juneteenth as a significant moment in history.

“We are honored to celebrate Juneteenth with our community and to provide a platform that highlights the cultural richness and historical significance of this day," said John Blaine, director of CGPDI. "This event is an opportunity for all of us to come together, reflect on our history and look forward to a future grounded in freedom and equality."

Juneteenth is a pivotal chapter in the American story of liberation and civil rights. The holiday commemorates June 19, 1865, when General Gordon Granger announced the end of slavery in Galveston, Texas, over two years after President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. 

The historical legacy of Juneteenth shows the value of never giving up hope in uncertain times. The university believes showcasing and celebrating Black culture and liberation is important in remembering the past, celebrating the present and inspiring hope for the future. 

The Juneteenth event is free and open to the public. Doors open at 4 p.m. with a vendor fair. Live performances kick off at 7 p.m., promising an unforgettable experience for all. 

Event highlights include:

  • Jazz and gospel performances: Experience soulful melodies and powerful voices celebrating the spirit of freedom.
  • African dance and drumming: Enjoy dynamic performances showcasing the vibrant traditions and rhythms of African culture.
  • Stepping: Witness the energetic and expressive art of stepping, a dance form with deep roots in African American history.
  • Cultural vendors: Explore a variety of booths offering unique cultural products and crafts.

For more information on the event,visit or contact

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.