DeBartolo Performing Arts Center to host Juneteenth Celebration and Resource Fair Friday at Notre Dame


Logo for Juneteenth celebration

The DeBartolo Performing Arts Center (DPAC), in partnership with the Center for Social Concerns, will host a Juneteenth Celebration and Resource Fair from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Friday (June 14) on the campus of the University of Notre Dame.

The event, featuring locally owned businesses and nonprofit organizations, free food from local food trucks, music from Gino J of Mix 102.3 and giveaways, will take place outside the north entrance of DPAC, facing the DeBartolo Quad.

It is free and open to the public.

Now in its second year, the family-friendly event is designed to promote and support local businesses — including and especially Black-owned businesses — in conjunction with the federal Juneteenth holiday, which marks the end of slavery in the U.S. and falls on June 19 each year.

The event also offers members of the community the opportunity to explore campus via the newly established Arts Gateway — a collection of public-facing buildings, classrooms and outdoor spaces devoted to the visual and performing arts and architecture at Notre Dame.

And it marks the start of summer programming at DPAC, with a diverse lineup of performances and events including UZIMA! Drum and Dance Co.’s “Boundless: A Juneteenth Celebration” at 7 p.m. June 22.

According to Leigh Hayden, director of marketing and communications for DPAC, the event is part of DPAC’s mission to be “very visibly inclusive” with respect to both its programming and its approach to community engagement.

“With our location in the Notre Dame Arts Gateway and as part of an effort to bridge the gap between campus and community, the Juneteenth Celebration and Resource Fair is a way for us to bring additional visibility to Freedom Day and what it means to the African American community while adding to community celebrations,” said Hayden, who serves on DPAC’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility Committee.

Regina Williams-Preston, community justice program director with the Center for Social Concerns, said, “The relationship building, collaboration and celebration that happens at events like this is important for the community justice work we do at the Center for Social Concerns.”

Jamie Mckinstry, owner of Jetta’s Sweet and Salty Kettle Corn in South Bend, is among the returning vendors.

“I have done several vending events with Notre Dame and all have been successful,” Mckinstry said.

She thanked Notre Dame for including the community in its Juneteenth celebrations, noting of the holiday itself, “Juneteenth has been so important to me because it has given me the right to be free and equal to every human being. We are free to learn and grow and become who we are meant to be.”

Also on Friday, University Enterprises and Events will host a Juneteenth Celebration Through Food from 2 to 3 p.m. at Legends of Notre Dame, featuring barbecue and guest speakers.

The DeBartolo Performing Arts Center is the University’s leading presenter of world-class artistic programming. It is also an academic space devoted to enhancing the scholarship, teaching and practice of the performing arts. And it is a community space that welcomes more than 100,000 patrons annually, including hundreds of K-12 students in education and related artistic programs.

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Originally published by Erin Blasko at on June 11, 2024.