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Project1VOICE Presents Juneteenth Celebration of the History of Black Artistic Endeavor

Project1VOICE presents Us Supporting Us. A Juneteenth celebration of the history of Black Artistic Endeavor

Program begins June 19 with 200th anniversary remembrance of NYC’s African Grove Theatre

Project1VOICE, an organization dedicated to supporting theatre and the performing arts by people of African descent, will commemorate its 10th anniversary with Us Supporting Us, a free three-day online event for Juneteenth.

Us Supporting Us begins June 19, 2021 with a 200th anniversary celebration of the African Grove Theatre, the first Black theatre company in the United States. The theatre was founded by William Alexander Brown, a free Black man from the West Indies, and was in operation at several locations in Lower Manhattan and Greenwich Village from 1821-1826, until it mysteriously burned down.

In addition to an in-depth conversation about the legacy of the African Grove Theatre, Us Supporting Us events will include an award ceremony honoring the outstanding achievements of Black creatives and a staged reading of Autumn’s Harvest by Dominique Morisseau.

All events will be hosted on Project1VOICE’s new virtual performing arts center (VPAC), an online portal which will be renamed in honor of each event.

For the three-day event Project1VOICE will rename the VPAC The African Grove. Subsequent gatherings will be renamed to pay homage to the countless shoulders on which we all stand. All Project1VOICE online events will have an ASL interpreter.

Erich McMillan-McCall, Founder and Director of Project1VOICE, has dedicated the past 10 years to uplifting other Black creatives and providing education on the contributions of Black artists throughout the history of the United States and beyond. With Project1VOICE’s new virtual performance platform, programming and initiatives, Mr. McMillian-McCall hopes to continue this necessary work and draw additional support.

“I believe that the key to continuing our robust and rich history of Black theatre in this country will depend on four areas of action: Sustain, Endow, Access and Thrive.” McMillan-McCall explains. “This is how we will endure and exceed. These three days are intended to connect us to our varied and robust past, present and future. During these three days we will be commemorating the ’emancipation’ of our collective and individual voices, paving the way for the better future that is always ours to claim.”

A recent recipient of a generous gift from The Black Seed/Mellon Foundation, Project1VOICE will use the funds as intended: to plant the seeds of growth for Black creatives and arts professionals by honoring Black theatre artists, actively engaging and hiring Black people and specifically Black women for the organization’s initiatives, and using their platform to encourage support for Black creatives and performing arts organizations. Read More

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Autumn’s Harvest by Dominique Morisseau