Delaware Art Museum’s Summer of Cultural Festivals

Annual Events include a Fourth Celebration of Juneteenth and Year Two for Powwow and Black Film Festival

The Delaware Art Museum’s summer schedule has doubled down its commitment to celebrating ethnic cultures with the community. The fourth annual Juneteenth event, Beyond Juneteenth Ancestors Festival: AfrisymPOEMsium & Expo, takes place on Sunday, June 18, 2023, from 11 a.m.—4 p.m. inside the museum. The 2nd Annual Powwow of Arts and Culture takes place on Saturday, July 22, 2023, from 11 a.m.—4 p.m. in the in the Copeland Sculpture Garden. The 2nd Annual Jet Phynx Dirty Popcorn Black Film Festival takes place on Saturday, August 12 from 10 a,m.—4 p.m. in the Museum’s auditorium. While all these events are free, each traditionally reaches capacity, and guests are asked to register at

The fourth annual Juneteenth observation at the Museum celebrates the ancestral traditions of people who were once enslaved and the accomplishments of their descendants. This year’s festival is an AfrisymPOEMsium and Expo, with its primary focus being the education, healing, protection and adaptation of the human spirit. The event has moved mostly indoors for 2023, with presenters stationed in conference rooms and open areas of the Museum.

Abundancechild, founder of the event, says, “AfrisymPOEMsium is a poem that will work hand-in-hand with a short film, opening up an artistic route toward having hard discussions. After the film, which includes the offerings and prayers one would expect from an ancestor-oriented Juneteenth observation, the guests—ideally people of all races and backgrounds—will have an opportunity to sit in breakout groups and talk about delicate topics and then reconvene as a larger group. The day will continue with music and both fun and functional learning opportunities, whether it be genealogy-tracing technology or African traditional religions.”

Nadj N Jea (Nadjah Nicole and Jea P. Street, Jr.) will serve as event hosts, and the day’s events will kick off with a rendition of “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” known as the Black national anthem, presented through dance by Pieces of a Dream, and a Juneteenth flag-raising ceremony. A shared libation and dance performance by Tonantzin Yaotecas follows. Ghetto Songbird, Hezekiah, Ebony Zuudia and Mystic Reggae Band will also perform. Twelve presenters are lined up for the symposium and expo.

Additional activities will include jump rope, hula hooping and a comic book art session with Jabaar Brown. Drop Squad Kitchen will be on hand with food.

Community Engagement Specialist Iz Balleto, who leads the Museum’s cultural festival efforts, describes the goals of the 2023 event, “This year, we are honoring Juneteenth by redirecting the activities toward learning and engagement. There will be music, but guests of all ages are invited to visit the different areas in the Museum to hear about subjects that affect the Afro-Indigenous community. To us, Juneteenth is not just about the past…it’s also about the future.”

Abundancechild explains why the educational opportunities carry this event “Beyond” Juneteenth, saying: “Oftentimes, with festivals and cultural events, we enjoy the music and food, but return home with little follow through of what we just learned. This year, we want Afro-Indigenous descendants to move Beyond Juneteenth and work with our ancestors to bring an end to generational oppression. Our goal is to provide information and resources, and effect not just words, but also deeds and solutions.”

The second annual Powwow of Arts and Culture, is a partnership with community advisors and the Nanticoke Indian Association, to celebrates indigenous culture. Keith Colston (Tuscarora and Lumbee) will emcee the event, and Will Mosley (Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape) is the Arena Director. Dancers and drummers include Head Lady Adrienne Harmon (Nanticoke), Head Male Louis Campbell (Lumbee) and a drum circle led by Red Blanket Singers (Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape). Visitors of all ages and backgrounds are welcome.

The second Annual Jet Phynx Dirty Popcorn Black Film Festival aims to discover, raise up and celebrate diverse new voices in and around Delaware through film, and preserve the work of local Black filmmakers. Festival events include short film screenings, meet-and-greets with filmmakers, a Q&A panel, and a 3 p.m. red carpet awards ceremony. Guests will vote on their favorite films—which may be narrative (drama / fiction), documentary, or experimental (music videos, animation, etc.)—created by local and regional Black and Indigenous filmmakers. Presenter Jet Phynx is a Delaware native and music artist-turned-film director.

Balleto adds, “The word ‘festival’ implies celebrations, and we continue to offer festive events, but aim to make them even richer. While it’s important for us to celebrate the culture, we want to be sure there are learning opportunities taking place.”

These events support the Museum’s mission, by offering an inclusive and essential community resource that generates creative energy that sustains, enriches, empowers and inspires.

The Juneteenth event is sponsored by Drop Squad Kitchen, Abundance Child Ministries and Guerrilla Republik, AfrisymPOEMsium and ReAfrikanization. Jet Phynx 2nd Annual Dirty Popcorn Black Film Festival is sponsored by the Center for Interventional Pain & Spine and Prime Beverage Group. These programs are supported, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. The Division promotes Delaware arts events on

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WHAT: Beyond Juneteenth Ancestors Festival: AfrisymPOEMsium & Expo at the Delaware Art Museum
WHEN: Sunday, June 18, 2023, from 11 a.m.—4 p.m.
WHERE: Delaware Art Museum, 2301 Kentmere Parkway, Wilmington, DE 19806
COST: Free; registration required

WHAT: 2nd Annual Powwow of Arts and Culture
WHEN: Saturday, July 22, 2023, from 11 a.m.—4 p.m.
WHERE: Copeland Sculpture Garden, Delaware Art Museum, 2301 Kentmere Parkway, Wilmington, DE 19806
COST: Free; registration required

WHAT: 2nd Annual Jet Phynx Dirty Popcorn Black Film Festival
WHEN: Saturday, August 12 from 10 a,m.—4 p.m.
WHERE: Delaware Art Museum, 2301 Kentmere Parkway, Wilmington, DE 19806