The Cool Springs Downtown District received a major boost in funding from the Fayetteville City Council to help with the upcoming Juneteenth event this summer.
The council voted unanimously on Monday to approve a $ 145,000 budget for the production of the Juneteenth Jubilee event taking place on June 18-19 on Franklin Street with some side events on Maxwell and Donovan streets. On March 8, the Cool Springs Downtown District asked the council for $ 141,000 but since increased the price to cover additional costs.
The budget would include funds for $ 15,000 in production of the event, $ 6,000 worth of fireworks, $ 7,500 for openers, $ 3,000 for site development, $ 95,000 for headliners, $ 13,000 to cover an administrative fee, $ 2,000 for local artists, $ 4,000 for marketing and $ 2,500 for incidentals ..
Bianca Shoneman, the president of the Cool Springs Downtown District, presented the final budget and proposal for the event with drafts of logos for marketing and a Juneteenth flag.
A collaborative event
Juneteenth, which is shortened for June Nineteenth, was designated as a federal holiday in June to commemorate the day Union troops arrived in Galveston, Texas to ensure all enslaved people were freed. Their arrival came two years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 , which marked the end of enslavement in the country.
The Juneteenth celebration will span four days around Cumberland County with main events taking place in Fayetteville. The Cool Springs Downtown District is working in partnership with Circa 1865, a Spring Lake based organization, according to Shoneman.
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Circa 1865 has held several past celebrations in the county on Juneteenth, Shoneman said.
Celebration events will kick off on June 16 with a launch party at Dirtbag Ales in Hope Mills at 6 pm
On June 18, there will be a Jubilee Walkabout from noon to 9 pm on Franklin Street with diverse retail vendors and Black-owned restaurant food trucks. There will also be a 5K run from 8 to 11 am with the Fayetteville Run Club, according to Ashanti Bennett, the director of special projects for the Cool Springs Downtown District.
Bennett said on Maxwell Street there will be an auxiliary stage for people to participate in a public art project where they can write in chalk what Juneteenth means to them.
“We are still working on some of the logistics in how to get it out but we would love for our students from Cumberland County Public Schools to be able to do this art project that will be displayed during the festival,” Bennett said.
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On the main stage on Franklin Street, national headliners would perform and at the end of the night, local choirs would sing the hymn, “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing,” during fireworks, Bennett said.
A brunch is scheduled for 10 am to noon on Juneteenth in the Franklin Street parking deck, Bennett said. The state’s Poet Laureate Jackie Shelton Greene will be speaking at the brunch.
The rest of the Juneteenth will be hosted in Festival Park featuring more speakers, vendors, food trucks and performers.
Additional events, flag design
A golf tournament will also take place at Fort Bragg on June 17 at the Stryker Golf Course beginning at 8 am There will be a party that night at 10 pm at the NZone Social Club in Fayetteville, according to the Circa 1865 group.
There is also be an extra after-party on June 18 at 10 pm that will emulate the Met Gala as guests are encouraged to wear their best at tire.
Lauren Falls, the marketing director for the Cool Springs Downtown District, designed a flyer for the Juneteenth celebration after a recommendation from the City Council to combine the pan-African flag, which is red, black and green and the Juneteenth flag, which is red , white and blue.
“We’re looking to drape the existing street poles with the colors that we have looked to embrace which is all five colors found in the two flags,” Shoneman said. “We’re really excited about the process.”
Shoneman said the Cool Springs Downtown District has not executed or signed off on any contracts yet as they needed to get the funds from City Council first.
Councilwoman Shakeyla Ingram made the motion to approve the budget for the Juneteenth celebration and it was seconded by Councilman Larry Wright.
A nod to community birthing services
In other action at the City Council meeting Monday, Mayor Mitch Colvin presented a proclamation to declare March 29 through April 4 as Community Based Doula Week.
With the proclamation, Fayetteville became the first city in the state to recognize the right of families to have access to a doula as they have been found to help improve maternal health outcomes, especially for Black women and women of color who have been reported to have disproportionate rates of death and illness during childbirth and delivery, according to Angela Tatum Malloy, the president of Momma’s Village-Fayetteville.
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that Black women are three times more likely to die during childbirth compared to white women.
A doula is a trained companion who provides support and guidance to women before, during and after labor.
Malloy was there to accept the proclamation and speak to the council along with other doulas from community-based doula organizations Divine Doula Goddess and MAAME, Inc.
Her organization is a non-profit organization providing birth and breastfeeding support, postpartum care, parenting education and mental health resources for Black families in Fayetteville, Fort Bragg and in the surrounding region.
“This is important to us because we are doing a lot of work to address the maternal issues that are in this county, end quotes? Malloy said.” We’re not doing so well in our maternal health here in Cumberland County. “
Doulas are not covered by most medial insurance, limiting the number of women who can have access to one, Malloy said.
“We need to have funding to be able to do this work,” Malloy said. “As you’re considering how to deal with the funds that you get, especially with workforce development, we are looking to be able to have to conversations with you about how that can be effective in our community. “
Investigative reporter Kristen Johnson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.