Library Celebrates Juneteenth for Arts Fest

“Juneteenth Revisted, A Celebration of Freedom” is the theme of the history and literature events planned for the Wheeling Arts Fest Saturday, June 20.

The majority of the literary events will take place at the Ohio County Public Library, located at 52 16th St.

Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States. This year marks the 150th anniversary of the observance. The celebration dates to June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers landed at Galveston, Texas, with news that the Civil War had ended and that the enslaved were free.

Events at the library will start at 11 a.m. Saturday, with a poetry workshop led by Jessie Janeshek, assistant professor of English at Bethany College.

Also at 11 a.m., essayist Dr. Ethel Morgan Smith will speak on “Slavery” in the library auditorium. She is an associate professor of English at West Virginia University.

Known as a writer, professor and international culturist, Smith is the author of “From Whence Cometh My Help: The African American Community at Hollins College.” In addition to teaching at WVU, she has taught at the university of Tubingen in Germany, Randolph Macon Woman’s College and Virginia Tech.

Cathy Nelson of Columbus will speak on “The Underground Railroad” at 1:30 p.m. in the library auditorium. She is founder and president emeritus of the Friends of Freedom Society, a 19th-century historical research organization whose main focus is the Underground Railroad.

Nelson has testified in Congress on behalf of the Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Act of 1997. She has won numerous awards for her extensive research. Nelson, who is retired from Columbus City Schools, has participated in the Ohio Humanities Council Speakers Bureau for nearly two decades.

A Civil War drum and fife re-enactment corps from Pittsburgh will perform in the library auditorium at 2:30 p.m. The Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum Trust of Pittsburgh established the re-enactment corps for the 6th Regiment United States Colored Troops.

Juneteenth programming at the library will conclude at 3 p.m. with “A Celebration of Freedom in Words and Music” featuring soloist Edward Washington II and readings of the Emancipation Proclamation, the 13th Amendment, 14th Amendment and 15th Amendment. Washington is a former music and education director for the Negro Spiritual Scholarship Foundation in Orlando, Fla.

Washington, a popular guest artist, has performed several times for musical events at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Wheeling. A tenor, he is a 2015 graduate of Morgan State University in Baltimore, Md., with a Master of Arts degree in voice and opera. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree in voice and vocal performance from Stetson University.

All Arts Fest events at the library are free and open to the public.

Also as part of the Arts Fest, David Thomas will moderate a poetry open microphone session at West Virginia Northern Community College at 10 a.m. Thomas is a professor of English at West Liberty University.

West Virginia Poet Laureate Marc Harshman of Wheeling and Janeshek will offer “Poems While You Wait” in the Literary Arts Tent near WVNCC from 1-3 p.m. For a nominal charge, Harshman and Janeshek will write poems, on the spot, using old-fashioned manual typewriters.

Library Celebrates Juneteenth for Arts Fest

“Juneteenth Revisted, A Celebration of Freedom” is the theme of the history and literature events planned for the Wheeling Arts Fest Saturday, June 20.

The majority of the literary events will take place at the Ohio County Public Library, located at 52 16th St.

Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States. This year marks the 150th anniversary of the observance. The celebration dates to June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers landed at Galveston, Texas, with news that the Civil War had ended and that the enslaved were free.

Events at the library will start at 11 a.m. Saturday, with a poetry workshop led by Jessie Janeshek, assistant professor of English at Bethany College.

Also at 11 a.m., essayist Dr. Ethel Morgan Smith will speak on “Slavery” in the library auditorium. She is an associate professor of English at West Virginia University.

Known as a writer, professor and international culturist, Smith is the author of “From Whence Cometh My Help: The African American Community at Hollins College.” In addition to teaching at WVU, she has taught at the university of Tubingen in Germany, Randolph Macon Woman’s College and Virginia Tech.

Cathy Nelson of Columbus will speak on “The Underground Railroad” at 1:30 p.m. in the library auditorium. She is founder and president emeritus of the Friends of Freedom Society, a 19th-century historical research organization whose main focus is the Underground Railroad.

Nelson has testified in Congress on behalf of the Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Act of 1997. She has won numerous awards for her extensive research. Nelson, who is retired from Columbus City Schools, has participated in the Ohio Humanities Council Speakers Bureau for nearly two decades.

A Civil War drum and fife re-enactment corps from Pittsburgh will perform in the library auditorium at 2:30 p.m. The Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum Trust of Pittsburgh established the re-enactment corps for the 6th Regiment United States Colored Troops.

Juneteenth programming at the library will conclude at 3 p.m. with “A Celebration of Freedom in Words and Music” featuring soloist Edward Washington II and readings of the Emancipation Proclamation, the 13th Amendment, 14th Amendment and 15th Amendment. Washington is a former music and education director for the Negro Spiritual Scholarship Foundation in Orlando, Fla.

Washington, a popular guest artist, has performed several times for musical events at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Wheeling. A tenor, he is a 2015 graduate of Morgan State University in Baltimore, Md., with a Master of Arts degree in voice and opera. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree in voice and vocal performance from Stetson University.

All Arts Fest events at the library are free and open to the public.

Also as part of the Arts Fest, David Thomas will moderate a poetry open microphone session at West Virginia Northern Community College at 10 a.m. Thomas is a professor of English at West Liberty University.

West Virginia Poet Laureate Marc Harshman of Wheeling and Janeshek will offer “Poems While You Wait” in the Literary Arts Tent near WVNCC from 1-3 p.m. For a nominal charge, Harshman and Janeshek will write poems, on the spot, using old-fashioned manual typewriters.