Brookgreen Gardens to celebrate Juneteenth with programs, music, awards

13 Jun

Brookgreen Gardens to celebrate Juneteenth with programs, music, awards

Juneteenth, now a federal holiday, commemorates the emancipation of enslaved black Americans and celebrates African American culture.

Brookgreen Gardens, a leading conservator of Lowcountry culture and history on South Carolina’s Hammock Coast®, will celebrate Juneteenth on June 18, 2022, (since June 19 falls on a Sunday) through engaging programs, live music, and an awards ceremony.

Page Kiniry is the president and CEO of Brookgreen Gardens. (Photo provided)

“Brookgreen is a cultural center for our community,” said Page Kiniry, president and CEO of Brookgreen Gardens. “We are excited to have visitors join us on the weekend of Juneteenth to celebrate history and freedom and to recognize some of the talented people from this area who are committed to investing in our community and relationships.”

Ron Daise, Brookgreen’s vice president for creative education and a Gullah descendant, will start the celebration with “The Sensibilities of Freedom” at 11 a.m., a discussion that provides a historical overview of Juneteenth, the significance of the holiday, its contemporary ramifications, and ways the celebration continues. This interactive program will ask the audience to imagine “freedom” from points of view that utilize their five senses – sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell.

At noon, Brookgreen will award nine community members who have worked to improve race relations in Georgetown and Horry counties over the last year. The inaugural Huntington Exemplary Service Award will be bestowed in honor of Brookgreen’s founders and in recognition of Brookgreen’s 90th anniversary.

Ron Daise is the vice president of creative education at Brookgreen Gardens and a Gullah descendant. (Photo provided)

Designed to honor community members who have worked to improve race relations in the past year, the award is named in honor of Brookgreen’s founders, Anna and Archer Huntington, who left a legacy of public service and Gullah Geechee conservation through their work in Georgetown County.

Nominations for the Huntington Exemplary Service Award were received and reviewed by a committee comprised of Brookgreen representatives and community leaders. Recipients of this year’s award are Zenobia Harper, Marilyn Hemingway, Kelvin Waites, and Steve Williams (Georgetown County); Tracy Bailey, Veronica Gerald Floyd, Reverend Cheryl Moore Adamson, and The World Community Magazine (Horry County); and Issac Bailey (Statewide).

The celebration will continue until 3 p.m. with live music from ReggaeInfinity from Columbia. This event is free with Gardens admission.

Originating in Galveston, Texas, in 1865, Juneteenth is the oldest national recognition of the ending of slavery in the United States. Since then, it has been celebrated annually on June 19 in various parts of the country.

About Brookgreen Gardens

Brookgreen Gardens, a National Historic Landmark and 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, is located on U.S. 17 between Murrells Inlet and Pawleys Island, South Carolina, and is open to the public daily. Founded in 1931 by Anna Hyatt Huntington and Archer Huntington, Brookgreen is home to the largest and most significant collection of American Figurative Sculpture in the country, and continues as a leader in sculpture conservation, environmental conservation, and protection of the plants, animals, and history of the South Carolina Lowcountry.

For more information, visit or call 843-235-6000.

About the Hammock Coast

Georgetown County’s casual charm and Southern hospitality earned it the nickname Hammock Coast. Adventure and relaxation blend together in perfect harmony, like the flowing and ebbing of waves on the county’s famed beaches. With six communities – southern Garden City, Murrells Inlet, Litchfield Beach, Pawleys Island, Georgetown and Andrews – comprising the pristine coastal area between Myrtle Beach and Charleston, visitors can experience South Carolina’s Hammock Coast like never before.

— By Mark A. Stevens, director of tourism development for the Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce and South Carolina’s Hammock Coast

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