Celebrate Juneteenth and Father’s Day at M.A.N.iFEST!

Juneteenth, a holiday that commemorates the emancipation of enslaved people in the US, falls on Father’s Day (June 19) this year — so why not celebrate them together at the 2nd Annual Music Art, & Networking (M.A.N.iFEST) Juneteenth event?

This two-day celebration invites the Fuquay-Varina community and surrounding areas to celebrate, highlight, and share in the rich African American presence and culture that is part of this unique and diverse town, while also honoring men, fathers, and father figures through music, dance, and spoken word. 

Held at the Fuquay-Varina Arts Center on June 18-19, this year’s festivities will feature a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) networking event in the form of a “STEM-Crawl,” where middle and high school students will learn and collaborate with their peers during speed networking, gaming, workshops, etc. BrainSTEMology, along with local organizations and community members, is spearheading the event.

“The STEM Networking-Workshop Party is important because it engages students through innovation and interactive peer-focused collaborative workshops with local STEM-focused businesses, nonprofit entrepreneurs, and business owners,” said Alexander Flowers, the founder of BrainSTEMology and the brains behind the STEM Networking event. “We hope that students and parents attending the STEM-Crawl networking workshop will gain knowledge about summer programs, future internships, and career opportunities.” 

In light of Juneteenth falling on Father’s Day, the theme of this year’s event is The Men of M.A.N.iFest, which will be marked by a concert on June 19 and a special tribute to fathers and notable men in the community. There will also be a performance of the theatrical skit titled “Kings,” produced by spoken word artist DS Will, head of the poetry department for the Raleigh Film and Arts Festival. This powerful and thought-provoking production will highlight the journey of Black men from Africa to America, overcoming systemic barriers and stereotypical myths. 

“For those attending the concert, we hope they will experience truth, awareness, and togetherness. We hope the messages through the performing arts will spark dinner table conversations with family members and empower attendees to get involved within the community,” said Qisoundra Flowers, a member of the Fuquay-Varina Downtown Rotary Club and the chair of the Cultural Art Society of Fuquay-Varina since 2021. “We hope in those three hours, strangers will become acquaintances. We hope that attendees will sing together, dance together, laugh together, and share in the experience together.” 

If you would like your middle or high school student to attend the free social networking STEM workshop and party, online registration is required. For free tickets to the Father’s Day concert, click here. 

Those interested in submitting a Father’s Day tribute video must send a 2-3 minute video to manifestfuquay@gmail.com by June 10. More information can be found at @manifestfuquay-varina on Facebook. 

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