For the past 10 years, the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center (MTCC) in Little Rock, Arkansas has hosted an area-wide Juneteenth celebration — the observance of African American freedom from slavery when Union troops delivered the emancipation order to the last outpost in Galveston, TX on June 19, 1865. What’s normally a save-the-date block party drawing supporters, celebrities, and sponsors to this unforgettable tradition, this summer’s social distancing mandates pulled the in-person event off the table. That’s when V. Wright & Associates got the phone call.
“Let’s go virtual!”
Vivian Wright and her colleague Leslie Peters manage a technical support business that offers video conferencing and webinar consultation to customers across the US. When the MTCC got in touch about virtually streaming their event as an alternative to the on-site celebration, the national spotlight on Black Lives Matter demonstrations focused even more attention on Juneteenth 2020. The emotional investment and responsibility to showcase African American history in Arkansas meant the webcast needed to mirror, if not surpass, previous years’ programming and content variety.
Although short project timelines are common to V. Wright & Associates, the concept to launch period for Juneteenth, was, how you say, a little thin — THREE WEEKS. The MTCC’s high-energy lineup of speakers, performers, and entertainers demanded an extra layer of creativity from the V. Wright team to bring their vision into focus. Up against an extremely tight turnaround and the public health constraints present with COVID, the weeks leading up to June 20 were a balancing act between logistics, pre-recorded video editing, and assembling the three-hour event storybook.
Mission and Mantra
The mission of the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center is to preserve, interpret, and celebrate African American history and culture in Arkansas. As a certified museum, their contributions are intended to uplift, inspire, and educate those who visit or live in the state of Arkansas.
Their committed orchestration of this annual event has been advertised in past years with keynotes and cameos from community leaders, political figures, and musicians. Juneteenth 2020 was no exception. With a guest list including The Clark Sisters, Bijoux, and six African American mayors across the state of Arkansas, the MTCC made sure the significance of this year’s event was heard loud and clear.
At a time when spirits needed a boost more than ever, the MTCC leaned on Vivian and her team for advice on their streaming technology of choice. BlueJeans Events was chosen to broadcast online and through the MTCC’s Facebook page given the motivation to reach the largest possible audience.
Prior to Juneteenth 2020 the museum had been recognized as a local fixture, but suddenly their influence as a cultural institution reached the international stage.
3...2...1 We’re Live!
The production’s action-packed format traded off between singing, dance performances, and thoughtful retrospectives on the history of Black Americans and Arkansans. By highlighting the richness and cultural fabric of the African American community, both locally and abroad, the MTCC and A-list participants drew a virtual crowd far larger than they imagined.
Watch the full video broadcast here!
Nearly 20,000 viewers tuned into the BlueJeans Event via Facebook Live, reaching 23 different countries and 35 US states. Comments from audience members were a testament to the importance and timeliness of this virtual Juneteenth. Boiled down into one general theme, the feedback was unanimously “we really needed this right now.” For the extended work hours and clock race that started only a few weeks before the celebration, the MTCC, Vivian, Leslie, and all promoted guests knew their efforts made a positive and worthwhile impact.
BlueJeans Events helps organizations sustain their communities with live video streaming and interactive participation tools. To date, the MTCC’s Juneteenth event has generated over 41,000 total impressions through the live and on-demand broadcast!
Want to connect with your largest audience, too? Try BlueJeans Events for free today!