Celebrating Juneteenth 2024 – Get to Know the Performers, Artisans, and Leaders Behind Juneteenth Santa Barbara’s 2024 Block Party

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Juneteenth commemorates when the last enslaved African Americans in Texas were informed of their freedom on June 19th, 1865 – a full two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed. Black/African American communities across the country have marked Juneteenth with celebration and organizing efforts centered on supporting and uplifting Black life.

In 2018, driven community members Simone Ruskamp, Chiany Dri, and Jordan Killebrew brought a reiteration of Juneteenth back to Santa Barbara as several Black/African American Elders have celebrated in our region in the past.

Juneteenth Santa Barbara’s annual event has grown each year, with an array of Black community members sharing their stories and showcasing their work and collective histories.

For 2024, Juneteenth Santa Barbara welcomes the community at large to their sixth year of celebrating Juneteenth in Santa Barbara! Their free block party celebration will be on Saturday, June 15 2024, from 11 am – 6 pm, in historically Black Santa Barbara, also known as the Funk Zone, on the 100 block of Gray Avenue. The theme for this year’s community block party is “Joy for The People,” in honor and remembrance of the late elder Sojourner ‘Joy’ Kincaid Rolle, who stood as a pillar for the community for many years.

The celebration includes live music, food trucks, free activities for children, games, community competitions, and a voter registration table. The event also features a Black Artisan Market, which includes a multitude of Black-led community organizations, creatives, and nonprofits showcasing their work at their booths.

We’re excited to experience Juneteenth SB’s Block Party Celebration and are thrilled to see the recognition of these individuals’ talents and contributions to our community. We’ve included some information about the artists and the founders below in hopes that you’ll be inspired to support, connect and collaborate with them well beyond this year’s festivities.

Juneteenth SB is currently accepting volunteers and donations. The bottom of this blog post includes information on how to get involved.

Meet the artists:

Vivian Storm

For almost a decade, Vivian Storm has graced the stages of SantaBarbara leaving behind a trail of glitter and joy. Her impact extends beyond the performances; it is a legacy of love, acceptance, and the belief that everyone deserves a space to shine. In every note sung,every lyric written, and every performance delivered, Vivian Storm has woven a tapestry of empowerment and liberation. That echoes her joy in Santa Barbara. Her commitment to community is a testament to the transformative power of joy, self-love, and unity and how important it is to sustain and help our community thrive.

Talitha Gabrielle

Talitha Gabrielle (she/her) is a soulful singer songwriter and musician from Hampton, Virginia, whose influences include Erykah Badu and LaurynHill. She currently resides in and is a new resident to Los Angeles, after spending a few years in Santa Barbara. She is happy to be back in Santa Barbara for Juneteenth, a tradition she wishes to keep.

P$ Experience

Paris, better known as P$, is a well known professional dancer, choreographer, teacher, and creative director in California. Paris has credits dancing with and for Eric Bellinger, SZA, Kamillion, Mar, Samantha Caudle, Melissa Barlow, D Main and more. She has competed on Latin TV and Hip Hop International making it into the semi-finals. Paris is the founder and creator of the P$ Experience and P$ Academy. She offers classes for all ages in hip hop and jazz funk, and also specializes in adult heels classes.

Kat Lincoln

Neo-soul, Hip-Hop, with a touch of Jazz. In the vast array of human experience, there is an indulgence of sight and sound. It is at the intersection of Afro beats, hip-hop, neo-soul and classical masterpieces. It gives nod to various ethnicities and due reverence to the creator. It is created to inspire and inspired to heal. At that very intersection, music lovers can share the common experience of refreshing their souls with the smooth yet rhythmic sounds of the one and only Kat Lincoln.

Kat’s captivating tone and wide vocal range bring to mind the likes of Billie Holiday, Jill Scott, Erykah Badu. The most important Aspect of Kat’s music is her message – one that comes from a place of both purity and purpose.

“I am a healer. My message will touch your soul.”

The Ad Project

Formally known as AD aka Angel Davison , AD and his band will be performing as the AD Project. Born and raised in Goleta California, AD is a 27-year-old independent solo artist, songwriter, beatmaker, producer, musician and MC, as well as the drummer for The New Vibe.

The New Vibe

The New Vibe is a psychedelic, new-age funk band born out of Goleta, CA. The band will be gracing the stage of Juneteenth Santa Barbara for the third year in a row!

They are a fun, high-energy performers who are sure to get the crowd dancing, so be ready to show your moves as soon as The New Vibe hits the stage this Juneteenth.


Brayell is a musical chameleon, seamlessly blending genres with a voice that is both calming and commanding. Hailing from Southern California, Brayell draws inspiration from a range of artists including the legendary Red Hot Chili Peppers, Prince, Nirvana, Sam Cooke, J. Cole, and Eminem. His music is a unique blend of soulful R&B vocals and emotionally charged rap, capable of stirring deep emotions and leaving a lasting impression.

Black Artisan Market Vendors & Featured Non-profits

Meet the Founders:


Simone Akila (she/her/her) is a Black woman who loves Black people. She is a co-founder of Juneteenth Santa Barbara as well as Healing Justice Santa Barbara. She has led numerous successful campaigns for justice in Santa Barbara and currently is one of the driving forces behind the forming police oversight commission in Santa Barbara. 


Chiany Dri (she/her/hers) is a mixed race Black Latina, born and raised on Tongva land in Los Angeles, California. She is a mother of three, an organizer, justice worker and the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Planned Parenthood Los Angeles. 


Jordan Killebrew (he, him, his) is a Queer Black person with an abnormal love of community. As the Director of Communications at the Santa Barbara Foundation he and his team promote and enhance the Foundation’s identity through marketing and communications strategy, social media, publications, public relations, advertising, and events.

We’re so excited to see the performances and goods on display and want to thank the leaders behind Juneteenth Santa Barbara for bringing these artists and artisans together to make this year’s celebration possible. Additionally, we thank them for all that they do for Santa Barbara and beyond.

These brief introductions merely scratch the surface of these leaders’ impressive history of work within the Santa Barbara community. To learn more about their many talents, and deep level of involvement in Juneteenth Santa Barbara and other local organizations visit: https://juneteenthsb.org/roots

Volunteer Opportunities

The Juneteenth staff is looking for amazing volunteers who want to support the upcoming Juneteenth SB Block Party. Each year the team brings together a group of dedicated volunteers to help make the magic happen behind the scenes and they’ve been so grateful each year to have this support. All volunteers receive a free Juneteenth Volunteer shirt and a free Meal.


With your donation everyone is able to celebrate. The Juneteenth team is a small group of 3 founders and 2 event planners, and donations greatly expand their ability to host meaningful events, amplify Black voices, and foster a sense of belonging for all. Let’s come together to commemorate history and inspire progress. Please click the link to donate to this amazing event!

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