To commemorate Juneteenth across our region, Voices Underground is proud to present Fashioning Freedom—a celebration of African American fashion and its critical relationship to the work of freedom—in the Open Air Theatre.
Kimberly Jenkins, Founder of The Fashion and Race Database and Artis Solomon Consulting, will lead the evening, starting with a lecture and discussion on the impact of fashion on self-expression, politics, race, psychology, and anthropology. Then enjoy a fashion show highlighting the work of several African American curators and designers, as well as a musical performance by singer Madelyn Brene, known for her smooth soprano vocals steeped in a melodic, soulful sound.
Jenkins is joined by Assistant Professor at Parsons School of Design and fellow in the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art Dr. Jonathan Square, and Founder and CEO of Grant BLVD and Blk Ivy Thrift Dr. Kimberly McGlonn.
Ms. Jenkins is founder of The Fashion and Race Database and Artis Solomon Consulting, having formerly held the position of Assistant Professor of Fashion Studies at Toronto Metropolitan University and lecturer at Parsons School of Design and Pratt Institute. She has spent over ten years studying the impact of our clothes and how we express ourselves, through the lenses of politics, race, psychology, and anthropology.
Dr. Jonathan Michael Square
As an Assistant Professor at Parsons School of Design, Dr. Square holds a Ph.D. from New York University, M.A. from the University of Texas at Austin, and B.A. from Cornell University. He was previously a lecturer in the Committee on Degrees in History and Literature at Harvard University and a fellow in the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He curated Past Is Present at the Herron School of Art and Design, which closed in January. He has another show titled Afric- American Picture Gallery that opens at Winterthur Museum, Garden, and Library in 2025. Square runs the digital humanities project Fashioning the Self in Slavery and Freedom.
Dr. Kimberly McGlonn
Dr. McGlonn is an advocate for justice and environmentalism, advocacy that informs her approach to leadership in the fashion industry. As Founder & CEO of the manufacturing start-up Grant Blvd®, she oversees the creative direction and growth strategy of the brand. Grant Blvd’s mission is to construct stylish, sustainably sourced fashion by creating living wage jobs for women, particularly those who are formerly incarcerated. Founded in 2017, Grant Blvd is the first Black-owned B Corp in North America in the fashion space. Outside of these roles, Kimberly disrupts via her second company, the thrift/vintage concept Blk Ivy, which tells the story of fashion as activism through a curation of garments which amplify the style of 1954-1972, her podcast “The School for Disrupters”, and her role as faculty member of Drexel University’s Westphal College of Media Arts & Design.
More about Voices Underground
Voices Underground seeks to increase exposure to the story of the Underground Railroad through creative partnerships, scholarly research, public experiences, and historical memorialization. Our vision is the healing of the American racial imagination through exposure to the truth of American racial history.
In partnership with the PA Tourism Office, Voices Underground is working together to present an array of programs and public events that honor the courage and commitment of residents, past and present, in support of freedom and equality for all.