RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Julian Jacobs, Douglas Watson and Jonas Chisolm are friends.
They are on different career paths. Jacobs is a downtown Raleigh business owner. Watson is a DJ and Chisolm is a talent buyer.
However, the trio is coming together to fill what they say is a big need in downtown Raleigh.
“If you spend any time around the nightlife in downtown Raleigh, there are not many spaces if any spaces that are really focused towards Black and brown people unfortunately,” said Watson. “Even though there is a rich culture of Black and brown people in the Triangle and in Raleigh as well. Not just in Durham.”
It’s why they decided to create Double Dutch.
It’s an organization that is not only working on ways to create these spaces in the nightlife scene, but when it comes to festivals and other events.
They also see this as a way to give a diverse selection of vendors, entrepreneurs and musicians a chance to show what they have to offer in downtown.
The catalyst for all of this? Their inaugural Juneteenth Festival in a couple of weeks.
“We noticed there wasn’t really an event to celebrate Juneteenth in the heart of downtown Raleigh. Certainly, there is something in Dorothea Dix. There is something in Apex as well,” Watson said.
Jacobs said this event comes off the heels of their partnership with the organizers of Artsplosure.
“I think it is important for us as people in this community to try and elevate it and try to do more. We are ready to raise each other up. I think if we don’t do it no one is going to do it,” stated Jacobs.
Double Dutch will host their Juneteenth celebration Saturday, June 17 starting at noon on Hargett Street in front of Black Friday Market.
“We want to do something to amplify this year-round. Not just once a year. Not just when something happens on social media. We want this to be a part of the community,” Watson explained.