June Biber Freeman, born and reared in New Jersey, came to Pine Bluff from the University of Chicago, where she had met and married her husband, Edmond Freeman, a Pine Bluff native. Both were graduate students at the time. When a call from his family interrupted his studies, she moved with him to Pine Bluff where he joined the family-owned newspaper, the Pine Bluff Commercial.
Long interested in the arts, she was instrumental in establishing the Little Firehouse Community Arts Center. Serving as its unpaid director until, with her continued vision and help, it morphed into the Arts and Science Center for Southeast Arkansas (ASC). In 1973, she conceived and organized the Women and the Arts: A Conference on Creativity, the first of its kind in the region. It was one of several events she organized for the ASC. Governor Dale Bumpers appointed her to the Governor’s Commission on the Status of Women. In 1975, Freeman was hired by Townsend Wolfe as the Arkansas Arts Center’s Director of State Services, a job she held for the next five years. Her eleven year old son’s repeatedly asking when she was going to stop working brought her commute and her job to an end, an agreeable one.
In 1982, she was instrumental in establishing Pine Bluff Sister Cities. With the help of Century Tube, a Japanese firm headquartered in Pine Bluff, Iwai City, Japan, and Pine Bluff became Sister Cities in 1984. Pine Bluff city officials and employees, students, teachers and interested citizens visited Iwai and people from Iwai visited Pine Bluff, one of the state’s international port cities. She has served on the boards of the Arkansas Arts Center, the Mid-American Arts Alliance and the Arkansas Arts Council. (In view of her background in psychology, she has served as a longstanding member of the UAMS Advisory Board of the Psychiatric Research Institute.)
Freeman is the founding director of the non-profit Architecture and Design Network (ADN) which got underway in 2003. Securing the support of the Arkansas Arts Center, the UA Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design (FJSAD) and the central section of the Arkansas chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), Freeman launched a series of free public lectures by distinguished architects. Retiring as director at the end of 2016, she continues to serve as a board member. She was named a honorary member of the FJSAD Dean’s Circle and, in 2013, was given an Award of Merit by the state Chapter of the AIA at its annual meeting. In 2016 the ADN board named the lecture series for her.
Freeman and her husband, who retired as publisher of the Pine Bluff Commercial, moved to Little Rock in 1995. The couple has four children and six grandchildren.