If you’re anything like me you love the 4th of July. Summer, family, friends, fireworks and food – there’s nothing to hate about this holiday. And if you’re even more like me, you tend to leave plans to the last minute. If that’s the case, or if you have a little extra free time on the 4th, there’s a wonderful celebration happening at Middle Branch Park. What could just B more festive? Thanks to Nicole Atkinson of Push to Start for the heads up and all the information below:
The 3rd Annual Cherry Hill Arts & Music Waterfront Festival is everything you could want in a summer celebration. There will be musical performances, food trucks, interactive “ARTivities,” and a spectacular fireworks show. It’s a celebration of freedom, unity, and remembrance and a bridge that has historically divided communities will unite South Baltimore as the picturesque backdrop to the area’s first major 4th of July celebration in decades. Community leaders from Cherry Hill and Port Covington have united to activate both shores of the Hanover Street bridge for a storied shared experience for Baltimore City and beyond (www.baltimore4th.com).
Co-founded by Cherry Hill playwright and great-grandmother Shirley Foulks and Youth Resiliency Institute Executive Director and musician Fanon Hill, the free festival will feature three headliners: house and dance music icon Crystal Waters, reggae legend Sister Carol, and indie soul artist Navasha Daya, as well as musical artists working across genres including soul, house, jazz, Latin, hip-hop and more. Also performing will be A1 Chops, KERQ, Magic Mike, members of the Youth Resiliency Institute’s Baltimore Guitarists Against Violence program (BGAV), a program which provides children and youth ages 8-18 living in communities with high rates of violence with an opportunity to learn how to play guitar (See attached for list of full musical line-up). This year, master instrument maker Abu The Flutemaker and Safe Streets Cherry Hill will be honored at the festival for their commitment to the Cherry Hill community.
“Everyone from across Baltimore and beyond is invited to celebrate Cherry Hill’s historical and cultural significance as we tell our nation’s full story on Independence Day in South Baltimore’s Middle Branch park,” said Festival Co-founder Fanon Hill. “The future of Baltimore City and our country is dependent upon our ability to amplify the voices of those who historically have been silenced. We are grateful to South Baltimore Gateway Partnership for being the lead funder of this year’s festival. Their support allows us to make it bigger and better than year’s past.”
The Cherry Hill Arts & Music Waterfront Festival is focused on reducing isolation and developing relationships with important elements of Baltimore’s mainstream arts sector, as there is a scarcity of relevant cultural arts opportunities for Cherry Hill residents in their own neighborhood. Going beyond the event itself, festival organizers provide important arts training and employment opportunities for Cherry Hill residents and artists so that they can become better at their own creative practice and experience a greater level of visibility and sustainability.”Through yearlong community- based art workshops and workforce development and employment opportunities for community members of all ages, the Cherry Hill Arts & Music Waterfront Festival demonstrates the tremendous impact of equitable access to arts and culture in Cherry Hill,” said Michael Middleton, Executive Director of the Cherry Hill Development Corporation.
Along with the festival itself, the Cherry Hill Arts & Music Waterfront Festival provides yearlong arts education, cross-generational arts mentorship and outreach in Baltimore Maryland’s historic Cherry Hill community and throughout South Baltimore.
A South Baltimore neighborhood, Cherry Hill is historically significant as the nation’s first, largest (and likely the only) planned suburban-style community for African Americans. Cherry Hill is also home to one of the most densely populated housing projects in the country. The history of the development of public housing in Cherry Hill is one of the most striking examples of deliberate residential racial segregation in any city. Racial segregation in Baltimore City is also reflected in its cultural life.
“The Cherry Hill Arts & Music Waterfront Festival is a full day of family-friendly fun, cultural arts and community engagement. We owe it to our children to share—and preserve— Cherry Hill’s historic story,” said Festival Co-founder Shirley Foulks.