AFRAM, Baltimore's African American festival returns August 11-12
Baltimore's AFRAM festival returns to Druid Hill Park August 11-12 starting at 12 p.m. each day. The festival is a celebration of African American life, music and culture and is free and open to the public. This family-oriented event is filled with entertainers, children’s activities, arts, history, education, health and wellness and more. Featured artists include Davon Fleming, a Baltimore native and semi-finalist on NBC's The Voice, Dru Hill, Ella Mai, Jaquees and Vashawn Mitchell.
For more information about the festival visit www.aframbaltimore.com.
Highlights from past African American Festivals
In 2016, the list of performers included major talents like Common, Estelle, Angie Stone, Anthony Brown & Group Therapy, Ro James, Goapele, Gourgan Banks, Maurette Brown Clarke and Ruff Ends.
Speaker and media personality Kwame Jackson uplifted and motivated festival attendees inside the Empowerment Tent. Hosted by actress and producer Vivica A. Fox (Empire, Kill Bill, Set It Off, Independence Day) and actor and writer Jonathon Slocumb (The Steve Harvey Show, Meet the Browns), the July 4th weekend was two fun-filled days of entertainment for the entire family.
In 2015, AAF introduced Toyota’s Tech Playground; one-on-one financial counseling by Prudential; a Beauty Bar with demonstrations, samples and techniques, sponsored by Covergirl and Uncle Funky’s Daughter; the Beer Garden, sponsored by Anheuser-Busch; and Festival Live with celebrity panels, conversations and talks, presented by CharmTV.
The lineup included: Grammy award winners Will Dowing, Faith Evans and Stephanie Mills; legendary musician Sheila E; R&B crooner Eric Roberson; hip-hop icon Doug E. Fresh; “Empire” breakout stars Yazz AKA “Hakeem” and V. Bozeman; top-selling R&B female group SWV; stellar award winner Tamela Mann; actress and singer Demetria McKinney and R&B boy band 4EY the Future.
For previous festivals, hosts included “Real Husbands of Hollywood” producer Chris Spencer; singer and “R&B diva” Brave Williams; and actor and singer David Mann.
Special Guests in the Empowerment Zone included: Sister 2 Sister’s Jamie Foster Brown, author Zane, model Beverly Johnson, and festival DJs, DJ Beauty and the Beatz and DJ Tanz.
About the African American Festival
Every summer, people from all over the country travel to Baltimore to experience the African American Festival, one of the largest FREE cultural festivals on the East Coast. Since its inception, the African American Festival has showcased local, aspiring and award winning national artists. The event welcomes all ages and offers visitors a wide range of activities, from entertainment to educational opportunities. The Baltimore AFRAM Festival is presented by Mayor Catherine E. Pugh and the City of Baltimore with the support of the advisory board and steering committee.
In recent years the festival has enhanced its visitor experience by including the following must-see attractions throughout the weekend:
Brown Girl Village – Brown Girl Village’s mission is to empower and encourage brown girls in underserved communities to see beyond their current situations and to expose them to new possibilities. At the festival, young girls will be introduced to several inaugural events, such as Brown Girl Code, a session which will expose brown girls to STEM and the importance of science, technology, engineering and mathematics; and Your Black Is Beautiful, a discussion to teach young girls how to embrace and love the skin they are in.
Community Connections – An interactive festival partnership between Outward Bound and the Baltimore Police Department. The area will include obstacle course games and team-building exercises, and is modeled after the Under Armour-sponsored experience with Outward Bound and the Baltimore Police Department throughout the City of Baltimore.
The Beauty Bar – This Fashion & Beauty Pavilion will introduce festival attendees to new products and services to help maintain or create a new look! The pavilion features industry leaders and newly emerging brands in hair and makeup while spotlighting the newest trends for influential retail buyers.
Health and Wellness Pavilion – At this area, sponsored by CareFirst, festival attendees will have the opportunity to obtain health screenings, take part in fitness demonstrations and gather information about achieving optimal health.
Culture Vent – Sponsored by the Smithsonian and Root to Glory, here attendees will have the opportunity to research their DNA and genealogy. Other experiences include African dancing and drumming, carnival mask making and more.
Next Level – This Employment & Education Tent features education institutions and employers who will provide resumé enhancement tips, interview formalities and education and career opportunities.