The inaugural MDEmancipationFest: A Maryland Emancipation Day Celebration, presented by Baltimore’s Mount Clare at Carroll Park Commission in partnership with The National Center for the Improvisational Arts, will take place on November 5, 2022. It is a community gathering that will feature live music from regional, national, and internationally recognized musical artists, poets, speakers, and vendors as well as honor the contributions of African Americans enslaved at Mount Clare, also known as Georgia Plantation, a former industrial plantation situated in what is now Carroll Park.
The State of Maryland will officially proclaim Emancipation Day in Maryland. On November 1, 1864, Maryland’s new constitution freed all enslaved individuals within state boundaries, making it one of the earliest states to do so. This event is the inaugural celebration of this important day in Maryland’s history. The festival will celebrate and commemorate the accomplishments of freed and enslaved people in the State of Maryland prior to and after Emancipation, including the presentation of the Great Emancipator Award to two individuals who have emancipated the hearts and minds of Black, and by extension, all people in the state through their work – Maryland House Speaker Adrienne Jones, and UMBC Professor Emeritus and author, Dr. Acklyn Lynch.
Hosted by Robert Shahid, WEAA General Manager, the festival also aims to establish Mount Clare Mansion and Baltimore’s Mount Clare at Carroll Park Commission as a community resource, a national and international destination for the intersection of improvisation, art, social justice, and a repository for African American arts, culture, and ingenuity.
“We are excited to be helping to usher in a new era that will create the framework for the research, interpretation, physical discovery, and promotion of programming centered on Black ingenuity and the contributions of the enslaved at Mount Clare. We also seek to establish Mount Clare as a site for envisioning and executing new forms of racial equity in Baltimore and Beyond.”
Dale Green, Founder, and Co-Chair, Baltimore’s Mount Clare at Carroll Park Commission
The event will include keynote speakers, including Congressman Kweisi Mfume, Lieutenant Governor Boyd Rutherford, and Mayor Brandon Scott, DJs, youth and humanities activities curated by Baltimore’s Youth Resiliency Institute, an artisan and food marketplace curated by Nubian Hueman, as well as live performances across genres. The occasion also marks the official opening of the National Center for the Improvisational Arts, a prominent international facility for research, interdisciplinary analysis, and public interpretation of improvisational practice.
The artist lineup includes Kahil El’Zabar’s Spirit Groove featuring David Murray, the Navasha Daya Ensemble, the Brandon Woody Quintet and J. Pope, and DJs from WEAA and WPFW, among other prominent personalities.
“ It fills me with enormous pride knowing that David Murray and I, along with my Spirit Groove Band will have the honor to perform at this historic, inaugural Emancipation Day celebration in Mt. Clare Park. I pray the ancestors guide and enlighten our collective memory to be conscious of all that we’ve endured and sacrificed, in order for our communities to envision the unlimited potential in future generations! Let us all come together on this historical day and evoke the Spirit in the highest order and clearest mind, knowing that we the people, through the power and glory of the Most High, will realize that we are a guiding force of change within the productive transformation of our people and this world!”
Kahil El’Zabar, Founder, National Center for the Improvisational Arts and Festival Performer
November 1, 1864, marked a pivotal day in Maryland’s history when a new state constitution freed all those held in bondage within its boundaries. The decision made Maryland one of the earliest states to abolish slavery – a full year ahead of the 13th Amendment. The celebration of this landmark day – known as Emancipation Day in Maryland, is a time for fellowship and reflection with family and community, to share history, keep traditions alive for future generations and continue to dismantle the impact of racism while using the arts and humanities to build a better way forward underserved communities across Maryland.
“Creating this festival, taking place on land where our ancestors toiled, has been a sacred journey. This joyous celebration marking the day African-American enslaved people were freed in Maryland with a Gubernatorial proclamation, libation, music, speeches, and poetry is long overdue. This is a beautiful beginning to both reclaiming the space once known as Georgia Plantation for the enslaved who lived and worked there and their descendants, but also to giving back to the surrounding Black community through ongoing arts and humanities programming underpinned by social activism.”
Katea Stitt, Festival Producer, and Program Director, Baltimore’s Mount Clare at Carroll Park Commission
Registration and more information about MDEmancipationFest can be found here website.
The National Center for the Improvisational Arts will be the premiere global center where improvisational practice is the subject of scholarly research, interdisciplinary analysis, and public interpretation. Rather than focusing on any one form of improvisational expression, such as dance or the visual arts, the NCIA will explore the underlying human process of spontaneous inventiveness that undergirds each of them. This will require serious and sustained interdisciplinary collaboration between neuroscientists, cultural historians, and actual practitioners across multiple creative fields.
Baltimore’s Mount Clare at Carroll Park Commission is the first independent,
Black-led organization to establish itself as an equal co-steward of Mount Clare, a national historic landmark site founded coinciding with the founding of Baltimore as the Georgia Plantation, is the only plantation landscape in close proximity to its original manor house that survives in any American city. The goals of BMCCPC are fourfold: to re-imagine this historically significant place that has international import; establish an organizational structure commensurate to the legacy and impact of the site; imbuing the site with cultural and humanities events and ongoing programs that promote racial equity and support the surrounding community; and to create a national destination that centers on racial equity.
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The post Inaugural Maryland Emancipation Day Festival to Acknowledge Maryland’s Early Abolition of Slavery and Honor African American History and Contributions to the State appeared first on AFRO American Newspapers .