Cherry Hill Arts & Music Waterfront Festival: A Celebration of Black Culture

by Aria Brent
African American staff writer

On July 4th, South Baltimore’s Cherry Hill neighborhood put community and culture on display with the Cherry Hill Arts and Music Waterfront Festival.

For nearly a decade the festival has been shining a light on the many contributions Black people have made to the arts, all the while showing off their southside pride.The event is still full of family-friendly fun, interactive and educational activities and of course , fireworks.

Members of the gospel group REIGN brought a message of peace and hope to those attending the Cherry Hill Arts and Music Waterfront Festival. (Africa Photo/Alexis Taylor)

“This is my fourth or fifth year here,” said Charles Dugger, a retired school teacher and community activist. “They wanted me to talk about Kwanzaa. We try to apply these principles in our daily lives.

Dugger talked about how important the festival is in bringing the city together.

“We have to find a common ground,” he said. “I taught in this community a long time ago and we try to say we are more alike than we are different.”

Maryland Comptroller Brooke Lierman echoed similar sentiments.

“I will never miss the Cherry Hill Arts and Music Waterfront Festival,” she said. “This is a staple event in South Baltimore. It brings people from all over the area together for resources, music, and food. I love coming here every year to see old friends and make new ones.

Betty Baze chairs the Cherry Hill Development Corporation Charter Committee.

“It’s important for people to come forward,” Baez said. “This year marks the eighth anniversary of this free festival, which is a great time for people to meet new people, fall in love with new people, and enjoy different cultures.

Baez and african regional organizations About working with the Cherry Hill Development Corporation and how it helps make Baltimore a better place.

“It’s good and helpful to be involved in community organizations,” she explains. “When the community needs something for all ages, we work together and pull together.”

Carol Sister’s performances at the one-day event include Nakeeba Amanyea, N’Dea Davenport, Navasha Daya, Latin band Orquesta Nfuzion and many other artists.

The historically black community is home to many notable figures from the past and present, including Congressman Elijah Cummings, jazz singer Ethel Ennis and Judge Robert Bell.

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