By J. K. Schmid, Special to the AFRO
The Wine Spirits and Soul Festival comes to Towson, Maryland July 14.
A fundraiser for Baltimore County’s Black youth, the festival funds scholarships that will be awarded during the Baltimore County African American Cultural Festival September 15.
The Baltimore County African American Cultural Festival is a 501(c)(3) founded by Maryland House delegate and speaker pro tem Adrienne A. Jones (District 10).
The cultural festival describes its mission in three parts.
“One, to put on a festival to highlight African-American culture in Baltimore County, and the historical preservation in Baltimore County for African-Americans; two, to give scholarships to Baltimore County residents who are graduating high school; and three, to provide support for partners and non-profits in the state of Maryland,” Kendrick Tilghman, president of the cultural festival and president of the Greater Baltimore Black Chamber of Commerce, told the AFRO.
This is Tilghman’s first year as president of the cultural festival, a 22-year-old organization.
Tilghman, a DJ and founder of 5Starr Enterprises told the AFRO about how his industry experience made him to uniquely qualified for the position.
“Being a professional DJ allows me to have relationships in the entertainment industry, to pull some strings as far as entertainment,” Tilghman said. “Also, as the president of Greater Baltimore Black Chamber of Commerce, I was allowed to connect a lot of the minority businesses into the fold and bring vendors for the support of the event.”
Tilghman and the cultural festival and working with 12 partners for this weekend’s soul festival, he says.
Tilghman secured the musical talents of Soundvision DJs, and Bewitching Experience for Saturday.
“Bewitching Experience is going to bring old school, and jazz, and R&B/Soul,” Tilghman said. “Soundvision is going to bring house music and line dancing.”
Tilghman also said he’s excited about the food vendors, Island Quizine and Next Phaze.
“Next Phaze is known for their soul food cuisine, I love their crabcakes and I love their pasta, and then, of course, Island Quizine is exactly how it sounds: Island,” Tilghman said.
Wine and spirits will be provided by Legacy Partners Distribution, a Black family-owned operation presided over the Boyd family.
“They have just really been supportive for pretty everything that Black Professional Men has done, the Greater Baltimore Black Chamber has done, as well as the Baltimore County African American Cultural Festival,” Tilghman said of Legacy.
“An awareness of social, economic, and political issues empower the African-American community,” Black Professional Men (BPM) writes on its website. It’s goal it to empower by correcting negative media portrayals of Black men, emphasize the $400 billion in Black male purchasing power and engage Black men in the political process.
Tilghman himself is an alumnus of the BPM scholarship program.
“We’re just excited to connect and do something for our community, where we can enjoy ourselves, and have entertainment, as well as support surrounding non-profits as well the Baltimore County African American Cultural Festival,” Tilghman said.
Scholarships are $1,500 and last year, the cultural festival was able to award five. Tilghman hopes that greater attendance will reward greater numbers of students in the county.
The soul festival will be at 401 Bosley Ave Patriot Plaza in Towson from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.