Blacktastic Breaks Records!

On February 23, students and educators across Baltimore and Maryland turned UP and OUT for our Blacktastic: A Children’s Festival of Black History & Culture!

Thanks to all of the love and support from across the state, our second year of Blacktastic was the largest event in Arts for Learning Maryland’s 70+ year history. With 35,000 student and 133 school registrants, participants danced, sang, and acted in six engaging, educational virtual performances by Arts for Learning’s incredible teaching artists.

The virtual event honored Black History Month in the best way possible: through joyful expression! Using dancing, hip-hop, theater, and storytelling, Arts for Learning’s wonderful teaching artists explored the lives and impact of such amazing Black Marylanders as Billie Holiday, and Cab Calloway, Valerie Thomas, and Frederick Douglass. A huge thanks to the amazing Jamaal “Mr. Root” Collier, Ryan Johnson of Sole Defined, Matthew Cittendon, Debra Mims, Wombwork Productions, and Baba Bomani for sharing their beautiful, inspiring, and educational art forms with viewers.

It’s clear that students and educators had fun — and learned! As they said after the program:

“What a creative way to engage students in Black History. The fact that the focus was on people in the very state the students live in, made history “closer” to them.”

“The kids in my classroom were inspired today! One of my students performed a song to the entire class! While he was singing another student danced! They were so proud and it made my heart happy!”

“I feel that it was a very well rounded, educational, and engaging program. Kids loved it!”

“Blacktastic. It’s not a word. It’s a feeling, a celebration! This festival was an amazing opportunity for students and teachers alike to experience the power of the arts. Can’t wait to see where this goes next year!”

And the Blacktastic learning didn’t stop at the end of the broadcast. Students and teachers have access to videos of the presentations until June 30, 2022.

Interested in more opportunities to work with our artists and celebrate Black history and culture? Click here and explore our wide range of engaging, educational programs!