Anyone familiar with the Redbull Amaphiko Academy? If not, according to their website it’s “a launchpad for grass roots social entrepreneurs-those pioneers change makers, innovators-who use their talent, creativity, and energy to make a positive change in their corner of the world in a sustainable way.” The academy takes place over the span of ten days.
So, what does that got to do with Baltimore?
Turns out this academy is being held for the first time ever in the U.S…. specifically in Baltimore city, and it’s happening right now from August 11th – 20th, 2017. To kick off this ten day academy, there’s a ten day festival open to the public. Each night (I think), there has been events going on such as yoga and rollerskating and an open mic night. One of the events I went to was an open house and gallery show held at the Eubie Blake Cultural Center this past Monday night. Knowing that an open mic night, a Made in Baltimore Pop-up Shop (which included 30+ vendors all from Baltimore), art exhibitions, and musical performances were all going to be showcased, I just had to go.
The event ran from 7pm – 10pm. Honestly, there was not enough time to take in everything. Within the four floors of the building, each floor showcased different things going on at different times. If I was watching someone conducting a dance performance, I was missing out on something upstairs. I realized that even though I wanted to see everything, it just wouldn’t be possible. So, I decided to just be chill, savor, and appreciate the performance or the exhibition I was at.
When I got there, my first plan of action was to check out the bar outside for alcohol. Duh.
Depending on which free cocktail you got, you either had a yellow red bull or an orange red bull in your drink.
Afterwards, my friends and I decided to venture into the food category. And what do ya know… they had free bbq from Shorty’s “Bootlegg” BBQ and free ice cream from my favorite ice cream suppliers-The Taharka Brothers!
This time I tried the banana foster. It was so good nomz. I swear, I’m going to try to find where I can find their pints of ice cream. I need to store these babies in my freezer.
The event also provided some other foods such a fruit salad and a chick pea salad:
(Side question: Am I making you hungry yet? Because I’m typing this right now and I am.)
As my friends and I feasted on our food, there was a DJ in the background giving the crowd some jams. This DJ played for the whole night. The grass in front of the DJ even turned into a dance floor as the night went on.
But yeah, enough about food and partying. This event is all about showcasing how amazing Baltimore is talented with art, so let’s get on to that!
After filling myself up with delicious food, I checked out the Made in Baltimore Pop-up shop on the first floor. Over 30+ vendors were present. Check out some of the stuff there:
Because this was hosted by the Redbull Amaphiko Academy, they had an interview with some of the artists on the second floor. The interviewers asked the artists where they find their inspiration, how they started off, what type of art they do, etc.
Near the end of the night, I traveled to the fourth floor. I have to admit the fourth floor was my favorite. They had an open bar serving cocktails mixed with red bull drinks and an open mic night! There was a band playing awesome jams in the background of people rapping, singing, doing poetry, spoken word, etc. Baltimore definitely gave it their all and it made me realize how creative and passionate the art community is. I was honestly blown away.
If you missed out on the Academy Open House and Gallery Show, you have the Red Bull Amaphiko Festival on Sunday over at Impact Hub Baltimore’s surface lot in Station North and the Ynot Lot. They are going to have musical performances, an on-site cypher for dancers, yoga, projects displayed from the Amaphiko Academy 2017 participants, and a dance party celebration. For more information, check this link out! Click here!
If you want to check out the amazing makers featured at the Academy Open House and Gallery Show, you are in luck! The Made in Baltimore Pop-up Shop is still going on until August 20th form 11am – 7pm.
Overall, I was extremely happy I went to the event. I was exposed to a side of Baltimore I knew existed, but didn’t appreciate and treasure until now. I really want to attend more art events that showcase the passion and dedication of these artists. So if you know any coming, let me know please!
Pop-up Show Hosted by: