The Festival

How do you turn around a 30 year-old event in just three short months?  We did it by thinking in 360 degrees.

The African American Festival started more than three decades ago with just a few small neighborhoods in Baltimore holding their own celebrations of their heritage.  Fast forward many years when it morphed into the Afro-American Festival, sponsored by the City of Baltimore.  Moving from a small neighborhood gathering to a large scale festival brought all the potential — and responsibility — to represent the best of Baltimore’s African American community.  And with growth comes some challenges.  Not to fear….greiBO is here.

This wasn’t just about strengthening an event; it was about strengthening the stature of a city and a culture. 

We had only three months, and a towering list of details to tackle.  We secured local and national sponsors.  Built a solid, logistical infrastructure.  Added relevant activities involving beauty, financial literacy, health, wellness, and just plain fun.   Brought in national recording artists, and food to die for.  The event came back to its original purpose and message:  we are a city that is proud of our heritage.  As a bonus, the festival showcases Baltimore as a summer destination.  Within four years, we grew attendance by one thousand percent…that’s right, 1000 %….from 20,000 to 200,000.  As a result, Baltimore enjoyed a $20 million economic impact.  Now that’s what we call full-circle success.