A digital gallery including images and insights on a complex and changeful event in Baltimore Area

Curated by: Leah Ruggiere



This project was accompanied with an internship I did here at University of Baltimore in the Special Collections and Archives (SCA) at Robert L. Bogomolny Library (RLB). I am a senior at Goucher College, majoring in Art History. I choose to create a digital gallery under the topic of AFRAM Festival because this event contains so many layers relating to culture and the importance of the arts. For the past forty three years of AFRAM festival, it has always aimed at celebrating African American life, music, and culture. Although, each year, the festival brings a different experience to the table. The festival experienced eight different homes starting first in Charles Center and Hopkins Plaza, Festival Hall, Oriole Park at Camden Yards,  Mondawmin Mall, Pimlico, Camden Yards again, and then finally to Druid Hill Park. The festival has had a history of being publicly and then privately funded as well as organized by various individuals. Many thanks to Robert Breck Chapman (RBC) collection, Aiden Faust, and the rest of the (RLB) Special Collections and Archives for all their help with this project.



Photographs taken of AFRAM Festival programs from the University of Baltimore Archives (RBC Photographs Collection) and Baltimore City Archives.

These photographs will focus primarily on scanned images from programs of '77 and '76. The cover of "77 is shown to display what the logo of AFRAM used to look at. The other three images are from the '76 program which include information on the meaning behind the logo, the first steering committee of AFRAM '76 and a statement of purpose about the festival that is Norman E. Ross's words. To have a clearer and full visual of the images double click on one of the images directly.

The other images are from when I went to Baltimore City Archives using the collections from Mayor William Donald Schaefer 1962-1992 and Mayor Kurt Schmoke 1987-1999. I specifically focused on the Urban Services Agency.

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This timeline below you can scroll to see the how AFRAM Festival has changed over the years in its location, style, and size. If you press the "read more" you will get the interactive timeline on a seperate website that you can view. Sources are listed at the end of this gallery for more information or cited within the timeline.



Baltimore Sun '93 - "Urban Services Agency set to vanish"

Baltimore Sun '96 - "AFRAM parades into its 19th year of festivities"

The Examiner 2006 - African-American Heritage Festival shares rich culture with Baltimore

Baltimore Sun 2011 -"Baltimore African-American Festival celebrates its 35th year"

Baltimore Brew 2012-"Mayor seeks $300K consulting contract for friend and contributor"

GreiBO Agency Website

Baltimore Sun 2017-"Pugh plans scaled-back African American Festival"

Baltimore Magazine 2017 -"Big Changes for the Baltimore AFRAM Festival"

Baltimore Brew 2017-"Pugh drawing criticism as scaled-back AFRAM nears"

Robert Breck (RBC) Chapman Photographs Collection

Including photographs and Festival programs Series 1 AFRAM Expo 1976-1996. Located at University of Baltimore, Special Collections and Archives

Baltimore City Archives

BRG 9-42 Mayor William Donald Schaefer 1962-1992, BRG 9-44 Mayor Kurt Schmoke 1987-1999

Feel free to comment in the article if you have questions about a quote or information found. You can also contact University of Baltimore, Special Collections and Archives at the number 410-837-4253 or send an email at


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