Historically, Pennsylvania Avenue was a hub for premiere Black arts and entertainment. The great Royal Theatre (originally the Douglass Theatre) welcomed legends like Ethal Waters, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and Etta James. Black owned enterprise thrived on Pennsylvania Avenue like the first Black-owed movie house, Metropolitan Theatre, and the oldest continuously running Black male-social club, Arch Social cub.
The riots of 1968 after the death of MLK Jr. and the riots of 2015 after the death of Freddie Gray along with a history of disinvestment have negatively impacted Pennsylvania Avenue. Its rich history is unknown to most people today. But Cultural Curator Lady Brion and other local artists and organizers are working to revitalize Pennsylvania Avenue and establish a state recognized arts and entertainment district.
Show your support for history, resilience and Black arts and entertainment by signing this petition to the Maryland State Art Council. Together we will win.