Singing the Blues: Year 12

The New Deal Cafe’s 12th annual Greenbelt Blues Festival is themed “Women Sing the Blues”. It will take place on September 10, 2016 from 12 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. at the Roosevelt Center. Bring your festival chairs and dance shoes to enjoy the Blues from day to night. It is a free and family-friendly event. You can catch a preview of the Festival the day before the event at the Beltway Plaza. Every year, Beltway Plaza hosts a performance in the mall the day before the festival in order to further promote the event.

Chris Logan is this year’s chairperson of the Blues Festival and a board member of the Friends of the New Deal Cafe Arts (FONDCA) which organizes the event. He first got involved with FONDCA because it supports the visual, musical, and literary arts at the New Deal Cafe located in Roosevelt Center.

Logan, who is retired, began volunteering for FONDCA over ten years ago around 2004. At the time, the New Deal Cafe was struggling with finances. With the creation of a tax exempt organization that was focused on the arts, FONDCA, the New Deal Café would become the successful cafe and hub it is today. It attracts artistic talent and visitors from Greenbelt and around the region. Besides chairing the Blues Festival, Logan works with obtaining grants and funds in order to sustain FONDCA and the community that it has built at the New Deal Cafe.

Logan has taken a different approach in planning and leadership this year. For the first time, there is a committee to help support the music coordinator in planning the festival. The purpose of the committee is to support the marketing and the advertising for the campaign. This in turn allows the music coordinator to focus solely on acquiring talent from around the area to perform at the Blues Festival. Different artists from the DC and Baltimore area will be performing this year. A benefit of acquiring talent from outside Greenbelt helps contribute to FONDCA’s long term goals of continuously expanding and attracting a wide pool of  talent and audiences from Greenbelt and in the broader community. Keeping this in mind, the festival has locked in the contracts early with the musicians and started promoting the festival early in order to make it as successful as it can be. A measure of success for Blues Festival is that people are starting to show up early with their lawn chairs in order to enjoy the performances.

Sponsored by Paradyme Management, Beltway Plaza, and Greenbelt News Review this event is part of the Explore Your Greenbelt with the Greenbelt Community Foundation to celebrate its 10th anniversary. This is series of 14 bi-monthly events and activities that feature organizations that have received GCF funding. All are invited to attend to learn about these organizations and how GCF lives out its mission of “nourishing all of Greenbelt’s Neighborhoods”.