Joe’s Movement Emporium and Creative Suitland Present “Black on the Block”

By Editorial Team on April 19, 2021

Event: April 23 – April 25, 2021

Joe’s Movement Emporium and Creative Suitland have collaborated to produce Black on the Block. This free hybrid expo will take place April 23rd to April 25th virtually on Friday and Sunday streamed through Joe’s and Creative Suitland’s Youtube channels and in person on Saturday at Creative Suitland. Black on the Block features a variety of conversations with Black business owners and mental health counselors, a “Black Market” featuring vendors in the DMV area, compelling performances, and wellness classes. Attendees can register for Black on the Block through Eventbrite (https://www.eventbrite.com/e/blackon-the-block-expo-tickets-142167178859).

Joe’s Movement Emporium and Creative Suitland are committed to laying the groundwork for a shift in our world, as we know it. The fight for equality and “justice for all” continues here, in our community. The Joe’s Family is inspired with renewed focus on providing cultural experiences through an antiracist lens. Our staff remains vigilant in creating programs that will combat economic, political, and structural disparities in minority communities. Along with “Black on the Block”, we are working to unveil antiracist programs and partnerships that will help the community tackle the large task at hand. The planned programs will define opportunities, identify policies that ensure equity, and advocate for the action behind the ideas.

PROGRAM VISION— Black on the Block will support the black communities surrounding Creative Suitland and Joe’s Movement by uplifting its entrepreneurs and artists. The expo will give black business owners and artists the opportunity to extend their reach in the greater DMV area through educational conversations, commerce, wellness and healing, performances and more.

SPONSORS — Black on the Block is sponsored by the Pearl Excellence Foundation and the Greater Washington Community Foundation and their VoicesDMV initiative.

BLACK BUSINESS REVOLUTION — (Friday, April 23rd | 5:00 pm- 6:30 pm) An in-depth livestreamed conversation hosted by Chauka Reid, Business Development Manager of the Prince George’s Chamber of Commerce on the history of black businesses in America, the importance of black business and its current status, and how to successfully build and maintain a black-owned business. This event will be filmed at a socially safe distance at Joe’s Movement Emporium’s theater and live streamed via Joe’s YouTube channel.

CREATIVE SATURDAY — (Saturday, April 24th | 12:00 pm- 5:00 pm) A socially distanced in-person “Black Market” will showcase black business owners and provide a space for them to promote and sell their products (fashion, cosmetics, jewelry, music, etc.) Two performing artists will be featured during this event. Creative Saturday will take place in Creative Suitand’s parking lot. Masks will be required. A limited number of tickets will be sold via EventBrite and will be required for attendance. “Creative Saturday” will also be live-streamed on Joe’s YouTube channel for those individuals unable to attend the in-person event to have an opportunity to experience it online. Vendors will have access to the recorded footage and professional photographs taken throughout the afternoon for future marketing purposes.

SELF CARE SUNDAY — (Sunday, April 25th | 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm) This virtual event will be livestreamed via Joe’s and Creative Suitland’s YouTube channels and will promote Black health and wellness through a series of workshops. The topics under consideration include a one-hour Vinyasa Yoga class presented by Creative Suitland’s Arts Center Director Malachi Robinson; a yoga panel discussion covering the health benefits of yoga, reiki, self-healing, and chakra balancing; a question-answer session with health experts on the state of Black mental health; a panel of black medical professionals discussing battling addiction and the opioid crisis; and a forum centering on medical distrust in the Black community.

ABOUT JOE’S MOVEMENT EMPORIUM Established in 1995, Joe’s Movement Emporium is a cultural arts hub that acts as a catalyst for creativity and economic opportunity. Based in Mount Rainier, Maryland in the Prince George’s Gateway Arts District, Joe’s serves more than 70,000 visitors annually. Joe’s has five arts-based youth programs that bridge the creative divide between under-resourced families and those with means. Through programs and productions in education, performing arts, and work readiness, Joe’s integrates progressive education, creativity, and youth development.

In 2016, Joe’s achieved the Standards of Excellence through the Maryland Association of Nonprofits, which validates and promotes our exemplary work in youth arts education programming. Additionally, Joe’s earned the highest possible rating through Maryland EXCELS (level 1) based upon nationally recognized quality standards and best practices. This rating allows Joe’s to receive state funds to expand our reach in providing high quality arts education to youth in our community.

ABOUT CREATIVE SUITLAND Creative Suitland is an arts-based community development strategy to include existing residents and businesses in defining the cultural and creative spirit of Suitland. Through collaboration, community will be invited to choose programs, exhibits, public art, performance series, and murals to showcase the talents and perspectives of local artists and cultural groups. The planning process will define the local creative industry to offer support and opportunity. The outcome desired is a cultural identity to reinforce connection and belonging to the shared spaces of Suitland, to nurture small business, to enhance the local creative industry, and to build a stronger arts audience.