Building and Strengthening Neighborhoods and People

Get On Up! With Strong City, May 4 at the Hoen Building

It’s not every day that a nonprofit turns 50, and it’s not every day that it moves from its longtime home to an exciting, new location on the other side of town. But guess what, both of those things are happening this year at Strong City Baltimore, and that means it is TIME TO PARTY!

On Saturday, May 4, Strong City is thrilled to present our 50th anniversary celebration, called Get On Up!, at the Hoen Lithograph Building in East Baltimore – an iconic industrial site that will soon be our new home. With its 1969 theme, Get On Up! will be a true feast for the sen

ses. Highlights of this “out of sight big night” will include live music and DJ sets, food tastings from dozens of top restaurants, a martini contest held by the Baltimore Bartenders’ Guild, a 1960s costume contest, pop-up experiences from some of Strong City’s fiscally sponsored projects, and a professionally designed interior space that will transport guests back to 1969.

“This will be, far and away, the biggest event in Strong City’s history, and we plan to make it a night to remember,” says Events Manager Dana Murphy.

The main event, from 6 to 9 p.m., will feature a wide variety of food tastings and drinks from local restaurants and vendors, a live performance by Jonathan Gilmore and the Experience (a Best of Baltimore nominee for “Best Party Band”), DJ Brando Carlo, the martini contest, and pop-up experiences. The afterparty, from 9 p.m. to midnight, will include Save Your Soul’s Rob Macy and Pharoah Haqq DJing and the costume contest featuring a $500 top prize and other prizes for groups and crowd favorite. And all night long there will be free beer, wine, and mead (with cocktails available for purchase), a photobooth, presents, dancing, and more!

A $125 ticket gets you in for the entire evening, while the afterparty-only option is available for just $50. VIP tables for 10 people are $2,500 and include full open bar, free valet parking, access to the martini competition and other perks. There are also “Group Rate for 8” tickets available for $800 (a savings of $200).

“This event is a fundraiser, and it’s critical to bring in some of the funds we will need to move to the Hoen Building,” says CEO Karen D. Stokes. “At the same time, we want this to be accessible to the widest possible variety of people, which reflects Strong City’s values. This is not a stuffy, $500 black-tie gala but a fun, relaxed, affordable event in an exciting space that represents our future.”

Guests will enjoy food tastings from Woodberry Kitchen, B&O American Brasserie, Golden West Café, Azafran, Home Maid, Verde, Taharka Brothers, Orto, Neopol Smokery, and many more. You can wash that delicious food down with drinks from Peabody Heights Brewery, Monument City Brewing Co., The Brewer’s Art, Charm City Meadworks, Old Line Spirits Co., and others. Guests will be greeted with a welcome cocktail from Baltimore Spirits Co., and there will be tasty non-alcoholic options too, including a full hot coffee bar from Sophomore Coffee.

We are delighted to welcome Jonathan Gilmore and the Experience as our featured live performer. Jonathan, the son of well-known activist and singer Lea Gilmore, comes from a family with deep roots in the black South and all that represents spiritually, culturally, and musically. Jonathan enjoys exploring the intersections of all kinds of black music: jazz, blues, soul, gospel, funk, and beyond. Jonathan, his band, and his backing vocalists are passionate, energetic, and soul-filled.

DJ Brandon Carlo, a Baltimore-based DJ with an encyclopedic knowledge of music, specializes in the sounds of the 1960s and 1970s and only plays vinyl. Pharoah Haqq, a D.C.-based DJ, specializes in 1950s and 1960s rock and roll, and also spins only vinyl. Rob Macy is the founder of the popular dancing party Save Your Soul in South Baltimore and has been named “Baltimore’s Best DJ” by publications including Baltimore City Paper and The Baltimore Sun.

We will be selling blind box/gift bag presents to help raise money for Strong City, featuring two tiers of gifts that guests can purchase for either $25 (with items valued at $25 to $75) or $50 (with items valued at $50 to $125). There will also be a small silent auction.

The Hoen Lithograph Building, an architectural gem that has been vacant since 1981, is being restored with support from Strong City. The Hoen Co. played an important role in Baltimore’s industrial history as one of the most prolific lithographic printing companies in the world, whose work included maps for National Geographic magazine.

Local artist and designer Corynne Ostermann is transforming the Hoen Building’s raw industrial space with a large, plexiglass ceiling installation making it appear that attendees are inside a lava lamp, and her Pop Art-themed photobooth backdrop and beautiful, handpainted wood panels will add to the overall effect. Plant design for the event will be provided by B. Willow.

Get On Up! is sure to be one of the most enjoyable and memorable events in Baltimore this spring, so get your tickets today at! And help us spread the word by sharing our event on Facebook and using the hashtag #getonupbmore.