‘Rhythm & Blues Festival’ gives back to community

steve and david







David Birts, left, of DB Productions with Steven Williams, Executive Director of The Partnership CDC

The Partnership CDC presents it Annual Rhythm & Blues Festival, taking place Sunday, Sept. 15, from 12 – 5 p.m. at the intersection of 40th and Market streets. The free event will benefit the ongoing programs of The Partnership CDC.

The afternoon will feature live music performances by Abstract Truth, Firestorm, DJ Kool B, Danielle “Sunny” Bryant, Black Collar Biz, Brianna Cash, Anna Moore, Jerome and Mr. Will. There will also be food, a classic car show, a Kid’s Carnival, a fashion show, “resources tables,” giveaways, health screenings, games, vendors and more.

“It’s like a give-back to the community,” said Steven Williams, executive director, The Partnership CDC. “We want to actually let people know what’s going on in the community — the different programs that we’ve been promoting over the life of our organization, and some of the new things we’re doing, from the housing development, from first-time homebuyer’s club, to financial literacy programs that we have. The ‘green’ programs, from aquaponic farming, to green roof installation — those [are the] type of services that we provide to get the information out to the community. And not only what we’re doing, but what other organizations are doing. We provide an opportunity for them to put resource tables to get information out.

“The Partnership CDC, we really try to partner with the community and other organizations. We don’t do everything. We can’t do everything. So the things we don’t do, we try to bring other partners in.”

Williams maintains that Rhythm & Blues is a popular vehicle for spreading their message and bringing out the community.

“It’s something that we inherited as an organization,” he said. “The board has always had a big love of jazz and R&B. It’s a genre of music that at one point, people thought was dying — that rap music was going to be it. But as we know, rap music has just incorporated those genres into it, and it still lives. It’s like when you’re making a gumbo. It’s one of the base things you have to have — Rhythm & Blues. And there’s a lot of local artists that come out of Philadelphia that we’d also like to give some airtime to.”

As a chief organizer and consultant for the “family-oriented” Rhythm & Blues Festival, David Birts encourages patrons citywide to come out, bring a chair and enjoy the festivities.

“I want the people to come out and support this organization, because they do a lot of valuable things in the community that no one knows about,” Birts said in conclusion. “So it’s very important that people come out and support it, and call them up and get involved in their programs in Southwest Philadelphia.”

For information on the event, including sponsorship, vendors and donations, call The Partnership CDC at (215) 662-1612.


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