Music and baseball combine in “Athletes & Artists” weekend

The Orioles again this year will mix music and baseball during spring training to benefit efforts promoting arts education and girls’ empowerment.

The fifth annual “Athletes & Artists Play for Kids” charity weekend will take place March 5-8 at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota, Fla., the Orioles’ spring training home. A portion of the proceeds from the weekend’s events will benefit the Orioles Charitable Foundation’s Music & Arts Education Scholarship, created in 2019 to support programs in Sarasota, Baltimore and Nashville, Tenn. To date, the “Athletes & Artists” series has raised more than $400,000.

“We are thrilled to once again use our platform to bring song and sport together in support of arts education and girls’ empowerment,” said Jennifer Grondahl, the Orioles senior vice president for community development and communications. “The ‘Athletes & Artists’ series has become an integral part of our community-development efforts, and acts as a catalyst for change in the Baltimore, Sarasota and Nashville communities.

athletes&artists-sidebar.jpgThe events begin Thursday, March 5, when the Orioles play a 3:05 p.m. game against the Minnesota Twins at Ed Smith Stadium. On Saturday, March 7, musicians and former players will offer free youth workshops at the stadium. That evening, the fifth annual “Nashville’s Music Row Comes to the Ballpark” VIP charity event, hosted by event founder and singer-songwriter Margaret Valentine, will give donors the chance to mingle with Orioles players and Nashville artists.

Billboard chart-topping and Platinum-certified country artist RaeLynn tops a list of performers that also includes Grammy- and Country Music Association Award-nominated songwriters Jordan Schmidt and Jimmy Robbins, emerging Nashville artist Carter Faith and special guest emcee Renee Blair, who was recently named to the CMT Next Women of Country’s 2020 class.

The weekend concludes with a 1:05 p.m. game against the New York Yankees at Ed Smith Stadium.

The “Athletes & Artists Play for Kids” weekend has grown in the five years since it began, and last year featured an on-field concert by Cole Swindell. Another “Athletes & Artists” event, held the night before Billy Joel’s concert last July at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, funded grants to Jubilee Arts and the Baltimore School for the Arts. Beneficiaries of the program have also included Girls Inc., the Music Health Alliance, the Sarasota YMCA and the Library Foundation for Sarasota County.

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