Athletes for the Arts
Athletes for the Arts will highlight the importance of arts education in the lives of our students. We will lean into the stories of athletes and celebrities who have also found artistic success to underscore the critical role of the arts in developing into a well-rounded human being. Featuring live performances, inspirational stories, networking and digital engagement, this hybrid live/streaming event will include an online auction featuring sports memorabilia, artwork from athletes and unique experiences.
Lieutenant Eric Kettani is an American football fullback who played 5 seasons in the NFL including stints with the New England Patriots and Washington Football Team. He played college football at the United States Naval Academy and was named the MVP for the first win against Notre Dame in 43 years and never lost to Army or Air Force. Eric is a self-taught artist who has always had a great appreciation for the arts. While in the Navy, Eric had the opportunity to visit many different and unique countries throughout the world. The inspiration that Eric draws is derived from his many travels, time spent in the Navy and NFL, as well as his natural creative imagination. In his career, he has sold and donated numerous pieces. Some of his notable clients include Robert Kraft, Owner of the New England Patriots and Country Music Legends Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood.
Aaron Maybin is an Art-Activist and former professional football player from Baltimore City, Maryland. Selected as the 11th overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills as a former All-American defensive end at Penn State University. Aaron went on to play in the NFL for the New York Jets and the Cincinnati Bengals in a 5-year career before making the decision to walk away from football to pursue a career as a professional artist, activist, author, educator and community organizer. In 2009, Aaron established Project Mayhem to provide aid, both personal and economic, to help underprivileged and at risk youth excel beyond their current conditions.
Six-time GRAMMY® Award nominee Nnenna Freelon has earned a well-deserved reputation as a compelling and captivating live performer. Well known for her inventive tributes to greats like Lena Horne and Ray Charles (with whom she toured), she is also a celebrated recording artist, actor, theater writer and producer, and all-around inspiration. Freelon has performed everywhere from the White House to the Kennedy Center and the Apollo. Nnenna has always been respected as an artist and for her passion for education. The White House asked Freelon to headline the Asia Pacific Economic Summit for 300 Presidents, Premiers and Heads of State from around the world. Freelon has dedicated herself to educating young people, both musicians and non-musicians, and students of all ages. She toured the United States for four years as the National Spokesperson for Partners in Education.
Hosted by Julie Donaldson
Julie Donaldson is entering her first season as the Washington Football Team’s Senior Vice President of Media & Content. Donaldson oversees the entire broadcast operation along with being a permanent member of the game day radio broadcast, making her the first female regular on-air member of an NFL radio broadcast booth. As a reporter, anchor and host for NBC Sports Washington, Julie has covered nearly every team, athlete and major sports story in the DMV region, as well as across national and international sporting events. Donaldson has also frequently held on-air roles for NBC Sports and NBC Olympics.
Tickets will go on sale in early 2021. Sponsorship opportunities available now.
Member Benefit: All Maryland Hall members are invited to watch the livestream for free! Become a member.
The Michael E. Busch Center for the Arts at Maryland Hall Signature Event
For more than 40 years, Maryland Hall has opened its doors and its heart so that our community could gather to learn, grow, and experience the arts. We built an organization dedicated to Art for All. The region’s cultural core, convening and engaging all people in arts experiences that strengthen community. The Michael E. Busch Center for the Arts, located in the capital of the State of Maryland in the viewshed of the State House dome, strives to provide the entire state a vibrant hub of ideas, dialogue and energy. Uniting artists and communities from all corners of the region, through conversations and projects that feed our collective home. We endeavor to provide deeply meaningful educational experiences to connect learners of all types and ages inside our walls and out. We want to provide and facilitate that spark statewide.