Little Black Pearl to hold fundraiser on beach

Herald Intern

In association with the Chicago Park District’s “Night Out in the Parks” series – an effort to encourage summer programming in neighborhood parks – the Little Black Pearl (LBP), 1060 E. 47th St., will host their upcoming fundraiser, Pearl Fest, by 39th Street Beach, 1099 E. Oakwood Blvd.

The all-day outdoor festival will bring together Chicago culture with art galleries, children’s activities, live entertainment, food truck vendors and local merchants, Aug. 23, from 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m.

“It’s an event to bring the resources and the activities of the organization outside to the community more,” said Zakeya Cartman, director of development at LBP.

The day will begin with a D.J., followed by local talent in the afternoon, including singers Melissa Clark and Nikki Ashley Hayes. The main concert in the evening is headlined by four artists: Rachelle Ferrell, Leela James, Rahsaan Patterson and Lalah Hathaway. Produced by Grammy Award-winning jazz composer, drummer and singer Terri Lyne Carrington, the evening concert features funk, jazz and R&B sounds.

In past iterations – LBP has hosted Pearl Fest for more than 10 years – LBP’s partners have also hosted educational programs, such as medical assistance, according to Cartman. She hopes to continue this trend, though she said LBP is still confirming participation from social service agencies.

This year, LBP is selling VIP passes for $100, which include preferred seating, VIP zone access, giveaways from LBP’s sponsors and a meet and greet with Pearl Fest’s artists, separate from the free general admission. Cartman said that LBP has offered VIP areas for sponsors and supporters of LBP in the past, however, this is the first year that they are selling VIP passes to the general public.

“It was created to offer more people that special VIP experience,” Cartman said, adding that the VIP passes will also go towards funding the event.

The event will be bigger than previous years, in honor of LBP’s 20th anniversary – Cartman said LBP expects around 10,000 attendees.

“We’re really trying to showcase more of the partnerships that the organization has developed over the years,” Cartman said. “This is really special to us.”