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Art League of Ocean City to Host Tindley Celebration on Jan. 14, Part of Ocean City’s Dreamfest

OCEAN CITY, MD — Jan. 5, 2023 — As part of Ocean City’s “Dreamfest 2023,” the Art League of Ocean City will host a free party honoring the life and accomplishments of Berlin native Rev. Dr. Charles Tindley on Saturday, Jan. 14, 3-5 p.m. at the Ocean City Center for the Arts, 502 94th St.

Charles Tindley

The Town of Ocean City will honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during Dreamfest weekend, Jan. 13-15, 2023, with a three-day music event held at the Performing Arts Center. Dreamfest celebrates Rhythm & Blues by presenting musical acts The B.B. King Experience featuring Claudette King, Thomas McClary’s Commodores Experience, and The Spinners.

Guests who attend the Tindley party at the Arts Center will receive a 2-for-1 coupon good for ticket discounts to the R&B concerts at the Performing Arts Center.


“This is a wonderful opportunity for anyone who wants to celebrate MLK weekend to come to the Arts Center and enjoy our party, receive your 2-for-1 coupon to the concerts at the Performing Arts Center, and then have time for dinner and the shows,” Rina Thaler, executive director of the Art League, said. 


During the Saturday event, the Art League will honor the legacy of Rev. Tindley, the native son who not only embodied the spirit of what drove Dr. King and others like him forward through the civil rights struggle but also wrote many of the songs that are still sung today. The Arts Center party will include live music, original artwork, films, videos, and refreshments and is free and open to the public.


Clifton Henry Dennis, Jr., who hosts the show “The Gospel Train” on Delmarva Public Media’s WESM 91.3 on Sunday mornings, will emcee music for the event. Musician Bryan Russo will perform with the Tindley Family Choir — made up of Tindley’s actual descendants — a number of songs including several written by Rev. Tindley.

Bryan Russo

Russo will also present the video for “Mr. Tindley,” the song he wrote that kickstarted the grassroots effort in Berlin for a mural honoring the composer. Additionally, film previews curated from the upcoming Ocean City Film Festival in March will be screened.


Artwork with the theme “I Have a Dream” created by the students of Most Blessed Sacrament School in Ocean Pines will be on display.


Rev. Tindley was born in Berlin in 1851, a freeborn son of a slave. He fought through many adversities but was determined to get an education and become a preacher.  By the time of his death in 1933, Tindley had become known as the “Prince of Preachers” and was considered one of the founding fathers of gospel music. His hymn, “I’ll Overcome Someday,” was the direct inspiration for the civil rights anthem, “We Shall Overcome.” 


The Ocean City Center for the Arts at 502 94th St. is open daily until 4 p.m., and admission is always free. More information is available at OCart.org or by calling 410-524-9433.


The Art League of Ocean City is a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing the visual arts to the community through education, exhibits, scholarship, programs and community art projects.


Anne grew up in Edinburgh, Scotland, and came across Ocean City for the first time over 30 years ago and shortly after it became her permanent home.  When time allows, Anne still loves to travel. She has been with OceanCity.com since September 2014.

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