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Orioles Present: Athletes & Artists Play for Kids

Nashville artists join Orioles in Sarasota to support arts education

Award-winning Nashville songwriters and musicians joined with Orioles athletes March 1-3 in Sarasota, Fla., to support arts education and girls empowerment during the fourth annual "Athletes & Artists Play for Kids" weekend. Held at Ed Smith Stadium, the Orioles' Florida training complex, the weekend featured a "Nashville's Music Row Comes to the Ballpark" charity benefit, two Orioles Spring Training games, an artist workshop for local youth, and an on-field performance from Country music rising superstar and 11-time No. 1 singer/songwriter COLE SWINDELL.

A portion of proceeds from the weekend's events will fund the establishment of new Orioles Charitable Foundation Music & Arts Education Scholarships to support arts education for deserving young students in Sarasota, Baltimore, and Nashville.

"It was an incredible weekend celebrating the power of song and sport to inspire and bring people together," said Orioles Executive Vice President JOHN ANGELOS. "We were thrilled to see music fans enjoy the creativity of award-winning Nashville artists as we raised funds to support new arts education scholarships for deserving students."

The series of events began Friday, March 1, when the Orioles hosted the Tampa Bay Rays. Later that evening, charitable donors returned to the club's training complex at Ed Smith Stadium for a one-of-a-kind, all-access event bringing Orioles players and Nashville songwriters and artists together for the fourth annual "Nashville's Music Row Comes to the Ballpark" charity benefit. Performed in the format made famous in the hit television show Nashville, the evening was hosted by Pound It Out LOUD Ent's MARGARET VALENTINE and headlined by Songwriter Hall of Fame writer, Nashville legend, and Grammy award winner DESMOND CHILD; Nashville Songwriter of the Year MATT McGINN; singer-songwriter RYAN BEAVER; musician MacKENZIE PORTER; and other special guests. 

Saturday evening, the Orioles hosted "Cole Swindell's Party in the Outfield," an on-field concert at the ballpark. Thousands of fans danced and swayed under the stars as Swindell performed favorites like "Love You Too Late" and "Sounded Good Last Night." Special guests MacKENZIE PORTER and CARTER FAITH opened for Swindell.

The Orioles wrapped up the 2019 "Athletes & Artists Play for Kids" weekend with Sunday's game against the Detroit Tigers. Pre-game ceremonies included members of Girls Inc., a Sarasota non-profit organization, performing the song "Better Life" and the national anthem. The central goal of Girls Inc. is to empower and inspire girls and young women.

Nashville's Music Row Come to the Ballpark is part of the Orioles' Arts in the Ballpark event series and Sarasota 365, a host of initiatives through which the Baltimore Orioles and OriolesREACH demonstrate the ballclub's year-round engagement with the Greater Sarasota community. A recent independent analysis commissioned by Sarasota County Government concluded that the Orioles generate approximately $89 million in annual economic impact back to taxpayers and residents. By marketing Sarasota to fans in the Mid-Atlantic region, operating a year-round athletic training facility, producing entertainment and sporting events, partnering with charitable causes, and hosting and often subsidizing youth sports tournaments and activities, the Orioles demonstrate an abiding commitment to their Florida home that goes far beyond baseball. For more information, visit www.orioles.com/Sarasota.