BALTIMORE, MD (Thursday, September 21, 2023) – Today, ahead of the City’s Artscape weekend, Mayor Brandon M. Scott unveiled André De Shields Way, to honor the renowned artist for his legacy and the lasting impact he’s made in Baltimore’s cultural heritage and within the community.
As a Baltimore City native, André De Shields has been a pillar of the local art scene for decades. His talent and dedication to his craft have earned him recognition and admiration far beyond Baltimore. He is celebrated not only for his exceptional artistic talents, but also for his enduring commitment to the Baltimore City community.
“Today, we honored a true icon in our city, André De Shields, whose artistic brilliance has not only enriched our lives, but also left an indelible mark on the arts district in our community,” said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. “Renaming a street in his honor is a small gesture to allow his legacy and contributions to remain a physical part of our city’s landscape for years to come.”
De Shields is known as a Broadway deity for his critically-acclaimed performances in four legendary Broadway productions – “The Wiz,” “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” “Play On!,” and “The Full Monty.” The Baltimore-born artist was a triple crown winner of the 2019 awards season, garnering Tony, Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk, and Grammy Awards for his universally acclaimed role as Hermes, messenger to the gods, in “Hadestown” and most recently did a paranormal portrayal of Ben Loman in the searing Broadway production of Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman.” De Shields’ body of work captures the spirit and beauty of the City of Baltimore and has left an indelible mark on the artistic landscape of our city.
“De Shields has been an inspiration to both aspiring and established artists alike,” said Mayor’s Office of Arts & Culture Senior Advisor Tonya Miller Hall. “His work has not only captured the spirit and beauty of the City of Baltimore, but it left an indelible mark in the artistic landscape of our city, bringing acclaim to the community.”
The renaming of a street in honor of André De Shields is a fitting tribute to his artistic contributions to Baltimore City’s artistic community. It serves as a lasting testament to his creativity and dedication while inspiring future generations of artists and art enthusiasts. Aligning perfectly with the spirit of Artscape, which seeks to showcase the talent and creativity that make the City of Baltimore a hub of artistic innovation.
“This dedication is more than a promise fulfilled; it is a love affair between a man who tries to do better everyday and the city that wont let him fail,” said André De Shields.
In honor of the son of Baltimore, Mayor Scott proclaimed September 21 as André De Shields Day as the Baltimore City College Marching Knights ushered in the iconic and colorful artist and activist.