We’re unofficially declaring 2017 the Year of Tubman. With the opening of the new Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center in March, two movie projects in the works about Tubman’s life, a plan to have her likeness on the U.S. $20 bill, interest in her life has never been greater. Several events will be happening in the area of the Harriet Tubman Byway to celebrate her life. Here’s a listing of what’s planned. We are adding more events as we hear of them.

HARRIET TUBMAN EVENTS IN 2017
Unveiling of Harriet Tubman Portrait

Saturday, Feb. 18
An original oil painting of Harriet Tubman will be officially unveiled during an open house from 1 to 3pm on Saturday, Feb. 18 at the Harriet Tubman Museum and Education Center in Cambridge, MD. The event is happening in honor of the grand opening of the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center in March. The 24” x 36” painting was commissioned by Cambridge native Thomas Harding and created by Cambridge artist George Wright. Giclée prints of the painting will be available for purchase at the Harriet Tubman Museum and at Downtown Frame of Mine, which features many of Wright’s works.  The Feb. 18 event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served. The Harriet Tubman Museum is located at 424 Race Street in Cambridge. For more information about the event, call 410-228-7977.

Harriet Tubman: Defender

Saturday, March 4, 7pm
Dorchester Center for the Arts, 321 High St., Cambridge, MD 21613
Celebrate the life and heroism of a true American patriot in the original one-person play, “Harriet Tubman: Defender.” Through narrative, song, and visual projections, experience both the pain and elation of being free from the binds of slavery.  The play stars Eunice Lewis-Seagraves and is a production of the Heralds of Hope Theater. Tickets cost $10 each. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Harriet Tubman Museum and Educational Center. Purchase tickets in advance at EventBrite.com or by calling 401-228-3131. A limited number of tickets will be sold at the door if available.

There’s a Message in the Music: Celebrating the Life of Harriet Tubman

Friday, March 10, 7:30-11pm
The Art Bar, 317 High St., Cambridge, MD 21613
In celebration of the life of Harriet Tubman, born a few miles from Cambridge, Maryland, the Art Bar at Liv Again hosts Jazzy Blu on Friday, March 10 at 7:30pm. Doors open at 6pm. An evening of food, dance, and entertainment on the eve of the grand opening of the new Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center, about 20 minutes away.

Grand Opening Weekend

The Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center opens to the public on March 11, 2017. Several events both at the visitor center and in the area are planned. See the full listing of grand opening events happening March 11 and 12.

Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Conference

May 18-21
Cambridge, MD
The National Park Service, National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Program and the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Conference co-host a joint conference, “On the Edge of Freedom: Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad in the Borderlands.” In Cambridge, MD. Find out more.

Harriet Tubman & the Songs of Freedom

May 19-21
Dorchester Center for the Arts, 321 High St., Cambridge, MD 21613
Layton’s Chance Winery, 4225 New Bridge Rd, Vienna, MD 21869
Acclaimed jazz musician Marcus Shelby performs original music inspired by Harriet Tubman’s life with two performances May 19-21. One performance will happen at the Dorchester Center for the Arts in Cambridge, MD. Another performance is planned at Layton’s Chance Winery in Vienna, MD. Read more >

John Wesley Wright Concert

May 20, 2pm
Dorchester Center for the Arts, 321 High St., Cambridge, MD 21613
A member of the acclaimed American Spiritual Ensemble, Wright performs with students from Salisbury University. At the Dorchester Center for the Arts in Cambridge, MD.

Reflections on Pine: Cambridge Commemorates the Civil Rights Movement, Community and Change

July 21-24
Cambridge, MD
In the 1800s, Harriet Tubman was part of the Underground Railroad resistance movement; in the 1960s, Cambridge community members were part of their own resistance movement for civil rights. Reflections on Pine marks 50 years since the civil rights unrest in Cambridge. Look for walking tours, art exhibits, book readings, and more. Find out more >

Slave Dwelling Project

Oct. 13-15
A nationwide endeavor that brings attention to little known buildings that once served as dwellings, churches, or other uses in the lives of African Americans, comes to Dorchester County. The event includes a living history troupe representing enslaved people of the 19th century. Find out more >