I am planning to rebuild Evans Grill which was located in Forestville, MD in Prince Georges County, a former performance stage, club and dance hall where the likes of Otis Redding, James Brown, Jean (Geneva) Anderson, Marvin Gaye and many more got their start and hone their talent. Evans Grill was created by Clarence Evans and was a part of the Chitlin Circuit (of Clubs). It was established in 1946 and remained opened into the 1990’s. The building and the dance hall have since been torn down.
The Evans Grill Center for the Performing Arts is to be dedicated in honor of
Clarence Evans, a prominent African American businessman who saw a need for people of color to come to a safe environment in which to learn fine arts, perform and earn money while performing. During the club’s heyday, Mr. Evans also provided shelter to people from the cold, hot sun, or rain for those who had nowhere else to go. He personally went out looking for people and transported them back to the club.
I want to preserve his legacy as part of our culture, creating a permanent structure and renaming it the Evans Grill Center for the Performing Arts would assure his rightful place in black history.
Meanwhile, enjoy this piece of history!
A signed contract between Clarence Evans and Otis Redding!