Persistence paid off for high school student Reed Spaulding as he planned the Tributary Festival to raise money for the Chesapeake Bay. After a two year COVID delay Reed held the first Tributary Festival in 2021, followed a year later with the second concert raising over $20,000 to protect the Chesapeake Bay.
Reed grew up kayaking and digging for oysters on the Chesapeake Bay and as he entered high school, felt compelled to protect the Bay. He decided to pair his passions for the Bay and music to make a difference.
First Tributary Festival
His 2021 event on the Inner Harbor of Baltimore drew more than 500 attendees who donated to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. The free festival featured live music from a half-dozen professional and student bands, including Reed’s own band.
A drummer since age 10, Reed had formed a rock band in fifth grade and had seen music festivals rally entire communities behind a cause. He launched into staging a festival to benefit the Bay. When the pandemic twice delayed his plans, he maintained momentum by staging a backyard concert and hosting a live-streamed festival of pre-recorded band performances.
Shortly before the 2021 festival, Reed founded the Tributary Club at his high school to help plan future concerts. “With hard work and determination, you really can bring your goals to fruition,” says Reed. “I’ve learned I’m more capable than I thought and that students can make a massive impact.”
Gloria Barron Prize
The Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes honored Reed in 2022 for his efforts. Established in 2001 by author T. A. Barron, the Barron Prize annually honors 25 outstanding young leaders ages 8 to 18 who have made a significant positive impact on people, their communities, and the environment. Reed says that this prize has given the Tributary Festival a big boost in visibility in the community.