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APRIL 2011


Station North wins
A&E award
Arts Council meets
in Annapolis
Arts advocates
convene in D.C.
Md. Traditions
celebrates 10 years

Master artist at work
Lafayette Gilchrist performs at a humanities forum hosted by UMBC and Maryland Traditions, March 30 at the university. Gilchrist is a jazz pianist and Maryland Traditions Master Artist. He's also a UMBC alumnus. See story below.

Baltimore's Station North wins yearly A&E award
Station North Arts and Entertainment District was named winner of the 2011 Arts and Entertainment District Outstanding Achievement Award at the annual meeting of A&E managers, held March 30 in Frederick. David Bielenberg, Station North's executive director, and Mike Mola, Station North's board chair, accepted the award from Hannah Byron, assistant secretary, Maryland Division of Tourism, Film and the Arts.

An A&E district since 2002, Station North was the first area in Baltimore to receive that designation. In addition to its spring and fall music festivals, Station North hosts a substantial portion of Artscape, the nation's largest free arts festival.

Representatives of the National Endowment for the Arts attended the meeting to discuss "creative placemaking" — a strategy by which arts enterprises become leading forces in the revitalization of communities. They additionally spoke about NEA grant opportunities for A&E districts.

Also, the meeting's 40 participants learned about the Maryland Office of Tourism's updated online calendar, which now allows organizations to post events. And, Shuan Butcher and Kara Norman, co-directors of the Downtown Frederick Arts and Entertainment District, provided a tour of their district. Frederick Alderman Karen Young welcomed the group.

The Maryland Arts & Entertainment District Program was among the first of its kind in the nation. Since 2001, it has grown to include 19 districts. The districts offer economic incentives through the state to arts and entertainment enterprises. For more information about the program, e-mail Jesse Rye at the Maryland State Arts Council.

Photo: Hannah Byron, David Bielenberg and Mike Mola

Shodekeh goes 'out of the box' with beatboxing
magazine named Baltimore musician Dominic Earle Talifero — better known as Shodekeh — as one of the city's six change-makers. Those honored were cited for their "ability to look at a situation, an institution, an artform, and not only imagine how it could be done better, but actually do it," wrote Urbanite editor Greg Hanscom.

Shodekeh is a self-taught musician, who uses his voice as a percussion instrument to become a human beatbox. Beatboxing emerged with hip-hop music in the 1980s. It became a way to create music without having to buy an instrument. Shodekeh has applied beatboxing to a range of musical genres, from ballet to experimental. He has traveled widely to perform.

Last summer, Shodekeh performed with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO). It was a homecoming of sorts: he was an usher at the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, home of the BSO, six years earlier. Shodekeh is a winner of a Baker Artist Award's Baker Choice Prize. He is also a member of the Maryland State Arts Council's Touring Artist Roster.

9/11 Memorial project moving toward construction
Construction of the 9/11 Memorial of Maryland, which will stand on the plaza of the World Trade Center in Baltimore, is expected to start soon. The memorial will be unveiled on the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks that occurred on Sept. 11, 2001. Three rusted steel beams — twisted together by the destruction of New York's World Trade Center — are the centerpiece of the memorial's design. A Maryland delegation traveled to New York last fall to select the 22-feet-long artifact.

The memorial pays special tribute to the 62 Maryland residents who perished in the attacks and honors the all the victims, first responders and families who suffered on 9/11. Members of the victims' families participated in the design reviews held during February and March. The Maryland State Arts Council is administering the memorial project. Funding comes through private donations, with a fundraising goal of $2 million. Ziger/Snead, a Baltimore architectural firm, was selected as lead designer. For more information, contact Susie Leong at the Arts Council.

UMBC presents Maryland Traditions forum on campus
UMBC recently hosted a humanities forum that introduced Maryland Traditions to more than 75 members of its academic community. Last fall, the university entered a year-long exploratory partnership with the Maryland State Arts Council that has Maryland Traditions as a mutual interest.

The March 30 forum featured: Elaine Eff, UMBC folklorist-in-residence and co-director of Maryland Traditions; Clifford Murphy, co-director of Maryland Traditions; Kara Rogers Thomas, folklorist at Frostburg State University; Cynthia Byrd, curator, Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art; Mark Puryear, ethnomusicologist, Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage; and Lafayette Gilchrist, jazz pianist and Maryland Traditions Master Artist.

Arts Council brings bi-monthly meeting to Annapolis
The Maryland State Arts Council held its bi-monthly meeting, March 18 at the Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts in Annapolis. An open forum allowed the councilors and staff to meet with residents of Anne Arundel County. The Arts Council continues to present its meetings and public forums at locations throughout the state, as part of its ongoing community-engagement activities.

Highlights of the meeting included a discussion of Maryland's Touring and Presenting Program, led by Sharon Blake, an Arts Council program director. Shodekeh, an Arts Council roster artist who performs as a beat-boxer, led those in attendance in a beat-boxing demonstration.

Maryland Hall for the Creative Artists is a multi-disciplinary regional arts center, founded in 1979. It promotes lifelong learning and participation in the arts. Maryland Hall also has four resident companies: Annapolis Chorale, Annapolis Opera, Annapolis Symphony Orchestra and Ballet Theatre of Maryland. And, it has a labyrinth that replicates the one at Cathedral of the Chartres in Paris.

Photo: Jason Schupbach, NEA design director

Advocates endorse arts at yearly event in Washington
Arts advocates from across the nation gathered in Washington, D.C., April 4-5, for the 24th annual Arts Advocacy Day. Actor Kevin Spacey delivered the yearly Nancy Hanks Lecture on Arts and Public Policy. The event — staged by Americans for the Arts — allows advocates to visit with members of Congress and make a case for arts and arts education.

Advocates from Maryland included: Theresa Colvin, executive director, Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC); Bill Mandicott, chair, MSAC; Barbara Bershon, councilor, MSAC; dance students from Towson University; students from the University of Maryland; and representatives of Dance USA and Maryland Citizens for the Arts.

During the Congressional kick-off session, a man in the audience stood and triggered a flash-mob singing of America the Beautiful. Even food servers joined in. It was apparent that experienced vocalists were leading the seemingly spontaneous rendition.

Photo: Kevin Spacey and Theresa Colvin

Save the date: Maryland Traditions' 10th anniversary
Maryland Traditions presents an all-day free festival of traditional and folk arts, Saturday, June 18 at the Creative Alliance in Baltimore. The indoor-outdoor festival features singers, musicians and dancers on multiple stages, along with children's workshops, craft demonstrations and traditional food.

Maryland Traditions is a collaborative statewide folklife partnership program of the Maryland State Arts Council with support from the National Endowment for the Arts. It's designed to document, promote and celebrate traditional culture in Maryland.


Pyramid marks 30 years with free open house
Pryamid Atlantic, an arts center in the Silver Spring Arts and Entertainment District, celebrates its 30-year anniversary on Saturday afternoon, April 9. This event is free and open to the public. It features artist demonstrations, studio tours, a members' exhibition, live music, arts activities, raffles and refreshments. Pyramid is located at 8230 Georgia Ave. The center is dedicated to hand papermaking, printmaking, digital arts and the art of the book.

Dance production honors National Anthem in Annapolis
Footworks, a dance company from Annapolis that has performed around the world, presents Stars and Stripes at the Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts in Annapolis, Saturday, April 9 at 8 p.m. The production commemorates the 200-year anniversary of the writing of the National Anthem. The Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts had commissioned Footworks to create the production for the 50th annual Americans for the Arts Conference in Baltimore last June. Tickets are available online.

Film series at UMBC features traditional artists
Maryland Traditions and UMBC jointly present Baltimore Films, Baltimore People — a series of short documentary films — in April at the university's Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture in the Fine Arts Building. Screenings are Wednesdays at noon: April 13, The Screen Painters; April 20, Little Castles: A Formstone Phenomenon; and April 27, Say It Loud. Discussions with filmmakers and subject experts follow each screening. Admission is free. For more information, call 410-455-3188.

Ward Museum stages decoy art extravaganza at O.C.
The 41st annual Ward World Championship/ Wildfowl Carving Competition and Art Festival runs April 29 - May 1 at the Ocean City Convention Center. This event — presented by the Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art in Salisbury — attracts carvers, collectors and visitors from around the globe. Named for Maryland brothers Steve and Lem Ward, pioneers of today's decoy industry, the Ward Museum claims to have the world's largest public collection of decorative and antique decoys.

Student playwrights in spotlight at Center Stage
Center Stage's 25th annual Young Playwrights Festival, May 2 at 7 p.m., features staged readings of seven selections. The event includes an awards ceremony and a reception in honor of all of the students who submitted scripts. A $5 donation is suggested as admission. Groups of 10 can reserve seats online. The seven plays that will be read represent the work of students at these schools: Waugh Chapel Elementary (Anne Arundel County); Cherry Hill Elementary & Middle School (Baltimore City); The Maryland School for the Deaf (Howard County); Harford Day School (Harford County); City Neighbors Charter School (Baltimore City); Towson High School (Baltimore County); and Roland Park Country School (Baltimore City).


MSAC Extend programming with Arts-in-Communities grants
The next application deadline for the Maryland State Arts Council's Arts in Communities grant program is April 28. Apply online with eGrant. Funding allows a broad range of organizations to provide arts programming for communities and underserved audiences. Maryland nonprofits may apply for activities that take place in the state. Organizations may submit only one application for each deadline period. For more information, call or e-mail Pamela Dunne at the Arts Council, 410-767-6484.

MSAC — Touring grants support performers, presenters
Applications for Maryland Touring Grants are due April 29. The program supports Maryland performing artists who wish to expand their marketing and touring opportunities in the state. Also, Maryland nonprofit organizations may apply for funding to help offset costs that are tied to presenting performers on the Maryland Touring Artists Roster at venues in Maryland. For more information, call or e-mail Sharon Blake at the Arts Council.

MSAC — Deadline for Artist-in-Residence applications nears
Apply for the Maryland State Arts Council's Arts in Education (AiE) Artist-in-Residence program using eGrant, the online application system. Deadline for eGrant submissions is May 20. Hard-copy applications must be postmarked by May 27. The AiE residency program offers opportunities in performing arts, playwriting, poetry and visual arts. For information, call or e-mail Chris Stewart at the Arts Council, 410-767-6476.

Mid Atlantic promotes U.S. artists abroad with grants
The final deadline for the 2011 USArtists International (USAI) program is April 22. USAI grants help American dance, music and theater performers (ensembles and soloists) participate in major international arts festivals outside the U.S. Projects for this round of grants must take place between July 1, 2011, and June 30, 2012. Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation presents this program in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Submit applications online to the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundaiton.

Publicize events on the state's online calendar for tourism
Place your organization's events in Maryland Office of Tourism's enhanced electronic calendar of events on , the state's official tourism web site. You can now use an online system to enter event postings directly into the calendar. Also, purchase ads on the web site and upgrade your listings with images and preferred-placement options.

Washington County, AEMS present arts education conference
Learn how to integrate arts into classrooms at a Western Maryland Arts Education Symposium, Saturday, May 21, at the Barbara Ingram School for the Arts in Hagerstown. The Washington County Public Schools and Arts Education in Maryland (AEMS) Alliance have designed this event for arts teachers, classroom teachers, administrators, artists and anyone interested in using the arts to help learning. Register by May 1. Registration and conference information are available online.

West Baltimore arts festival looking for artists
Alternate ROOTSFest 2011 seeks proposals from visual artists — painters, installation artists, sculptors, mixed-media artists, filmmakers — to participate in its West Baltimore arts festival, June 22-26. Works that relate to the "Highway to Nowhere" (a 1.4-mile roadway built 40 years ago through the neighborhood) will receive special attention. Submit proposals online by April 18. Artists will be notified of acceptance by April 29. Call Shannon, 404-577-1079 for information.

175 W. Ostend St., Suite E
Baltimore, MD 21230
410-767-6555 TTY1-800-735-2258
  Martin O'Malley, Governor Anthony G. Brown, Lt. Governor