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MSAC distributes 268 organization grants
NEA award supports Station North renewal
Trawick joins Council
as Small steps down
White House honors
Arts Education Champ
Tubman mural unveiled on Shore

Supporting Maryland arts organizations
Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, located on the campus of the University of Maryland in College Park, is a recipient of a Maryland State Arts Council Grants for Organizations (GFO) award. It is one of 268 arts organizations in Maryland to receive a GFO award for fiscal 2012. (See top story.) The arts center, celebrating its 10th-anniversary season, has scheduled the Margaret Jenkins Dance Company (pictured above) on its performance calendar.

Photo: Mark Palmer


MSAC distributes 268 organization grants
Gov. Martin O'Malley has approved more than $11 million in Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC) matching grants to help support the general operations of 244 Maryland arts organizations and 24 county arts councils (including Baltimore City) during the 2012 fiscal year.

“Creativity is part of our state's competitive edge in the modern marketplace,” said Gov. O'Malley. “By supporting these arts organizations, Maryland spurs innovation and creates distinctive products and locales that attract tourists, businesses and residents, and improves the quality of life we enjoy in our state.”

William Mandicott, MSAC chair, said: “Maryland is fortunate to have leadership that recognizes that in addition to being an economic driver, the arts are an educational asset that foster young imaginations and facilitate critical thinking and communications skills. They also create a sense of place and preserve the unique arts and cultural heritage of our communities.”

The Arts Council awards grants to organizations on the basis of artistic merit, organizational effectiveness and service to the community. It uses advisory panels and site visits to evaluate each applicant.

Station North renewal gets $150,000 boost from NEA
A coalition of four Baltimore nonprofits and the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts – led by Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) – has received a $150,000 Our Town award from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). The Baltimore group will use the grant to support an $800,000 investment in revitalizing Station North communities through art and design. Other members of the coalition include Central Baltimore Partnership, D Center Baltimore and Station North Arts and Entertainment District.

NEA selected 51 U.S. communities in 34 states for Our Town awards, totaling $6.575 million in grants. Recipients of these awards have created public-private partnerships to use the arts to shape social, physical and economic aspects of neighborhoods.

"As a leading partner in Station North, MICA couldn't be more thrilled about the NEA's support of this transformational area," said Fred Lazarus IV, MICA's president. “Station North, with its galleries, performance spaces, eateries and shops, is an economic engine for the city, and with this grant, can continue to grow as a nationally recognized hub of emerging music and art."



Chamber Music grant supports jazz outreach
Contemporary Arts, Inc. – a Baltimore nonprofit formed by saxophonist Carl Grubbs and his wife Barbara Grubbs, a retired educator – along with the Todd Marcus Jazz Orchestra are the recipients of one of 12 residency grants awarded nationally by Chamber Music America. (Marcus pictured.) The grant supports 16 clinics and concerts in the Baltimore area that are planned to run between now and June 2012.

Clinics will be held Randallstown High School (Baltimore County), Jubilee Arts (West Baltimore), Maryland Academy of Music (Columbia) and St. Paul School (Baltimore). Concerts by The Todd Marcus Jazz Orchestra will feature students who excel at the clinics. Concert locations include several of the clinic sites and these Baltimore locations: Creative Alliance at the Patterson Theater; An Die Musik LIVE; and Loyola College. The clinics and concerts are intended to engage youth and promote an appreciation for jazz.

Chamber Music America, based in New York, offers the grants to programs that present jazz, classical/contemporary or world-ensemble music in venue and community settings beyond traditional performance centers with a goal of increasing audience appreciation and awareness of small-ensemble music.


Eff leaving to focus on painted screens
Elaine Eff, a prominent Maryland folklorist and co-founder of the Maryland State Arts Council's Maryland Traditions program, is leaving her position with the state to pursue a long-term writing project regarding painted screens – a folk art popularized in East Baltimore neighborhoods and an art form that she has studied extensively.

“Elaine is truly a force of nature,” said Theresa Colvin, executive director of the Arts Council. “She is a dynamic personality who is respected locally and nationally. She has been a tremendous asset to the arts council and to the state of Maryland. We wish her good luck in her future endeavors.” 

Maryland Traditions was established to identify, preserve and celebrate Maryland's folk-art traditions. The Arts Council marked the program's 10-year anniversary in June with an indoor-outdoor, free festival at the Creative Alliance in East Baltimore's Highlandtown Arts and Entertainment District.

Eff, who wrote her doctoral dissertation on painted screens, produced Screen Painters, a documentary that aired on PBS.


Trawick joins Arts Council as Small steps down
At its last meeting, the Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC) approved a slate of officers for fiscal 2012: William Mandicott, chair; Abigail S. Hoffman, vice-chair; and David T. Terry, secretary/treasurer.

Carol Trawick, a Montgomery County philanthropist and community leader, was appointed to the Arts Council by Gov. Martin O'Malley. She joins the Council as Malinda B. Small (pictured) of Anne Arundel County ends her six-year tenure. “Lindy has been an exceptionally engaged councilor and a wonderful ambassador for the Arts Council,” said Theresa Colvin, MSAC executive director.

Trawick and her late husband, in 2007, established the Jim and Carol Trawick Foundation, which has awarded grants to more than 90 Montgomery County nonprofits in the health and human services, and arts-sectors. She has chaired numerous community groups, including Bethesda Urban Partnership and Bethesda Arts and Entertainment District. Currently, she is board chair for the Strathmore Music Center.

In 2010, Trawick was named Community Foundation of Montgomery County Philanthropist of the Year. She also received the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County's Lifetime Impact Award for 2010. Her foundation's yearly Trawick Prize and Bethesda Painting Awards have awarded $200,000 to regional artists.


White House honors Arts Education Champion
Kevin Maxwell, superintendent of Anne Arundel County Public Schools since 2006, was named an Arts Education Champion of Change by the White House. Champions of Changes is a weekly program that salutes Americans who are making an impact in their communities through innovation and education.

Maxwell has created arts-oriented curriculum throughout Anne Arundel schools based on the premise that arts integration provides all students with relevant learning opportunities. He assisted the Arts Education in Maryland Schools (AEMS) Alliance to produce the 21st Century Learning Institute – a five-day workshop for K-8 teachers at which participants examine how dance, music, theater, visual arts and creative writing can access other content areas. AEMS awarded him its 2010 Arts Advocate of the Year award.


New Tubman mural unveiled in Dorchester County
A Harriet Tubman mural was unveiled at Memorial Garden along Route 50 in Cambridge, July 26. The Maryland State Arts Council funded the project with a public-art grant. Additional support came from community funds. The new mural replaces one at the same location that had been defaced in August 2009.

Tubman, raised in Dorchester County, was the celebrated "conductor of the Underground Railroad" – the secret network that provided a way for those enslaved at area plantations to escape to freedom during the years that led up to the Civil War.

Local artist Charles E.T. Ross (pictured), a descendent of Tubman's brother, painted the 6-foot-by-6-foot, two-sided mural. The front features a painted portrait of Tubman. Onlookers remarked how the artist's depiction of Tubman's eyes displayed intensity. The back shows Stewarts Canal, which became a local escape route. A protective sheet covers the mural to guard against future attempts at vandalism.



The unveiling of the 9/11 Memorial of Maryland is Sunday, Sept. 11 at 3 p.m., on the plaza of Baltimore's World Trade Center in the Inner Harbor.

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Friday evening concerts open in Charles County
La Plata Town Hall hosts free lawn-concerts on Fridays, 7-9 p.m., Aug. 5–Sept. 30. The Blarney Stones perform traditional Irish music, Aug. 5. Sons of Pirates, a group that evokes the sounds of such performers as Jimmy Buffet and Bob Marley, plays Aug. 12. Other August concerts: U.S. Navy Band Country Current, Aug. 19, and Southern Maryland Concert Band, Aug. 26. Picnicking is welcome with a restriction on alcohol. All concerts are kid-friendly.

Barn quilts convey Appalachian tradition at festival
The Barn Quilt Association of Garrett County presents its second annual Barn Quilt Festival, Aug. 7, 1-7 p.m., at Ridgeview Valley Farm in McHenry. Event features local artisans, live music, storytelling, demonstrations, kids' activities and food. Admission is free. Information about a self-guided tour of barn quilts in Garrett County is online. The association promotes Western Maryland's Appalachian heritage through barn quilts. Garrett County won the 2010 Best New/Improved Product or Event award from the Maryland Tourism Council for its inaugural festival last year. View a related video.

Quilt: Circle of Life in Garrett County, designed by Ginni Neff

African festival moves to Silver Spring this year
The ninth annual FestAfrica – a free, statewide celebration of traditional African culture – runs Aug. 13-14, 1-8 p.m., at a new location this year, Veterans Plaza in downtown Silver Spring. For the past five years, the festival was held at Patterson Park in Baltimore. With support from the Maryland State Arts Council and Montgomery County, the festival features music and dance performances, fashion shows, arts and crafts, African cuisine and storytelling. The event also presents a health fair and highlights African community service and tourism.

Add your creativity to public art in Solomons
Annmarie Sculpture Garden and Arts Center in Calvert County continues its annual summer public-art project to Aug. 31. Visitors can stop by and contribute to this year's installation, Wish Mandala. Participation is free with admission.

Last month to see AVAM's 'Smile' exhibition
American Visionary Art Museum (AVAM)'s current year-long exhibition – What Makes Us Smile? – wraps up Sept. 4. Matt Groening (creator of The Simpsons) and Gary Panter (known for his work on Pee-Wee Herman's Playhouse) joined museum founder Rebecca Hoffberger to curate the show. The exhibit features creations of 90 artists, imps and comedians.



Artomatic comes to Frederick
A 27,000-square-foot space that once housed the central office of the Frederick County Public Schools in Frederick will be transformed into an artists' showcase, Artomatic @ Frederick, Sept. 28 to Nov. 6. In addition to art on display, the exhibition includes musical and theatrical performances, film screenings, poetry readings, open-mic events and workshops. Artist registration has opened and exhibit space is available on a first-come basis. Artomatic uses an open-entry system for artists, no juries or curators. All participating artists must serve 15 hours as volunteers for the event.

Artomatic started in 1999, when a dozen artists toured the vacant Manhattan Laundry Building in Washington, D.C., and decided to use the 100,000-square-foot space for an artists' exhibition. More than 350 artists helped to revive the space and then presented their artwork during a six-week period. The event drew 20,000-plus visitors. Since then, Artomatic has run almost yearly across the Washington, D.C., region.

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  Martin O'Malley, Governor Anthony G. Brown, Lt. Governor