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MAY 2010


Film festival shows Oscar film with MICA links

Traditional artists take spotlight at annual event





Maryland POL champ
among top three at nationals

Poetry Out Loud photo

Nora Sandler, Maryland’s Poetry Out Loud champion, with John Barr (l), president, Poetry Foundation, and Rocco Landesman, chair, National Endowment for the Arts, at the national finals, April 27 in Washington, D.C.

First time, Marylander gains finals
Nora Sandler, Maryland’s Poetry Out Loud champion, emerged as third-place winner at the Poetry Out Loud national finals, held April 27 in Washington, D.C. Poetry Out Loud is an annual poetry-recitation contest presented by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation in partnership with state arts agencies throughout the U.S.

The finals started with a field of 53 state champions. After two rounds of competition, the Montgomery County 11th grader was among nine students in the championship round. She won $5,000 and a glass trophy. Her school, Richard Montgomery in Rockville, receives $500 for the purchase of poetry books.

Sandler recited three poems during the finals: Mingus at the Showplace by William Matthews; The Canonization by John Donne, and Hate Poem by Julie Sheehan. The panel of judges included author Garrison Keillor; actress Alfre Woodard; poets Valerie Martínez and Jane Shore; poet and literary critic Adam Kirsch; and the 2009 national champion, William Farley. South Dakota’s Amber Rose Johnson was this year’s national winner.

For more information about Poetry Out Loud, visit the Arts Council’s Poetry Out Loud web page or send an e-mail to Christine Stewart at the Arts Council.

Lars Westby

Clayworks anniversary site has 30 years of stories
Baltimore Clayworks is now celebrating its 30-year anniversary through April 2011. The nonprofit ceramic art center created a dedicated web site – clayworks turns 30 – that includes video interviews and commentaries by individuals who have been associated with Clayworks during the past 30 years. The site invites additional personal stories related to the art center.

A Space Odyssey: Ceramic Installation and Outstallation is the current exhibition in the main gallery. It runs through May 29. Sarah House: A Stochastic System is the featured artist’s exhibit in the solo gallery, which also runs to May 29. House is a Clayworks artist-in-residence. In 2009, she won a Baltimore’s Choice award in the Baker Artist Awards contest.

Clayworks has planned a variety of events to mark its anniversary, including the annual Fire & Spice Block Party, June 4, 6–10 p.m. A few are listed below in the Upcoming Events section.

(Clay sculpture by Lars Westby

MSAC web site gets new design
Take a look at the Arts Council’s new web site – It was re-designed to be more visually compelling and more accessible to the general public. The site now focuses additional attention on key programs and categories, such as County Arts Councils, Maryland Traditions, Arts in Education, and Arts and Entertainment Districts.

You will also find more images of artists, performers and arts-related activities. One of the primary goals of the Arts Council’s five-year strategic plan, Imagine Maryland – adopted in 2009 – was to enhance communication and marketing efforts. The new web site is one outcome of those efforts.

Individual Artist Awards reception honors 98 artists
Celebrate the Maryland artists who have won the Arts Council’s 2010 Individual Artist Awards, May 20 at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, starting at 6:30 p.m. Categories for this year’s awards are: digital/electronic arts; media; painting; solo dance performance; solo musical performance; solo theatrical performance; and works on paper.

The Arts Council will distribute $250,000 in grants to the winning artists. Out-of-state juries representing each artistic discipline anonymously reviewed a total of 619 applications before awarding individual grants of $1,000, $3,000 and $6,000. The grants were determined solely on the basis of artistic merit. MSAC partners with the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation to administer the judging process.

Deadline for the 2011 awards is Aug. 4, 2010. Guidelines will be posted on the Arts Council web site this month.

("Running" by Jordan Kasey)

Film festival shows Oscar film with MICA links
The 12th annual Maryland Film Festival, which runs May 6-9, primarily at the Charles Theatre, features 130 films (including shorts) and nine sessions focusing on the craft of filmmaking at the festival’s outdoor Tent Village. The Maryland Film Office, an original sponsor of the festival, will help to present the Tent Village sessions.

The festival will twice present the East Coast premiere of Music by Prudence – an Oscar-winning documentary short that was co-produced by Patrick Wright, chair of MICA’s video and film arts department. It depicts the story of a band of young, disabled Zimbabwean musicians and their lead singer, Prudence Mabhena. A group of MICA students – including cinematographer Errol Webber (class of 2008) – worked on the film.

The Maryland State Arts Council provides an annual operating grant to the festival.

NEA selects 21 organizations in Maryland for awards
The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) recently awarded $3.1 million in grants to 21 Maryland organizations as part of its latest round of funding for fiscal year 2010. Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, a nonprofit group based in Baltimore that supports arts programming and access to the arts in the mid-Atlantic region, received $1.7 million as a partnership grant. The Maryland State Arts Council also received a partnership grant of nearly $864,000.

Other grantees in the state included: Walters Art Museum, Baltimore ($110,000); Enterprise Community Partners, Columbia ($55,000); Maryland State Department of Education ($40,000); Adventure Theatre, Glen Echo ($30,000); Strathmore Hall, North Bethesda ($30,000); and Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art, Salisbury ($30,000). A complete listing of Maryland grantees is on the NEA web site. “I've learned that a thriving arts sector brings with it economic and cultural vitality that helps drive community sustainability," said NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman when he announced the awards April 22.

Traditional artists take spotlight at annual event
Maryland Traditions presents its annual Gathering and Showcase, June 10 at the Creative Alliance in Baltimore. During the Gathering, 3 to 6 p.m., a collection of Maryland traditional artists demonstrate their skills. Taste of Traditions, 6 to 7 p.m., is a buffet dinner that represents an array of cultures.

Then, at 7:30 p.m., master musicians take the stage with their apprentices. Performers include: Donna Long, Grammy-nominated Irish musician; Lafayette Gilchrist, Baltimore jazz pianist; Burton DeBusk, Appalachian gospel singer; Ali Analouei, a Persian daf (drum) master; Samia Ahmad, Hindustani vocalist; and Gustavo Nieto, Colombian accordionist.

Tickets are available online at the Creative Alliance web site. For more information, call or e-mail Cliff Murphy at the Arts Council. Maryland Traditions is a program of the Maryland State Arts Council designed to promote and preserve traditional arts and culture in Maryland.

IN THE NEWS Advocating for the arts
U.S. Sen. Benjamin Cardin met with a group of Maryland arts advocates on Capitol Hill at the 23rd annual Arts Advocacy Day, April 13. The event – coordinated by Americans for the Arts – drew more than 500 advocates who discussed arts funding and arts policies with their legislative representatives. Theresa Colvin, executive director of the Maryland State Arts Council, is fourth from left in photo.

Legislative session OKs 2011 arts budget
The Maryland General Assembly approved Gov. Martin O’Malley’s budget for the Maryland State Arts Council prior to adjourning its 2010 session. The budget calls for a $13.3 million allocation in fiscal year 2011 – level with fiscal year 2010. The Arts Council supports more than 250 arts organizations, which provide arts and educational programming across the state while maintaining arts industry jobs.

Art educators hold annual meeting in Baltimore
More than 4,000 visual-arts educators came to Baltimore in mid-April for the National Arts Education Association (NAEA)’s annual conference. Among the keynote speakers at the event were: James H. Shelton III, assistant deputy secretary for Innovation and Improvement, U.S. Department of Education; Nancy Grasmick, Maryland State Superintendent of Schools; Michael Hickey, director of the Center for Leadership in Education at Towson University; and R. Barry Shauck, NAEA chair and head of the arts education program at Boston University.


Americans for the Arts Half-Century Summit

June 25-27

  • Robert Redford will attend the AFTA Summit on its opening day, Friday, June 25. Redford is honorary chair of the 50th anniversary celebration and his Sundance Preserve is a partner of the annual National Arts Policy Roundtable.

  • Explore Baltimore and surrounding areas while you’re attending the summit. Ten ARTventure tours that provide off-site educational opportunities are scheduled for Saturday, June 26. Tours will provide out-of-towners with a look at many of the area’s arts institutions and communities. Advance sign-up is required. Check online for a description of each tour and registration information.

  • Start the summit at An Evening with John Waters at Baltimore’s Center Stage Theatre, June 24. Waters performs his part-confession, part-Vaudeville one-man show – This Filthy World.


  • Maryland CDP offers training webinars
    Learn how to best use the Cultural Data Project's (CDP) online management tool for arts and cultural organizations. After entering required data, organizations can generate a variety of reports that will identify strengths and and compare development to comparable groups in other areas.
    Sign up for online training sessions::
    • Reports training, May 18, 1 p.m.
    • New-user training for small arts groups, June 10, 10:00 am

  • Have an idea for Bethesda Theatre?
    The Montgomery County Department of Economic Development invites proposals for the long-term use of the Bethesda Theatre, 7719 Wisconsin Ave. in Bethesda. Please send a Request for Expression of Interest (REOI) by noon, May 28 to: Fizie Haleem, Montgomery County Department of Economic Development, 111 Rockville Pike, Suite 800, Rockville, MD 20850. For more information, call or e-mail Fizie Haleem at 240-777-2018

  • Save America’s Treasures grant applications are due May 21. Grants are awarded for preservation, conservation work on nationally significant intellectual and cultural artifacts, and nationally significant historic structures and sites. Awards range from $25,000 to $700,000. Applicants must register on to apply.

  • Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation and South Arts are co-sponsoring a retreat for folklorists – Folk Vérité: Folklife in Film & Video – June 19-21 in Chapel Hill, N.C.
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