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Memorial dedicated
on 9/11 anniversary
MSAC adopts eGrant, digital annual report
Hagerstown museum celebrates 80 years
Thomas exits council in Prince George's
Free Fall Baltimore includes literary flair
Image of a group of people

National tribute for Rand Griffin
The Business Committee on the Arts (BCA), a part of the national arts advocacy organization Americans for the Arts, recently named Columbia-based Corporate Office Properties Trust (COPT) as one of the 10 “best companies supporting the arts in America.”

COPT’s CEO Rand Griffin (l) was among the honorees at the BCA awards dinner, Oct. 5 in New York at the Central Park Boathouse. Also pictured (l-r): Stephanie Griffin; Hannah Byron, assistant secretary, Maryland Division of Tourism, Film and the Arts; Theresa Colvin, executive director, Maryland State Arts Council; and Robert Lynch, president and CEO, Americans for the Arts.

Rand Griffin was appointed by Gov. Martin O’Malley to serve as chair of the Maryland 9/11 Memorial Committee. He is also a member of the Maryland Commission on Public Art.


Memorial and color guard

9/11 memorial dedicated on anniversary of attacks
Hundreds of onlookers witnessed the dedication of the 9/11 Memorial of Maryland on the plaza of Baltimore’s World Trade Center, Sept. 11, the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks. The memorial honors the 68 Marylanders who were killed in the attacks at the Pentagon and New York’s World Trade Center, and in the plane crash at Shanksville, Pa. Members of the victims’ families attended the event.

As bright skies turned overcast and a sea of umbrellas emerged, a ceremony started that included remarks by Gov. Martin O'Malley, Sen. Barbara Mikulski, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Randall Griffin, chair of the Maryland 9/11 Memorial Committee. The Morgan State University Choir closed the ceremony with a rendition of America the Beautiful, as two National Guard jets flew across the sky.

The memorial’s centerpiece is a 22-foot-long artifact – three steel beams twisted together from the North Tower of the collapsed New York World Trade Center. It rests on a marble base. Markers etched in the base create a sundial effect that will indicate the times when each plane crashed into the towers, the Pentagon and the field in Shanksville, Pa., and when each tower came down. The east side of the base is inscribed with the names and birthdates of the Maryland victims.

In addition to the outdoor memorial, a Sept. 11 exhibit opened on the World Trade Center’s observation level. Photos of the Marylanders who died in the terrorist attacks are in the exhibit.

Corporations, local governments, foundations and individuals have contributed nearly $1 million to the memorial fund and more than $200,000 in in-kind services. Donations are still being accepted in order to meet an additional $1 million in financial obligations.



Arts Council adopts eGrant system, digital annual report
The deadline for fiscal 2013 Grants for Organizations applications has been extended to Dec. 8, 2011, and the deadline for Request for Funding applications is Dec. 15, 2011. Maryland State Arts Council grant applications now use the Bromelkamp Company’s process, a system in widespread use among arts councils and organizations across the U.S., including the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation. Applicants can attach documents more easily. Applicants can also use electronic signatures on their applications, which the Arts Council has been accepting since July.

In tandem with an enhanced digital application process, the Arts Council has also moved to a digital-only format for its annual report. This allows the Arts Council to save financial and environmental resources.


image of two people at gallery opening


Remsberg exhibit open at Backas Gallery
An exhibition of photographs depicting Maryland folklife traditions is on display at the Maryland State Arts Council’s James Backas Gallery, 175 W. Ostend St. in South Baltimore, through Nov. 5. Subjects of Maryland Masters: Edwin Remsberg’s Portraits of Maryland Traditions include foxhunting, Smith Island cakes, boatbuilding, Native American beadwork, gospel singing, Colombian accordion music and South Indian dance.

Remsberg, a native of Harford County and a former Baltimore Sun photographer, has documented the activities of Maryland Traditions’ master artists as they mentor apprentice artists since 2008. The gallery show is among a year-long series of events that celebrate the 10-year anniversary of Maryland Traditions, the folklife program of the Maryland State Arts Council.

Photo by Meg Dibley: Elaine Eff, co-founder of Maryland Traditions, and Edwin Remsberg at the James Backas Gallery, Sept. 27

MD Traditions logo

Maryland Traditions fills coordinator role
Michelle Stefano is the new Maryland Traditions program coordinator and folklorist-in-residence. She will divide her time between the Arts Council and University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), its partner in the Maryland Traditions program – in the American Studies department. Stefano is also affiliated with UMBC’s Dresher Center for the Humanities and the Shriver Center for service-learning and internships. She received a B.A. degree in art and architecture from Brown University; a master’s in international museum studies from Gothenburg University in Sweden; and a doctorate in cultural and heritage studies from Newcastle University in the UK.

Folklorist Elaine Eff, a co-founder of Maryland Traditions, co-directed the program for 10 years. She ended her tenure in July in order to write a book about the tradition of painted screens in Baltimore. The Arts Council honored Eff at a reception in September, which marked the opening of Edwin Remsberg’s Maryland Masters photography exhibit at the James Backas Gallery.


image of a painting

Western Maryland museum celebrates 80 years
At a New York party during a 1927-1928 visit to the U.S., Hagerstown native Anna Brugh Singer – who had been living abroad since her marriage to Impressionist painter William Henry Singer in 1895 – announced her idea for a museum to be established in her hometown. The Singers would provide Hagerstown with a building and 100 works of art. In turn, the Hagerstown community would agree to two conditions for the museum: admission must always be free and an active program of public education must be maintained.

On July 15, 1930, the cornerstone of the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts was installed. Fourteen months later, on Sept. 16, 1931, the museum opened to the public. Today, it has more than 7,000 works of art, including significant holdings of European and American art dating from the 16th century to the present, Asian and African Art, and decorative arts.

The museum received accreditation by the American Association of Museums in 1979, becoming the only museum in Western Maryland to have that distinction. About a month ago, the museum received a $144,578 grant from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services to conduct a collections-inventory project.

The Wyeth Family of Artists is one of the museum’s current exhibitions, running until Jan. 15, 2012. It is a display that was arranged through loans from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and private collectors. For exhibition information, call or e-mail Donna Rastelli, 301-739-5727.

Painting: Richard Miller (1875-1943), portrait of Anna Brugh Singer and William Singer


Thomas leaves Prince George’s arts council
Lionel Thomas resigned as executive director of the Prince George’s Arts and Humanities Council (PGAHC), effective Sept. 30, to return to the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities as its executive director. Prior to joining PGAHC in March 2009, he was with the D.C. Commission for 22 years, where he eventually became deputy director and interim executive director.

Rhonda Dallas, chair of PGAHC’s board of directors for the past two years, was named PGAHC’s interim executive director. "Lionell has been a tremendous asset to PGAHC and we will continue to work together," she said.

"I thank you for your support during my tenure and congratulate you on the tremendous progress that we were able to make together in elevating the arts in the county," Thomas said in a PGAHC statement directed to Prince George’s County residents.  "I encourage your continued support of PGAHC, as it stands on the pentacle of enormous possibilities. I look forward to our paths crossing again."

Among his professional achievements, Thomas is most proud of his work to provide arts programming for underserved communities.


Free Fall Baltimore logo

Free Fall Baltimore offers first Literary Arts Week
The Maryland State Arts Council – in partnership with the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance and the CityLit Project – launches the first Literary Arts Week, Oct. 15-22, as part of Free Fall Baltimore. Thirteen free public events have been scheduled for the week, including poetry readings, writing workshops, spoken-word performances and author appearances.

These authors among others will discuss their work: Sherman Alexie, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (One Maryland One Book, 2011 selection); Lenora “Peachy” Dixon, A Peachy Life (growing up in a tight-knit Baltimore neighborhood); Dorothy Bailey, In a Different Light: Reflections and Beauty of Wise Women of Color (depicts 90 women of color who either live in Maryland or have strong ties to the state).

Also, the Maryland Humanities Council will lead a walking tour of Baltimore’s Mt. Vernon neighborhood, following in the footsteps of prominent authors, poets and editors.

View a full schedule of Free Fall Baltimore events.



Maryland musician receives NEA award
Wearing his customary sunglasses and cowboy hat, Takoma Park native Warner Williams – a Piedmont-blues singer and guitarist – was one of eight recipients of a National Endowment for the Arts’ Heritage Fellowship at a Sept. 21 ceremony in the U.S. capitol. The award, which carries a $25,000 cash prize, honors the lifetime achievements of the artist recipients and their contributions to sustaining the nation’s traditional arts heritage. A concert that featured the eight artists was held Sept. 23 at the Music Center at Strathmore in North Bethesda.

View the concert online in its entirety. (The segment with Warner Williams begins around the 31-minute mark.)


Free Fall Baltimore returns for its sixth year with 80 local cultural organizations and attractions offering more than 300 free events. Held during National Arts and Humanities Month, Free Fall Baltimore offers: music, dance and theater performances; art exhibitions; admission to museums; lectures; tours; and workshops – all free of charge at venues throughout Baltimore. Free Fall Baltimore is a program of the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts. 

Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art in Salisbury presents its annual Chesapeake Wildfowl Expo, Oct. 7-8. Admission to this event and the museum is free that weekend. The Expo is a tribute to the evolution of decoy art. It includes competitions, carving demos, live music and a decoy marketplace on the parking lot. Free appraisals of decoys are available each day. 

Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation’s American Masterpieces, Jazz Touring Network and ArtsCONNECT programs provide varied and quality artistic experiences for individual communities in the region. These performances run during upcoming weeks:

  • SF JAZZ Collective, Frostburg State University, Frostburg, Oct. 8
  • Paul Taylor Dance Company, Frostburg State University, Frostburg, Oct. 10-11
  • Gretchen Parlato, Salisbury University, Salisbury, Oct. 13
  • Taylor 2 Dance Company, BlackRock Center for the Arts, Germantown, Oct. 22
  • Rene Marie, BlackRock Center for the Arts, Germantown, Nov. 12 

Arts Council of Anne Arundel County presents six Annie Awards each fall (since 2001) to local individuals associated with the arts who have made significant contributions in their respective fields. The 2011 awards will be given Wednesday evening, Oct. 19, at St. Johns College. Recipients are:  Diane Bragdon, art educator; Ellenor Alvarez, art patron; Iris Krasnow, literary arts; Richard Niewerth, visual arts; Linnell R. Bowen, lifetime achievement. For more information about this public event, call 410-222-7949. 

Towson University’s Asian Arts & Culture Center presents Tim Hoffman in concert at The Asian Connection Series – an Asian Classical Crossover, Oct. 22, 8 p.m., at Harold J. Kaplan Concert Hall. Hoffman, a performer and ethnomusicologist of Asian descent, is a prominent artist in the realms of Japanese and Indian music. Concert features Hindustani classical music played on both a Japanese flute and koto (a 13-string Japanese instrument), accompanied by Indian and Japanese classical poetry. For ticket information, call 410-704-2787 or visit Towson University’s ticket office online.

Allegany Arts Council presents its annual Mountain Maryland Art Sale & Tour on two successive weekends, Oct. 22-23 and Oct. 29-30. This year’s event features 57 participating artists in Western Maryland and West Virginia. Enter a drawing to win $100 in cash following each weekend of the tour. For more information, call the arts council, 301-777-ARTS (2787). 

Two Los Angeles Times reporters discuss their book Chasing Aphrodite: The Hunt for Looted Antiquities at the World’s Richest Museum, Saturday, Oct. 29 at 2 p.m. at the Walters Art Museum. The reporters, Jason Felch and Ralph Frammolino, detail the J. Paul Getty Museum’s experience with acquiring antiquities. Arthur Houghton, a Baltimorean and one-time curator at the Getty Museum joins the conversation, along with Tom Hall, WYPR host, and Gary Vikan, director at the Walters. A reception follows and the event is free.

CPA Jonathan Mayo – (Baltimore) City Paper’s “best accountant for starving artists” – covers basic recordkeeping, spreadsheets, accounting software and taxes for artists, Saturday, Oct. 29, 2-4 p.m. at Maryland Art Place in Baltimore. Maryland Lawyers for the Arts and Maryland Art Place present this free event. Reservations are required; e-mail your RSVP.

How do you protect yourself and your work when you hand it over to a gallery? Walt Lehman, a volunteer attorney with Maryland Lawyers for the Arts, and Ann Clark Priftis, a gallery operator, appraiser and corporate art consultant, address this topic, Nov. 19, 10 a.m. to noon at the Creative Alliance in Baltimore. Advance registration available; discount for Creative Alliance members.



New deadline for Maryland State Arts Council’s fiscal 2013 Grants for Organizations (GFO) applications is Dec. 8. Also, Request for Funding applications are due Dec. 15. The Arts Council offers two workshops for Arts in Communities applicants who are interested in the GFO program. E-mail Pamela Dunne for details.

Schools in the 2011-2012 Maryland Poetry Out Loud program must report their top three student winners to Christine Stewart at the Maryland State Arts Council by Dec. 9. County competitions begin in January 2012, followed by regional contests in February. The Maryland state finals will be held March 3 at the Baltimore Museum of Art.

Arts Education in Maryland Schools (AEMS) Alliance presents a Maryland Arts Integration Network (MAIN) event, Friday morning, Oct. 7 at Worcester Technical High School in Worcester County. AEMS hosts these events to offer school administrators, arts personnel and arts education advocates opportunities to discuss how to establish or advance arts-integration curriculum. For information and to RSVP, call or e-mail John Ceschini, 410-783-2367.

Chamber Music America (CMA) offers grant programs, which support ensembles and presenters that offer public programming for classical, contemporary and jazz music. Here are the CMA programs and application deadlines:

  • CMA/ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming, Oct. 7
  • Presenting Jazz, Oct. 14
  • Residency Partnership Program, Nov. 18

Grant preparation workshops are held at CMA’s New York office and online. Call or e-mail Caitlin Murphy for information, 212-242-2022, ext. 16. 

Presenting groups interested in bringing Latin American performing artists to their communities may apply for support through the Southern Exposure: Performing Arts of Latin America program. An applications and guidelines are online. E-mail Adam Bernstein at Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation for more information. 

Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) announced the launch of the Baltimore Art + Justice Project, a first-of-its-kind program in the U.S. that encourages artists to advance social justice through a two-year, $150,000 grant from the Open Society Foundations in New York in partnership with Animating Democracy, a program of Americans for the Arts Institute for Community Development and the Arts. The project, to be administered by MICA, is designed to increase investments in arts-based strategies for community transformation. For more information, call MICA’s Office of Communications, 410-225-2300.

Applications for support from the Jazz Touring Network – a program created to expand the presentation of jazz in the mid-Atlantic region – must be submitted by Oct. 31. Application and guidelines are available online. The network is open to presenting organizations that have little or no experience in hosting jazz programs, and that work with underserved communities. E-mail Jeff Parks at the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation for information.

Each year, the American Academy in Rome offers 30 Rome Prize fellowships through a national juried competition. Awardees are emerging artists and scholars in the early or middle stages of their careers who represent excellence in the arts and humanities. Detailed information is available online. Deadline for applications is Nov. 1. Applications will also be accepted between Nov. 2 and Nov. 15 for an additional fee.

Glen Echo Partnership seeks nonprofit organizations to provide arts or cultural programming in an existing 200-seat theater or in a future facility at Glen Echo Park. The partnership is open to both full-time and part-time usage. Written notification of interest must be received no later than Jan. 10, 2012. Respondents may be invited to provide more detailed proposals. Call Meredith Forster, 301-634-2223, for more 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