Baltimore News: Artscape Postponed, Creative Alliance’s Gregory Smith, State of the City

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This week’s news includes: Artscape postponed a year, AVAM says goodbye to Rebecca Hoffberger, Legacies of the Great Migration exhibition comes to the BMA, and more reporting from Maryland Matters, ARTnews, Baltimore Fishbowl, and other local and independent news sources.



Stilt walkers move through the street as attendees of Artscape 2019 visit vendor tents. Photo credit: Artscape/Instagram.

Organizers say Artscape won’t return in 2022 after all, but Baltimoreans will get ‘preview’ of 2023 festival
by Ed Gunts
Published April 5 in Baltimore Fishbowl

Excerpt: Baltimore is going to have to wait a little longer to experience the “bigger and better” Artscape festival that Mayor Brandon Scott promised on Sunday.

The Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts contradicted the mayor when it put out a media advisory Monday afternoon, saying Artscape will not return in 2022 even though Scott said it would.

BOPA’s advisory said Artscape will return in 2023 and what Baltimoreans will see this year is a “preview” of the 2023 version, not the event itself. The advisory was titled: “BALTIMORE OFFICE OF PROMOTION & THE ARTS IS PLANNING THE RETURN OF ARTSCAPE.”

Monday’s message from BOPA was a contradiction of the one it posted last week with the subject line “Artscape 2022,” and the headline “Artscape is Shifting to September.” The earlier message gave the impression that Artscape was coming back in 2022 after a two-year, COVID-related hiatus, and that it was moving from July to September.

“We’re taking more time to collaborate on a bold new vision for America’s largest free festival,” said the first message, which was posted on BOPA’s website and shared widely on social media. “It’s a big effort, and we want to do it right, so we’re taking more time.”

That was followed by a statement from Scott on Sunday, saying he wants Artscape to return in 2022.

“We want all of our festivals to come back this year,” he said during an appearance at the American Visionary Art Museum. “Not just Artscape, but we’re going to have Afram. We want to bring all of those things back, to get us back to some normalcy in the city…. We’re bringing them back. We want to be bigger and better.”



—Photography by Mike Morgan

GameChanger: Gregory Smith
by Lydia Woolever
Published April 6 in Baltimore Magazine

Excerpt: Looking at Gregory Smith’s resumé, it’s like he was destined for the Creative Alliance. An artist himself, with over 20 years of experience in arts education, community engagement, and nonprofit leadership, the North Carolina native arrived in January from Minneapolis-St. Paul, where he worked at Minnesota Public Radio and the Fitzgerald Theater, to become the third-ever executive director of the beloved Highlandtown arts organization. We talk with Smith about the power of the arts and its potential for effecting change.



Jamea Richmond-Edwards, This Water Runs Deep, 2022.

New Exhibition Focusing on ‘Legacies of the Great Migration’ Looks at Artists’ Personal Connections to a Chapter of U.S. History
by Hilarie M. Sheets
Published April 4 in ARTnews

Excerpt: “It can be said that every Black person in this country has been impacted by the Great Migration,” said Ryan Dennis, chief curator of the Mississippi Museum of Art, referring to the exodus of more than 6 million African Americans from the Deep South to the North, Midwest, and West Coast, in search of opportunity and agency, from the beginning of the 20th century into the 1970s. The Great Migration touched upon every facet of American life, notably in the arts, and transformed cities and towns across the nation.

Together with Jessica Bell Brown, a curator at the Baltimore Museum of Art, Dennis has commissioned 12 intergenerational Black artists to make new work delving into this major historical and cultural shift through a personal lens for the exhibition “A Movement in Every Direction: Legacies of the Great Migration,” which opens at the MMA on April 9 before traveling to the BMA in October.



Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott gives his State of the City address on Tuesday, April 5, 2022. Image via Charm TV/Facebook.

Mayor Scott announces Harborplace redevelopment, KABOOM! partnership and more in State of the City address
by Marcus Dieterle
Published April 5 in Baltimore Fishbowl

Excerpt: The redevelopment of Harborplace, the guaranteed income pilot program applications, and the addition of Cherry Hill to the Charm City Circulator’s service areas were among Mayor Brandon Scott’s announcements in his State of the City address Tuesday.

Developer P. David Bramble of MCB Real Estate has reached an agreement to bring Harborplace’s mostly vacant shopping pavilions out of receivership as part of an effort to revitalize that part of the Inner Harbor waterfront.

“Today, we start a new chapter for Harborplace – bringing Baltimore vision, Baltimore community investment, and Baltimore style to transform Harborplace into a landmark destination where residents can go to enjoy the best that we have to offer – thriving small businesses, green spaces, and cultural venues,” Scott said.

Scott noted other projects in the works, including the redevelopment of Lexington Market, where minority owned businesses will account for more than 50% of vendors; and Whiting-Turner president Tim Regan’s recent acquisition of the shuttered Target store in Mondawmin to turn the property into a hub for neighborhood revitalization.

But the mayor added that “we can’t have equitable neighborhood development without equitable workforce development.”



Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott and American Visionary Art Museum co-founder Rebecca Alban Hoffberger hold a sign labeled “Rebecca A. Hoffberger Way,” which will rename Covington Street in Hoffberger’s honor. Photo by Ed Gunts.

American Visionary Art Museum leaders look to the future after founder Rebecca Hoffberger’s retirement as full-time director
by Ed Gunts
Published April 4 in Baltimore Fishbowl

Excerpt: The American Visionary Art Museum is entering a new era with Rebecca Alban Hoffberger’s retirement Sunday as its full-time director and Detroit native Jenenne Whitfield coming in as the new director starting Sept. 6.

Mayor Brandon Scott announced on Sunday that Covington Street will be renamed “Rebecca A. Hoffberger Way” in honor of her role as the museum’s co-founder and only director since it opened in 1995.

“Rebecca, you have provided an opportunity for so many artists who have been overlooked by so many people,” the mayor said. “Thank you for your vision. Thank you for empowering our community. And thank you for believing in Baltimore.”



Marilyn Mosby’s new trial date, Sept. 19, falls after the July 19 primary. (YouTube)

For Marilyn Mosby, a new trial date – and a new lawyer on her team
by Fern Shen
Published April 5 in Baltimore Brew

Excerpt: As Marilyn Mosby’s trial date gets pushed back to September, Baltimore’s federally indicted state’s attorney is beefing up her legal team with a highly regarded local lawyer.

Sources confirm that Baltimore defense attorney Gary E. Proctor is representing Mosby, who was charged in January with two counts of perjury and two counts of making false statements on loan applications for two Florida vacation properties.

Just what Proctor’s role will be in Mosby’s defense remains unclear.

So far, D.C.-based attorney A. Scott Bolden has led Mosby’s team of five lawyers and spoken forcefully to the media – proclaiming his client’s innocence, her grievances against allegedly biased prosecutors and her demand for a speedy trial.

Asked what his responsibilities will be, Proctor has not responded to calls from The Brew. Bolden, of the firm Reed Smith LLP, also has not replied.



President Joe Biden signed the Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Act into law March 29 making lynching a federal crime for the first time in U.S. history. (AP Photo)

President Biden signs Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Act into law
by Deborah Bailey
Published April 4 in The AFRO

Excerpt: More than a century after the first anti-lynching law was introduced in Congress, President Joe Biden signed the Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Act into law.

On March 29 lynching became a federal crime for the first time in U.S. history.

The Emmett till Anti-Lynching Act, passed by Congress on March 7, brings a 21 st century lens to the historic terrorism of lynching. The new law imposes criminal penalties up to a maximum of 30 years in prison on an individual who conspires to commit a hate crime offense that results in death or serious bodily injury or that includes kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill.

“The law is not just about the past, it’s about the present and our future as well,” Biden said in remarks to supporters of the bill including the family members of Emmett Till and Ida B. Wells, the 20th century Black Press journalist who passionately wrote about the evils of lynching and launched a vigorous campaign against the practice.



Anonymous accusations about Wes Moore’s Baltimore ties spark complaint in Maryland governor’s race
by Pamela Wood
Published April 6 in Baltimore Banner

Excerpt: For months behind the scenes, rival campaigns and political operatives have questioned the biography of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wes Moore.

Moore, one of 11 Democrats seeking the nomination, has prominently promoted his Charm City ties for years, such as attending the Johns Hopkins University and writing a book about an incarcerated Baltimore man who shares his name.

Moore has thrust those whispers into public conversation by alleging that a competing campaign has violated Maryland campaign finance rules by anonymously circulating documents about his background.



House Minority Leader Jason Buckel (R-Allegany), left, and House Judiciary Chair Luke Clippinger (D-Baltimore City), discuss marijuana legalization measures on the House floor Friday. Photo by Danielle E. Gaines.

With Scant Enthusiasm, Lawmakers Approve Marijuana Legalization Bills
by Bruce DePuyt and Hannah Gaskill
Published April 1 in Maryland Matters

Excerpt: The General Assembly gave final approval on Friday to a package of bills intended to usher in an era of legalized marijuana in Maryland.

One of the measures represents a downpayment of sorts on the policy implications related to legalization, including how much marijuana an individual can possess (up to 1.5 ounces) and how much they can home-grow (two plants).

Another bill — which is not subject to a potential veto from Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) — establishes a voter referendum this November. Polls suggest it will pass overwhelmingly. The policy measure only takes effect if voters approve the referendum.

On paper, passage of the measures after months of work represented a historic milestone for legalization advocates. But there was little popping of champagne corks in the halls of the State House.



District 1 Congressman Andrew P. Harris (R) and Democratic challenger Heather Mizeur greet each other at the 2021 J. Millard Tawes Crab and Clam Bake. Photo by Hannah Gaskill.

The New Congressional Map: Winners and Losers
by Maryland Matters Staff
Published April 6 in Maryland Matters

Excerpt: There were clear losers and obvious winners when Republican Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. on Monday signed the second congressional map that the General Assembly passed. This came after Democratic legislators dropped their appeal to a court ruling overturning their first congressional map.

But there were some less obvious winners and losers as well. Here’s our tally



Jamea Richmond-Edwards, This Water Runs Deep, 2022, part of the Legacies of the Great Migration Exhibition opening this weekend at the Mississippi Museum of Art

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