Baltimore News: Jonathon Heyward, Fluid Movement, Artscape 2023

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This week’s news includes: Fluid Movement returns to the pool, Artscape planning to beat the heat, an end to wild weekends with Weasel, Baltimore Beat returns, and more reporting from The AFRO, Maryland Matters, Baltimore Magazine, and other local and independent news sources.


BSO Names Jonathon Heyward as Music Director
by Lydia Woolever
Published July 21 in Baltimore Magazine

Excerpt: When Maestra Marin Alsop announced her retirement in early 2020, music lovers throughout Baltimore let out a collective sigh of dismay.

The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra had just overcome a series of contentious contract negotiations that included protests and a lockout, and the departure of Alsop after a 14-year tenure would bring forth additional uncertainty for the future of the city’s beloved, 106-year-old symphony.

Now, just shy of a year since Alsop handed in her baton, the BSO has announced the appointment of her replacement, Jonathon Heyward, who, beginning with the 2023-2024 season, will take over as the orchestra’s 13th music director.

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra names Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie’s Jonathon Heyward as BSO’s next music director
by Marcus Dieterle
Published July 21 in Baltimore Fishbowl



Fluid Movement Splashes Back into Baltimore’s Pools
by Karen Nitkin
Published July 25 in Baltimore Fishbowl

Excerpt: After two COVID-induced years on dry land, the synchronized swimmers of Baltimore’s campiest water ballet are once again backstroking, flutter-kicking and hamming it up big time this summer.

The theme for the latest installment of the Fluid Movement show is “Yacht Rocket! A Synchronized Swimming Space Spectacular,” and audiences at Riverside Park and Patterson Park pools can expect plenty of smooth seventies songs and riffs on mustachioed icons Burt Reynolds and the Captain (you know, of Captain and Tennille).

If there’s meaning in this madness, it surely must be that love will keep us together. Even after two years apart.



The next Artscape won’t be held in the heat of summer, BOPA chief says
by Ed Gunts
Published July 22 in Baltimore Fishbowl

Excerpt: Baltimore’s Artscape festival will remain predominately in the Bolton Hill-Midtown area when it returns in 2023, but it won’t be held in the middle of summer.

That’s the word from Donna Drew Sawyer, CEO of the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts (BOPA), the agency that produces the annual free festival for the city of Baltimore and is working to bring it back after a three-year hiatus.

The festival, which typically draws upwards of 350,000 people over a three-day period, was cancelled as an in-person event in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. BOPA disclosed in April that it wouldn’t hold Artscape in 2022 because its staff needed more time for planning and lining up sponsors but promised the festival would return in 2023.



‘Times they are a-changin’’: Baltimore-area radio icon Weasel finds himself off-air
by Tim Prudente
Published July 26 in Baltimore Banner

Excerpt: The only way to explain the legendary radio DJ “Weasel” is by the music.

Not some shock jock, he’s guided Baltimore through the history of song: hillbilly string bands from the 1920s, zydeco from New Orleans, Motown and Go-go, punk and new wave, you name it. He’s played Spanish Conjunto bands, even those awful dogs barking “Jingle Bells.” “That’s a masterpiece!”

Nothing’s out of bounds. Not even ABBA.

Welcome to “Weasel’s Wild Weekend,” the sprawling, three-hour weekly radio show as eccentric as its host, Jonathan Gilbert, an improbable disc jockey who’s been told he sounds like Donald Duck.



The Baltimore Beat returns: A talk with editor-in-chief Lisa Snowden
Interview by Tom Hall
Aired July 21 on WYPR’s Midday

Excerpt: Tom’s first guest today on Midday is Lisa Snowden. She’s the editor in chief of the Baltimore Beat, a Black-owned and Black-controlled newspaper and online journal. After a brief run a few years ago, it will be back next month with substantial philanthropic funding, a new team and a focus on underserved and under-represented communities.

Lisa Snowden joins us on our digital line from Baltimore.



Okoro Development revitalizes Westside of Downtown Baltimore with team of minority professionals
by Megan Sayles
Published July 27 in The AFRO

Excerpt: Before London native Chukes Okoro traveled to the states for a job opportunity, he expected America to be full of opportunity.

In England, he felt that there was an unbreakable glass ceiling preventing him and other minorities from pursuing their ambitions, and as far as he knew, the only color that the U.S. cared about was green.

He quickly learned this was not the case but was determined to open doors for other minorities to follow.



Learn what Baltimore tech nonprofits plan for their share of the city’s $3.4M in ARPA funds
by Donte Kirby
Published July 25 in Baltimore

Excerpt: Smaller local nonprofits are starting to see a portion of the $641 million theCity of Baltimore received as part of the 2021 American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). 120 organizations that experienced negative financial impacts during the COVID-19 pandemic’s peak received funding, totaling $3.4 million, through the City and the Baltimore Civic Fund’s Nonprofit Relief Fund.

This funding was akin to that disbursed for small businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program, or the Howard County Economic Development Authority’s HoCo RISE grant program, in that it focused on use for costs concerning COVID-impacted budget areas and targeted small organizations with 20 or fewer employees. Each grant was worth up to $50,000 and could vary from $5,000 to $25,000 and above, with no set minimum announced — only the aforementioned $50,000 max. reached out to several local recipient nonprofits centered around digital equity and supporting small businesses. Four of these organizations’ leaders offered their insight on the impact of these ARPA funds for their respective entities, as well as the broader impact this funding has on nonprofits in Baltimore.



A gang of horses: Assateague visitors experience horses gone wild
by Julie Scharper
Published July 27 in Baltimore Banner

Excerpt: The Badowski family had just sat down for dinner at their Assateague Island campsite in May when they spotted wild horses galloping in the distance.

Within seconds, the horses had surrounded the family vacationing from Bel Air, seizing ears of corn still steaming from the grill, ripping open a bag of chips and nosing through their hastily abandoned dinner plates.

“We could barely get out of our chairs in the time it took them to get to our campsite,” said mother Caitlin Badowski, 40. “There were five of us running everywhere and trying to grab everything we could while keeping our distance. One stallion went directly for a huge plastic barrel filled with pretzels. He stomped on it and then threw it up in the air trying to take the lid off of it. It was like a frat party for horses.”



Winners and losers (so far) in the Maryland primaries
by Josh Kurtz
Published July 26 in Maryland Matters

Excerpt: It’s all over but the shouting — and some more counting.

Thanks to Gov. Larry Hogan’s veto of a bill that would have enabled election officials to begin opening and counting mail-in ballots early, we still don’t have official winners in some critical primary elections from last week. But we do have enough evidence of how things are going to opine on who some of the winners and losers from the primaries were. So without further ado, here is our exhaustive list:



Baltimore City Council pushes for squeegee worker outreach report
by Kristen Mosbrucker
Published July 27 in WYPR

Excerpt: The Baltimore City Council spent four hours analyzing the city’s efforts to curb squeegee workers at busy intersections Wednesday afternoon.

The hearing was prompted after a 15-year-old squeegee boy was recently charged as an adult with first degree murder in the death of a 48-year-old motorist who confronted him with a baseball bat downtown.

City police have been visiting busy intersections since the shooting earlier this month to try to deter illegal activity and confiscate illegal guns.

There are roughly 160 people who wash vehicle windows across two dozen intersections citywide and solicit donations from drivers. Some are as young as seven years old.



Header Image: Photography by Laura Thiesbrummel via the BSO

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