Baltimore News: Valerie Maynard, YNot Lot Moves, Hampdenfest 2022

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This week’s news includes: Ynot Lot’s new location, the passing of Valerie Maynard, Diamon Fisher, actress Moses Ingram, Adnan Syed released from prison, Abell residents rally after fire, and more reporting from Baltimore Beat, Serial Podcast, Baltimore Brew, Baltimore Fishbowl, and other local and independent news sources.

Header Image: Valerie Maynard, The Artist Getting It All Down, Linocut / Rice Paper 12 X 9


Like Dreaming: Valerie Maynard Reflects on a Legendary Lifetime of Art
by John Lewis
Published September 20 in Baltimore Magazine

Excerpt: Valerie Maynard surveys the front room of her Station North rowhome, looking over an array of sculptures on pedestals, framed prints leaning against walls, paintings on rolls of paper, and metal pieces set in the windows.

The space functions as an ad hoc gallery of her art over the past six decades. The work is so varied in style, scale, and medium, it’s hard to believe it’s the output of a single artist. But for Maynard, a significant figure of the pioneering Black Arts Movement of the 1960s and ’70s, it’s also testament to an undaunted creative spirit.

Walking around the room, the 85-year-old artist seems genuinely astonished at having produced such a variety of work. She speaks softly, but authoritatively. Her pronunciation of New York as “New Yawk” hints that she isn’t originally from Baltimore. White hair peeks around the edges of a plum-colored beret; silver bracelets and a “Keep Hope Alive” wristband poke beyond the sleeves of her purple turtleneck. “I was never a driven artist,” she says. “I know people who get up and work at it all day. I was never that way. I never saw myself on a pedestal.”



Ynot Lot moving to new location, plans to stay in Station North
by Marcus Dieterle
Published September 20 in Baltimore Fishbowl

Excerpt: The Ynot Lot, a fixture for festivals and community gatherings in the Station North Arts District, is planning to move to a new location after their current lease ends Sept. 30.

The Central Baltimore Partnership is looking to relocate the Ynot Lot to a “long-term home” with plans to remain along the Charles Street corridor in Station North.

“The Ynot Lot has been an invaluable treasure for the Station North Arts District,” Central Baltimore Partnership Executive Director Ellen Janes said in a statement. “It has not only been a genuinely, intentionally, inclusive performance and event space, it has also been a hub for building community and a site for service to our most vulnerable community members.”



Keeping It Weird: Hampdenfest, ever-enchanting in an ever-changing world
by Ed Schrader
Published September 20 in Baltimore Fishbowl

Excerpt: The weather is suspiciously lovely on this late summer day in Hampden when an imposing sandy-blonde haired woman who looks like she could give Dog The Bounty Hunter a wedgie and get away with it gruffly asks “Do you make shirts”? My reply is scattered and incoherent. She cuts to the nitty gritty: “Do you make dinosaur shirts?” I see a guy standing behind her with a collared short sleeve dress shirt covered in ’80s dino prints and I say “Why don’t you ask him?” She turns around, taking note of the man’s dinosaur shirt, and gives a deep grin and laughs.

It’s Hampdenfest and even with all its forest-to-table eateries and countless “cafés,” Hampden still retains its old gumption. You can find it at Frazier’s with its deep battered fish and cozy booths; or Phillie’s Best where diehards know you can still get a chicken tikka pizza if you ask nice; or the antique shops who always seem to be selling the same assortment of attic-bound odds and ends from the late ’70s, like sun-damaged records and pale yellow plate sets with a few minor chips.



‘AIDS ain’t over’: Supporters look back on 35 years at AIDS Action Baltimore
by Ed Gunts
Published September 21 in Baltimore Fishbowl

Excerpt: Pat Moran has won three Emmys and many other awards in her years as a casting director for movies and television productions, but she said the tribute she received this week was different.

Moran was honored for her support of AIDS Action Baltimore, the organization she co-founded in 1987 after seeing so many friends dying of AIDS.

The organization started at a time when there were no proven medical treatments for AIDS and the federal government under then-President Ronald Reagan wasn’t doing much to help.

“This is certainly the first award that I’ve ever received,” Moran said, “based on my rage.”



‘Doing what we do best’: Abell neighborhood residents come together after June fires
by Cadence Quaranta
Published September 19 in The Baltimore Banner

Excerpt: On a slightly chilly September morning, John Washko sat at an outdoor makeshift cafe in the 300 block of East 31st Street.

He sipped a cup of coffee and chatted with a neighbor. On the table in front of him was a pile of nuts he put out for squirrels. Dog walkers passed by the small collection of mismatched chairs and tables and greeted the coffee drinkers before continuing on their way.

Washko, 75, has come by nearly every weekday for almost the past three months. Lately, he’s come to see the progress on his home, which is being repaired after it was burned in an early-morning fire on June 15 that also damaged three other homes in Baltimore’s Abell neighborhood.

Some neighbors believe the fires were a hate crime. Pride flag bunting hung on a doorway to Washko’s front porch. Down the street, another pride flag was burned that same morning, although it did not cause damage to the house.



A Baltimore Woman’s Work to Preserve Space, Place, and History
by Teri Henderson
Published September 20 in Baltimore Beat

Excerpt: Baltimore native and community organizer Diamon Fisher, 26, creates spaces where Black people can reflect, reclaim joy, and deepen community bonds.

She grew up in Gwynn Oak and also spent a lot of her childhood in Superman’s, the barber shop on North Avenue owned by her father.

On August 1, Fisher joined Afro Charities as special projects and programming manager. The organization is the nonprofit arm of Baltimore’s historic AFRO American Newspaper, and is responsible for maintaining the newspaper’s 130-year-old archives, a record of Black Baltimore’s cultural past. Before joining Afro Charities, Fisher worked at Maryland Citizens For The Arts, which she credits for helping her further develop her talent for creating events.

“My work has always intentionally and unintentionally centered and amplified Black voices, Black creativity, and Black nostalgia,” she said.



Adnan is Out
Aired September 20 on Serial Podcast

Excerpt: It’s Baltimore, 2022. Adnan Syed has spent the last 23 years incarcerated, serving a life sentence for the murder of Hae Min Lee, a crime he says he didn’t commit. He has exhausted every legal avenue for relief, including a petition to the United States Supreme Court. But then, a prosecutor in the Baltimore State’s Attorney’s office stumbles upon two handwritten notes in Adnan’s case file, and that changes everything.

See also:

‘This was a preordained event’: Family of Hae Min Lee distraught over hearing to throw out conviction of Adnan Syed, attorney says
by Dylan Segelbaum
Published September 20 in The Baltimore Banner



From ‘Queens Gambit’ to ‘Star Wars’ and a Whitney Houston biopic, Baltimore native and actress Moses Ingram is making a name for herself
by John-John Williams IV
Published September 19 in The Baltimore Banner

Excerpt: Long before the current debates about Black mermaids and non-white hobbits, actress Moses Ingram battled racist memes and internet trolls when she became a part of the fantasy world when cast as villainous Inquisitor Reva/Third Sister in the Disney+ series “Obi-Wan Kenobi,” part of the “Star Wars” family.

The West Baltimore native and Baltimore School for the Arts alum — also known for her Emmy-nominated role in “the Queen’s Gambit” Netflix series about a chess phenom — survived the experience. And she’s continuing her ascent in the acting world.

The 28-year-old Yale Drama School graduate will play Robyn Crawford in the upcoming Whitney Houston biopic, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody.” And she’s currently in Baltimore filming the Apple TV+ drama miniseries “Lady in the Lake” opposite Natalie Portman, in a role she took over after Lupita Nyong’o left the project.



Class Stories: The pottery wheel is a difficult tool. Here’s what you should know to take it on.
by Imani Spence
Published September 18 in The Baltimore Banner

Excerpt: Growing up in Baltimore, my mother and father home-schooled me and my siblings for my middle school years. We bought textbooks and went to our weekly co-op meetings, where other parents would teach us new skills and we would hang out with kids our own age.

During that time, I learned the value of real independent learning. When I entered high school, it was difficult to adjust in reading and math, but I was deeply empowered to use every tool at my disposal to learn what I wanted. Baltimore was a big reason I could do that.

That’s what drove me to start “Class Stories,” a series in which I’ll be sharing occasional stories about classes I’m taking to introduce readers to different ways they can learn new skills. These courses are typically run by a local organization, and my goal is to give readers enough information so they can walk into their first class ready to learn — without first-day jitters. The first one I took for this series was a beginner wheel throwing class at Baltimore Clayworks.



Pushed back trial date gives Marilyn Mosby four more months on the job
by Fern Shen
Published September 15 in Baltimore Brew

Excerpt: Marilyn Mosby left court today on what was originally scheduled to be the first day of jury selection.

Instead, she walked away with a six-month reprieve – her trial on federal perjury and mortgage fraud charges now scheduled for March 27, 2023.

For those keeping track of the saga of Baltimore’s embattled state’s attorney, this means her day in court has been pushed back nearly a year from its original start which was to be May 2, 2022.

Today’s news means that Mosby, who lost her bid for a third term as Baltimore’s top prosecutor in the July primary, will be able to fill out the final four months of her job, which translates into about $75,000 in income.



Header Image: Valerie Maynard, The Artist Getting It All Down, Linocut / Rice Paper 12 X 9

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