Baltimore News: Wes Moore, Christina Delgado, Colin Williams

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This week’s news includes: Wes Moore’s historic win, a new book festival for Baltimore, Maryland Film Fest paused for 2023, Full Circle Dance Company, and more reporting from Baltimore Fishbowl, Baltimore Beat, Baltimore Banner, Baltimore Magazine, and other local and independent news sources.

Header Image: Governor-elect Wes Moore (Jessica Gallagher/The Baltimore Banner)


Wes Moore to Become Maryland’s First Black Governor
by Ron Cassie
Published November 9 in Baltimore Magazine

Excerpt: Best-selling author, Rhodes Scholar, combat veteran, former investment banker, and nonprofit CEO Wes Moore became the country’s third Black-elected governor Tuesday, and the first ever elected in Maryland. He follows Massachusetts’s Deval Patrick and Virginia’s Douglas Wilder as the only elected Black governors in U.S. history.

Moore and Lt. Gov.-elect Aruna Miller easily defeated far-right Republican gubernatorial candidate Dan Cox and GOP-nominated candidate Gordana Schifanelli by a vote of 59.62 percent to 36.98 percent, with 2066 of 2074 precincts reported.

A first-time candidate, the 44-year-old Moore, who lives in Baltimore with his wife and two children, ran on a pledge to “leave nobody behind,” as well as a commitment to education and ensuring women’s reproductive rights and access to abortion care. He ran a vigorous, 16-month campaign across the state, and stressed his belief that, economically, Maryland could be both “more competitive and more equitable.”

See also:

Democrat Wes Moore elected as Maryland’s first Black governor
by Pamela Wood and Brenna Smith
Published November 8 in The Baltimore Banner

Maryland’s governor-elect Moore faces quick transition timeline
by Pamela Wood
Published November 9 in The Baltimore Banner



A Puerto Rican experience: An artist transforms her home in Baltimore into a museum
by Clara Longo de Freitas
Published November 2 in The Baltimore Banner

Excerpt: Christina Delgado brewed coffee in a large Italian press that is a household staple in Puerto Rico. Music plays in the background as Delgado poured the drink into a mug, her hoop earrings dangling.

She then sat in front of a wall of family photos of her younger self, many taken in New York City, where she was born and raised. Her three-floor rowhome in Belair-Edison was the first house she bought in Baltimore, where she raised her 10-year-old daughter Omotola Dawodu, who Delgado called “Tola” for short.

Delgado is “Nuyorican,” or a New York Puerto Rican, and her first home now pays homage to that cultural experience. She recently opened the Puerto Rican Home Museum, a mixed-media collective exhibit that celebrates Puerto Rican families and culture, in her home.

The museum, also dubbed “Tola’s Room,” started as a one-floor exhibit in Delgado’s basement, which she created as a way to cope with her grief after her father’s death. The concept blossomed to other floors as she was inspired to dig deeper into learning about the Puerto Rican communities in the city.



Baltimore is getting a new book festival in 2023, with a different location and producers
by Ed Gunts
Published November 4 in Baltimore Fishbowl

Excerpt: After three years without one, Baltimore is getting a new book festival in 2023, in a different location and with different producers than before.

Missing the annual book festivals put on by Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts (BOPA), and eager to promote the book stores in their district, the leaders of a community revitalization group in Waverly are stepping up to fill the void.

Waverly Main Street, a non-profit that works to assist and promote businesses in Historic Waverly, is leading an effort to organize a three-day book festival next spring, according to City Council member Odette Ramos and Waverly Main Street Executive Director Diana Emerson.

Emerson said the event will be called the Waverly Book Festival and will be held the same weekend as Independent Bookstore Day, a national event that always falls on the last Saturday in April. In 2023, Independent Bookstore Day is April 29, making the dates for the Waverly Book Festival April 28 to 30, 2023.



Maryland Film Festival cancels next year’s event
by John-John Williams IV
Published November 8 in The Baltimore Banner

Excerpt: Citing the “lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and evolving filmgoing habits,” the Maryland Film Festival has canceled next year’s signature event, which showcases films from around the state and beyond, to focus on celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2024.

The festival announced this week that its board of directors had voted to postpone the annual event, which takes place at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Parkway theater in Station North. This year’s festival took place from April 27 to May 1.

A letter from the film festival said the organization wanted to ensure it had “the time and resources to mark this milestone” of its upcoming anniversary.

“Our goal is to ensure that this organization remains vital for years to come, and we are confident that we will mount a spectacular 25th Maryland Film Festival in 2024, bringing films, filmmakers and audiences together in Baltimore,” the letter said. The group plans to spend the next few months coming up with a new business model and plan.



Unofficial artist-in-residence at Druid Hill Park has found a simple life and freedom
by Jasmine Vaughn-Hall
Published November 7 in The Baltimore Banner

Excerpt: You’ve likely seen his colorful sculpture garden as you enter Druid Hill Park on Swann Drive going toward the Rawlings Conservatory. On the strip of grass next to four brick pillars with lime green moss on their bases, the sculpture garden features anything Colin Williams is in the mood to create: shards of broken glass or old bicycle chains painted with deep oranges and blues in a frame, or a spray-painted bench with a tie-dye-like curtain.

People might dismiss the space as a collection of junk, but Williams is creating a curated corner in the park. He calls himself the “unofficial, official artist-in-residence at Druid Hill Park.”

He lives in the park by his art and is technically homeless, but he doesn’t see it that way. The abstract artist said he is living a “fairy tale” surrounded by his creations, scavenged supplies piled in corners or stacked in shopping carts, and a large tent shrouded by a blue tarp.



The ‘Dear Black Girl Project’: Love letters to Black women
by Leslie Gray Streeter
Published November 3 in The Baltimore Banner

Excerpt: Dear Black women: If you could write a letter to your younger self, or to your daughters or nieces, what would you say? What wisdom would you impart? What warnings? What you would write to uplift and affirm?

Artist, activist and Baltimore School for the Arts graduate Tamara Payne asked that question of African American women. The answers, proud, tender, honest and resolute, have been literally framed and installed as art on a wall for all to see. They are, like their inspiration, exquisite.

“For me this is about empowerment,” said Payne, whose award-winning “Dear Black Girl Project” is hanging at Nancy by SNAC, a restaurant in Station North, until the end of the year. “We have so much to share, so much to offer. But you would never know it, because the negativity and stereotypes of Black women override anything relevant about us. This is a testimony.”



Full Circle Dance Company Uses Performance as a Vehicle for Storytelling
by Grace Hebron
Published November 8 in Baltimore Magazine

Excerpt: On a summer Thursday around 9 p.m. at Morton Street Dance Center in Woodberry, the Full Circle Dance Company is halfway through one of their biweekly classes. Dressed in leggings and a T-shirt like her students, Donna L. Jacobs scans the room and counts them off.

“And three, four, five, six, seven, eight—step right, left, back, and release,” says Jacobs, pictured, standing on the sideline as the dancers work their way through combinations. “Parallel, put it down. Questions?”

There are spurts of laughter here and there as Jacobs continues her instruction. But when the lesson is over—and the real rehearsal begins—the mood tones down as each dancer takes their position on the floor. Kicking, pushing, twisting, and embracing to the sounds of wistful music from a laptop in the corner, the group is in the final stretch of polishing a piece for their next performance.

“This is a freedom for us,” says Jacobs, founder and artistic director of Full Circle. “Our dancers come from all walks of life…but we shed all of those things when we walk into the studio at night. We share this common thing that many of us have done for all of our lives. It’s an amazing journey.”



Poppleton residents, who thought they scored a win in July, now feel left out
by Fern Shen
Published November 3 in Baltimore Brew

Excerpt: Sonia Eaddy was upbeat at the feel-good press event last July at which Mayor Brandon Scott announced that Baltimore would not be seizing her property for a New York developer’s long-stalled project and would not be demolishing the historic Sara Ann alley houses.

Eaddy, president of the Poppleton Now Community Association, thanked the mayor, the developer and city housing officials.

The event appeared to herald a big change, after years of demolition and displacement, from the policies that gave La Cité Development rights to 14 acres of Poppleton in 2005.

What would be next for the remaining residents, with nearly 10 of those acres still to be developed?

“Transparency, collaboration and equitable neighborhood development,” Housing Commissioner Alice Kennedy promised four months ago, while Scott pledged “a reset.”



Maryland legalizes recreational marijuana, passes all five ballot amendments
by Brenda Wintrode
Published November 9 in The Baltimore Banner

Excerpt: Maryland voters cast their ballots Tuesday in favor of all five constitutional amendments legislators placed on the 2022 general election ballot.

In perhaps the most contentious decision before them, Maryland joined at least 19 other states and the District of Columbia in legalizing the recreational use and possession of cannabis.

The law, known as Question 4, also includes expungement provisions for past marijuana crimes, requires a study of cannabis use in the state, and establishes a fund to help seed women and minority-owned recreational cannabis businesses.



Hogan gets hero’s send-off at business group lunch — but national ratings aren’t so favorable
by Josh Kurtz
Published November 4 in Maryland Matters

Excerpt: Year after year, Gov. Larry Hogan’s annual speech to the fundraising lunch of the Maryland Free Enterprise Institute brings Hogan (R) some of his greatest accolades. It’s an audience that loves his pro-jobs message and largely shares his fears about all-Democratic rule in Annapolis.

So it was no surprise that Hogan’s valedictory address to the group Thursday, delivered remotely to a packed audience in a hotel ballroom in Towson because he tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this week, was a particular lovefest, as the governor has just 2 1/2 months left in office.

Speaking to the group in a Q&A format led by Maryland Free President Duane Carey, Hogan returned to familiar themes and boasts: That he turned around the state’s economy after “43 tax increases” during the administration of his predecessor, Democrat Martin O’Malley; that he held the line on taxes, created jobs and improved the state’s business climate; and that he was able to accomplish it all despite the presence of “70% progressive majorities” in the General Assembly — all while winning high approval ratings from the voters.

“That’s exactly what we said we were going to do,” Hogan said.



Header Image: Governor-elect Wes Moore (Jessica Gallagher/The Baltimore Banner)

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