Baltimore Art News: Black History and Museums, Artscape, Two New Film Festivals

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And the 2023 Sondheim Award Winner is …

This week’s news includes: Terri Lee Freeman and the Reginald F. Lewis Museum, Artscape interference, New/Next and Honey Chile bring two new film festivals to Baltimore, Fluid Movement explores government infrastructure, a review of What Happens When We Nurture at the Black Artist Research Space, The Walters reinstalls their Asian Art Collection, the BMA reopens at Lexington Market, 60th Anniversary Commemoration of the March on Washington in Annapolis, and more reporting from Baltimore Fishbowl, Baltimore Magazine, Baltimore Banner, and other local and independent news sources.

Reminder: The Sondheim Prize is Awarded TONIGHT at the Walters Art Museum 6-8 pm! RSVP info here.

Header Image: Toxins, purified by chlorine, cheer after becoming clear drinking water. (Cori Fordham/The Baltimore Banner) at Fluid Movement 2023


With Black history under attack, Black museums are more important than ever
by John-John Williams, IV
Published August 14 in The Baltimore Banner

Excerpt: As Black history is systemically under attack in books, schools and political offices across the nation, Terri Lee Freeman knows her job is more important than ever.

As the president of the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture, the state’s largest museum devoted to African American history, Freeman said society is at a crossroads where the accurate telling of history is of the utmost importance.

“In an age where facts seem to be few and far between, museums and organizations that preserve history and culture are critically important to ensuring that the truth is preserved and presented,” said Freeman, who has led the institution since December 2020. “Given the false narratives around African American history that some states are peddling as facts to our children, supplementing with first-source materials and interpretive exhibits and oral histories provide the knowledge that both children and adults need. Culturally specific museums like the Reginald F. Lewis Museum provide that education and context.”



Artscape 2019. Photo by Tedd Henn.

Artscape organizers open to the idea of returning the festival to July in 2024; Hampdenfest and Remfest call off their events this year
by Ed Gunts
Published August 16 in Baltimore Fishbowl

Excerpt: Producers of Baltimore’s Artscape festival are open to the idea of returning the event to July in 2024, if that’s what the community would prefer.

Todd Yuhanick, interim CEO of the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts (BOPA), told City Council members on Tuesday that his agency and other stakeholders have begun to think about when to hold Artscape in 2024 and haven’t ruled out a return to July, the month the festival has traditionally been held.

“All of us feel it would be very helpful to have a date and so we have begun conversations with all the stakeholders…in the corridor to identify an appropriate date,” Yuhanick said during a hearing of the council’s Ways and Means Committee. “We are exploring all dates from September to the traditional July date. So we will be back in touch.”



A woman peers through the door of Shalom Art Gallery in Hampden on Saturday, Aug. 5, 2023. (Kylie Cooper/The Baltimore Banner)

Artscape squashes Hampdenfest; organizers blame BOPA for scheduling snafu
by Tim Prudente
Published August 15 in The Baltimore Banner

Excerpt: Forget about the salt-box cornhole games. No chicken wing-eating contest, either. And sorry, you won’t hear all the indie bands.

The annual offbeat Hampdenfest street festival, scheduled for next month, has been canceled. Organizers broke the news online Tuesday, saying city officials denied their event permit.

Organizer Benn Ray blamed the Baltimore Office of Promotion & the Arts for the mess in planning a return of Artscape and leaving smaller festivals, such as Hampdenfest, in the lurch.



Honey Chile Film Fest co-founders Nia Hampton (left) and Felicia Pride (right). —Courtesy of Honey Chile Film Fest

First-Ever Honey Chile Fest to Celebrate Black Women and Femmes in Film
by Alanah Nichole Davis
Published August 15 in Baltimore Magazine

Excerpt: Nia Hampton, the visionary behind the Baltimore-founded Black Femme Supremacy Film Fest (BFSFilmFest), has ignited a movement aimed at addressing the longstanding void in opportunities for queer, Black, and femme filmmakers.

A poignant illustration of this work was on display when Tender, a film by Baltimore native TV writer, producer, and award-winning filmmaker Felicia Pride, graced the screens of BFSFilmFest in 2020. Pride also serves as the founder of Honey Chile—an independent media and production company championing Black women over 40.

Now, drawing from their shared roots in Baltimore, the two are launching the inaugural Honey Chile Fest at Enoch Pratt’s Central Library on Saturday, August 19—a one-day event from 1-5 p.m. that will celebrate the work of Black femmes and Black women over 40, or “honeys,” as organizers lovingly call them.



The New/Next Film Festival is on the hunt for Hollywood’s next star director
by Wesley Case
Published August 15 in The Baltimore Banner

Excerpt: As its name implies, this weekend’s New/Next Film Festival at the Charles Theatre has its sights set on the future.

“A lot of film festivals really prioritize red carpets and celebrities. They want George Clooney there or whatever,” said the Baltimore event’s director of programming, Eric Allen Hatch. “There will be celebrities at New/Next — we just won’t know who they were for about five years.”

With audiences across the country showing up for big-budget theater titles like “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer,” New/Next offers local movie fans a chance to spot the next wave of directors before they ascend to Hollywood’s A-list. The three-day event, co-founded by Hatch and Sam Sessa, another veteran of the local arts scene, serves another purpose as well: filling the void left by this year’s cancellation of the Maryland Film Festival.

See also:

Screenings to Look Out for at the New/Next Film Festival
by Max Weiss
Published August 16 in Baltimore Magazine



Yana Cascioffe, 36, is lifted by Abby Neyenhouse, 44, and Katelyn Belzner, 34, in the "Sad and Lonely Tale of Mr. Bottle" scene. (Cori Fordham/The Baltimore Banner)

Telling the story of Baltimore’s water infrastructure system through … water ballet?
by Kaitlin Newman and Cori Fordham
Published August 11 in The Baltimore Banner

Excerpt: Many Baltimoreans have thoughts about the city’s water infrastructure systems, and many Baltimoreans enjoy watching dance. Most would probably not think to combine the two.

Fluid Movement, the aquatic-based performing arts group, did just that with a whimsical production of “Sinkholes, Sewers, & Streams: A Water Infrastructure Ballet.” The program helped the group close their 24th year with more than 100 swimmers, eight actors and the Dan Meyer Choir.

Held at Druid Hill Park and Riverside Park pools over the course of several weekends, the event brings hundreds of spectators every summer and this year was no different. Led by “Miss Drizzle,” the cast goes through Baltimore City’s systems to learn about how water works.



Installation view of What Happens When We Nurture at Black Artist Research Space. Image Courtesy of Black Artist Research Space and Vivian Marie Photo.

What Happens When We Nurture
by Teri Henderson
Published July 26 in Baltimore Beat

Excerpt: What Happens When We Nurture is an exhibition of mixed media artworks by Leili Arai Tavallaei, Suldano Abdiruhman, Tayyab Maqsood, and Anysa Saleh. According to the curatorial statement, this group exhibition asks: “What happens when we nurture a budding idea, a forgotten memory, or a restrictive space?” The answer, currently on view at Black Artist Research Space (BARS), is a show that explores memory, the archive, family, community, and identity.

Islam & Print (I&P) is a collaborative platform co-founded by artists Safiyah Cheatam and Dan Flounders in 2022. What Happens When We Nurture features artwork created by the inaugural fellowship class. The exhibition fully embodies the mission of I&P to “champion diverse Muslim experiences and strengthen career readiness by building a network of regional, emerging visual artists of all mediums through our annual fellowship.”

Flounders is the lead printer, and Cheatam is the grant writer and project manager. The duo utilizes two studio spaces in Maryland Art Place, and the works in the show were printed between there and two other community art spaces, NoMüNoMü and Current Space.



—Photography by Christopher Myers

The Walters Unveils Landmark Reinstallation of its Asian and Islamic Collection
by Ron Cassie
Published August 16 in Baltimore Magazine

Excerpt: The Walters Art Museum’s stunning collection of Asian art spans some 5,000 years and 900 works, stretching across Japan, Korea, and China to India, Nepal, Tibet, Myanmar, Thailand, and Cambodia. The Walters is also home to one of the richest collections of Islamic art in the U.S., comprising 1,200 objects mostly from Persian, Turkish, and Mediterranean cultures, as well as Islamic South Asia.

With an opportunity presented by a restoration of the Hackerman House, the previous home to much of its Asian and Islamic collection, along with a reexamination of the museum’s longtime centering of its European work, the Walters recently unveiled a landmark reinstallation of its Asian and Islamic collection that encompasses the museum’s entire fourth floor.

Led by Adriana Proser, the Walter’s chief curator of Asian Art, Dany Chan, the museum’s associate curator of Asian Art, and guest curator Ashley Dimmig, a former postdoctoral curatorial fellow in Islamic Art, the exhibition brings together diverse regions and religious and artistic practices in a sweeping show that highlights their interaction and influence upon one another.



Visit the New BMA Lexington Market
Newsletter :: August 11

We’re back! Our branch location at Baltimore’s historic Lexington Market has officially reopened. This completely renovated space builds on the success of our previous stall in the former East Market, giving visitors even more room to experience and create art.

Visit during our open hours to hang out, make art, play chess, participate in free public programs, read a book from our library, and find community with others.

BMA Lexington Market is open every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Stay tuned for details on upcoming events.



In 2021, CAAL held a civil rights march in Ocean City, MD; courtesy of the Caucus of African American Leaders of Anne Arundel County Event promotional graphic; courtesy of the Caucus of African American Leaders of Anne Arundel County

Maryland’s 60th Anniversary Commemoration of the “I Have A Dream” Speech and The March on Washington Takes Place August 26 in Annapolis
Press Release :: August 11

In commemoration and continuation of the 60th anniversary of the “I Have a Dream” speech and the March on Washington, the Caucus of African American Leaders (CAAL) and partners are planning a two-day Maryland commemoration full of events on Saturday, August 26th, and Sunday, August 27th in Annapolis and Anne Arundel County. The centerpiece of the weekend will be Saturday’s March on Washington reenactment and formal program, just as there was in 1963. Saturday’s activities will also include a youth program and a commemorative civil rights mural. Sunday’s activities will include a health resource fair and worship service.

Carl Snowden, Convener of CAAL said “Join us as we commemorate, educate, and activate Marylanders, honoring this milestone in history led by Martin Luther King Jr. and paving the way for a brighter future.”

The Morgan State Marching Band will lead the march starting at 10 AM, along with many other statewide civic and religious organizations. Carrying signs that speak to the civil rights issues of today are encouraged for participants! Starting at Navy-Marine Corps Stadium, the march will proceed to Clay Street, pass the Banneker-Douglass Museum to view the mural, and go on to Church Circle and down Main Street, ending at the Annapolis City Dock. There, at Susan Campbell Park at noon, a formal program will be held.  In collaboration with the offices of the County Executive of Anne Arundel County and the Mayor of the City of Annapolis, a list of people who attended the March on Washington in 1963 has been compiled, and they will be honored at the program. Special guest speakers on the program include Dr. David Wilson, President of Morgan State University, and Willie Flowers, President of the NAACP Maryland State Conference. The organizers expect thousands of people from across the state of Maryland to attend.

The Youth Program, starting at 10 AM at Susan Campbell Park, will showcase young people from around the state, including winners of the art and dance contests, and will include an inspirational speaker. A civil rights mural, led by artist and muralist Nikki Brooks, will be created at 10 AM at the Banneker-Douglass Museum, Annapolis (however participants can come as early as 8 AM).

Sunday’s commemoration activities will include a 1 PM health resource fair at the Fresh Start Church, 120 N. Langley Rd, Glen Burnie. Visitors are invited to talk with health resource vendors and enjoy good food from local food trucks. At 3 PM there will be an uplifting and empowering worship service and vigil at the Fresh Start Church.

Registration is required for Sunday’s activities and is highly encouraged for Saturday’s activities. For more information and to register, visit

The events are sponsored by the Caucus of African American Leaders, Banneker-Douglass Museum, Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture, and United Black Clergy of Anne Arundel County. […]



Header Image: Toxins, purified by chlorine, cheer after becoming clear drinking water. (Cori Fordham/The Baltimore Banner) at Fluid Movement 2023

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