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Baltimore Art News: Baltimore Wins $1M Bloomberg Grant, NMWA’s Grand Reopening, Galerie Myrtis to Represent Jerrell Gibbs, and more

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Artscape’s Indelible Silver Lining: A Recap

This week’s news includes: Baltimore awarded $1M grand from Bloomberg, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Kirk Shannon-Butts and Allison Tipton featured on Rob Lee’s The Truth in This Art podcast, Jerrell Gibbs joins Galerie Myrtis, John Ellsberry’s Remington mural, Frederick Arts Council awards grants, National Portrait Gallery’s PORTRAITS podcast returns, Blacks in White opens at the Lewis Museum, Full Circle Dance Company’s “And Still, We Dream”, Billie Holiday, poet laureate Grace Cavalieri, the Weaver Awards, Hopkins opens Bloomberg Center in DC, and more reporting from Baltimore Fishbowl, Baltimore Banner, Baltimore Magazine, and other local and independent news sources.

Header Image: Full Circle Dance Company, Alicia Williams 2023, photo by Brion McCarthy Photo

 

 

"Without a doubt, art has the power to transform lives. This exceptional opportunity we've received will greatly support our efforts to build a stronger community through creativity. With our audience in mind, our goal is to radically enhance the daily lives of those residing in Station North, shedding light on their experiences in both a literal and symbolic sense"
Derrick Adams

Baltimore Named $1M Grant Winner in Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge
Press Release :: October 19

Today, Bloomberg Philanthropies announced Baltimore as one of eight U.S. cities selected to receive a $1 million grant through the 2023 Bloomberg Public Art Challenge, a program that brings people together to address important civic issues through public art. Led by Central Baltimore Partnership (CBP) in partnership with the Baltimore City Mayor’s Office and the Neighborhood Design Center (NDC), the winning project “Inviting Light” will encompass five temporary art installations in public spaces of the Station North Arts District. Under the direction of artistic lead and curator and contemporary artist Derrick Adams and lighting designers Flux Studio, each of the five interventions will engage with light — artificial or natural — in some way and will respond to the project’s investment in creating accessible public spaces for everyone, engaging groups that are typically overlooked in (or intentionally excluded from) the city’s public amenities.

Each of the five sites has been identified based on lighting design analysis and robust community engagement. Adams will program a kick-off event in early March 2024 with the support of the Neighborhood Design Center to ask audiences to engage with and consider light in new ways, while teeing up a year and half of activation through the five installations. The installations will be designed by local artists working with community members, Flux Studio, and NDC.

“Public art plays a vital role in improving quality of life, celebrating creativity, and driving economic development,” said Ellen Janes, Central Baltimore Partnership Executive Director.These types of projects can bring the community together, provide a new vocabulary to approach complex issues, and reflect the future. It must be said that this specific project is made possible because of the intrepid artists who live, work and have invested themselves in Station North for the past two decades. This isn’t about just decorating a public space. The social impact of public art is proven to transform the soul and spirit of communities. When mayors, artists, and community members join forces to highlight the value of including the creative sector when developing solutions to urban issues, not only does trust and goodwill form, but a meaningful financial impact can be seen from jobs, tourism, and programming. Plus, public art enhances the playfulness and quality of life of a city for residents as well as visitors.”

Through programming in 2024, Inviting Light will engage audiences about the coming interventions before installation, offering educational, informational, and collaborative opportunities connected to the project. During the winter, spring, summer, and fall of 2025, each of the sites will be activated by public programming, including artist-led performance, dining, music, and other socially engaged multimedia activities. This programming responds to a larger intention of “Inviting Light” to support light activation in public spaces in support of greater public activity and presence. The artists are charged to develop thoughtful interventions that consider the specific needs of low mobility and low-income audiences, as well as youth, seniors, and individuals seeking treatment in the District’s social service corridor.

“Public art can transform cities, ignite creativity, and unite communities. It’s not just about aesthetics; it’s about creating a sense of place and belonging for everyone,” said Tonya Miller Hall, Senior Advisor of Arts & Culture for the Mayor’s Office. Miller Hall continues, “We have a formidable team of private and public partners committed to a thriving and inclusive Arts District.”

In terms of walkability and connectivity, the project sites are served by Baltimore’s Penn Station, the eighth busiest transit hub in the nation with connections to Amtrak, commuter rails, Baltimore’s Light Rail and CityLink bus system, the Charm City Circulator, a free bus network connecting the City’s urban core, and major university shuttles. The project is easily accessible by a 20-minute walk in any direction and notably the densely populated communities along Charles Street stretching south to downtown and north to Central Baltimore.

Adams led the artist selection, in conversation with Flux Studio (for input on the lighting angle) and the Project Management team (for input on site availability, as pertinent to artists work). Adams, Shrum, and Jose Ruiz will collaborate with the five selected installation artists to identify socially engaged artists who will support activation of the sites following installation.

“The arts have an incredible power to inspire creativity and spark collaboration on some of the most pressing urban challenges,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and Bloomberg L.P. and 108th Mayor of New York City. “These eight projects will help foster community action on issues like public health, climate change, homelessness, and more. We look forward to working with the winners as they bring their projects to life.”

Launched in 2014, the Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Public Art Challenge encourages mayors to partner with artists, elevating the value of including the creative sector when developing solutions to significant urban issues. The program supports temporary public art projects that celebrate creativity, enhance urban identity, encourage public-private collaborations, and strengthen local economies.

Over 600 cities have applied to the three challenges, where mayors of U.S. cities with 30,000 residents or more submit proposals for projects that demonstrate close partnership between artists, arts organizations, and city government, with selected cities receiving up to $1 million each. Learn more: https://publicartchallenge.bloomberg.org/

 

 

Constance Stromberg, a sculpture and objects conservator, cleans “The Pregnant Nana” by Niki de Saint Phalle at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, reopening Oct. 21 after a two-year renovation.Credit...Niki Charitable Art Foundation/ARS, NY, ADAGP, Paris; Photo by Lexey Swall for The New York Times

Is a Women’s Museum Still Relevant?
by Kriston Capps
Published October 15 in The New York Times

Excerpt: More than one origin story surrounds the National Museum of Women in the Arts, an institution that is almost synonymous with its founder, Wilhelmina Holladay, who cut a legendary figure in Washington social circles.

According to official history, the first seed for the museum was planted in Europe in the late 1970s. It was in Vienna that Holladay and her husband, Wallace, discovered the work of Clara Peeters, a Flemish painter and contemporary of Rembrandt. Another encounter with Peeters followed at the Prado museum in Madrid. Yet when Holladay consulted H.W. Janson’s “History of Art,” a chronicle of Western painting, she could find no mention of Peeters — or any other woman artist.

This revelation led to Holladay’s life’s work: correcting the record by building an art collection that culminated in the first major museum in the country dedicated exclusively to women artists.

See also:

National Museum of Women in the Arts Reopens October 21, 2023, After Major Renovation
Published October 18 in East City Art

 

 

Jerrell Gibbs

Galerie Myrtis is honored to welcome Jerrell Gibbs to its roster
Newsletter :: October 13

Galerie Myrtis is honored to introduce painter Jerrell Gibbs as the latest addition to its esteemed roster of artists. Gibbs is set to make his debut in the upcoming exhibition, “That Which Compels Me So,” a survey and celebration of artists who have joined the gallery since 2021. Joining Gibbs in this exhibition are the exceptional talents of Fabiola Jean-Louis, Ya La’Ford, and Megan Lewis. Each artist brings their unique perspective and creative practice to the fore, resulting in a diverse and thought-provoking collection of works.

Gibbs is committed to creating paintings that are both authentic and truthful, and he reveals Black men as God-fearing, husbands, fathers, brothers, and sons. His paintings highlight joy, beauty and the mundane, all components within the vastness of Black life. The compositions, which are often taken from his family archive, focus on placement, size, proportion, as much as they do on mark-making and painterly gestures. His assertions of legacy highlight the performative nature of heritage and displaces an audience unaccustomed to more extensive and wide-ranging portrayals of Black life.

Gibbs graduated with an MFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, MD in 2020. His work is in the permanent collection of the Baltimore Museum of Art, Columbus Museum of Art, the Los Angeles Museum of Art, the CC Foundation, and the X Museum Beijing.

The opening reception for “That Which Compels Me So” will be held at Galerie Myrtis, 2224 North Charles Street, Baltimore, Maryland on Saturday, November 18th from 2:00 ‐ 6:00 pm. No appointment is necessary to attend.

The exhibit runs from November 18, 2023 – January 13, 2024. Gallery hours: Wednesday – Saturday from 2:00 – 6:00 pm by appointment. Hours extended during special events. For additional information on this exhibition, please contact the gallery at (410) 235‐3711 or Ky Vassor, Gallery Manager, at [email protected]. For sales inquiries please contact our Sales Manager, Noel Bedolla, at [email protected].

 

 

Photography by Mike Morgan

Remington’s Iconic Reptile Mural Gets a Fresh Look From Its Original Artist
by Ed Gunts
Published October 17 in Baltimore Magazine

Excerpt: John Ellsberry insists that he didn’t set out to put Remington on the map when he painted his 1987 alligator mural just off the Jones Falls Expressway.

As the Stone Hill artist tells it, the city was offering to pay local artists to paint murals as part of a campaign to deter graffiti on public property, and that got his attention. One commonly tagged site was a long, low concrete retaining wall on the south side of 28th Street just before the traffic signal at Sisson Street.

Given its proximity to the Maryland Zoo, “I kind of wanted [it to depict] some animals escaping,” says Ellsberry. “I also wanted to have an animal that had some teeth, some bite to it, that looked a little scary so that the graffiti people might have a little more respect for it…and also, at the same time, make it colorful and cute.”

 

 

Frederick Arts Council Continues to Award $1,000 Grants to Individual Artists as Part of the American Rescue Plan
Press Release :: October 18

The Frederick Arts Council was selected to receive an American Rescue Plan grant from Frederick County to help the arts and cultural sector recover from the pandemic. The FAC has since awarded $50,000 of these funds to local artists. The next round of grants is scheduled to be disbursed early winter 2023 directly to eligible artist recipients in Frederick as general financial support. Funds will continue to be released seasonally until the grant has been exhausted.

Frederick County artists who have experienced continued impacts of the Coronavirus on their work should apply. All eligible artists receive a $1,000 grant.

FAC ARPA Artist Recovery Grant details and application can be found at FrederickArtsCouncil.org.

“Frederick County’s investment in its local artists is a critical investment in pandemic recovery for the community. The health of the arts has a ripple effect in our local economy, our sense of place and well being. We are delighted to distribute these needed funds to our local artists,” said Frederick Arts Council Executive Director, Louise Kennelly.

Individual artists who have already received this grant from the Frederick Arts Council are not eligible to reapply. Frederick County was allocated over 50 million dollars in federal Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds through the American Rescue Plan Act.

For more information on Frederick County’s ARPA funding visit https://frederickcountymd.gov/8204/American-Rescue-Plan-Act

About the Frederick Arts Council

The Frederick Arts Council invests in a vibrant and cohesive arts community for the people of Frederick County. The organization fosters an environment where the arts flourish in the community through grants and scholarships, arts advocacy, and links to essential resources. FAC is responsible for large-scale programming such as the Frederick Festival of the Arts, Sky Stage, Frederick Public Art Initiative, Artist Studios, Art in the Park, and Arts in Education grants. For more information about the Frederick Arts Council, visit www.frederickartscouncil.org.

See also:

The Frederick Arts Council Awards $50,000 to Local Arts Organizations
Press Release :: October 11

The Frederick Arts Council announces that it has awarded $50,000 in Create and Activate Now (C.A.N.) Recover awards to arts organizations throughout Frederick County.

The FAC has awarded subgrants to the following local arts organizations: Choral Arts Society of Frederick, Emmitsburg Community Chorus, Endangered Species (theatre) Project, Frederick Book Arts Center, Frederick Regional Youth Orchestra, Frederick Symphony Orchestra, Fredericktowne Players, Maryland Ensemble Theatre, Maryland Wind Festival, Other Voices, Potters’ Guild of Frederick, Clustered Spires Chorus, The Delaplaine Arts Center, Frederick Children’s Chorus, the Frederick Chorale, Global Z Recording Project, National String Symphonia, Weinberg Center for the Arts, and City Youth Matrix.

This funding opportunity has been made possible through a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) American Rescue Plan (ARP) Grant to Local Arts Agencies (LAA) awarded to the Frederick Arts Council for sub-granting. C.A.N. Recover Grants were first released in July 2022 to support artists and arts organizations who have been impacted by the Coronavirus and needed support for their programs and arts projects. The remaining subgrants were administered in this last round of available C.A.N funding. […]

 

 

Kirk Shannon-Butts

Curator Kirk Shannon-Butts discusses B23, Emerge and “The New Baltimore” (audio)
by Rob Lee
Aired October 11 on The Truth in This Art Podcast

Excerpt: Step into the vibrant world of art and cinema in our latest episode of The Truth in this Art Podcast 🎙️. Join us as we sit down with Kirk Shannon-Butts, a prolific Writer, Director of Films, and Curator of Art, whose passion for storytelling has garnered worldwide recognition.

What’s Inside:

🎥 Dive deep into Kirk’s journey, from his academic pursuits in Marketing & Arts Management to earning an MFA in Film/TV Production from Chapman University. Discover the creative process behind his groundbreaking film, “Blueprint,” which not only received global acclaim but also earned a nomination for ‘Best Film from the African Diaspora’ at FESPACO in Burkina Faso.
🖼️ Uncover the essence of the Baltimore Movement and its influence on Kirk’s artistic endeavors. Explore how the city’s unique energy and culture shape his work, leaving a lasting impact on the art and film scenes.
🎨 Delve into the intricacies of curating art exhibitions, with a spotlight on Kirk’s involvement in B23 and the Artscape exhibition. Gain insights into his experiences curating while Black, addressing the challenges and triumphs in navigating the art world.
🌟 Join the conversation about “The New Baltimore,” a concept that Kirk passionately explores through his art. Learn how he captures the city’s evolution and translates it into powerful visual narratives, challenging conventional perceptions.
🎬 Get a behind-the-scenes look at Kirk’s dynamic roles as a curator and filmmaker. Explore the delicate balance between these two creative spheres and how he seamlessly weaves storytelling through different mediums.
🔍 Gain exclusive insights into the last Emerge Baltimore – This Is Baltimore Too exhibitions for 2023. Discover the innovative themes, diverse artists, and impactful stories that make this event a must-see on the cultural calendar.

See also:

Allison Tipton: Shaping Baltimore’s Artistic Landscape Through Letterpress (audio)
by Rob Lee
Aired October 9 on The Truth in This Art Podcast

 

 

Outgoing Poet Laureate Grace Cavalieri attends the Chesapeake Poetry Retreat at Washington College (Kent County).

In Praise of Maryland’s Tenth Poet Laureate: Thank you, Grace Cavalieri!
Newsletter :: October 18

It is with gratitude that the Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC) observes the close of Grace Cavalieri’s time as Maryland’s tenth Poet Laureate. Serving in this role since 2018, Grace’s tenure has been a tremendous success. She has inspired us with her eloquent words and given voice to our collective emotions, dreams, and experiences.

During her tenure as Poet Laureate, Grace has engaged in a diverse range of literary and community activities. She participated in the Chesapeake Writing Retreat at Washington College, where she nurtured her craft alongside fellow writers. At the Earth Day Arts Festival held by St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Annapolis, she celebrated the planet’s beauty through poetic expression. She paid tribute to a former Poet Laureate, Linda Pastan, by reading a poignant poem at a memorial service in her honor. She attended the “Poetry Meets Healthcare” event facilitated by the University System of Maryland Women’s Forum. There, she advocated for the importance of poetry and literature in wellness, while also extending thanks to Maryland’s veterans through a poem acknowledging their sacrifices.

In her dedication to nurturing the literary community, Grace led writers’ workshops for students, shared poetry with seniors through readings, and served as a judge for the state Poetry Out Loud competition. In addition, Grace currently hosts a podcast that spotlights Maryland poets and the poetry community to foster connections and inspiration. Her latest book The Long Game: Poems Selected & New will be released for Grace’s 91st birthday and compiles works from several of her previous volumes.

Join MSAC in reflecting on Grace’s achievements and expressing gratitude for the impression she has left on our hearts and minds. Her dedication, enthusiasm, and artistry have been remarkable. Keep in touch with Grace and her work by clicking here.

The Poet Laureate of Maryland is an honorary state position administered by MSAC at the discretion of the Governor. The Poet Laureate provides public readings and programs for the citizens of Maryland and ensures that people in all geographic regions of the state have access to at least one reading during the term of service. Click here to learn more.

The selection process for the next poet laureate is underway. Click here to subscribe for news on this and other MSAC activities.

 

 

Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Relations, ENNEAD, Rockwell Group, SmithGroup

Johns Hopkins University Opens New State-of-the-Art Higher Education Facility on Pennsylvania Avenue in the Heart of Washington DC
Press Release :: October 18

Johns Hopkins University’s President Ronald J. Daniels today announced the October 19, 2023 dedication of the University’s new academic home in Washington, D.C., the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg Center at 555 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW—situated at the crossroads of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the federal government. Anchored by the School of Advanced International Studies, the Carey Business School, the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, the Peabody Institute, and the newly established School of Government and Policy, the Hopkins Bloomberg Center will host programming from all corners of Johns Hopkins, bringing experts, students, and researchers from all of the university’s Baltimore- and D.C.-based divisions together on one of America’s most iconic avenues.

Located at the doorstep of our nation’s government, the 435,000-sq-ft Hopkins Bloomberg Center will educate and train future civic leaders and serve as a bustling hub of interdisciplinary collaboration and convenings.
The space is equipped with flexible, scalable spaces for learning, gathering, and public programming, adaptable classrooms to meet the needs of emerging teaching methods, an enhanced streetscape to welcome in the community, a cutting-edge 375-seat theater, an art gallery, and spaces for a future restaurant and café.

Event spaces throughout the building that feature dramatic views of the Capitol and Pennsylvania Avenue will host newsmakers, policymakers, journalists, researchers, and faculty in discussions that range from informal collaborations to public forums and briefings. The building will also remain active after dark with performances in the theater from the Peabody Institute’s faculty and students, visiting artists, and speakers.

“The Hopkins Bloomberg Center’s design embodies its purpose—a single, dynamic space that brings together all the university’s divisions, offering opportunities for collaboration and innovation on significant policy issues to better serve the nation and the world,” said Johns Hopkins University President Ronald J. Daniels. “I believe that place matters more than ever, and this visionary building in the heart of our capital delivers on the promise of its unique open and flexible facilities, from cafes to state-of-the-art classrooms to convening and performance spaces where ideas are fostered, art and music inspire, and conversation across differences of experience and perspective push us to think and act anew. We are indebted to the many people, architecture and design firms, local community leaders and both local and federal jurisdictional agencies who believed in this vision. We are thrilled to join our neighbors in Penn Quarter and be part of the DowntownDC BID and are excited for what this partnership means for both Johns Hopkins and D.C.”

“This center brings Johns Hopkins University’s world-class research and knowledge to the center of Washington to help tackle many of the most difficult challenges facing the nation and our world,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and a graduate of Johns Hopkins University. “It’s designed to foster collaboration between policymakers, faculty and students, and with its location in the center of Washington, it will help serve as a connecting bridge between both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue. With more than 3,000 faculty, students, and guests coming through the building each day, it brings new life to downtown Washington not only through education but through the arts too.” […]

 

 

Credit: Kim Sajet in the National Portrait Gallery’s podcast studio. Photo by Gabrielle Obusek, Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery.

National Portrait Gallery to Premiere Season Five of Its PORTRAITS Podcast
Press Release :: October 17

The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery has announced the launch of season five of its PORTRAITS podcast. Hosted by the museum’s director, Kim Sajet, PORTRAITS explores real stories about extraordinary people. During season five, Sajet and expert guests, including Robert J. Oppenheimer biographer Kai Bird and artist Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada, delve into some of the most remarkable portraits in the museum’s collection. Beginning Oct. 24, 11 episodes will premiere biweekly. A trailer is available for download today.

“Season five invites listeners to experience some of the artworks in the National Portrait Gallery that may seem ordinary at first but have unusual histories that offer us ways to think about the future,” Sajet said. “Whether we’re discussing frames and fakes, monuments and movies, advertising or AI, the past impacts how we look at our present and future. Our hope is that you will learn more about portraits where no one is as innocent as they appear, and nothing is as simple as it seems.”

Recorded in the Portrait Gallery’s new studio in downtown Washington, D.C., season five features a wide variety of topics that extend beyond the museum’s walls, including artificial intelligence (AI), art fraud, selfie culture, surveillance technology, performance art in the digital age, rights and reproduction law, Supreme Court rulings on art, unconventional frames, accessibility and tactile displays in museum spaces and more. Select portraits of sitters related to these episodes, including Abraham Lincoln and Oppenheimer, can be seen on view at the museum or online.

Season five guests include Bill Adair, conservator and historian of frames; Bird, coauthor of American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer; artist Ruth Buentello; Lonnie G. Bunch III, Secretary of the Smithsonian; artist Glenn Kaino; Colette Loll, art fraud investigator; Rodriguez-Gerada; Marcus du Sautoy, mathematician at the University of Oxford; Molly Soda, internet performance artist; Salamishah Tillet, author, activist and professor at Rutgers University; and more.

PORTRAITS has been downloaded over 700,000 times by listeners across the country. Past seasons and upcoming episodes can be accessed on the museum’s website or through Apple Podcasts, Google Play, PRX, Radio Public, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever podcasts are available.

National Portrait Gallery

The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery tells the multifaceted story of the United States through the individuals who have shaped American culture. Spanning the visual arts, performing arts and new media, the Portrait Gallery portrays poets and presidents, visionaries and villains, actors and activists whose lives tell the nation’s story.

The National Portrait Gallery is located at Eighth and G streets N.W., Washington, D.C. Smithsonian Information: (202) 633-1000. Connect with the museum at npg.si.edu and on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

 

 

New Reginald F. Lewis Museum exhibit honors Black health professionals, examines disparities in medical field for Black people
by Karyn Cook
Published October 15 in The AFRO

Excerpt: In Maryland, where 31.4 percent of the population is Black, only 12.3 percent of physicians identify as Black, according to data from the Association of American Medical Colleges.

The Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture in Baltimore recently debuted a new exhibit, “Blacks in White: African American Health Professionals,” to bring attention to the efforts of Black health professionals. According to the museum’s website, the exhibit includes four primary themes that help frame the contributions of African American health professionals in the region.

Museum attendees will have an opportunity to explore “a timeline outlining African American access to health, the role of key institutions in supporting public health education for African Americans, exploring the pivotal role of Provident Hospital and highlighting the contributions of African American community health giants,” according to exhibit information released by the museum.

 

 

Full Circle Dance Company of Baltimore Presents “And Still, We Dream”
Press Release :: October 17

Full Circle Dance Company, now celebrating its 23rd year in Baltimore, will present And Still, We Dream November 18 at 7:30 pm and November 19 at 2:30 pm at Baltimore Theatre Project. This carefully curated evening of music, movement, and words explores ideas and experiences related to dreams—from concealed fantasies to aspirations for a better world, from insomnia to daydreams to the surreal wonder of the dream state. Presenting the intimate, diverse visions of multiple choreographers, And Still, We Dream illuminates ancient human concerns that still preoccupy us today.

A centerpiece of the show will be a new work inspired by dream references in the poetry of Lucille Clifton, the acclaimed writer, educator, and Maryland Poet Laureate who lived, worked, and raised her family in Baltimore. Choreographed by Full Circle Artistic Director Donna L. Jacobs and created with the support of The Clifton House, this new work will highlight a Baltimore literary treasure.

Also included in And Still, We Dream:
●Daydreams: Physician/choreographer Misty Yackshaw’s witty, surprise-filled take on the inner

lives of people who share an office.

●En.tranced: Ohio-based choreographer Travis Gatling’s evocative, sweeping new work inspired by the liminal space of dreams, commissioned in partnership with Ballet Theatre of Maryland.

●Veil Across the Stars: Noted local choreographer Hope B. Byers’s layered, energetic work inspired by poetry of Langston Hughes and centered on dreams of the oppressed.

●As I Surrender: Jennifer Seye’s lush, dramatic choreography, set to a cappella voices, about the moments before the surrender to sleep.

●Restless: Shaela Davis’s relatable work about the body’s refusal to cooperate when we most desperately need slumber.

●Solo works by local choreographers Alicia Williams and Allison Powell.

Performance Details

And Still, We Dream

Created and performed by Full Circle Dance Company
Saturday, November 18 at 7:30 pm and Sunday, November 19 at 2:30 pm
Location: Baltimore Theatre Project, 45 W Preston St, Baltimore, MD 21201
Tickets: $25 general, $20 students, seniors, and artists
Information: fullcircledancecompany.org
Ticket purchase link: theatreproject.org
This performance is supported in part by the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation, The Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts, The Maryland State Arts Council, and The Clifton House.

About Full Circle Dance Company

Full Circle Dance Company, under the direction of Donna L. Jacobs, is a multiracial professional ensemble that performs exciting choreography from a variety of modern dance traditions. Based in Baltimore, the company draws on the diverse backgrounds of its dancers and works in a collaborative spirit to create meaningful dance with universal appeal. Founded in 2000, the company has developed a signature way of working that involves exploring a carefully selected theme for up to a year, commissioning work from multiple choreographers on that theme, creating opportunities to involve members of the community in the creative process, and presenting the new works on a single theme together to offer audiences varied perspectives on each topic. Full Circle has extensive experience incorporating community groups into its creative process and has given workshops at the Baltimore Museum of Art, public and private schools throughout the region, Irvine Nature Center, Maryland School for the Deaf, and Baltimore City Cancer Program. Full Circle, a 501c3 nonprofit organization, is the professional company in residence at Morton Street Dance Center. The important partnership between the school and the company creates opportunities for professional dancers to share their knowledge with young dancers in training in Baltimore.

About The Clifton House

The Clifton House mission is to continue the legacy of acclaimed Poet Lucille Clifton and community activist Fred Clifton by providing mentorship, local and global resource access, training and development in the creative arts to underrepresented and underserved people of all ages in the Baltimore and surrounding communities, with particular focus on African diasporic, female and gender non-conforming, LGBTQA+ and international poets, writers, artists and creative activists.

 

 

American jazz singer Billie Holiday (1915-1959), also known as “Lady Day,” during a 1954 performance. Picture Post-7380-Billie Holiday-unpub. (Charles Hewitt/Getty Images)

Commentary: When it comes to Billie Holiday, we still have a lot to learn
by Mark Allan Williams
Published October 13 in The Baltimore Banner

Excerpt: Tanea Renee, the star of “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill,” says she had some guiding principles in preparing for the role of Billie Holiday, whose life and career is the subject of the play.

“I decided not to focus on the fact that she was an icon,” Renee told me. “I focused on what we have in common as a woman and an artist,” said the Baltimore native, who has moved back after more than a decade living in New York. The Towson University graduate has worked on the stage and in television roles there, while also working on stages all along the East Coast.

In “Lady Day,” she radiates a mixture of earthiness and charm. Her singing is often reminiscent of Holiday’s singular voice and style, but it isn’t mimicry. She sings delicately on the romantic ballad, “My Man.” Her rendition of the Billie Holiday classic about self-determination, “God Bless the Child,” is soul-stirring. She turns bluesy and raucous on “Gimme a Pigfoot and a Bottle of Beer,” the song about the glory of a good time first made widely popular by one of Holiday’s idols, Bessie Smith.

 

 

$100,000 in Weaver Awards go to 20 Baltimoreans Spreading Trust and Connection in the City
Press Release :: October 17

>The Weaver Awards supports what is going right in Baltimore City rather than trying to stop what is going wrong. For the third year in a row, M&T Bank and The Aspen Institute’s Weave: The Social Fabric Project are honoring 20 Baltimore residents with $5,000 grants and a network of support to help them in weaving their neighborhoods and the city together.

The Awardees come from many backgrounds and work in neighborhoods across the city. They include a yoga teacher, a Broadway dancer, a minister, a basketball coach, a Reiki master and sound healer, two master gardeners, a chef, an entrepreneur, and a comedian.

The Weaver Awardee projects are all different, yet all inspire neighbors to form broad and deep relationships to meet a community’s shared needs and build social trust. These community “weavers” recognize the inherent dignity in all people, create belonging, and invite mutual support. Weaving has four main characteristics:

  • Local – it is based in a place and mainly in-person
  • Relational – it is aimed at creating continuing relationships
  • Mutual – it assumes everyone can offer value to others, regardless of their circumstances
  • Inclusive – it reaches out to people across differences and focuses on what is shared

Meet the 2023 Weaver Awardees:

    • Corin “Tiny” Adams, East Baltimore: A former Morgan State basketball star and Loyola University Maryland men’s coach providing tutoring, life skills and mentorship to youth.
    • Ulysses Archie, Jr., Irvington: A master gardener uplifting communities through collaborative urban farming and offering healing via chick-raising programs for children.
  • Monique Bess, Southwest Baltimore: Founder of BlakBoxxRadio, amplifying neighborhood voices and fostering positive community interactions through live shows and storytelling.
  • Sanahara Ama Chandra Brown, Greenmount West: A Reiki master and sound healer organizing community gatherings centered on awareness, stress relief, and energy healing.
  • Michael Cornish, Druid Hill: Founder of Dads United, transforming vacant lots into safe spaces while fostering a supportive community of fathers.
  • Crystal Forman, East Baltimore: A wellness educator and gardener driving community engagement around sustainable, plant-based food and nutrition education.
  • Jason Harris, Upton/West Baltimore: A technologist using large-scale robotics projects to inspire youth towards STEM careers and ethical technology use that supports their communities.
  • Melony Hill, Greater Baltimore City: A mental health advocate offering workshops and events, providing trauma survivors with spaces to converse and heal.
  • Lucia Islas, Greater Baltimore City: An immigrant supporter connecting new city residents and facilitating resource access, language classes, and skill-building.
  • Diana Martinez, Greater Baltimore City: A yoga and wellness teacher blending boxing with mindfulness to help youth regulate emotions and prioritize wellness.
  • Cjay Philip, Greenmount: A former Broadway actor and choreographer using dance and performing arts to enhance family creativity, self-esteem, and community connection.
  • Danielle Pinder, Park Heights: A community mobilizer ensuring youth in her neighborhood have the resources, support, and connections to thrive in business and work.
  • Anthony Sartori, Locust Point: A social entrepreneur creating awareness and providing resources for mental health through displays that share personal stories of suicide’s impact.
  • Leslie Smith, Greater Baltimore City: A church-based worker linking aspiring and established entrepreneurs to provide mentorship and practical skills to support Black business owners.
  • Cherring Spence, Parklane: A pastor who brought neighbors together to revitalize a long-abandoned park and is launching a program teaching kids to build and maintain bicycles.
  • Sean Stinnett, West Arlington: A grassroots leader engaging youth in regular community cleanups that provide earnings, teach responsibility and foster relationships.
  • Nicole “Nikki” Stokes, Greater Baltimore City: A community advocate creating an interactive exhibit of wall art and sensory rooms to spread awareness of intellectual differences.
  • Fred “Big Fred” Watkins, Greater Baltimore City: A comedian combining comedy and advocacy to support young people in school programs that build confidence and address bullying.
  • Jennifer West, Curtis Bay: An educator who involves school kids and families in gardening, cooking, and learning to improve mental and physical health through food.
  • Shaleece Williams, Central West Baltimore: A nonprofit leader offering seminars for young people, 14-24, to give them skills and networking opportunities to bolster their leadership.

“Americans are isolated and divided right now, and we need to heal our nation from the ground up,” says Frederick Riley, Executive Director of the Aspen Institute’s Weave Project. “These weavers are creating trust and connection in their neighborhoods and showing us the path to a strong, united America. The Weaver Awards hold them up as an inspiration to each of us and give them needed funds for neighborhood projects.”

The Weaver Awards celebrate Baltimore City residents aged 18 years and older and are not intended for large nonprofits. While many Baltimoreans are serving their neighbors, the Weaver Awards honor those whose work also creates emotional connection, lasting relationships, and a strong, inclusive social fabric.

“These Weaver Awardees are pivotal leaders in our community, helping to spark changes that can lead to a stronger Baltimore,” says Augie Chiasera, M&T Regional President for Greater Baltimore. “Their efforts address urgent needs within Baltimore while also creating more inclusive communities where everyone feels valued and empowered to thrive.”

M&T, greater Baltimore’s fifth-largest corporate giver, has funded the Weaver Awards grants each of the three years it has been offered to city residents. M&T staff support the community-led selection process and help connect weavers to resources and city leaders to fuel their community-focused initiatives.

This year’s Awardees were selected from 131 applications by a panel of community advocates and past Awardees who know Baltimore’s communities and challenges. The Awardees will be honored at M&T Bank Stadium when the Ravens play Cincinnati on November 16 and at a Weaver Award Celebration on November 4 in the Panway neighborhood.

Any Baltimorean who is a community weaver or interested in becoming one can join the online Weave Baltimore group, where they can meet other weavers, find training, learn about grants, and find partners. More information about the Weave Baltimore group and the Weaver Awards is at weaverawards.org/. Photos to support stories are available on request.

 

 

Header Image: Full Circle Dance Company, Alicia Williams 2023, photo by Brion McCarthy Photo

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