BmoreArt’s Picks: October 24-30

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Picturing The Black Arts District

This Week: Happenstance Theater Presents: Cabaret Macabre at Baltimore Theatre Project, States of Becoming curatorial talk with Fitsum Shebeshe at UMBC, Warp & Weft reception at Richard B. Talkin Family Art Gallery, Creative Alliance and Chocolate Covered Rocky Horror at Baltimore Center Stage, GRL PWR presents SWEAT! at the Ottobar, book talk with Irena Stein and D. Watkins at Bird in Hand, and Black Cherry Puppet Theater’s “A Very Haunted MasterPique Theater” — PLUS last call for The Gutierrez Memorial Fund Legacy Grant submissions and more featured opportunities!


BmoreArt’s Picks presents the best weekly art openings, events, and performances happening in Baltimore and surrounding areas. For a more comprehensive perspective, check the BmoreArt Calendar page, which includes ongoing exhibits and performances, and is updated on a daily basis.

To submit your calendar event, email us at [email protected]!


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Happenstance Theater Presents: Cabaret Macabre
Thursday, October 26 | Ongoing through November 12
@ Baltimore Theatre Project

Back by popular demand! Happenstance Theater presents CABARET MACABRE. This felicitous autumnal tradition is a witty Theatrical Collage inspired by the illustrations of Edward Gorey, Victorian musings, musical histrionics, ill-fated romance, calamitous excursions, and the dangers of croquet. And what fun would it be without a séance and precocious children…

Perfect for the Hallowe’en season. Show is suitable for most ages. 70 minutes with no intermission.


Gwen Grastorf, Mark Jaster, Sabrina Mandell, Sarah Olmsted Thomas, Alex Vernon and special guest musician Stephanie Baird.

“Cabaret Macabre gleams with the precision
that has become Happenstance’s hallmark…ghoulishly gratifying…” – Washington City Paper

TICKETS: $25 ($20 senior/artist/military, $15 student)
*Pay-What-You-Can – Thursday 10/26
Box Office: 410-752-8558 Online:

WHO: Happenstance Theater is a professional company dedicated to devising original, performer-generated, visual, poetic Theater. Happenstance has won 5 Helen Hayes Awards and been called “DC’s leading peddler of whimsy” by the Washington Post.



States of Becoming

States of Becoming | Curatorial Discussion
Thursday, October 26 :: 5-6:30pm

In conjunction with the exhibition States of Becoming, curated by Fitsum Shebeshe and produced by Independent Curators International (ICI), the Center for Art, Design and Visual Culturepresents a conversation with the curator and Jessica Bell Brown, curator at the Baltimore Museum of Art. The discussion, moderated by Rhea Beckett, founding director at Black Artist Research Space, will focus on curatorial approaches to African diasporic experience and migration.

Fitsum Shebeshe is a curator and painter based in Baltimore and Washington D.C., and curator of States of Becoming, touring with Independent Curators International. Before moving to the United States in 2016, he was Assistant Curator at the National Museum of Ethiopia. In 2012, Shebeshe co-founded the 1957 Initiative to annually celebrate the liberation of African countries from colonialism through the arts.

Jessica Bell Brown is the Curator and Department Head for Contemporary Art at the Baltimore Museum of Art. Prior to the BMA she was the Consulting Curator at Gracie Mansion Conservancy in New York, and also held roles at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and Creative Time. She is curator of the touring exhibition A Movement in Every Direction: Legacies of the Great Migration, co-organized with the Mississippi Museum of Art.

Rhea Beckett is an artist, independent curator, and educator whose practice centers on knowledge sharing and collaboration. She co-founded the creative platform Black Artist Research Space (BARS) and is currently a professor of African American art history at Fisk University and the Maryland Institute College of Art, where she teaches in the MFA in Curatorial Practice program.

Admission is free.



Warp & Weft | Reception
Thursday, October 26 :: 5-8pm | Ongoing through November 19
@ Richard B. Talkin Family Art Gallery

Curated by Maryland Art Place (MAP), “Warp & Weft” highlights female artists working in fiber. Women and their relationship to fiber have long been intertwined throughout history. Athena, goddess of war strategy, wisdom, justice, and crafts, was especially known for weaving. It is told that she made the first human woman’s dress for Pandora, teaching Pandora how to weave herself. This legacy was mirrored in the matriarchal tendencies of women, passing down their generational knowledge and know-how to their daughters. This was often seen with quilting, as example, which largely began out of necessity, eventually turning to more of an art form as techniques and needlework advanced. The female role has increased tenfold over the last five decades to encompass domestic, emotional, and financial responsibilities. Perhaps women today have become the “Warp,” the generally stronger thread in the weave: the foundation for the “Weft” that flows between.

Warp & Weft includes artworks by Jennifer McBrien, Karin Birch, Pamela Thompson, Bonnie Crawford, Sasha Baskin, Katie O’Keefe and Christine Wolfe Strong. Taking a contemporary approach to age old techniques, the exhibition will include everything from felting, embroidery, stitching and weaving.

Maryland Art Place (MAP) inspires, supports, and encourages artistic expression through innovative programming, exhibitions, and educational opportunities while recognizing the powerful impact art can have on our community. MAP creates a dynamic environment for artists of our time to engage with the public by nurturing and promoting new ideas.



BCS Presents: The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Friday, October 27 – Saturday, October 28
@ Baltimore Center Stage

BCS is at it again! It’s time to rocket back to 1975 with an interactive movie night of the timeless cult classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show. We’re teaming up with Creative Alliance and Chocolate Covered Rocky Horror for TWO nights to bare it all while we shout at the screen with the help of Betty O’ Hell No and her spectacular cadre of performers. Expect a costume contest, popcorn and a whole lot of fishnet.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show (RHPS) was released on September 25, 1975, with music and characters that feature androgynous themes. EarlOrrin Productions, LLC produced the first all African American live shadow cast production of RHPS.

Chocolate Covered Rocky Horror (CCRH) features live vocal performances, innovative choreography, crowd engagement and participation, bringing another dimension to the Rocky Horror shadow cast experience. Since 2015, CCRH has been a tribute to the queer experience while exposing minorities to liberating art forms.



Saturday, October 28 :: 9pm
@ Ottobar


Hosted by Naomi Thee Ratchet

Drag Performances:
Saaphyri Wildz
Dyke God (Hoochie Daddies)
Vivacious (RuPaul’s Drag Race)

DJ Sets:
Miss Twink USA (Chicago)
Precolumbian (Philly)



Humanities in the Village (Oct.): “Arepa” book talk with Irena Stein and D. Watkins
Monday, October 30 :: 6:30-8pm
@ Bird in Hand

Join us for a delicious and wonderful Humanities in the Village discussion this October—and celebrate the launch of Arepa: Classic & contemporary recipes for Venezuela’s daily bread, a new cookbook by Irena Stein! Stein is the creator behind Baltimore’s own Alma Cocina Latina, a culinary hotspot celebrating Venezuelan cuisine and culture—and in conversation with memoirist and Baltimore staple D. Watkins. Her new book comes out this summer, in time for the autumn weather and holiday season, from Simon & Schuster.

We will meet to discuss the book, its backstory, and all things culture and food at Bird in Hand cafe/bookstore on the final Monday evening in October (30th) beginning at 6:30pm. See you there!


Irena Stein is a photographer, restaurateur, and humanitarian whose spirit is deeply rooted in humanitizing society. Irena came to America from Venezuela on a Fulbright Scholarship to Stanford University where she graduated with a Master’s in Cultural Anthropology. Since then she has merged her passion for art, food, community, and environmentalism by opening her first restaurant, Alma Cocina Latina, in Baltimore, Maryland. Irena has also started a community meals initiative, Alkimiah, to support families in need in her local community.

D. Watkins  is the New York Times bestselling and award-winning author of The Beast Side,The Cook Up, Where Tomorrows Aren’t Promised and We Speak for Ourselves, which was a One Book, one Baltimore selection. He is Editor at Large for Salon. He is featured in the HBO documentary The Slow Hustle and is a writer on We Own the City, an HBO miniseries from David Simon. His work has been published in the New York Times, New York Times Magazine, The Guardian, Rolling Stone, and other publications. He is a college lecturer at the University of Baltimore and holds a Master’s in Education from Johns Hopkins University and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Baltimore. Watkins’ awards include the BMe Genius Grant for dynamic Black leaders, the City Lit Dambach Award for Service to the Literary Arts, the Maryland Library Association’s William Wilson Maryland Author Award, and the Ford’s Men of Courage award for Black male storytellers. He was also a finalist for a 2016 Hurston Wright Legacy Award and The Cook Up was a 2017 Books for a Better Life finalist. He is lives in Baltimore, MD with his wife and daughter.



A Very Haunted MasterPique Theater
Saturday, October 28 :: 6:30pm + 9pm
@ Black Cherry Puppet Theater

Dive into a world where music, puppetry, and theatrical storytelling converge, crafting an eerily enchanting experience tailored for the spooky season. An event that promises to be as hauntingly beautiful as it is innovative, you won’t want to miss this unique installment of our MasterPique Theater series.

Perfect for experimental music enthusiasts and anyone seeking a unique Halloween experience, this show promises a captivating journey that goes beyond the conventional. This event is family-friendly.

$15 General Admission l $12 Senior/Student/Artist/Hardship

Ticket Link l FB Link



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Gutierrez Memorial Fund’s Legacy Grant
deadline October 30

The Gutierrez Memorial Fund is pleased to present its 2023 Legacy Grant. The project-based arts grant calls for proposals from arts organizations, individual artists, and educators who are residents of Maryland and whose programs or projects serve Maryland communities. Special consideration is given to projects that build skills, engage community and transform the built environment. For more information on eligibility and to download an application please visit

The deadline for submissions is October 30, 2023.



A.I.R. Fellowship Program
deadline November 1

The A.I.R. Fellowship Program was established in 1993 by former artist member Stephanie Bernheim in order to support underrepresented and emerging women and non-binary artists in New York City. Each year, six artists are awarded a year-long fellowship to develop and exhibit a project at A.I.R. Gallery.

In the last 30 years, the A.I.R. Fellowship Program has given more than 100 artists the opportunity to have their first solo exhibition in New York City. This program encourages artistic experimentation and rigor by providing a space where feminist historical precedence and intergenerational dialogue are at the forefront. Essential to this process are a series of professional development workshops, close collaboration with an A.I.R. artist-mentor, and scheduled studio visits through the year—including one with a selection panelist.

Since 2009, A.I.R. Gallery has named one yearly A.I.R. Fellowship seat in memory of the artist, activist, writer, and feminist Emma Bee Bernstein (1985–2008). In recognition of Emma’s significant contributions as a young artist, the youngest A.I.R. Fellowship recipient receives the honor of holding the Emma Bee Bernstein Fellowship.



Smithsonian American Art Museum – 2024–2025 Research Fellowships
deadline November 1

The Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM) and its Renwick Gallery invite applications to its premier fellowship program, the oldest and largest in the world for the study of American art. Scholars from any discipline whose research engages the art, craft, and visual culture of the United States are encouraged to apply, as are those who foreground new perspectives, materials, and methodologies Fellowships are residential and support full-time research in the Smithsonian collections. SAAM is devoted to advancing inclusive excellence in the discipline of art history and in higher education more broadly, and therefore encourages candidates who identify as members of historically underrepresented groups to apply.



Harry Ransom Fellowship
deadline November 1
posted by the Harry Ransom Center

The Ransom Center will award up to 60 research fellowships for its 2024–25 program. Please view the individual residency types within the application instructions to determine the qualifications for each. We offer funding to postdoctoral scholars, doctoral candidates, independent researchers, and scholars with master’s degrees who have had significant involvement in academic research.

Research conducted by humanities scholars contributes to a dynamic body of knowledge that has the potential to reshape our understanding of archival collections—what is preserved and valued in our communities. The Ransom Center fosters a supportive environment so that researchers may explore, examine, critique, and better understand the cultural works in its collections. Fellowships of varying lengths (from one to three months) are offered for research projects that require substantial on-site use of collections that span a variety of disciplines.



Sanford Lab Artist in Residence Program
deadline November 1

The purpose of the SURF AiR program is to invite artists to create work inspired by the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF) set in the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota. SURF’s unique location and history make it an ideal place for creative work. SURF is the deepest underground laboratory in the United States, reaching nearly a mile below the surface. It houses experiments in physics, biology, geology, and engineering. This site is also the home of the former Homestake Gold Mine. The SURF AiR program leverages the unique characteristics of SURF and the science experiments it hosts to create awareness and encourage interdisciplinary work. This residency is modeled after various programs offered by government, science and industry including the National Park Service, CERN, and Fermilab.


The SURF AiR includes a four-week on-site visit during the summer of 2024 and a one-week art installation/guest lecture visit during the fall of 2024. Timeframes for the visits will be determined by each artist’s schedule in coordination with SURF (please note, available dates for the summer visit are between May 22-July 31 and the fall installation/guest lecture visit is scheduled for October). The SURF AiR Program includes the following for the artist: transportation in the form of airfare, rental car or mileage, housing and per diem for both visits. The artist will have access to a studio space. The program includes tours of above and below ground facilities. SURF will provide a guide for all onsite activities at the Lab at all times. The artist will also be given required safety training and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) which will be provided on loan while on site. SURF will provide the artist with a stipend of $5,000 paid in two installments over the course of the residency. The artist can apply for up to $5,000 in additional funds to be used for the creation of the artwork.

The artist will have an art exhibition and up to two lectures based on the artist’s proposal during the fall of 2024. In addition to the lectures, each artist will provide promotional or outreach events within the local community. SURF will work with the artist to establish and schedule these events. This may include working with local schools and universities, interviews and/or documentation of the residency. Each artist will donate at least one piece of artwork to the Lab to be included in the SURF permanent art collection, this artwork will be selected by a representative of the Lab. SURF will make arrangements for the exhibition location. The artist will be responsible for installation and de-installation of the artwork (in coordination with SURF and the exhibition space). SURF will cover the cost of return shipping up to $7,000.

Working underground requires that the artist is comfortable in dark spaces and follows safety protocol. The artist must also be able to walk on uneven surfaces for at least a mile at a time, for emergency purposes. Travel underground entails taking an elevator ride in the dark as well as negotiating wet conditions and slippery surfaces. A guide is required and will be with the artist at all times while at SURF.

A timeline and expectations will be agreed upon before the residency begins. An MOU will be drafted and signed by the artist and SURF.



2023-2024 Fellowships at The Metropolitan Museum of Art
deadline November 3
posted by New York Foundation for the Arts

The Metropolitan Museum of Art welcomes applications from scholars of the history of art and visual culture, archaeology, conservation and related sciences, as well as those in other disciplines whose projects relate to objects in The Met’s collection. Each year, The Met creates a closely knit community of scholars whose individual interests collectively illuminate the Museum’s collection of artworks spanning 5,000 years of human creativity. The community of fellows becomes immersed in the intellectual life of the Museum and takes part in a robust program of colloquia, roundtable seminars, research-sharing workshops, behind-the-scenes tours of exhibitions, conversations with Museum staff, and visits to curatorial and conservation departments. Fellows form long-lasting professional relationships as they discuss research questions, look closely at objects, and share the experience of living in New York City.



Workspace Residency, Spring 2024
deadline November 3
posted by Squeaky Wheel Film & Media Art Center

Squeaky Wheel’s Workspace Residency is a project-based residency for artists and researchers working in media arts. Offered twice per year, the residency is open to applicants from Buffalo and across the United States who are seeking resources, time, and support for ongoing projects or the creation of new work.

Selected applicants will have tailored access to facilities, equipment, technical consultation, from Squeaky Wheel, as well as our Workspace Residency partners Buffalo Game Space, The Foundry, and Lyceum Silo City. Residents will also have the opportunity to attend guest lectures, are provided with public opportunities to share and receive feedback for their work, and will be invited to a variety of site visits and activities exploring Buffalo’s unique communities and histories. Squeaky Wheel continue to offer a virtual residency option. The Workspace Residency launched in 2016. You can see biographies of previous residents here.

The Spring 2024 session of the residency offers $1200 in artist fees and stipends, accomodations, $400 in travel support, and optionally, up to $900 in financial assistance for child care and/or disability support.



The Young Saturday ‘Visiter’ Awards
deadline November 7
posted by Poe Fest International

The Young Saturday ‘Visiter’ Awards (SVAs) are a new honor, presented by Poe Baltimore and the Baltimore National Heritage Area, recognizing High School students in Maryland who create artistic works inspired by Edgar Allan Poe.  The prizes honor media, art, performance and writing that adapts or is inspired by Poe’s life and works, created by a High School student (grade 9 – 12 or equivalent during the 2023-24  School Year) in the State of Maryland. 


Though he was not wealthy in his lifetime, Edgar Allan Poe was the first American writer to support himself entirely by his pen. The Saturday Visiter was the name—and spelling—of a local periodical that held a contest for poetry and short stories. Poe won the award for his short story “MS Found in a Bottle” (which he wrote at Poe House.) The Saturday Visiter Awards are named after the prize a young Edgar Allan Poe won while he lived in Baltimore which helped to launch the famed writer’s career. 

Works in any medium and genre (including digital or web-based works) are eligible. Entries are not limited to writing; graphical works, film, comics, music, live performance etc. may all be eligible. Only works created or performed by an individual who is a Maryland High School Student (grades 9-12 or equivalent during the 2023-24 School Year) are eligible to be entered. Works published or created in a language other than English are eligible, but at this time the work must provide English-language subtitles.

Entries may be submitted by any student artist, producer, publisher, author or any member of the creative team. Only works created by the student are eligible: ensemble teams may not include non-student members except in an advisory role; if the student contributed to a greater ensemble work, only the portion created/performed by the student will be considered. (Should you have questions about eligibility before submitting, please contact the Awards administrator [email protected])

Nominees for the Young Saturday ‘Visiter’ Awards will be announced November 30, 2023, and the award presented on or before Poe’s birthday, January 19, 2024. One award will be presented in each of two categories: Adaptation of Poe’s life and/or writing; Original works inspired by Poe’s life or writing. 



Freddie Rankin

The Studios at MASS MoCA Residency Program
deadline November 8

The Studios is MASS MoCA’s artist and writers residency program situated within the museum’s factory campus and surrounded by the beautiful Berkshire Mountains. Operated by MASS MoCA’s Assets for Artists department, the residency runs year-round and hosts up to 10 artists at a time. Artists of any nationality can apply for stays of 2 or 4 weeks.



header image: Image: Masimba Hwati, Rückspiegel 2, 2021, found materials. Courtesy the artist.

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