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BmoreArt News: Carlos Raba, The Voxel, Black History Month

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This week’s news includes: Carlos Raba’s new restaurant Nana opens, Stephen Hayes installs exhibition at Great Blacks in Wax Museum, Chris Ashworth and The Voxel, Black History Month celebrations at the Lewis Museum and Banneker-Douglass Museum, museum gift shops, music at SAAM, Terence Nicholson, McKeldin Square, Stem and Vine opens, Dr. Lee Glazier at AAM, local museums nominated for awards, and a farewell to HONfest –with reporting from East City Art, Hyperallergic, Baltimore Magazine, and other local and independent news sources.

Header Image:  Carlos Raba displays family photos in his new eatery. (Matti Gellman) from The Baltimore Banner

 

GIFs of Puppets — The Muppet Show (1976-1981)

 

Carlos Raba chops roasted cauliflower for Nana’s vegan tacos. (Matti Gellman)

The Dish: Clavel put Carlos Raba on the map. Nana is a chance to build his legacy.
by Matti Gellman
Published January 31 in The Baltimore Banner

When asked about his restaurant’s recent nomination for a James Beard Award, chef Carlos Raba shrugged.

On Thursday, the Clavel co-owner ran circles around his new kitchen, preparing to open Nana, a long-awaited taqueria in Towson. A purple cap marked for his hometown baseball team in Sinaloa, Mexico, hid the sweat on his brow.

He smiled at the question. The James Beard Awards honor culinary excellence, and Clavel, his Remington bar and taqueria, had just been named a semifinalist in the Outstanding Bar category for the third time.

To Raba, who earned a nod himself for Best Chef: Mid Atlantic in 2022, it’s not enough; there’s a legacy to be built, and, if all goes as planned, a Mexican beach house to buy.

Raba fled his home in Mexico at 16 for safety in the United States. At times, he and his older brother were homeless, working odd jobs around Baltimore, including stints as a fishmonger and a shoe salesman in order to pay rent. A career in cooking seemed improbable.

Now 40, Raba is no longer hustling in the background. He wants Baltimore’s attention.

His new eatery, which opens Wednesday after more than a year and a half of delays, is named for his great-grandmother. Nana is far from a fancy, experimental concept — it’s a small shop with an open kitchen and framed family photos hanging on the wall. Brightly painted tiles match the colors of an old photograph, where the sun is setting on a Sinaloa street.

Customers can choose to stuff tacos, quesadillas or Mexican-style sandwiches, known as tortas, with four different fillings, from carne asada to the vegan cauliflower y papa. Fire-roasted chickens can be slathered in either al pastor smoky pineapple and chile marinade or a bichis marinade made with garlic and fresh herbs. The menu also includes a hot dog wrapped in bacon, tomato, onions, mayonnaise and avocado sauce, a choice of sides, and either churros or rice pudding for dessert.

For Raba, it’s a means of honoring his past, an ode to the late-night taquerias that served as a respite for his family and sparked his culinary curiosity. He aims to make the space a community fixture — somewhere kids can escape to find comfort or that parents can lean on for a safe, affordable meal.

“I want to be able to help more kids,” he said. “And I want to be that person that, my daughter’s with me, and people say, ‘Oh, you’re the daughter of Carlos Raba, good, the door is open for you.”

Even as a child, Raba’s food reflected his access to opportunity.

After moving to Culiacán in northwest Mexico with his mother and brother, meals were simple. They never ate black beans, Raba said, long considered a “peasant food.” The family was well off, cooking up pinto beans and occasionally mixing it with pork for frijoles.

They gathered together — uncles, aunts and grandparents — for barbecues stocked with grilled meats like carne asada, along with grains and corn-based dishes. But no one made chicken like Raba’s grandmother, who also taught him how to make flour tortillas buttery soft, he said.

At night when the kids grew rowdy, Raba and his eight cousins would pile into his uncle’s truck and drive to the taqueria. It was not a restaurant, Raba said — rather a spot to be free for a moment.

“You go, get some asada, some rice, some beans, any other sides, then go home and set the table.”

But home would change for Raba. His mother, Luz Aida Salmon, became a prominent voice in Sinaloan journalism who exposed political corruption. As the neighborhood became violent, her coverage and opinions made her a threat. The family soon sought political asylum in North America, first landing in Washington, D.C., then a homeless shelter in Detroit, before finally settling in Silver Spring.

At Montgomery Blair High School, his world shrunk. Being Mexican left him feeling like a target, and he started to fight his peers instead of making new friends. He tried asking a girl on the soccer team to their prom; she mocked his accent.

“But was I looking for friendships? No. I needed to hustle to be who I am,” Raba said.

He worked at Subway three hours a day after school to pay rent and sent the rest of the money to his mother, who had returned to Sinaloa for treatment after her health declined.

A Salvadoran family helped him and his brother get on their feet, but still, Raba missed the barbecues. He started eating black beans, turning them into a soup with days-old carne asada.

He made sandwiches at work and got free lunches at school. Most meals now involved an egg; it was affordable. He coated them in cheddar cheese and claimed to have found heaven when he paired them with a hot dog rolled in a flour tortilla.

By 18, he worked six days a week, making extra money as a shoe salesman at Nordstrom. With his first big check, he bought a Volkswagen Citi Golf car, fit with rims and a sound system that shook the back seat.

“My accent didn’t matter anymore,” he said.

As the money continued to roll in, his food changed. While managing staff and inventory at local grocery stores, Raba would grill fresh carne asada, holding barbecues for friends at the home he owned. He experimented with ceviche and won the praise of a DJ, Lane Harlan. She would later convince Raba to help her open Clavel, a successful Remington restaurant.

He moved in above the eatery at 225 West 23rd St., new wife and baby in tow, rented his home and invested his 401(k) into the restaurant. For Raba, there was a larger goal at play — a chance to build something new.

The New York Times listed Bar Clavel as a spot to see when visiting Baltimore. The Food Network, Thrillist and Baltimore magazine have raved over Raba’s cooking, from his house-butchered lamb, chopped into a spicy barbacoa, to his butterflied shrimp and mahi mahi tacos.

“Sometimes I cook and say, ‘Man, I really know how to cook,” he said.

With his new eatery Nana, there’s no one to share the stage. It’s all Raba. The restaurant’s arrival comes later than expected, which Raba attributes to fundraising and a problematic landlord. Now, he knows the ropes; he can cultivate a menu, be creative with marketing and pick up the pace in his kitchen.

His tortillas are still homemade, and at Nana, tacos are only $5, while a whole chicken and three sides costs $35.

Raba is training cooks in his grandmother’s Sinaloan recipes and experimenting with soups like caldo de camaron, a traditional Mexican shrimp soup. He continues to split his time between Clavel and Nana, while still cooking for his young son and daughter.

He hopes to watch the place become a neighborhood fixture, feeding countless people in Baltimore County looking for a quick and flavorful bite. Until then, Raba will not rest.

“I still don’t have my house on the beach.”

This story was republished with with permission from The Baltimore Banner. Visit www.thebaltimorebanner.com for more.

See also:

Carlos Raba’s new restaurant ‘Nana’ to open its doors in Towson on Jan. 31
by Aliza Worthington
Published January 25 in Baltimore Fishbowl

 

 

Stephen Hayes

Unveiling “Cash Crop”: A Powerful Exploration of the Atlantic Slave Trade at the National Great Blacks In Wax Museum
Press Release :: January 2

The National Great Blacks In Wax Museum, renowned for its powerful depictions of historical narratives, is set to unveil “Cash Crop,” a groundbreaking installation by acclaimed artist Stephen Hayes. Building on a legacy of meticulously crafted wax figures and impactful exhibits, this new installation explores the dark realities of the Atlantic slave trade.

“Cash Crop” features fifteen life-size sculptures, intricately cast in concrete and bound in chains and metal, vividly portraying the harrowing experiences of those who endured the Atlantic slave trade. Each sculpture represents the 15 million African individuals forcibly brought to the Americas between 1540 and 1850. The exhibit aims to forge a connection between historical human rights violations and their reverberations in contemporary times.

The National Great Blacks In Wax Museum is pleased to announce an exclusive Invitation-Only opening reception and artist gallery talk, scheduled for Friday, February 9, 2024. Subsequently, the “Cash Crop” exhibition will open to the public on Saturday, February 10, 2024.

During the opening weekend, visitors can join Museum Co-Founder Dr. Joanne Martin for two guided tours, scheduled for Saturday at 12:00 pm and Sunday at 1:00 pm. Participation in these tours is available for a fee of $30.

The Museum extends a warm welcome to visitors every Thursday through Sunday, operating from 10 am to 5 pm. The “Cash Crop” exhibition, a compelling and thought-provoking showcase, will be on view until August 2024.

Details

Opening Date: February 10, 2024
Closing Date: August 2024

Main Museum: 1601 East North Avenue

Cash Crop Exhibit (The “Mansion” – 1st Floor): 1649 East North Avenue (corner of Broadway and North Avenue), Baltimore, MD 21213

Admission for Opening Weekend Only (Feb. 10th -11th)
Main Museum + Cash Crop Guided Tour w/ Dr. Joanne Martin: $30
Main Museum + Cash Crop (no tour): $18
Exhibit with Regular Admission:
Main Museum + Cash Crop: $18

For more information, please visit here.

 

 

Pictured: Terence Nicholson Our Lady of Perpetual Servitude, mixed media, 120″x 72″ x 9″, 2018. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Terence Nicholson You Can’t Unring The Bell at Honfleur Gallery
by Matthew McClure
Published January 29 in East City Art

Excerpt: DC native, Baltimore-based Terence Nicholson’s exhibition of work at Honfleur Gallery in Historic Anacostia has been extended by an additional week through February 9 by popular demand. There couldn’t be a better venue for what Nicholson has called his “homecoming;” a body of work that examines the effects of gentrification, trauma, hope, and what he calls “The Black Experience” through a powerfully personal lens. Nicholson’s long history of growing up and working in Anacostia, a neighborhood buffeted by the inconstant winds of DC’s cultural, social and political legislation since the early 20th Century, gives his show an added layer of interest.

I attended the exhibition opening just before Christmas last year, and what a triumph it was. Battling the residual vestiges of a cold, the artist beamed with justified pride as he joked in a characteristically light-hearted manner about pulling the show together just in time and with the help of large doses of vitamin C. The crowd in attendance reflected his plethora of interests: academics, buyers, musicians, martial arts enthusiasts, and Anacostia residents out for a night on the town.

 

 

A scene from "I Will Eat You Alive." (Courtesy Kiirstn Pagan)

How The Voxel’s owner and artist-in-residence make tech and theatre inseparable
by Alanah Nichole Davis
Published January 25 in Technical.ly Baltimore

Excerpt: Chris Ashworth knows that art and technology go hand in hand. The flagship product of Figure 53, his software development company, is a tech platform for live performances — and it all comes together at his Old Goucher arts venue, The Voxel.

The Voxel opened in 2020 on a belief that “technology is not artistically interesting in and of itself,” according to Ashworth.

The intersection of art, whether exhibited, public or performance-based, with technology is nothing new. Over the years, the two fields’ convergence has shaped creative genres, sparked concerns and served as a tool for artists and researchers alike.

Ashworth’s research lab, teaching classroom and arts venue serves as a hub for the research and development of Figure 53’s QLab. The software provides a way for venues to design and automate features like sound, video and projection in live shows. Figure 53 offers several tutorials for the platform on its YouTube page.

 

 

AAM’s new Senior Curator Dr. Lee Glazer, will join the staff beginning February 2024.

AAM Announces Appointment of New Senior Curator, Dr. Lee Glazer
Press Release :: January 23

The Academy Art Museum is pleased to announce Lee Glazer’s appointment as Senior Curator beginning February 20, 2024. Glazer brings to AAM more than 20 years of experience in American art museums, serving in leadership, curatorial and educational programming roles.

Director Sarah Jesse states, “We are delighted that Lee will be joining the Academy at an exciting time of growth for the museum, as we originate new exhibitions, expand the collection, and build a state-of-the art collection storage annex. Lee’s expertise in generating rigorous exhibitions that resonate with broad audiences will make her an invaluable addition to the team.”

Dr. Glazer leaves her current role as director of the Museum Programs Division at the National Archives to join the team at AAM. There, she led the administrative, operational, and programmatic activities, including a $60-million redesign of the permanent galleries and learning center.

Prior, she was the inaugural Director of the Lunder Institute for American Art, a prestigious initiative within the Colby College Museum of Art, and Curator of American Art at the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery of Art from 2007-2018. Among the notable exhibitions she curated was a reinstallation of James McNeill Whistler’s Peacock Room that showcased the Asian ceramics collected by museum founder Charles Lang Freer, as well as Filthy Lucre, a reimagining of Whistler’s decorative interior by contemporary painter Darren Waterston.

“The Board of Trustees is thrilled to have Lee join us as our new Senior Curator. With Lee’s experience she will play a key role in driving our exhibitions and acquisition program forward; helping us achieve our goals of promoting a strong vision for our permanent collection and exhibitions and increasing our visibility. With Lee’s multifold experiences at the Freer, the Lunder Institute and the National Archives she is uniquely suited to create for the Academy Art Museum an exciting program that has access points for both seasoned art connoisseurs and those that are at the start of their journey with art,” said AAM Board Chair Donna Alpi.

Glazer received her PhD in art history from University of Pennsylvania, her MA in English literature from Yale, and a BA in art history from George Mason University. She has lectured and published on a wide range of art historical topics, including the artist James McNeill Whistler and American aestheticism.

“With its commitment to capacious storytelling, creative expression, and community engagement, the Academy Art Museum is contributing to a new paradigm for what local cultural institutions can be and do. I am thrilled to serve as the next senior curator at the Academy, a museum so clearly rooted in its local community and engaged with the larger artworld,” said Dr. Glazer.

 

 

Lewis Museum kicks off Black History Month celebrating BLACK WOMAN GENIUS
by Rachel Graham
Published January 29 by The Reginald F. Lewis Museum

The Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture (The Lewis Museum) today announced it will open its newest exhibition, BLACK WOMAN GENIUS: Elizabeth Talford Scott – Tapestries of Generations, on Thursday, February 1st. The exhibit is presented in partnership with the Elizabeth Talford Scott Community Initiative, the 2023-24 Exhibition Development Seminar (EDS) capstone project for MICA’s undergraduate Curatorial Studies Concentration. BLACK WOMAN GENIUS focuses on Talford Scott as a key figure for Black women in the fiber arts. Her work will be showcased alongside contemporary Black women fiber artists from the Chesapeake area, including her daughter, MacArthur Genius Award winner Joyce J. Scott. The exhibit will explore themes including Ancestry, Tradition, Fiber Narratives, and Healing, aiming to spotlight the distinctive elements of Elizabeth Talford Scott’s work.

The new exhibition will be celebrated with an opening reception and panel discussion on Thursday, February 1st, from 7pm to 9pm. At 8pm, Lewis Museum Curator Imani Haynes will be in conversation with Joyce J. Scott and Leslie King-Hammond, Ph.D., Founding Director of the Center for Race and Culture at the Maryland Institute College of Art, where she is also Graduate Dean Emeritus. Dr. King-Hammond served as co-curator for BLACK WOMAN GENIUS.

The celebration of the exhibition’s arrival will continue with a free community day on Saturday, February 3rd that will include a screening of QUILTED EDUCATION. This film celebrates a mother’s artistry and determination to fill the educational void for her daughter regarding Black History within the public school system. A conversation will follow with filmmaker Kayla Robinson and quilter historian Karen Robinson.

The free community day will also include Historic Change: Celebrating the Activism and Impact of Rev. Dr. Pauli Murray. Presented by The Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum and the United States Mint, in partnership with The Lewis Museum, Historic Change will celebrate the latest release in the American Women Quarters™ Program honoring this legal and religious groundbreaker. A native Baltimorean, Rev. Dr. Murray’s book, States’ Laws on Race and Colorpublished in 1951, was described by Thurgood Marshall, then head of the legal department at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), as the “Bible” for civil rights litigators. In 1977, Murray became the first Black person perceived as a woman in the U.S. to become an Episcopal priest. AWQ is the first circulating coin program dedicated to honoring women whose achievements, triumphs, and legacies reflect the strength, perseverance, and resiliency of our nation. Visitors will receive a quarter honoring Rev. Dr. Murray and can take part in a variety of craft activities.

To learn more about these events and the full calendar of programming scheduled for February, visit www.LewisMuseum.org.

 

 

The entrance of the American Visionary Art Museum’s Sideshow. —Photography by Christopher Myers

The Magic of the Museum Gift Shop is Alive and Well in Baltimore
by Kate Livie
Published January 30 in Baltimore Magazine

Excerpt: I was seven years old, standing by the cash register at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., with three dollars wadded in my hand, free to choose anything I wanted from the gift shop. My sights were set on the space ice cream—the obvious choice of any red-blooded child of the 1980s. A Neapolitan wafer of Styrofoam-like sugar, it was the next best thing to bouncing weightlessly around the moon’s potholes.

This was no mere souvenir. Instead, my crinkly package of freeze-dried dessert was a tangible thread connecting my little-kid body to the superheroes who ascended into the stars. And from that instant, it was official: I was hooked. Not on the space ice cream—it’s pretty disappointing, actually—but on the magic of the museum gift shop.

Of course, these abound in Baltimore, a city of world-class museums that run the gamut from industrial history to postmodern art. And inside each one, the gift shop is another curated collection, tailored to reflect the people, objects, and stories that make that museum special.

 

 

Simone Leigh and Liz Magic Laser, "Breakdown" (2011), single-channel digital video, color, sound (photo Angelica Aboulhosn/Hyperallergic)

The Divine Dissatisfaction of Music
by Angelica Aboulhosn
Published January 23 in Hyperallergic

Excerpt: The courtyard of the Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM) in Washington, DC, is deceptively quiet. Even when teeming with people, the expansive room never overwhelms. In it, noise dissipates, echoing then falling away. On a recent winter night, the courtyard swelled with the sounds of wind chimes and bird calls, the lulling of conversation that begins and trails off.

Dancers clad in pearl and slate gray swayed, branchlike, to the undulating music. The performance, entitled “Like a Phantom Near or Far (An Occasional Figure Moving),” wove through the galleries as the dancers crawled downstairs, perched behind balconies, and lost themselves in dervish-like spirals on the third floor’s azure-blue and russet tiles.

Conceived by Mariam Ghani and Erin Ellen Kelly, the performance accompanied the exhibition Musical Thinking: New Video Art and Sonic Strategies. The show opens with “When the Spirits Moved Them, They Moved” (2019), an effusive work by filmmaker Ghani and choreographer Kelly. Shot in a Shaker community in Pleasant Hill, Kentucky, it follows a troupe of dancers, some donning wine reds, others in crisp whites, as they file into a sun-drenched room, where they stretch and balance, interweaving, tendril-like, with every move.

 

 

The Banneker-Douglass Museum Celebrates Black History Month and its 40th Anniversary This February
Press Release :: January 25

The Banneker-Douglass Museum (BDM) and Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture (MCAAHC) are proud to announce a series of dynamic programs and exhibitions in celebration of Black History Month, Maryland’s Year of Civil Rights, and BDM’s 40th anniversary. Residents and visitors are in for transformative and inspiring experiences!

“With so much to celebrate this month in Maryland African American history and culture, we are taking this opportunity to honor changemakers, reflect on the journey, and inspire future generations”, said Chanel C. Johnson, Executive Director of BDM and MCAAHC.

PROGRAMS

Black Power Freedom Party & Reception: The 10 Points and Beyond
Friday, February 2nd | 6:00 PM – 10:00 PM
St. John’s College, Annapolis, MD 21401
Tickets: $40 | freedomparty.eventbrite.com

Kick off Black History Month with the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture! Join us in a grand celebration as we pay homage to the radical Black history makers of Maryland who have fearlessly challenged the status quo and left a lasting mark on history, art, and culture.
The evening will include a conversation with NAACP Image Award-winning author and Maryland native, Carole Boston Weatherford. Honorees are Myrtis Bedolla, Carl Snowden, Delegate Shaneka Henson
W. Paul Coates, Speaker of the House Adrienne A. Jones, Gov. Wes Moore & First Lady Dawn Moore, and Erricka Bridgeford. April Sampé and Dem B-more Katz will provide live music. Tickets include entry to the talk, reception, heavy hors d’oeuvres, and drink tickets.

MCAAHC February 2024 Public Meeting
Monday, February 5, 2024 | 11:00am
Reginald F. Lewis Museum
830 East Pratt Street, Baltimore, MD 21202
Register link here.

Join us for the Black History Month edition of the public meeting for the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture (MCAAHC). This month’s public meeting hosts will be the Baltimore City commission delegation. Guest speakers are Dayvon Love, Director of Public Policy for Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle, and Dr. Schroeder Cherry, Museum Curator at the James E. Lewis Museum of Art. Attendees can also network with various Black Baltimore-based cultural arts vendors.

Baltimore Read Aloud Story Time
Thursday, February 15, 2024 | 11:00am – 12:00pm
Banneker-Douglass Museum
84 Franklin Street, Annapolis MD 21401
Register here.

Join us for a fun-filled morning where stories come to life! Baltimore Read Aloud and Banneker-Douglass Museum presents Day Out at the Museum, a monthly storytime series for ages 2 to 5. Let their imaginations run wild as we dive into enchanting tales. Expect a read aloud, interactive games, art activities, and light snacks. Pre-K classes and day care groups welcome!

String of Pearls the Musical
Sunday, February 18, 2024 | 11:00am – 12:00pm
Maryland Hall
801 Chase St, Annapolis, MD 21401
Tickets: https://bit.ly/StringofPearlsMusical

Maryland Hall, in association with Banneker-Douglass Museum, is proud to present the jazz musical String of Pearls. This captivating musical tells the love story of Nettie and Sam, sharecroppers, who dare to preserve their love in a daring and ingenious escape from the Chikoree Wood Cotton Plantation to Washington, D.C.’s Greater U Street neighborhood. The adventures, calamities, and flashes of joy and wonder they encounter are the thread that holds them together–The String of Pearls. A panel discussion with Annapolis cultural leaders, including Dr. Edwin T. Johnson will follow the show.

REVISIT/REIMAGINE Exhibition Opening Reception & BDM’s 40th Anniversary
Saturday, February 24, 2024 | 12:00PM – 4:00PM
Banneker-Douglass Museum
84 Franklin Street, Annapolis MD 21401
Register: https://bit.ly/RevisitReimagineOpening

Join us in celebrating BDM’s anniversary and the opening of the meditative exhibition REVISIT/REIMAGINE: The Civil Rights Era in Maryland and Parallels of Today. REVISIT/REIMAGINE is a multidisciplinary exhibition that remembers the legacies of civil rights leaders and their effect on Black Marylanders and the United States in totality. In collaboration with AFRO Archives, images of nationally and locally recognized civil rights leaders will be on display accompanied by the work of contemporary artists living and working in the Maryland area. Come and hear from featured artists in the exhibit during an artist talk led by the exhibit’s curator, Thomas James.

EXHIBITIONS

REVISIT/REIMAGINE: The Civil Rights Era in Maryland and Parallels of Today
On display February 24, 2024 – January 4, 2025

REVISIT/REIMAGINE: The Civil Rights Era in Maryland and Parallels of Today, a multidisciplinary exhibition that remembers the legacies of civil rights leaders and their effect on Black Marylanders and the United States in totality. In collaboration with AFRO Archives, images of nationally and locally recognized civil rights leaders will be on display accompanied by the work of contemporary artists living and working in the Maryland area. The gallery will be designed to emulate that of an interior home space with books, records, and other objects scattered throughout. This layout will serve as a visual representation of intergenerational relationships and how the issues of civil rights have transformed, progressed, and regressed throughout the 60 years between the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and our current existence today.

Deep Roots, Rising Waters: A Celebration of African Americans in Maryland
Permanent Exhibit

This exhibition provides an overview of African American history in Maryland from 1633 through present day. Learn how African Americans throughout Maryland made lasting changes for all Americans.

Learn more about current exhibitions at https://bdmuseum.maryland.gov/exhibitions/

 

 

A view of Baltimore's Inner Harbor from McKeldin Plaza. Photo by Ed Gunts.

McKeldin family asks Baltimore’s preservation commission to designate McKeldin Square a city landmark, potentially complicating Harborplace revitalization plans
by Ed Gunts
Published January 24 in Baltimore Fishbowl

Excerpt: The family of former mayor and governor Theodore Roosevelt McKeldin has asked Baltimore’s preservation commission to designate McKeldin Square a city landmark, an action that could potentially complicate MCB Real Estate’s plans to revitalize Harborplace.

In a letter sent this week to Baltimore’s Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation (CHAP), four members of the McKeldin family said they would like to see the public space known as McKeldin Square continue to bear his name and continue to serve as a place where visitors can learn about McKeldin and his contributions to Baltimore, including his role in launching the revitalization of the Inner Harbor.

See also:

Harborplace redevelopment plans could erase McKeldin Square. Some McKeldins aren’t pleased.
by Lillian Reed
Published January 25 in The Baltimore Banner

 

 

Attendees of the inaugural Creatives in the Garden happy hour event enjoy drinks and conversation at the bar in Stem and Vine on Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2024, in Baltimore. (Wesley Lapointe/for the Baltimore Banner)

Plant yourself at the bar: Stem and Vine takes root downtown
by Jasmine Vaughn-Hall
Published January 31 in The Baltimore Banner

Excerpt: There’s more to unearth at Stem and Vine, one of downtown Baltimore’s newer businesses, than the green and viney plants hanging in the floor-to-ceiling windows or the intimate, full bar in the back.

The owner wants the plants, adult refreshments and purchasable artwork to serve as starting points for people to connect, educate themselves on owning and maintaining plants, and build community.

“My vision for this space is to see people with influence get together and use it to solve problems,” said Quincy Goldsmith, the owner of Stem and Vine, a plant shop and wine bar.

 

 

AVAM Nominated For “Best Art Museum” in USA Today’s 2024 “10 Best” Readers Choice Awards
Press Release :: January 25

For the third consecutive year, the American Visionary Art Museum has been nominated in the category of “Best Art Museum” as part of USA Today’s “10Best” Readers’ Choice Awards. AVAM is the only Maryland museum to be nominated in this category, and is among museums such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET) in New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in California, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art in Pennsylvania also nominated. In each of the last two years, AVAM was voted second in the “Best Museum” category. The full list of museums nominated in the “Best Museum” category can be found HERE.

​Those wishing to vote may do so once per day until polls close on Monday, February 19 at noon ET. The winning museums, as determined by the most votes, will be announced on Friday, March 1, 2024. To vote for AVAM, click HERE.

USA Today’s “10Best” aims to “provide users with original, unbiased and experiential travel coverage of top attractions, things to see and do, and restaurants for top destinations in the U.S. and around the world.”

See also:

Three Maryland museums nominated in USA Today’s ‘Best Free Museum’ contest, including BMA, Lillie Carroll Jackson Civil Rights Museum, and Banneker-Douglass Museum; Voting is open through Feb. 12.
by Marcus Dieterle
Published January 26 in The Baltimore Banner

 

 

Julie Sharp, right, adds additional hairspray to Sydney Sharp’s hair at HONfest on Saturday, June 10, 2023.

Baltimore’s HONfest is coming to an end
by Jasmine Vaughn-Hall
Published January 25 in The Baltimore Banner

Excerpt: Don’t expect the sea of teased beehives and feather boas this summer.
That’s a wrap, hon. After thirty years of HONfest, the annual gathering is retiring.

News of the festival’s end came in an email sent Wednesday night by Wendy Sites, a HONfest vendor and logistics coordinator. She seemed to blame the amount of work that went into putting on the festival.

“It’s a lot of work. We have elderly parents now and lives change and things change. We thought it was time. Can’t do it all,” Sites wrote. She also thanked Baltimore and vendors for supporting the festival — which attracted thousands with music, food, crafts and vendors — and lauded how much the event had grown over the years.

See also:
It’s over, Hon. HONfest has come to an end, organizers announce.
by Marcus Dieterle
Published January 25 in Baltimore Fishbowl

 

 

header image: Carlos Raba displays family photos in his new eatery. (Matti Gellman) from The Baltimore Banner

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