BmoreArt News: “Free Admissions” Podcast, James Beard Nominee D. Watkins, New Plan for Station North

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Studio Visit with Tamara Payne

This week’s news includes:  The Walters’ new podcast “Free Admissions,” D. Watkins nominated for a James Beard Media Award, Central Baltimore Partnership (CBP) and Johns Hopkins University (JHU) unveil new plan for Station North, Baltimore Center Stage announces their new season, Baltimore Youth Film Arts funding falters, BSO dedicates final concert to Key Bridge victims, Project Artscape designers chosen, Big Rasna, James “Jim” Voshell, Atlas Restaurant Group woes, and Maryland’s LGBTQ+ legislation  — with reporting from Baltimore Magazine, Baltimore Fishbowl, Baltimore Brew, and other local and independent news sources.

Header Image: Through Baltimore Youth Film Arts, young people learned the ins and outs of producing films and other art forms. (Courtesy: Keith Mehlinger)

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The Walters Art Museum Debuts “Free Admissions” Podcast Today
Press Release :: May 13

Today, May 13, the Walters Art Museum debuts its first-ever podcast, Free Admissions, presenting behind-the-scenes conversations about the museum’s latest exhibitions, programs, conservation projects, and more. Engaging conversations among the people who make the work of the Walters happen, the episodes are available for free on the Walters website and anywhere you get your podcasts, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Soundcloud.

“Free Admissions is not just an opportunity for our community to gain a deeper understanding of the Walters through a popular medium, it also underscores our continued dedication to the people we serve through open access, a concept that the museum was founded on 90 years ago,” said Julia Marciari-Alexander, Andrea B. and John H. Laporte Director. “In 1934, the museum opened its doors ‘for the benefit of the public.’ In 2006, we were able to offer free admission, leading to a 38% increase in attendance, and in 2014 all admission fees for special exhibitions were dropped. And in 2011, the museum removed copyright restrictions from more than 10,000 object images, allowing images of the works in the museum’s permanent collection to be used by the public for any purpose free of charge. This commitment to free access to the Walters is the cornerstone of our work.”

Each Free Admissions episode is an all-access guide to the Walters, featuring the latest news, guest interviews, and in-depth explorations of the Walters collection. Through the podcast, listeners can forge a connection with seven millennia of art at one of America’s most distinctive museums—where admission is always free. “Free Admissions” also refers to the frank, insightful, and fun conversations with guests that lift the veil on museum operations, allowing listeners to gain an understanding of both the Walters and museums in general.

New episodes premiere the first Wednesday of every other month and feature guests from every corner of the museum’s operations, from curatorial and visitor experience to conservation and community engagement. Guests delve into their work on exhibitions, programs and events, museum milestones, current events, tools of the trade, collection objects, and more. The podcast is hosted by Karena Ingram, the museum’s Digital Marketing Associate.

The new episode out today features Visitor Experience Associate Aric Dietrich, Executive Director Marciari-Alexander, Robert and Nancy Hall Curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts Lynley Anne Herbert, and Deborah and Philip English Curator of Decorative Arts, Design, and Material Culture Earl Martin. In this episode, they discuss the Walters’ newest exhibition, Reflect & Remix: Art Inspiring Artists, hidden gems you can see on your next visit, and favorite artworks in the collection. Two additional episodes are also available today for listeners to enjoy.

Free Admissions adds to the robust list of free publications the museum proudly offers to its community, including the Journal of the Walters Art Museum, the Walters magazine, and the museum’s websites. The Journal, first published in 1938, is the oldest continuously published scholarly art museum journal in the United States and seeks to disseminate knowledge about the museum’s history and its collections. The Walters magazine, published three times a year, informs museum supporters about exclusive events, new exhibitions, and upcoming initiatives. Finally, each day, the museum’s award-winning main website, its newly redesigned art site, and its manuscripts site publish new content. Combined, the sites serve an average of over 47,000 art lovers globally each month.

To learn more about Free Admissions, visit



Episode 2: The Creative Power of Women (Audio)
by The Walters Art Museum
Aired on Free Admissions Podcast

Excerpt: In this episode of Free Admissions, we celebrate Women’s History Month. Discover the history of nearly 75 years of women leadership in the Walters Conservation Department from its director, Julie Lauffenburger. Learn about New on the Bookshelf: The Creative Power of Women from the exhibition’s curator, Lynley Anne Herbert.



from D. Watkins' Instagram @dwatkinsworld

Announcing the 2024 Media Award Nominees
Press Release :: April 30

Today, we are proud to announce the 2024 Media Award nominees in advance of the returning James Beard Awards ceremonies presented by Capital One. The list includes nominees in Book, Broadcast Media, and Journalism categories. This year’s winners will be announced at the Media Awards ceremony in Chicago on the campus of Columbia College Chicago on Saturday, June 8.

Check out the nominees below! […]

This award recognizes distinctive style, thorough knowledge, plainspoken prose, and innovative approach in a single article on alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages.

“Bourbon, Biodiversity, and the Quest to Save America’s Oak Forests”
Betsy Andrews
SevenFifty Daily  

“Still Life”
Emily Bingham
Travel + Leisure

“Navigating the new sober boom, where a person’s sobriety is as unique as their fingerprint”
D. Watkins



Central Baltimore Partnership & Johns Hopkins Unveil New Plan for Station North
Press Release :: May 9

Central Baltimore Partnership (CBP) and Johns Hopkins University (JHU) proudly announce the release of the groundbreaking 2024 Station North Economic Development Implementation Roadmap. Commissioned by CBP, funded by a JHU grant and completed by HR&A Advisors, the comprehensive plan provides a practical guide for economic development initiatives in Baltimore’s Station North neighborhood.

“The release of the 2024 Station North Economic Development Implementation Roadmap marks a significant milestone in our collective efforts to revitalize and strengthen the Station North neighborhoods,” said Ellen Janes, executive director of Central Baltimore Partnership. “This roadmap provides a clear and actionable framework to promote equitable economic development, support arts and culture, and create new opportunities for all members of our community.”

Mitch Bonanno, vice president and chief real estate officer for Johns Hopkins University, shared CBP’s optimism about the strategy.

“Johns Hopkins values its long-standing relationship with Central Baltimore Partnership and the Station North community. This study is a critical next step in progressing the collaborative work of stakeholders involved with the ongoing revitalization of such a treasured center for arts and culture in Baltimore,” Bonanno said. “We are honored to continue working with so many of our valued partners to maintain the positive momentum established over the past decade in Station North.”

Since 2014 Johns Hopkins has taken significant steps to support Station North. The university relocated its undergraduate film and media studies program into the long-vacant Centre Theatre on North Avenue. The university also secured a $5 million grant to assist with the $16 million renovation of the Parkway Theater, home to the Maryland Film Festival, which returned to the neighborhood May 2-5.

The new economic development roadmap stems from a collective vision from a robust coalition of over 200 partners organized by CBP: neighborhood associations; nonprofits; businesses; city, state, and federal government agencies; Medstar Union Memorial Hospital; and the anchor institutions of Johns Hopkins University, MICA, and the University of Baltimore. The alliance of organizations will be working to promote equitable revitalization guided by these key principles:

  • Support for Arts and Culture: Recognizing Station North’s rich tradition of arts and culture, the roadmap prioritizes investment in existing assets and the creation of new cultural destinations. 
  • Inclusive Growth: The plan avoids displacement of residents and businesses and ensures that all community members benefit from economic development initiatives. 
  • Equitable Opportunity: The roadmap seeks to create a vibrant and inclusive neighborhood by providing equitable opportunities for residents, artists, students, businesses, and visitors. The study area – primarily comprised of the Station North Arts District – encompasses a diverse and centrally located area bounded by 22nd Street to the north, Greenmount Avenue to the east, East Lanvale Street to the south, and North Howard Street to the west. 

“With 15% population growth since 2010, Station North stands as one of the most diverse communities in the city,” said Chris Ryer, Baltimore’s planning director. “It has a rich tradition of arts and culture, and great potential to be a flourishing hub of growth in Baltimore. The neighborhood touts a diverse population, central location, excellent transit access, anchor institutions, and strong community organizations.”

Station North’s potential to thrive faces many of the same challenges of other commercial centers in Baltimore: vacant, blighted commercial properties, crime, and sluggish post-COVID commercial growth.

Building from a variety of studies conducted in the area since it was designated a State Arts District in 2002, HR&A conducted extensive research, analysis, and stakeholder engagement to understand market conditions and devise a strategy to achieve equitable revitalization at this crossroads of Baltimore City.

The roadmap offers a multifaceted approach to address these challenges and capitalize on the neighborhood’s strengths, including:

  • Arts and Entertainment Development: Highlighting the North Avenue Market as a prime opportunity for arts and entertainment development, the roadmap proposes a two-pronged approach: public-facing initiatives to attract investment and tenants, and private strategies to acquire and develop key “opportunity sites.” 
  • Diverse Housing: Recognizing the need for diverse housing options, the plan also recommends investment in new multifamily housing, for-sale townhomes, workforce rental housing, and market-rate rental housing. 

“With a concerted, multi-faceted, and collaborative strategy, we can boost real estate development in Station North in a way that supports artists and legacy residents, strengthens the
Arts District, and creates a thriving cultural and entertainment nexus for Baltimore,” Janes said. “To do this, we need partners to invest in arts and culture, beginning with the North Avenue Market, which can be a vibrant arts center and a citywide and regional destination.”

The 2024 Station North Economic Development Implementation Roadmap is available on the Central Baltimore Partnership website.



Baltimore Center Stage Announces 24/25 Season, Featuring Grammy Winner Donald Lawrence, The Gilded Age’s Ben Ahlers, and More
Press Release :: May 16

Baltimore Center Stage (BCS) (Artistic Director Stevie Walker-Webb; Managing Director Adam Frank) is proud to announce the 2024/25 Season, the first season programmed by Tony Award-nominee Stevie Walker-Webb in his new tenure as Artistic Director. Memberships for the 2024/25 Season go on sale today, and single ticket sales will go on sale in the summer.

“In my debut season as Artistic Director, we’re raising the curtain on a spectacular celebration of new plays.,” said Walker-Webb. “Baltimore has always been a nurturing haven for artists, and this year, BCS proudly hosts not one, but two world premieres—a testament to our city’s artistic vitality. With one play crafted by the talented Tony Award nominee and my cherished friend, Jordan E. Cooper, and the other by the razor-sharp writer and nine-time Emmy winner, Matthew Weiner, our stage is set for greatness.

Walker-Webb added, “This season, Baltimore Center Stage reaffirms its standing as a premier destination for cutting-edge theater. While our productions will soon grace stages worldwide, there’s something truly magical about experiencing them right here in Baltimore, where they first come to life.”

The 2024/25 season features a full slate of 6 plays, beginning this fall with a world premiere of Tony Nominee Jordan E. Cooper’s new show OH HAPPY DAY!, directed by Walker-Webb and featuring original music by GRAMMY Award-winning gospel artist Donald Lawrence. Next, BCS favorite, and former Interim Artistic Director, Ken-Matt Martin returns with a production of the Jane Austen classic Pride and Prejudice, written by Kate Hamill, in association with Arkansas Repertory Theatre. The season then features a new collaboration with local mainstay ArtsCentric for the production of Langston Hughes’ Black Nativity, directed by Kevin S. McAllister (ArtsCentric Artistic Director), and featuring original music by Music Director Cedric D. Lyles, choreography by Shalyce Hemby, and costume design by Larry Boggs.

The season continues in 2025 with the East Coast Premiere of Everything That Never Happened, written by Sarah Mantell and directed by Jessica Kubzansky. Next up will be Akeelah and the Bee, a stage adaptation by Cheryl L. West of the acclaimed film, followed by the 40th Anniversary of the BCS Young Playwrights Festival.  The season concludes with the world premiere of nine-time Emmy winner Matthew Weiner’s JOHN WILKES BOOTH: ONE NIGHT ONLY!, directed by Walker-Webb and starring Ben Ahlers (The Gilded Age). […]



Skills in front of and behind the camera were explored in various workshops throughout the Baltimore Youth Film Arts program. (Courtesy: Somer Greer)

As funds run dry, a program for young storytellers enters its final chapter
by Jasmine Vaughn-Hall
Published May 9 in The Baltimore Banner

Den’Marice Chambers was 21 years old the first time she touched a MacBook.

She learned how to use the Apple computer through Baltimore Youth Film Arts workshops, in a program that trains and empowers young people to tell their stories through film, animation, photography and writing. The program is where Chambers could take as many animation courses as she could, chasing her goal of creating a cartoon someday.

The workshops helped her express herself and tell the stories of her daily struggles, such as not caring so much about what people think, through different art forms. As the middle child and self-appointed problem solver for five siblings, she had plenty to say.

“It just allowed me to open up and share a lot of things that I kept inside,” Chambers said.

But that outlet for storytelling in Baltimore could be in its final chapter.

The Baltimore Youth Film Arts program, historically funded by the Andrew F. Mellon Foundation and the Johns Hopkins University’s Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, will not see that funding renewed next year. Without investment from new donors, the program, which has worked with nearly 700 fellows since its inception in 2016, will come to a close this fall. Instructors and fellows see the end as capping a pipeline to creativity and expression for young people, including that of work by current and past fellows at the recent Maryland Film Festival.

The Mellon Foundation decided last year not to renew the grant for a third time, communications director Kate Pipkin said in a statement. Pipkin added that “grants such as this rarely exist in perpetuity” and that the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences cannot fund the program alone and was unable to find other sources to assist.

“We are grateful to those involved in managing the program and to the Mellon Foundation for their visionary support of this program and of higher education in general,” Pipkin said in a statement.

Chambers, now 29 years old, was hoping to age out of the program, which works with Baltimore’s 16-to-29-year-olds. She is sad to see it go because it benefited young people in more ways than one. A stipend through the program, which typically ranges from $210 to $370, depending on the length of the workshop, helped Chambers several times when she “was in a bind” and needed to help out a sibling or was backed up on rent.

More than 1,800 stipends have been given to students in 206 workshops, said Chrissy Fitchett and Lucy Bucknell, an associate director and principal investigator for Baltimore Youth Film Arts.

Workshops have included training on producing video diaries and documentaries and photography. The students have also helped with community projects, including Inside Stories: Perspectives on Incarceration,in which students interviewed formerly incarcerated people and those with jobs in the prison system. The project also has a podcast that still lives on the program’s website. Gregory Carpenter, a past an instructor for the workshop, said it was important for students to learn to ask the right questions, especially to those who spent decades behind bars, so they could get to the root of their stories. Often, those testaments of past mistakes and struggles with reentry into society get overlooked, he said.

Fellows have taken what they have learned to produce projects outside of the workshops as well. The Maryland Film Festival had at least two screenings with ties to fellows. “Faidley’s: The Center of the Universe,” a documentary about the family-owned crab restaurant and staple at Lexington Market, was created with help from fellows who interviewed family members and tasted and talked about hallmark items on the menu.

Myron Higgins, a former fellow, also had a screening of his film “Got Lead?” — which he started six years ago through Baltimore Youth Film Arts to document his experience getting lead poisoning as a child, having to learn what it was and how it impacted him, and blowing through a $250,000 settlement because of a lack of financial literacy.

Sarah Georgiou, a fellow who helped with the Faidley’s documentary, said she feels like a professional videographer after the program’s workshops.

The full-time freelance photographer joined two years ago and wanted to be more well-rounded by adding videography to her visual skills. As someone who can’t afford film school, Georgiou believes she lucked out with Baltimore Youth Film Arts.

“I feel very happy that I was invested in … getting to learn all these professional things for free gave me more opportunity than signing up for a class,” she said.

The teachers were also “super knowledgeable and they work in the industry so they know how to teach,” Georgiou added.

Annette Porter, a teacher within the program and director of the Saul Zaentz Innovation Fund, was impressed by Baltimore Youth Film Arts because the classes were designed to meet fellows where they were.

Porter, who started a film production company in London, taught fellows how to create video diaries, a reflection of their day-to-day lives, and turn them into short personal films in some of the first workshops. Porter recalls a young man’s video about spending a night in prison and another fellow who talked about living in a house with no running water.

“I hope they’ve come to understand how important it is to have their story and their perspectives told and out there and recognized,” Porter said.

Porter added that she noticed a huge growth in confidence in how the fellows communicated.

Alfonzer Harvin, an animation instructor, often noticed a transition from newcomers in the program.

Harvin enjoyed witnessing the “ah-ha moment when they come in and they’re brand new and they’re interested in topics and they get shown the reality of the work that it takes to get there.” he wishes there had been a program like this when he was growing up in Baltimore.

Animation fellows often repeated Harvin’s courses, which included traditional animation with pencil, paper and light boxes and combining 2-D with live action. Fellows even had to voice their own characters, storyboarding and script writing.

Organizers are not yet ready to give up on finding another donor and have hope someone will come through.

When an email about the looming end to the program dropped, Harvin said his phone blew up with disappointed students. But he tried to convince them to stay dedicated to what they started and hone their crafts.

“They can stop the funding, but they can’t stop the arts,” he said.

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



Photo from Wikipedia Commons.

Music Director Jonathon Heyward to Lead Free Symphony in the City Season Finale at Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine on June 7
Press Release :: May 9

The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) proudly announces the grand finale of its 2023-24 Symphony in the City concert series on Friday, June 7 at 7:00 pm at Fort McHenry. The free community outdoor concert, co-presented with Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine, the birthplace of the American national anthem, holds particular significance as it closes the historic inaugural season under the direction of Music Director Jonathon Heyward.  

Under Heyward’s baton, the performance is dedicated to those affected by the March 2024 Key Bridge tragedy and recovery, serving as a tribute to the lives lost, the bravery of first responders, and the resilience of the Baltimore community. Free and open to all, the concert features a stellar lineup of performers, including the world-class Orchestra, BSO Artistic Partner Wordsmith, and young musicians from BSO OrchKids and the Baltimore Symphony Youth Orchestras. 

While the concert is free to attend, the BSO invites attendees to reserve their tickets and pay it forward to support the Maryland Tough Baltimore Strong Key Bridge Fund at the Baltimore Community Foundation. This fund supports recovery and resilience efforts for the families, port workers, first responders, small businesses and communities impacted by the Key Bridge tragedy.

In addition to the performance of the Star-Spangled Banner in keeping with this historic site of the venue, the uplifting program for the final Symphony in the City concert features a diverse selection of classical and contemporary pieces. Highlights include Shostakovich’s Festive Overture, Marsalis’ Herald, Holler, and Hallelujah (a BSO co-commission), Barber’s Adagio for Strings, and the finale of Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9, among others. The performance promises to be an unforgettable celebration of Baltimore’s spirit and resolve.

“Music holds a profound power to heal and to bring us together, especially in our most challenging moments,” said BSO Music Director Jonathon Heyward. “As we gather at Fort McHenry, we’re not just sharing a concert; we’re uniting in a communal experience that celebrates resilience and recovery and underscores our belief in music’s ability to comfort, connect, and inspire.”

Symphony in the City:

Friday, June 7, 2024, 7:00 PM
Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine
East Lawn, 2400 East Fort Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21230

Jonathon Heyward, conductor
Wordsmith, spoken word artist
Members of Baltimore Symphony Youth Orchestras
Members of BSO OrchKids

Festive Overture
Herald, Holler, and Hallelujah (BSO co-commission)
March from Montgomery Variations
Welcome Home
Adagio for Strings
Rigaudon from Le Tombeau de Couperin
BOLOGNE (arr. Debbaut)
Rondeau from String Quartet, Op. 1, No. 3
PRICE (arr. Hart)
The Deserted Garden
Symphony No.9, mvt. IV.

Attendees can make an afternoon or evening out of their visit to Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine by arriving early to tour the Star Fort, birthplace of our national anthem, grab an early dinner or food to go from a local Federal Hill or Locust Point restaurant and then enjoy the Symphony in the City performance. Picnic blankets and lawn chairs are welcome. For ticket reservations, admission details, and more information about permitted items, please visit

See also:

BSO will dedicate Symphony in the City finale concert to Key Bridge victims
by Aliza Worthington
Published May 13 in Baltimore Fishbowl



Twelve designers chosen to participate in Project Artscape Fashion Weekend, the fashion-oriented component of Artscape 2024
by Ed Gunts
Published May 10 in Baltimore Fishbowl

Excerpt: Twelve Baltimore-based designers have been selected to participate in Project Artscape Fashion Weekend, the fashion-oriented component of Artscape 2024.

Inspired by the Project Runway TV shows, Project Artscape is a three-day event that will take place from Aug. 2 to Aug. 4 at The Garage, 6 E. Lafayette Ave. It coincides with the annual Artscape festival, which is produced by the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts (BOPA) and scheduled for the same weekend in Midtown and the Station North arts district.

The Fashion Weekend component of Artscape will begin on Aug. 2 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. with an opening runway show and industry panel discussion featuring designer Earle Bannister, founder of E. Bannister Couture and one of the 2024 participants. Following the opening show, six designers will present their work on Saturday and six will present on Sunday.



Big Rasna is an entrepreneur and rapper looking to make waves. (Nile Williams)

He used to own a local underground venue. Now he’s making his own music.
by Taji Burris
Published May 12 in The Baltimore Banner

Excerpt: Everybody wants to leave a legacy. Big Rasna wants to leave many.

The entrepreneur, whose real name is Ansar Abdullah, has his hand in a little bit of everything, from clothing to running an underground arts venue. Now, as he dips his toes into music, he’s proving that not much can stop him — even the deepest of tragedies.

Abdullah, 33, is a native of Atlantic City, New Jersey, but has adopted Baltimore as his second home. His desire to make a mark here started young. While attending Morgan State University — from which he graduated in 2013 with a major in print journalism — he started the Pipe Dreamz clothing brand with fellow fraternity member Christian Chase.

Pipe Dreamz was created to “bridge street and college culture” since Abdullah is a product of both. Shortly after developing the brand, Abdullah decided to expand his reach in 2015 by opening a shop on North Howard Street (which later moved to North Charles Street) so he could be even more entrenched in the community.

… this story continues. Read the rest at The Baltimore Banner: He used to own a local underground venue. Now he’s making his own music.



James “Jim” Voshell was once called a “leading documentarian of the changing city.”

James ‘Jim’ Voshell, artist who documented Baltimore’s hardscrabble neighborhoods, dies
by Jacques Kelly
Published May 9 in The Baltimore Sun

Excerpt: James “Jim” Voshell, an artist whose meticulous paintings and murals documented Baltimore’s hardscrabble neighborhoods, died of diabetic complications April 27 at University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center. He was 80 and lived in Monkton.

Morning commuters once passed his photo-realistic mural of men playing checkers at Edmondson Avenue and Franklintown Road. Despite becoming one of the city’s most acclaimed public art projects, the building on which it was painted was demolished.

Born in Saint Michaels in Talbot County, he was the son of tenant farmers James Voshell and his wife, Teresa. He was a graduate of St. Michaels High School.

“As a young kid he started doodling and drawing pictures on Sundays when his extended family gathered,” said Lynne Jones, his life partner. “He passed the drawings around and of course loved the positive feedback he got.



Led by the Atlas Restaurant Group, applicants want to transfer a liquor license to 1704 Thames Street, the white building behind the tree at left. At right, the Atlas-owned Waterfront Hotel. (Fern Shen)

Atlas Restaurant Group’s plan for a new bar on Thames Street stirs anger and fear
by Fern Shen
Published May 13 in Baltimore Brew

Excerpt: With their homes backing up to Fells Point’s legendary Thames Streets bars, the residents of Lancaster Street say, noise from the revelry over the years was expected and never bothered them – until the Atlas Restaurant Group moved in.

The trouble started, they say, when Atlas purchased the Waterfront Hotel at 1710 Thames, overhauled the second floor to create a larger venue for live bands and added speakers blasting music out to an open next-door lot (1706 Thames Street) where they enhanced the patio and built an outside bar.

“We have had repeated difficulty over the last two years with the noise levels from the live music at the Waterfront Hotel and the existing outdoor speakers, which reverberate through the common courtyard,” wrote Eben Hansel, a Lancaster Street resident, in a letter to the Baltimore Liquor Board.



LGBTQ+ Pride flags. Photo by Susan J. Demas/Michigan Advance.

Legislation boosts Maryland’s rating with LGBTQ+ policy tracking think tank
by Danielle J. Brown
Published May 13 in Maryland Matters

Excerpt: While the 2024 session was a bit more understated on new legislative protections for Maryland’s LGBTQ+ population compared to previous years, a nationwide policy tracker reports that the state is creating a more LGBTQ+ friendly state based off recent legislation.

The Movement Advancement Project (MAP) follows the ever-changing policy landscape across the United States and how it affects the nation’s LGBTQ+ population. The independent, nonprofit think tank regularly updates a policy map to indicate which states the group deems safer for LGBTQ+ individuals and which have more hostile policies.

According to a recent update from the organization, the legislation passed in Maryland’s 2024 session boosted Maryland’s rating among states with laws that protect the LGBTQ+ community.



header image: Through Baltimore Youth Film Arts, young people learned the ins and outs of producing films and other art forms. (Courtesy: Keith Mehlinger)

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