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BmoreArt News: Jenenne Whitfield, MICA Woodworking Students, The Parkway Theatre

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This week’s news includes: Jenenne Whitfield joins MCB Real Estate’s Harborplace team, MICA woodworking students learn about racisim in historically Black neighborhoods, new plans for the Parkway Theatre, Jalynn Harris’ memories of The Charles, Walk on By exhibition brings Baltimore and the Rotterdam together, Elizabeth Talford Scott’s Baltimore museum takeover, Katie Pumphrey’s bay swim, Tony Foreman, Banneker-Douglass Museum celebrates Juneteenth, and Atlas and Sacré Sucré’s controverial liquor licenses — with reporting from Baltimore Magazine, Baltimore Fishbowl, Baltimore Brew, and other local and independent news sources.

Header Image: Schaun Champion. Elusive October. from Creative Alliance Walk on By exhibition.

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MCB Announces First Ever Harborplace Director of Experience
Press Release :: May 29

MCB Real Estate today announced a new Director of Experience to help reimagine the firsthand experience at a new Harborplace. As a part of the year-long community engagement process, MCB heard about the importance of culture, art and experience as a part of a new Harborplace.

Jenenne Whitfield joins MCB with 30 years of work in arts and cultural experiences. Whitfield is widely renowned as the former president of the internationally acclaimed Heidelberg Project in Detroit as well as the director of the American Visionary Art Museum on the southside of the Inner Harbor. Her expertise underscores her ability to infuse Harborplace with innovative and inclusive cultural programming.

“I am thrilled to welcome Jenenne Whitfield to our team,” said P. David Bramble, managing partner of MCB Real Estate. “Her proven background of fostering creativity and inclusivity aligns perfectly with our vision for Harborplace. Together, we are committed to creating a dynamic cultural destination that celebrates Baltimore – even before we put a shovel in the ground. Harborplace has always been the City’s gathering place and our commitment through this process is to return Harborplace to that glory in a modern 21st century way.”

Under Whitfield’s leadership, the Heidelberg Project became a must-see tourist destination as an outdoor art installation in an urban setting.

“When I met David and his team, I learned more of their passion and plans for Harborplace, I thought, ‘VISION, let’s do this!’” said Ms. Whitfield. “Baltimore is such an exciting city with energy that sets new precedents for what a world-class, diverse city can be. I am excited to have been invited to the table.”

Mr. Bramble added “This is not just a real estate transaction. This reinforces our goal of harnessing the power of positive energy to reimagine Harborplace a world-class waterfront destination.”

Under Whitfield’s leadership, Harborplace is set to become a dynamic hub of creativity, innovation, and inclusivity, reinforcing Baltimore’s reputation as a leading cultural destination on the East Coast.

See also:

Former American Visionary Art Museum director Jenenne Whitfield joins MCB Real Estate as Harborplace Director of Experience
by Ed Gunts
Published May 28

 

 

MICA professor Sarah Doherty’s class poses for a photo with cornice pieces they made to be installed on the revitalized West Baltimore home in the background on May 3, 2024. (Kylie Cooper/The Baltimore Banner)

MICA students learn about racism in historic Black neighborhoods through woodworking
by John-John Williams IV
Published May 28 in The Baltimore Banner

For the last semester, students at the Maryland Institute College of Art have been recreating architectural details that once adorned 1920s-era rowhomes in West Baltimore.

One day in March, students showed off cornices they had molded from sawdust. The cornices were P-shaped, horizontal decorative molding with circle grooves etched into their sides. More fashion than function, these crown-like pieces once essentially connected the roofs to houses.

The students created the pieces as part of a class about historic architectural styles, but one that also infused lessons about the segregation era, the racial tensions that went along with it, and how they impacted West Baltimore neighborhoods. As part of the class, the cornices, trims, vent covers and other fixtures the students designed will be placed on renovated houses in those neighborhoods.

Student Kimari Hazward didn’t quite know what to expect when enrolling in the course taught by Sarah Doherty. The interdisciplinary sculpture major from Brooklyn, New York, was intrigued by the process of building things but was ultimately captivated by learning about what contributed to the decline in some historically Black Baltimore neighborhoods. It was an added bonus for Hazward to know the work done in the class would ultimately be used to rehab homes in blighted areas.

“As a Baltimore transplant, it has been important to genuinely interact with the larger Baltimore community,” said the 28-year-old, who was one of 10 students in the class.

The class mixed hands-on craftsmanship with readings and lectures about urban renewal, discriminatory housing practices and how systemic racism weakened neighborhoods in Upton and along Pennsylvania Avenue. The lessons came full circle with the students working with Black Women Build, a Baltimore-based company that wants to create generational wealth by transforming vacant homes for to purchase, which in turn revitalizes neighborhoods.

Specifically, students were taught about redlining, the discriminatory lending practice by banks that originated in Baltimore and created segregated neighborhoods; the Highway to Nowhere, which in the late 1960s destroyed close to 1,000 Black homes and businesses in West Baltimore in order to connect Interstate 70 coming from the west with Interstate 95; and how urban renewal, construction programs and effective concepts like Black Women Build have been used to combat decades of discrimination.

On the last day of class, the students gathered on Division Street in the Druid Heights neighborhood to celebrate their semester’s work and see the homes that would benefit from the fixtures they built. One in particular, a three-story brick rowhome, was expected to be completed by the end of the year. It was in desperate need of attention.

“There was a tree growing out of it. There was no back or roof,” said Black Women Build founder and owner Shelley Halstead. The space was previously purchased by a woman in 2008, she said, who “didn’t do anything” with it.

Halstead admired the transitioning space and looked at the various stark-white painted fixtures that Doherty’s students made, which were lined up on street in front of it to be installed later.

“It’s beautiful,” she said of the students’ work. “I love uniformity.”

Halstead, a Baltimore transplant, is passionate about preserving history as well as uplifting the Black community.

“This is where Black middle-class people historically lived,” she said near a rented lift as a crew of workers measured an empty elevated doorway frame for a new set of steps. “There’s a socioeconomic aspect of who was living here.”

Doherty, who volunteered with Black Women Build in 2001, immediately loved the work the group did and dreamed of a way to meld her teaching at MICA with the mission of Halstead’s company.

“Working with one’s hand is such a tangible, constructive thing. I understand that from teaching. And these women learn that through working with Shelley,” she said.

Doherty said she has been passionate about the dwelling aspect of the class for the past 20 years.

“It’s working in tandem,” she said of the collaboration between the class and Halstead’s group.

Natalie Jenkins, 23, a graduate student of the Mt. Royal School of Arts program at MICA, has been inspired by the class and lessons she learned.

“For me, it aligned a lot about what I talk about in my work. I like to focus on the relationship between home and place,” Jenkins said.

James Orrell, 20, an Arlington, Virginia, native and sculpture major, said he was “happy to be a part of the work” even if it was in a “small way.”

He said since moving to Baltimore he has developed a passion for rowhomes.

“I want to help rebuild the community that was lost to the violence of systemic racism,” he added.

Doherty plans to teach the course again in the future.

“Yes, I’m very interested. I have very strong feelings about housing and human rights,” Doherty said. “It sets a really nice precedent how we can work together and how the university can extend some of its talent to help with the city’s fabric.”

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

 

 

Parkway Theatre looks to gaming, performances to boost future beyond film
by Taji Burris
Published May 29 in The Baltimore Banner

Excerpt: Parkway Theatre officials announced a progressive plan Tuesday night to revamp the historic building.

The onetime movie theater, which has had several stop-start moments over the decades, now has a five-year business vision that includes several steps to strengthen the establishment and the surrounding community.

The Central Baltimore Partnership and Station North Arts District is committing $155,000 to help make the footpath to the Parkway “increasingly accessible, well-lit and convenient,” said Camille Blake Fall, vice chair of the Parkway’s board of directors. Johns Hopkins University has also pledged to commit several million dollars to the establishment over the next several years, an amount that Scot Spencer, chairman of the board, said was “critical” for the neighborhood.

… this story continues. Read the rest at The Baltimore Banner: Parkway Theatre looks to gaming, performances to boost future beyond film

 

 

Jalynn (left) and Jalen (right) at The Charles.

The Charles
by Jalynn Harris
Published May 22 in Baltimore Fishbowl

Excerpt: Yo, my friend just tweeted that there’s an opening at The Charles; you should get an app.

I felt a spark. A three-prong plug put into a wall. A zing towards employment. A ping in the vicinity of money. Immediately, I walked the four blocks from UB to The Charles Theatre.

Most love stories have two versions—the cinematic and the way things actually happened. But there was one time in my life completely eclipsed in cinema.

Cue: fairy lights, a saxophone, rose petals. At the the counter, a sweet faced 19-year-old hands me an application. I smile and thank him. He’s shy, quiet, withholding except for a grin that spans the wingspan of his face.

I filled out the application on the spot and returned it to one of the managers. The next day, I got called in for an interview.

 

 

Walk on By Exhibition and Artist Exchange – Baltimore & Rotterdam
Press Release :: May 25

Creative Alliance, Baltimore, MD USA, Exhibition: September 27 – November 30, 2024
Opening Reception: September 27, 2024
Address: 3134 Eastern Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21224 USA

TENT, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, Exhibition: March 21 – June 8, 2025
Opening Reception: March 21, 2025
Address: Coolhaven 32, 3024 AC Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Explore the Black Atlantic through the diverse stories of local artists in the historical port cities of Baltimore and Rotterdam, through exhibitions in both countries and an exchange program. Featuring works by Schaun Champion (Baltimore), Charles Mason III (Baltimore), Naomi King (Rotterdam), kolpeace (Baltimore), Djon Seedorf (Rotterdam), and Tarona (Rotterdam). Curated by Joy Davis, Visual Arts Director at Creative Alliance and founder of Waller Gallery.

The exhibition and artists exchange “Walk On By” explores the African diaspora in two historic industrial port cities, Baltimore and Rotterdam, through the many-layered and diverse stories that local artists can tell. In collaboration with Creative Alliance (Baltimore) and TENT (Rotterdam), Baltimore-based curator Joy Davis bridges conversations between different Black diasporic communities and art practices within their expansive mediums. The “Walk On By” exhibition and cultural exchange is in response to the Dionne Warwick song of the same name that parallels the necessity to commune and communicate with one’s community.

Walk On By begins its journey this September in Baltimore at Creative Alliance, and then travels to Rotterdam in the spring of 2025. Participating artists travel to each city during the exhibitions to experience the culture, engage with the community and artists, and create lasting connections across the Atlantic.

Walk On By explores the similarities between Baltimore & Rotterdam and the cities’ relationships with Black community members and artists. The project provides a unique opportunity for African American and Afro Dutch artists to travel abroad, build international networks, gain international exposure, and benefit from professional development opportunities. The participating organizations hope to build a deeper level of connection that can then be extended long beyond the project. In a world that is becoming increasingly polarized and hate-filled, we believe that in-person, cross-cultural exchanges like Walk On By help foster empathy and understanding.

An on-site exhibition in both cities gives local audiences opportunities to learn new perspectives from the artists. The artist’s artwork ties into structured conversations happening in each respective city revolving around race, gender, immigration, and migration. Each Baltimore artist is paired with an artist from Rotterdam so the work can speak to each other. Artist kolpeace (Baltimore) is paired with Naomi King (Rotterdam), Schaun Champion (Baltimore) with Tarona (Rotterdam), and Charles Mason III (Baltimore) with Djon Seedorf (Rotterdam).

For example, artists kolpeace and Naomi King will collaborate, in both locations, to create a live mural during a live music-filled event. The audience will have a front row access to the artists’ processes, how they differ, and how they coalesce. The murals will be on view for the duration of the exhibition and documentation of the event will be shown in the gallery space.

 

 

Elizabeth Talford Scott honored at multiple art exhibits throughout Baltimore
by Aria Brent
Published May 25 in The AFRO

Excerpt: The legacy of groundbreaking artist Elizabeth Talford Scott is gaining attention around the City of Baltimore with a series of exhibits displayed at nine different sites at different points throughout the year. “No Stone Left Unturned: The Elizabeth Talford Scott Initiative,” pulled together five museums and four university sites across the city in a unified tribute and celebration of Scott’s work. Each venue has worked with students in the Exhibition Development Seminar (EDS) at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) to organize a free public program and create a presentation of Scott’s work for their gallery spaces.

Although the EDS course is taught at MICA, students from several schools including Johns Hopkins, Morgan and Coppin State Universities are enrolled in the course and have been involved in the curation and development of the exhibits. EDS instructor Deyane Moses, who also serves as Afro Charities’ curator of Archives, spoke on the origins of the program and what it’s bringing to the Baltimore area.

“The city of Baltimore is getting the chance to learn more about Black women artists and to be re-introduced to Elizabeth Talford Scott, the mother of Joyce J. Scott, who is a well known artist in Baltimore. She was a fiber artist and the way in which she thought and worked is different than anything I’ve ever seen before,” Moses explained. “She included rocks and stones and other types of archival material like beads and different fabrics that she inherited from other people and her own personal travels and experiences.”

 

 

Katie Pumphrey swims in the Inner Harbor, Baltimore.

Marylander aims to make history with ‘Bay to Baltimore’ 24-mile swim
by Aliza Worthington
Published May 28 in Baltimore Fishbowl

Excerpt: Native Marylander and ultra marathon open water swimmer Katie Pumphrey will attempt to make history by swimming 24 miles between the Chesapeake Bay Bridge to Harborplace in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.

Pumphrey plans to make the “Bay to Baltimore” swim in late June to celebrate the milestone reached of a swimmable Baltimore.

“The Bay to Baltimore swim, in many ways, is my love letter to Baltimore City,” Pumphrey said in a statement. “I can’t wait to swim towards Baltimore, towards home, and truly celebrate this major milestone for our city. To be the first person on record to complete a swim of this scale in these waters is something I’ve dreamt about for years.”

 

 

Restaurateur Tony Foreman shows the scars on his chest from numerous surgeries. (Jessica Gallagher/The Baltimore Banner)

A risky double transplant and back to work. Restaurateur Tony Foreman is used to almost dying.
by Christina Tkacik
Published May 28 in The Baltimore Banner

Excerpt: Tony Foreman’s heart began to race as he climbed the stairs of a French train station.

It was 2018 and he was traveling with ex-wife Cindy Wolf in the Champagne region, near where they’d gone on their honeymoon. Now they were there as business partners, leading staff members from their Baltimore restaurants on a tour of the region.

As they prepared to board a train to Paris for one last great meal, Foreman’s arrhythmia triggered a shock from the defibrillator surgically installed in his chest. He thought he might make it to a bench before he collapsed. Instead, he landed face down, breaking his nose sideways.

… this story continues. Read the rest at The Baltimore Banner: A risky double transplant and back to work. Restaurateur Tony Foreman is used to almost dying.

 

 

The Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture and Banneker-Douglass Museum Celebrate Juneteenth with a Month of Engaging Events
Press Release :: May 28

The Maryland Commission on African American History & Culture (MCAAHC) and the Banneker-Douglass Museum (soon to be Banneker-Douglass-Tubman Museum) will celebrate Juneteenth and Maryland’s Year of Civil Rights with a host of engaging and exciting programs and exhibitions that are free for visitors and residents. Join us for impactful experiences as you learn about Maryland’s African American heritage!

Robinwood “Museum on the Move” Closing Program and Art Exhibition *Great for families and children!
Saturday, June 1, 2024 | 10:00am-12:00pm
Banneker-Douglass Museum | 84 Franklin Street, Annapolis, MD 21401, Register

Join BDM and MCAAHC for our second year of solidarity and artistic expression as we celebrate the young minds of the Robinwood “Museum on the Move” youth program. Keynote speaker will be actor and creative Tray Chaney, best known as “Poot” from HBO’s “The Wire”. Under the guidance of teaching artist Nikki Brooks and in the spirit of Maryland’s Year of Civil Rights, this event will proudly showcase an art exhibition curated by some of Annapolis’ most brilliant youth. This program is a valuable partnership with the Housing Authority of the City of Annapolis and receives support from BGE and Anne Arundel County. Let’s celebrate the power of creativity and the incredible achievements of our local young artists!< Exhibiting artists: Nyrek Banks, Jazzlyn Gladden, Xion Mackell, Quencii Scott, and Breon Wells.

MCAAHC June 2024 Public Meeting
Monday, June 3, 2024 | 11:00am-1:00pm
Banneker-Douglass Museum | 84 Franklin Street, Annapolis, MD 21401, Register

Join us for the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture’s June 2024 Public Meeting, the final meeting of FY24, on Monday, June 3, 2024 from 11AM to 1PM at the Banneker-Douglass Museum. At this meeting, we will recognize and celebrate Chair Dr. Edwin T. Johnson for his service on the commission. Among the Commission’s meeting priorities are the election of a new chair and vice chair and business items relevant to beginning the upcoming FY25.

AAHPP Grant Workshop
Monday, June 3, 2024 | 2:30pm – 4:00pm<
Virtual, Register

In-person workshops and webinars will be scheduled to inform interested parties about $5 million in available funding for capital grants. Grant awards can range from $10,000 to $250,000. Applications are now available! Administered as a partnership between Maryland Historical Trust (MHT) and the MCAAHC, AAHPP provides grants to assist in the preservation of buildings, sites, or communities of historical and cultural importance to the African American experience in Maryland.

Alpha Phi Alpha Street Renaming Ceremony (Partnership)
Saturday, June 15, 2024 | 10:00am-12:00pm
Banneker-Douglass Museum
84 Franklin Street, Annapolis, MD 21401, Register

The Banneker-Douglass Museum is partnering with Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. for their ceremony recognizing the honorary renaming of Franklin Street. Join us for this celebratory occasion and stop by the Banneker-Douglass Museum.

Annapolis Juneteenth Parade
Saturday, June 22, 2024 | 12:00pm
West and Main Streets, Annapolis MD 21401

BDM, MCAAHC, the Banneker-Douglass Museum Foundation, and the Friends of Banneker-Douglass Museum groups will all be participating again this year in the Annapolis Juneteenth parade. We would love to have you cheer us on for this celebratory event!

Rhythm & Hues: The Banneker-Douglass Museum’s Summer Black Party
Saturday, June 29, 2024 | 12:00pm – 4:00pm
Banneker-Douglass Museum | 84 Franklin Street, Annapolis, MD 21401
Register: https://bit.ly/BDMBlockParty2024

Get ready to groove and celebrate at Rhythm & Hues: The Banneker-Douglass Museum’s Summer Black Party! DC’s premiere Go-Go band Black Alley will headline this event. Get ready for Civil Rights exhibitions, vendors, yoga and mindfulness activities, outdoor sip and paints, and live performances by talented local artists. You’ll find yourself swaying to the rhythm, feeling the energy of the crowd, and being moved by the powerful messages conveyed through art.

Exhibitions:

REVISIT / REIMAGINE: The Civil Rights Era in Maryland and Parallels of Today

On display through January 4, 2025

Guest curated by Thomas James, REVISIT / REIMAGINE: The Civil Rights Era in Maryland and Parallels of Today emulates an interior home space with books, records, and other objects scattered throughout. In collaboration with Afro Charities, images of nationally and locally recognized civil rights leaders from the AFRO American Newspapers archives will be on display accompanied by the work of contemporary artists living and working in the Maryland area. This layout serves 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 the Civil Rights Era. Learn how African Americans throughout Maryland made lasting changes for all Americans.

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

 

 

Thames Street in Fells Point. (Heather Diehl/for the Baltimore Banner)

Atlas, Sacré Sucré get OK to sell booze despite Fells Point neighbors’ objections
by Christina Tkacik and Matti Gellman
Published May 23 in The Baltimore Banner

Excerpt: Liquor board hearings can often get heated, but Thursday’s took an unusually contentious turn as Baltimore’s Board of Liquor License Commissioners gave two separate new businesses the right to sell alcohol in Fells Point over the vocal objections of residents.

The hearing turned the spotlight on one of the city’s largest and well-connected restaurant groups, Atlas, which is planning to expand its already sizable footprint in the neighborhood with a new concept at 1704 Thames St.

Another group of residents came to speak out against a liquor license for bakery Sacré Sucré, which opened in the neighborhood four months ago in a site formerly occupied by the Dead End Saloon.

… this story continues. Read the rest at The Baltimore Banner: Atlas, Sacré Sucré get OK to sell booze despite Fells Point neighbors’ objections

 

 

header image: Schaun Champion. Elusive October. from Creative Alliance Walk on By exhibition.

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