1. Tell us a little about you.

I’m a Baltimore native. I was born in the Pimlico neighborhood. Well, I was born in a hospital but my family lived in Pimlico. I grew up in Northwood and Harford County. After discovering that I really didn’t like college, I joined the Air Force and off I went. I had a pretty cool career in the military. My best day in the Air Force was spent doing barrel rolls in an F4-E. Embarrassing secret time: I love to fly, and I’m terrified of heights. Terrified of heights and I work in a tower—life is weird, eh?

2. What BOPA events or facilities do you volunteer for?

I spend most of my time at the Bromo Seltzer Arts Tower, and have done so since the 2011 centenary celebration. This past summer, I spent my Sundays at the Farmers’ Market & Bazaar. And my year wouldn’t be complete without Artscape and the Book Festival. I enjoy working with the social media team for all the big festivals—Artscape, Baltimore Book Festival and Light City.

3. Why is volunteerism important to you?

It is interesting that you would ask that question. When I graduated from University of Baltimore, one of my first positions was as an AmeriCorps VISTA. A big part of my assignment was developing and administering a volunteer service program. After the Air Force and AmeriCorps service, it just seems where I belong. And of course I enjoy working with members of our community, especially when it is in an environment filled with fun and creativity.

4. What is the most unique skill you bring to volunteer opportunities?

During my working career, I rarely worked inside my career field or job description. I learned to figure things out as I went along. My skill is that I actually enjoy working that way.

5. What tips can you give people new to BOPA’s volunteer team?

Get to know the people you’re volunteering with. It is a friendly bunch, and you’ll fit in. You will.

6. What do you do when you are not volunteering?

I’m teaching myself to paint, and work on improving my photography practice.

The Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts (BOPA) relies on the work and enthusiasm of hundreds of volunteers throughout the year. Learn more about volunteer opportunities at www.promotionandarts.org/get-involved/volunteer.

The Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts (BOPA), Baltimore City’s arts council, announces applications are available for its arts programs for winter 2019. Applications are open to artists, arts professionals, arts and culture organizations, and community organizations. Application deadlines vary. Applications are available here. BOPA, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, supports the arts community through advocacy, arts and cultural activities, and develops and administers funds, grant programs and community workshops. Additional artist opportunities will be available at a later date.

BOPA receives general operating support from the City of Baltimore, Maryland State Arts Council and the Joseph & Harvey Meyerhoff Family Charitable Funds, along with program support from the South Baltimore Gateway Partnership, Baltimore City’s Department of Housing and Community Development, and Baltimore City’s Department of Planning.

An information session for the public takes place Wednesday, February 20, 2019 from 6–8pm at School 33 Art Center, located at 1427 Light St., Baltimore, MD 21230. People interested in applying for arts programs can ask questions about available opportunities, eligibility and application requirements, as well as meet BOPA staff.

2019 Arts Programs Applications

Bright StARTS

Call for Teaching Artists
Artists with teaching experience or substantial training in the disciplines of dance, music, theater, and visual and culinary arts can apply for Bright StARTS, an arts education program that brings high-quality arts enrichment to Baltimore City youths. Applications should have a strong commitment to working with educators and young people.

Community Art Calls

Community Art Grants
Community Art Grants funding is available to Baltimore City artists and neighborhoods who work together to creatively reimagine and enliven public spaces through new mural art projects. The artist-neighborhood collaborative projects must be free and open to the public and exist in outdoor, publicly accessible spaces.

Grant Funding

Creative Baltimore Fund – Individual Artist Project Support
Local qualified artists can apply for the Mayor’s Individual Artist Project Support. This Creative Baltimore Fund Grant program provides support of up to $5,000 for projects that promote public access and encourage the breadth of arts and cultural programming in the community.

Creative Baltimore Fund – General Operating Support
Baltimore-based arts and cultural organizations can apply for the General Operating Support. The grant provides core support of up to $10,000 for established organizations that benefit the public and are artistically or culturally vibrant.

Public Art Calls

Art on the Waterfront
Artists and artist collaborators can submit proposals for temporary sculptural works for “Art on the Waterfront.” The temporary sculpture exhibition will be located along the Middle Branch section of the Gwynns Falls Trail in Baltimore City.

Art in the Median – North Avenue
Artists and designers can submit proposals to design and exhibit new outdoor sculpture along the medians of Baltimore’s North Avenue, between Maryland Avenue and St. Paul Street. The project aims to add to the sense of a gateway to the Charles North community, as well as help with traffic calming, and general visibility intended to improve the pedestrian experience in the area.

Druid Hill Park Reptile House
Artists and designers can submit proposals for sculptural lighting design concepts to fit within the vaulted room of the renovated Reptile House in Druid Hill Park. Light, acoustics and the visual relationship to the curve of the vault should guide design concepts for a contemporary art installation that accentuates this unique public office.

Cahill Recreation Center Trailheads
Professional artists or artist teams can apply for a public art opportunity for Baltimore’s new Cahill Community Recreation Center, located along the western border of Gwynns Falls/Leakin Park. Applicants should demonstrate a record of creating dynamic and playful outdoor sculpture from reclaimed timber and lumber, while responding to community input.

Request for Proposals

SoBo Summer Music Series
Artists and arts and cultural organizations in/around South Baltimore can submit proposals for the SoBo Summer Music Series, featuring free contemporary jazz and R&B concerts. The series activates greenspaces and community gathering locations throughout South Baltimore.

Image Credit: Madonna by artist Gaia, Fawcett Street Playground, 2018. Sponsored by Greater Remington Improvement Association (GRIA) and BOPA.

School 33 Art Center presents three new exhibitions on view Friday, February 15 through Saturday, April 27, 2019.

THE MOTHER OF INVENTION (Main Gallery) 

By artists Kelley Bell, Albert Birney, Sara Dittrich, Noa Heyne, Marnie Ellen Hertzler & Beth Hoeckel, Chelsea M. Rowe, Aidan Spann, Justin Stafford, Jennie Thwing

A group exhibition of projected experimental video shorts, THE MOTHER OF INVENTION features several artists who incorporate new media in the form of collage, stop motion animation, DIY digital and analog image manipulation, as well as hand-made and found objects in their work. Often eschewing linear narrative, and utilizing music, noise, and homemade sound effects as a priority over dialogue, these works employ a wide range of media in their creation— becoming versatile vehicles for both visual and performance art.

Modern Language (Members Gallery)

“Modern Language” is a solo exhibition of works by Amy Helminiak, a native Baltimore artist, featuring emoji-inspired collages that explore communication in the age of texting and social media. Printed on metal and incorporating symbols collected via Google images, such as Bernie Sanders heads, haircuts and pink elephants, the featured works focus on the artist’s experiences and surroundings. Political observations, humor and personal histories are transmitted collectively, while at the same time embodying a sense of ambiguity that exists within the conversations of today’s culture.

Amy Helminiak received a master of art in photography and design from ELISAVA Barcelona School of Design and Engineering, and a bachelor of fine arts from the Maryland Institute College of Art. Her work has been included in national and international exhibitions including the TIM Future Centre, Venice, Italy; The Print Center, Philadelphia; Grand Rapids Art Museum, Michigan; Cosmos, Arles, France; Can Framis Museum, Barcelona, Spain.

soft obstacle (Project Space) 

Ben Piwowar’s studio practice combines drawing, painting and sculptural strategies, deploying an abstract visual vocabulary to evoke states of vulnerability and flux. With “soft obstacle,” Piwowar populates School 33 Art Center’s Project Space with works on paper and a series of cast abstract forms. The dialogue between objects and drawings sets the stage for a new, improvised installation that will undergo subtle mutations over the course of the exhibition. To develop his work, the artist draws on a trove of salvaged material: studio ephemera, cast-offs from construction sites and things found while walking around the city. He repurposes these fragments through paint application, light carpentry and strategic placement—taking care to preserve, and often underscore, their quirks and subtle irregularities. Piwowar explores the ways that modest interventions can activate and realign a viewer’s experience of a space. Here, the gallery becomes a provisional ecosystem where displaced organisms learn to stand alone, then together, through a made-up logic.

 
Maryland Arts Summit – Call for Proposals
 
Call for Proposals will be accepted through February 15, 2019 at 5PM. 
You will be notified of the status of your proposal by March 15, 2019. 
 
Accepted presenters will be offered free Summit registration and an honorarium. 
 
Pending acceptance, presenters will be expected to attend an Orientation Meeting for the Summit (in-person or conference call) in mid-April, and submit their space requirements as well as max attendance. 
 
Submitted Call for Proposals will be reviewed by the Summit Committee, comprised of Staff and Board members of the presenting organizations as well as community members and key stakeholders. 
 
Assessment Criteria includes (1) Alignment of session with Summit topic(s); and (2) Experience of presenter with selected conference topic(s).

The Baltimore Film Office at the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts (BOPA) has extended the application deadline for the 14th annual Baltimore Screenwriters Competition.

Applications are due Monday, February 11, 2019 by 5pm. The competition is open to all screenwriters. Applicants can submit screenplays in the feature or shorts categories. Scripts must be set in or can be filmed in Baltimore. The top entries in each category win cash prizes, and feature winners also receive all-access passes to the 2019 Maryland Film Festival and passes to local movie theaters. The application and guidelines are available at www.baltimorefilm.com. The Baltimore Screenwriters Competition is a project of the Baltimore Film Office, a division of BOPA, in conjunction with film programs at Johns Hopkins University and Morgan State University. Funding is provided by The Arts Insurance Program, a division of Maury, Donnelly and Parr. Additional support is courtesy of the Maryland Film Festival, NEXTCAR and Visit Baltimore.

Submitted scripts receive coverage from students in the Johns Hopkins University and Morgan State University screenwriting programs and by local screenwriters and producers. The final screenplays are judged by film industry professionals. Winners of the competition are announced during the 2019 Maryland Film Festival on Saturday, May 11, 2019. 

In the feature category, the first place winner receives $1,500, an all-access pass to the 2019 Maryland Film Festival, a Weekend in Baltimore Package, a rental car for the weekend and passes to area movie theaters. The second place winner receives $750, an all-access pass to the festival and movie passes. The third place winner receives $350, an all-access pass to the festival and movie passes. In the shorts category, winners will receive cash prizes.

For more information on the Baltimore Screenwriters Competition, call 410-752-8632 or visit www.baltimorefilm.com.

The Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts (BOPA) announces an artist talk with Stephanie Barber at School 33 Art Center, located at 1427 Light St., Baltimore, MD 21230. In conversation with poet Buck Downs, Barber will discuss her exhibition, “Nature as a Metaphor for Economic, Emotional and Existential Horror,” the expanded text associated with the exhibition and the role of language in the visual arts.

Barber’s solo exhibition is on view at School 33 Art Center in the Members Gallery through Saturday, February 2, 2019. The artist uses words as sculptural elements to contemplate the morphological state of language and nature in her body of work in a variety of media. Additionally, her films have received solo exhibitions at MoMA, New York City; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Yerba Buena Center, San Francisco; National Film Academy, Prague; Lowenbraukunst, Zurich; Anthology Film Archives, New York City, among others. Her books “These Here Separated…” and “Night Moves” were published by Publishing Genius Press, and her collection of short stories “All The People” was published by Ink Press Productions.

Image Credit: Detail images from “Nature as a Metaphor for Economic, Emotional and Existential Horror,” 2019.