The 23rd annual Baltimore Book Festival returns to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor on Friday, September 28 through Sunday, September 30, 2018. Produced by the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts (BOPA), the literary arts celebration takes place along the Inner Harbor Promenade, from the Inner Harbor Amphitheater to Rash Field from 11am to 7pm daily. The festival is 100 percent free and open to the public.

In addition to the hundreds of author appearances and book signings, the Baltimore Book Festival features more than 100 exhibitors and bookseller tents, readings on multiple stages, cooking demonstrations and samplings, poetry readings, workshops, panel discussions, storytellers, children’s activities, the annual Storybook Parade and live music. Plus, the three-day festival offers varied local food and craft beverage including Charm City PopsEl Tenedor de NachoFarm To FaceIsland Quizine; and Smokin’ Joe’s.

Acclaimed local, regional and national authors at the 2018 Baltimore Book Festival include: White House Correspondent April Ryan, Under Fire: Reporting from the Front Lines of the Trump White House, in conversation with 60 Minutes correspondent Bill Whitaker; author of four New York Times best sellers, A.J. Jacobs, It’s All Relative: Adventures Up and Down the World’s Family Tree; 2018 One Maryland One Book author Tim Junkin, Bloodsworth: The True Story of the First Death Row Inmate Exonerated by DNA Evidence, in a rare appearance with the book’s subject; Hurston/Wright Legacy Award recipient Tayari Jones, An American Marriage (Oprah’s Book Club 2018 Selection); best-selling illustrator and author Ricardo Cortés, Sea Creatures from the Sky; Green Lantern: Legacy graphic novel writer Minh Lê, Drawn Together; 2018 One Book Baltimore author Nic Stone, Dear Martin; author of young adult romance, Nisha Sharma, My So-Called Bollywood Life; science fiction and fantasy writer Sam J. Miller, Blackfish City: A Novel; PEN/Hemingway Award recipient Ben Fountain, Beautiful Country Burn Again: Democracy, Rebellion, and Revolution; 2018 RWA RITA double finalist Priscilla Oliveras, Her Perfect Affair and Resort to Love; author and The Weekly Reader radio show and podcast host Marion Winik, The Baltimore Book of the Dead; author and retired Lieutenant and Barrack Commander David Reichenbaugh, In Pursuit: The Hunt for the Beltway Snipers; author of New York Times best seller Dread Nation, Justina Ireland; and cookbook author and chef John Shields, The New Chesapeake Kitchen. The full schedule is available at www.baltimorebookfestival.org. The Ivy Bookshop is the festival’s official bookseller and lead curator, and sells copies of appearing authors’ books on-site at the stages and the festival’s bookshop.

The festival offers family-fun adventure with children and young adult authors and illustrators, storytellers, the Storybook Parade, crafts, music and food. The Crafts Corridor, located on the Inner Harbor South Shore Promenade near Rash Field, offers “A Wrinkle in Time”-themed crafts as well as DIY Galaxy Zen Jars and DIY Tesseracts. The festive Storybook Parade returns on Saturday, September 29 at 11am with children’s book characters Junie B. Jones, Cookie Mouse, Peter Rabbit and Wild Thing, together with the Griots’ Circle of Maryland. Book lovers of all ages are welcome to dress as their favorite characters, authors or playwrights and march down the promenade from the South Shore Promenade to the World Trade Center. Throughout the weekend, Poetry in Motion provides students an opportunity to use visual theater to create visual adaptations of Shel Silverstein poetry, play theater games using creative movement, mime and gesture, and learn how to use their bodies as a tool for expression. Enoch Pratt Free Library Children’s Stage features top authors, interactive programs and books for children and teens. Families can also sign up for a library card. Highlights include: a Zumbini music and movement class with Miss Kelly on Friday, September 28 at 12pm; a demonstration and 3D printing pen activity with Open Works Mobile Workshop also on Friday at 3pm; Read to Reef Book Club featuring Ricardo Cortés’ Sea Creatures from the Sky on Saturday, September 29 at 2pm; Brigid Kemmerer, More Than We Can Tell, in conversation with Nisha Sharma, My So-Called Bollywood Life, moderated by Matthew Winner of The Children’s Book Podcast, also on Saturday at 4:30pm; and Children’s Picture Book Panel hosted by Paula Willey, featuring Sarah Jacoby, Forever or a Day, Minh Lê, Drawn Together, and Elizabeth Lilly, Geraldine, on Sunday, September 30 at 1 pm.

The Baltimore Book Festival Music Stage features lively performances by local and regional bands including The Billy Price Charm City Rhythm Band, R&B; Joi Carter, neo-soul; QOK, pop; The Palovations, soul; The Outcalls, indie pop; and ellen cherry, pop.

1. What does a typical day look like for you as the Farmers’ Market & Bazaar Manager?

A typical day for me at the market starts out in the morning when I wake up. It’s about 4am and still dark out. I ride my bike down from Charles Village and survey the market grounds. I do a few hellos to the vendors who arrive prior to 5am and I start setting up a variety of tables and tents. As we get closer to the 7am start time, more and more vendors and programming partners start to arrive. After the market officially opens, I’m all over the place—answering questions at the Welcome Tent, getting ingredients for the cooking demos and fielding questions from vendors. On occasion, I’ll get to step back and see the diverse and cheery crowd nomming on food under an urban overpass and it really feels worth every bit of effort.

2. What is your background; what led you to BOPA?

My background is pretty eclectic and my path to BOPA has been a twisting one. Highlights include: skipping college, working for a bicycle company testing new products, foraging mushrooms for restaurants, building fighting robots for competition and running social media for a small urban fishing team. I was brought in to the BOPA fold by Sandy Lawler, the former market manager, as a market assistant. She has been my mentor and I owe her a lot. Thanks, Sandy!

3. Tell me one of your favorite things about the Baltimore Farmers’ Market & Bazaar?

This one is easy, the food. I love watching the progression of the seasons as it is reflected in the produce available at the market. I get very excited when ramps and asparagus greet us in the early spring, or seeing the first truckload of corn in the summer, or when kabocha squash and its pumpkin cousins finally arrive in the fall. Don’t get me wrong, the people are great, but you can’t eat them, so…

4. What are some of the challenges you face in this role?

Sometimes the market feels like a very intricate puzzle—when you solve one issue, two more pop up. Many groups and individuals all have their own concept of what is ideal and my job is to find the balance that leads to the greatest success for all. I love puzzles and I love challenges, so figuring out how best to bring 100+ different vendors together in a parking lot under the overpass in downtown Baltimore week after week is right up my alley.

5. In addition to the Farmers’ Market & Bazaar, are there other projects you work on at BOPA?

Well prior to becoming the manager of the market, I worked as a special events coordinator. It was a varied role at BOPA, which I really enjoyed. It touched many aspects of food and music and I was fortunate enough to work firsthand with amazing chefs, musicians and authors. I was responsible for fireworks displays, band battles, parade divisions and cooking competitions. It was a cool job and BOPA does cool things.

6. What is something people don’t know about the Farmers’ Market & Bazaar?

Based on the majority of the questions we receive at the Welcome Tent at the market, it is where the bathrooms are located. They are located on the southernmost part of the market by Saratoga Street and the Migue’s Mini Donut stand.

After an extensive national search, Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts’ (BOPA) Board of Directors has selected Donna Drew Sawyer as Chief Executive Officer. Sawyer will succeed William “Bill” Gilmore who stepped down as CEO at the end of December 2017 after 37 years of leadership. BOPA, a nonprofit 501 (c)(3), is the city’s arts council, events center and film office.

Sawyer was unanimously recommended for Board confirmation by the BOPA search committee comprised of: BOPA Board members Anana Kambon (committee chair), Paula Rome and Sandy Hillman; and representatives of the broader Baltimore Arts community: Dr. Leslie King Hammond, Jeffrey Kent, Jed Dietz and Clair Zamoiski Segal. Koya Leadership Partners, a national executive search firm that works exclusively with mission-driven clients, was retained and managed the national search.

“We are thrilled to have a new CEO who can continue and enhance BOPA’s contributions to the Baltimore City community and region,” said Anana Kambon, chair of BOPA’s Board of Directors. “Donna has a strong diverse history in arts leadership, solid marketing and business acumen and a fierce commitment to equity and collaboration. Her talents combined with our impressive BOPA team will provide greater opportunities for joint programs, projects and partnerships with local artists, the City of Baltimore, funders, affinity groups and arts service organizations. We’re extremely excited about BOPA’s future.”

Hired as the Chief of External Affairs at the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts in 2017, Donna Drew Sawyer previously held senior positions in the arts and non-profits sector including the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Arts and Science Council of Charlotte-Mecklenburg, Chrysler Museum of Art and Sesame Workshop. Sawyer served on the Norfolk Virginia’s Arts Commission and helped launch the Virginia Waterfront Arts Festival as founding director of the Wilder Performing Arts Center. Also, she was managing director of the Marketing Services Organization, a collaborative arts marketing agency funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Sawyer has served on art panels for the National Endowment for the Arts and on the YWCA Board of Directors. In addition, Sawyer is a writer; her debut novel, Provenance, won the 2017 Maryland Writers’ Association Award for Historical Fiction and was a finalist for the same award at New York’s Harlem Book Festival.

“BOPA is a unique organization with a remarkable history. I am excited and so fortunate to be working with an incredible team of professionals in this new capacity,” Sawyer said. “BOPA’s mission is to make Baltimore a more vibrant city by promoting and supporting arts and culture. As a proud resident of Baltimore City, a writer who understands the exhilaration of the creative process and now, as CEO of BOPA, I can contribute to the vibrancy and the future of our city by helping to make Baltimore a unique and wonderful place to live, create, work and plan. I can’t think of anything better than getting to do that every single day.” 

In addition to her work in the arts and non-profit sector, Sawyer held senior advertising, marketing and promotion positions with Young & Rubicam Advertising and AT&T International.

She was an assistant professor of Communications and Journalism at Norfolk State University and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the New York Institute of Technology and an M.B.A. from Texas Southern University.

She and her husband, Bowie State University professor and author Dr. Granville M. Sawyer, Jr., live in Baltimore City. They have two grown daughters.

The Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization which serves as Baltimore City’s arts council, film office, and events agency. By producing large-scale events such as Light CityArtscape and the Baltimore Book Festival, and providing funding and support to artists, arts programs and organizations across the city, BOPA’s goal is to make Baltimore a more vibrant and creative city. 

 

  1. What do you do as BOPA’s Social Media & Website Coordinator? My role as BOPA’s Social Media & Website Coordinator involves managing the multitude of BOPA’s social media accounts and websites. I create the content for our social media posts, including choosing the images and videos, responding to messages and comments and tracking our social media analytics to determine what’s working for our posts and what needs improvement. For our festivals, I am responsible for gathering social media volunteers to help our Communications Team with live updates. Additionally, I edit the content on all of our websites and coordinate any website changes with our developers.
  2. Where were you before BOPA and had you heard of BOPA before working here? Previously, I worked as a Human Resources Assistant at Notre Dame of Maryland University for a short stint, and prior to that, I worked in a couple of admin/communications-related positions. Through an internship at the Maryland Institute College of Art, I had the pleasure of meeting Dionne McConkey who told me about her experience at BOPA. I was immediately interested after hearing about BOPA as the producer of Artscape which is one of my favorite events. I became a social media volunteer for the inaugural Light City and now I’m incredibly fortunate to work here.
  3. Why is BOPA’s mission important to you?Baltimore is my home and I think BOPA’s mission is extremely valuable to the people who live here. We need to have events that cater to the arts and highlight the creative industry that exists in the city. To have access to so many free programming throughout the year is vital for us.
  4. What is the most challenging thing about your job?Sometimes, it can be a struggle explaining to others that my job is much more than just “sitting down and posting on Facebook all day.” It may seem like anyone can do it, but a huge part of my job is planning ahead and staying on top of so many deadlines. My position isn’t the typical 9-5. Social media is constant and I have to respond to comments or messages even during my time away from the office or weekends. Luckily, I have an extremely supportive team who works hard to assist whenever possible.
  5. What is something most people don’t know about BOPA or Baltimore’s arts community? I underestimated how much planning it takes to put on our special events and festivals. My initial impression, similar to others, is that events sort of just pop-up and happen. After spending time with the hardworking staff at BOPA, I know this is far from the case. It takes a ton of planning on our end to make all of our programming happen. I also didn’t realize how much BOPA produces and manages. We’re responsible for some great traditions in Baltimore and that deserves more recognition.
  6. Where do you see yourself in five years?  In five years, I hope to continue working in the communications industry, transitioning over to public relations. While social media has been an amazing opportunity to experiment and flex my creativity, I am interested in more PR work, specifically crisis communications. I also hope I am traveling internationally to see more countries.
  7. When you’re not working, where are some of your favorite things to do in Baltimore?  I love exploring Baltimore’s neighborhoods! It’s always nice to venture off and see a new location that you may have heard about but never visited. It wasn’t until after college that I went beyond the Inner Harbor to go to Federal Hill. As a lifelong resident, I stuck pretty close to my own neighborhood; so, I make an effort to see new areas in the city.

Art @ Work: Park Heights Site Supervisor

To apply:

https://promotionandarts.submittable.com/submit/54790/2018-art-work-park-heights-site-supervisor

Application deadline: 5/28

JOB DESCRIPTION

We are seeking a creative, engaging, resourceful, and organized Site Supervisor to lead the day-to-day management of program staff and logistics for the Park Heights program site which includes four active mural project sites, a circuit of professional development courses, field trips, and community events, and artwork tours.

Part-time, Seasonal. This is a grant funded position. Continued employment and hours are contingent on receipt of grant funds.

June 18 to August 3

37.5 hours per week

7:30am-4:00pm

Five days a week, Monday through Friday

Hourly rate, $20/hour

About Art @ Work Art @ Work is a five-week mural artist apprenticeship program for Baltimore City youth enrolled in the city’s YouthWorks program. 60 young people ages 14-21 will be hired to work under lead teaching artists to create eight highly visible murals and mosaics throughout their neighborhood.

The goal of Art @ Work is to introduce youth to career opportunities in the arts, offer gainful employment in a positive learning environment and to provide youth with the tools to express themselves through the arts, all while beautifying their community.

  1. Tell me a little bit about your background? When did you begin working for BOPA?
    I began in 1985 as an event coordinator for the Baltimore Office of Promotion and Tourism.  I oversaw the Baltimore Farmers’ Market, Kid’s Stuff Program, July 4th & New Year’s Eve fireworks, and worked on the Preakness and Thanksgiving Parades. I left briefly to go to the Baltimore Convention Center where I worked as an account executive, then I returned to BOP (Baltimore Office of Promotion) in 1989 as the Assistant Promotions Director. We didn’t become BOPA until 2001 when we merged with the Mayor’s Advisory Committee on Art and Culture (MACAC). My role progressed to Director of Promotions, to Deputy Director, then Chief Operating Officer, and now interim CEO.

  2. What does a typical day look like for you? Actually, my days vary and are multi-faceted. They are most often a mixture of pressing matters that need immediate attention and action, combined with items that require long range planning. I usually have a full schedule of meetings in and out of the office. So in many ways, my typical day is not typical. I also get a lot of calls from people outside the office who want to do an event and need help finding a contact or seeking information on logistics.

  3. How has your role changed since assuming the position of Interim CEO?
    My role has changed significantly. In addition to serving as Interim CEO, I am overseeing finance during this interim period. Also, as Interim CEO, I interface more with City Hall by attending cabinet meetings and regular touch-base meetings with the Mayor’s Office.

  4. What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve dealt with since becoming Interim CEO?
    I think the biggest and most exciting challenge right now is keeping the momentum going at an effective, productive and creative level. BOPA never has a slow time of year, so solid organization is key. During this period, Festivals Director Kathy Hornig, who has now become interim COO, has been doing an excellent job tracking and organizing all the current issues that need to be addressed.  Kathy, Chief of External Affairs Donna Drew Sawyer and I meet on a weekly basis to go over any pressing issues. I find this helpful to keep everyone in the loop, get answers quickly, and maintain steady lines of communication. This is vital because, as you know, we move at a very fast pace here. In addition, we have stepped up our meetings with the department directors, which used to be monthly, to occur bi-weekly. Most importantly, we are very fortunate to have such strong, committed and creative staff here at BOPA to help meet our goals.

  5. What is the most rewarding thing to you about your job?
    I find it very rewarding to see the tremendous positive impact our events and programs have on the Baltimore community, both on the arts community and the community at large. Sometimes, we ourselves take it for granted, because when it’s your job, you don’t always stand back and look at the positives, but when you see the media coverage and the economic impact, you realize what a big deal it is. Our reach now, especially with Light City, is becoming more national. We’re getting even more international artists and I hear that in the international light artist world, people are talking about Baltimore. Through our grants, arts programs and festivals, and facilities, we are able to enhance the Baltimore experience and produce good news for our city. It’s good to work at a place where you’re always planning positive and meaningful programs that affect the community and in fact, make people want to come to Baltimore and live here. You can’t do that everywhere.

  6. What are your hopes for BOPA’s future in the next five years? My hope for BOPA in the next five years is that we can continue to do the good work that we do, that we build on our successes and reinforce the BOPA brand. For so many years we’ve done these large events and didn’t say that they were produced by the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts. Not everyone knows about BOPA and we haven’t always been good about putting ourselves out there. Now, we realize how important that is that people understand the BOPA brand. It’s also important that sponsors understand we are a nonprofit when we’re going out to raise money, so we can keep our events free and open to the public. I would like to grow our events and programs to include an even larger audience on a national scale, to expand our reach to more national sponsors, and to provide more employment opportunities for Baltimoreans. We employ a lot of Baltimore artists, as you know, and a lot of people through our events, so I would like to expand that.

  7. Anything else you’d like to add?
    My answer, if someone asked me why I wanted to work here, would be that you just can’t do this kind of thing anywhere else. It’s very rare that you can work somewhere where you’re doing arts programming, annual events, running facilities, helping to plan a Super Bowl parade or a Fan Fest for the World Series. It’s very unique, and always changing.