Sometimes in our lives we all have pain
We all have sorrow
But if we are wise
We know that there's always tomorrow
Lean on me, when you're not strong
And I'll be your friend
I'll help you carry on
For it won't be long
'Til I'm gonna need
Somebody to lean on
From Lean On Me by Bill Withers
If there was ever a time when we need to lean on each other, it is now. Though we are physically apart for safety, together we are part of a unique experience that if we go it alone will weaken us—physically, mentally and artistically.
As this pandemic divisively plays out, the BOPA team is leaning into our role as Baltimore’s Arts Council, Film Office and Events Producer. Though we can’t gather like we did at Brilliant Baltimore in November and we’re hoping to for Artscape in July, we will continue to do all we can to strengthen the arts and community in Baltimore and beyond.
BOPA is working with the greater Baltimore arts community, the Maryland State Arts Council and Baltimore City to put together resources to provide immediate assistance to independent artists—look for existing opportunities here on our Arts Blog, with more to come early next week. We are in the process of building virtual galleries of the exhibitions in the Bromo Arts Tower and School 33 Arts Center so you can see the brilliance that surrounds us. We are figuring out how to virtually open the annual Sondheim Award exhibition without asking you to leave your safe place. We are combing the virtual art world to bring you the best curated content we can find. Visit the BOPA website to sign up for our newsletter, and please reach out to us by email, or at our social media channels, so that we can stay in touch.
Lean on us and we will continue to lean in so we all stay safe, enlightened and engaged.
Donna Drew Sawyer
CEO, Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts