Early Bird Registration for Maryland Arts Day
Opens Dec. 4th.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR. Arts Day early bird registration will open 12-4-13. Watch your email for the registration link on Dec. 4.

Join us and Keynote Speaker Ben Cameron, Program Director for the Arts, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.  Help us honor Governor Martin O’Malley with the MCA Outstanding Leadership in the Arts Award for his extraordinary dedication to the arts in Maryland.

Also, coming up soon after the holiday weekend ….

Webinar Reminders

Pre-Legislative Session Briefing – Thursday December 5th, 10:30am

MCA and its partners (YOU!) will discuss a forward thinking strategy for arts advocacy that needs your participation to help mobilize. Submit your registration by clicking on this Pre-Legislative Briefing FORM  to save your spot and receive instructions about how to log-on to the webinar.

Bond Bill Trainings – Wednesday, December 11th, 10:00am

Each year, the Maryland General Assembly considers Bond Bills to help fund capital projects for non-profit organizations all over Maryland. Join us for an informative walk though the application process. Submit your registration by clicking on this Bond Bill Training FORM to save your spot and receive instructions about how to log-on to the webinar.

The Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, in collaboration with the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) seeks an artist or artist team to create a major integrated artwork on the public piers of the Seattle Central Waterfront. These piers will be rebuilt as part of Waterfront Seattle, a large-scale project to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct with the potential of 26 acres of new public space, streets, parks, and buildings. The selected artist or artist team will collaborate with the project design team to create an original artwork or series of artworks on Union Street Pieror Pier 62/63. The call is one of a series of calls for permanent and temporary artworks along the redeveloped Seattle waterfront.The artist will join the Waterfront Seattledesign team in February 2014 and will develop a conceptual direction for the artwork over the first half of 2014. Upon acceptance of the concept design, the artist will be contracted for design development, engineering, fabrication and installation of the artwork.Budget: The total project budget is estimated to be $1,000,000 all-inclusive of design, fabrication, delivery, installation, travel, fees, taxes, and other project-related costs.Location: Seattle, Washington

Deadline: 11 p.m., Thursday, December 19, 2013 (Pacific Standard Time).

Click here for more information and to apply.

Info: Eric Fredericksen, public art project manager, (206) 733-9838.

This project is funded by 1% for Art funds generated by the reconstruction of the Elliott Bay Seawall in downtown Seattle, part of a larger project of redeveloping Seattle’s Central Waterfront.

Attention Artists! University of Maryland Baltimore County ( UMBC) has issued an RFQ (Request for Qualifications) for an original, site-specific artwork that enhances and compliments the newly constructed Performing Arts & Humanities Building.

The project budget is $397,000 and the deadline to submit an RFQ is December 19, 2013.

More info at: http://www.msac.org/detail.cfm?nid=651

Attention Artists! University of Maryland Baltimore County ( @[111748990906:274:UMBC]) has issued an RFQ (Request for Qualifications) for an original, site-specific artwork that enhances and compliments the newly constructed Performing Arts & Humanities Building.  

The project budget is $397,000 and the deadline to submit an RFQ is December 19, 2013.

More info at: http://www.msac.org/detail.cfm?nid=651

A Regional Exhibition at Flag Ponds Nature Park – on the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay.  June 7 – June 29, 2014.  Indoor Gallery. $2,000 in Prize Money.

Curator:  Margaret Dowell, Ph.D., Adjunct Professor, College of Southern MD.

Prize Jurors:  Jayme McLellan, founder/director Washington DC’s Civilian Art Projects and Tom Horton, author and former environmental editor for the Baltimore Sun.

Artwork may be any aesthetic, size and year of completion.  Artworks should in some way reflect the natural world typical of the Southern Maryland Region.

Information at www.calvertparks.org/ARTcade.

Questions – call Anne Sundermann (Executive Director Battle Creek Nature Education Society) at 301-204-4730.    Deadline:  May 1, 2014.

Though the cold weather has arrived in Baltimore, Station North A&E District is full of activity.  The most recent programming at Penn Station Plaza is the Bmore Flea market.

Photo credit: Bmoreflea

Bmore Flea is a juried selection of arts, crafts, antiques, vintage clothing, jewelry, hand made products, food and bar.  Just in time for the holiday season, Bmore Flea takes place every Saturday in November from 10am-4pm at Penn Station Plaza, at the foot of the Man Woman Statue.  The market is free and open to the public. Bmore Flea is another example of the ways in which public space can be temporarily activated with minimal alterations to the physical fabric of a given site.  The market also shows the networking opportunities for small businesses and artists made possible through small repetitive events.  With more than fifteen vendors each week, there is a wide selection of goods for market goers to peruse.  To keep things fresh, the Bmore Flea organizers rotate vendors to mix up the selection, and to encourage vendors’ individual followings to attend the events, building the larger Bmore Flea audience.  The diversity in vendors is also beneficial in that by having vendors from the Station North businesses as well as businesses from other areas of the city, new retail opportunities are delivered to shoppers, and vendors are able to extend their own professional and client networks.

Since hiring Director Priya Bhayana, the Bromo Tower A&E District is on its way toward building and strengthening its identity. The Bromo Arts District sent out its first e-newsletter on November 8th, representing an important step in creating a more robust promotional strategy for the district and the many organizations and individuals it supports. Creating a centralized location for information about events and opportunities in the district will generate interest in visiting the Bromo Tower District, foster a sense of community and cross-promotional efforts, and highlight the district’s diverse range of cultural offerings.
Three landmark intersections in the Bromo Tower District will soon receive customized crosswalks (one being installed today!) designed by local artists, thanks to a project coordinated by the Mayor’s Office, Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts and the Department of Transportation.  Intersections and mock-ups below:

Eutaw and Lombard
“the hopscotch”, designed by Graham Coreil-Allen to be installed in front of the Bromo Seltzer Tower

Eutaw and Baltimore
“the monster”, designed by Nolan Cartwright and Carly Bales adjacent to the Hippodrome and Everyman Theatre

Eutaw and Fayette
“the zipper”, designed by Paul Bertholet being installed today in front of the Hippodrome Theater

In real estate news – two buildings, 407 and 409 W. Baltimore St – spanning 12,500 sf – were purchased in early November with a planned investment of $1 million to redevelop the properties for retail and residential use. Interest in investing in these properties was fueled by the successful redevelopment of other along the now high foot-traffic block, and proximity to the Hippodrome, Everyman Theatre, and University of Maryland. Read the full article here!

Next year Transit plans to bring three European artists over to Baltimore for a 6-week-long residency from January to June 2014 to work together with the local community. Highlandtown A&E District has selected mmmm…, a group of artists from Spain, for the artist residency in its district. Mmmm… has been selected based on their intensive work with communities here in the U.S., plus the interactive, playful quality of their previous projects, which reflect the values and goals of the Highlandtown A&E District to create a vibrant community where neighbors feel safe to communicate with each other and have fun at the same time. A first conversation with mmmm… already took place via skype about how mmmm… might work with the Creative Alliance and Southeast Community Development Corporation. The basic idea is recreating a bus shelter on a busy crossroad that resembles a theatrical stage where the passengers could playfully interact with each other while waiting for the bus.
Also, first permits for new lighting were approved by the City (this new lighting was requested by residents because the corner, which features a bus stop, is too dark; this lighting will also light up a new mural, recently selected by a group of Highlandtown artists). Highlandtown has also received and reviewed submissions for a new mural that will go on a wall behind a bus stop (another request from residents). The selection committee included Highlandtown residents and artists. Highlandtown says: “We’re not revealing the winner just yet! We’ll keep that for December’s post”.
The Highlandtown A&E District keeps on showing spirits when it comes to gathering its community. In mid-October the Kickoff Party for the Arts District Open Studio Tour took place in the midst of the Highlandtown, a street being transformed into a bustling night time party. Shops and galleries stayed open late to feature local artist work, food and wine from local business was featured at many locations, and drummers and dancers paraded along Main Street. Beginning of November two main streets were transformed into an outdoor movie area and street party outside the Patterson Theater.  One corner was focused on family fun with a projected movie, popcorn, and hula hoops. Stilt walkers, jugglers, hula hoopers, and fire performers created a magical spectacle on site. Jugglers and hoopers taught children new tricks, which inspired an impromptu youth performance!

One lesson learnt this time is to be persistent. Getting an answer about permissible improvements in public spaces isn’t always easy. Follow up with multiple calls or e-mails (respectfully!) because eventually you will get an answer!

Contemporary Director Deana Haggag said it best with her facebook post, “big high five GBCA!”.  Her comment came in reference to the news that the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance, with start up funding from the Robert W. Deutsch Foudnation was opening up a new artist project grant program. These grants are going to be a great stepping stone for artists to take on significant projects in the public realm and community level and we cannot wait to see the impact they will have across Baltimore. We commend GBCA for this great new program. Artists can find more information on the program or to find out how to apply on the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance Website.

Mid-September the Bromo Tower A&E District hosted the panel discussion The Future of the Howard Street Corridor. On September 17, 2013 city development leaders from Baltimore and representatives from HafenCity and IBA Hamburg (Germany) met at the Zion Church of the City of Baltimore to discuss ways of improving the Howard Street corridor. Prior to this discussion, the exhibit Building the City Anew: Imagining Tomorrow’s Hamburg, focusing on the redevelopment of two neglected neighborhoods in the city of Hamburg, opened at the University of Maryland School of Architecture on September 16, 2013 and was displayed through October 7, 2013.

Moreover, one day before the panel discussion the German urban development delegation was guided through the Bromo Tower A&E District to get familiar with the infrastructure of Howard Street, in particular its transportation hubs and cultural institutions. The gleaned insights from this tour gave valuable input for the discussion on Howard Street the following day on how to regenerate the Howard Street as a transit corridor, by means of art and urban design initiatives. After a brief presentation of HafenCity and IBA Hamburg the forum began amongst the invited panelists and was followed by a short Q&A. The representatives from the two city government agencies in Hamburg made the following recommendations:

1. Create an agency in charge of managing, implementing and realizing improvement plans!
2. Set a time limit for realization!
3. Urban design guidelines should prioritize architectural excellence and quality experiences for pedestrians.
4. Start small and act quickly!
5. Invest in public space and civic initiatives to promote change!
6. Enable small projects and/or divide large-scale projects into smaller pieces!
7. Financing is a challenge: Create a solid financing plan!
8. Make artists a permanent element of the urban development initiatives!

The video documentation of this panel discussion can be found here. Visit the TRANSIT – Europe in Baltimore website for more detailed information on this topic. The exhibit Building the City Anew: Imagining Tomorrow’s Hamburg will open on November 14, 2013 at the UDC CAUSES in Washington, D.C. and can be seen until December 6, 2013.
The Bromo Tower A&E also announced the hiring of the District’s first director, Priya Bhayana. She will be in charge of advancing and promoting the interests of arts venues, retailers, and other key stakeholders within this district. More on that announcement is here.

After three successful Creative Placemaking workshops with residents, the Highlandtown A&E District is currently in the project planning phase and negotiates contracts with artists and contractors to implement the many projects recommended at the workshops. These workshops would not have gone so smoothly without the help of its many talented volunteers, including the Highlandtown Main Street Design Committee. Along with the planning these projects, Highlandtown held two outdoor parties and built a temporary outdoor park to keep the good humor and spirit. On September 6 and October 4, 2013 Highlandtown brought the party in the Creative Alliance outside with performances from Charm City Roller Girls, stilt walkers and light projections. Also, bus stops were transformed into a fun seating area with plants, lights, Adirondack chairs, and bistro tables. Later on in September, the A&E District partnered with local business. On September 20, they partnered with the local business Baltimore Threadquarters to build a community park in two parking spaces as part of Park(ing) Day, a national event where citizens transform parking spaces into temporary parks. The day was capped off with an outdoor BBQ and music. Since the project TRANSIT was kicked-off, three new businesses have opened along Conkling Plaza, one of Highlandtown’s targeted public spaces. They were working with these merchants on Placemaking projects, like the gallery tour in October which displayed artwork from local artists not only in the district’s galleries, but also in these recently opened businesses.

On September 29 100 quilts were displayed at Penn Station Plaza in the Station North A&E District as a part of the the Monument Picnic, organized by FORCE. Prior to the event, FORCE and CONGREGATE partnered to host quilt making workshops with congregation members at the Spiritual Empowerment Center as a way to provide community support for survivors of rape and abuse. As the first leg of its historic project, FORCE hosted the picnic at Baltimore’s Penn Station Plaza, allowing visitors to interact with the quilts, read survivors stories and join in a community of support. 
The event generated positive press for the project and Penn Station Plaza, including an article in the Baltimore Times, was listed as a Top 10 Event to attend by HUGECITY Baltimore, and generated many social media posts.
This event was a program of Congregate: Art+Faith+Community, an exhibition and series of programs that creates shared experiences for faith-based congregations and artistic communities within the Station North Arts and Entertainment District. The exhibition was curated by the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) Curatorial Practice MFA class of 2014. The event was also made possible by Station North Arts & Entertainment District.

The insight gleaned from the panel discussion on The Future of the Howard Street Corridor demonstrates the importance of learning from other cities, in particular from countries other than the US, and their best practices when it comes to urban revitalizing strategies and initiatives. However, the question is to which extent are cities of different countries, with different forms of municipal government comparable and its strategies applicable to each other?