Image credit: Jeff & Aisha Butler of Jazzy Studios

Baltimore-based artist Megan Lewis has been chosen to create new public artwork for the Penn-North Metro SubwayLink station. The inclusion of the artwork, which is intended to focus on the history and culture of the Penn-North community, is part of North Avenue Rising, a project that includes transportation investments across the North Avenue corridors and is supported by a U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant.  The North Avenue Rising will improve transit connectivity and accessibility along the East to West North Avenue corridor, while the investment in new artwork will improve the commuter experience within the station and provide visitors an opportunity for self-reflection.

The artwork created by Lewis will be the first new artwork commissioned for the Baltimore Metro SubwayLink system since the stations were built more than 30 years ago, and will be the first artwork by a black woman artist commissioned for Maryland’s transit system. Lewis joins the ranks of artists like Romare Bearden, Patricia Alexander, Paul Daniels, Mary Ann Mears and others who have artwork commissions located along the Baltimore Metro SubwayLink line.

The North Avenue Rising Penn-North Station project is Lewis’s first public art commission. The artist has been an active and well-regarded member of Baltimore’s arts community. A past Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance Urban Arts Leadership Fellow, Lewis began translating her work into public murals in the summer of 2015 through Art @ Work, an award-winning partnership between BOPA and Jubilee Arts. Since that time, she has been an Art @ Work teaching artist four years in a row, and has completed seven murals across the city. Her mural, Lady Liberty Please Know Thy Self, located at 1800 Baker Street, made national news when singer-songwriter Alicia Keys visited Baltimore for “Shining a Light: A Concert for Progress on Race in America” presented by A+E Networks. The artist will begin designing the artwork for the station this fall, with installation scheduled in 2020.

Meet Lewis and hear about her creative process during an artist talk on Wednesday, October 24, 2018 from 6pm to 8pm at Arch Social Club, located at 2426 Pennsylvania Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21217. The event is hosted by Cultureworks and part of BOPA’s Free Fall Baltimore.


More information on North Avenue Rising can be found at

1. What book are you currently reading?

I just finished Fun Home by Alison Bechdel. It’s a graphic novel memoir described as a “Family Tragicomic.” The book documents the author and artist’s relationship with her family as she grew up focusing on her father and how his personality and temperament affected her and the household. As Allison discovered she was a lesbian and came out of the closet to her parents, it uncovered a family secret that her father was also gay.

2. What do you enjoy the most about the book?

I really appreciate the ways great cartoonists can shape a story and the mood they are conveying through the combination of drawing and narrative. Allison conveys this extremely well. I think the story felt very personal to me for a number of reasons, but it is also a very universal experience to grow up and find out that your family or parents are far more nuanced and less black and white, right and wrong then they seemed when you are a child.

3. Why would you recommend this book to others?

We had given this book to my sister-in-law as a gift. I borrowed it back from them because the book has been turned into a musical and it is coming to Baltimore Center Stage in January. I bought tickets for the family and that was a great reason to finally read the book. It’s so exciting that this production is coming to Center Stage and I’d recommend anyone read the book and go see the show while it’s here.

4. What authors are you excited to see at this year’s Baltimore Book Festival?

I’m always excited to see what unexpected authors I meet or run into at the Book Festival. Some of my children’s favorite YA authors are people I’ve met working at or perusing the festival. There is so much talent that comes through, from the programmed tents to the self-published authors. If you go with an open mind, you won’t be disappointed.

5. Can you provide any tips for first-time attendees?

If something catches your eye or your ear don’t be shy, meet the author, ask questions about their work and take a chance. It’s wonderful to discover new artists and authors through direct interactions.


The Baltimore Book Festival returns to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor on Friday, September 28 through Sunday, September 30, 2018 from 11am to 7pm daily. The literary arts celebration features acclaimed local, regional and national authors, readings on multiple stages, cooking demonstrations and samplings, workshops, panel discussions, storytellers, children’s activities, the annual Storybook Parade, live music, and food and beverage. Visit

1. What book are you currently reading?

Oh gosh, that’s a complex question. I’m normally a person who reads a lot of books at one time. The book that has my attention the most right now is definitely Good Girl Revolt by Lynn Povich. It is actually the book that inspired the Amazon Series by the same name.

2. What do you enjoy the most about the book?

The book is about the 1970 Newsweek Trial, where the women of the magazine sued based on sex discrimination because women could not become writers or reports. They were commonly pigeon holed into the research position though they had the same credentials as their male counterparts. The thing I enjoy is that it sheds light on some of the problems with 1960’s and 1970’s feminism and highlights that intersectional feminism really has become popular in this third wave of feminism.

3. Why would you recommend this book to others?

If you are in anyway interested in media I feel you should read this book. The story of the women of Newsweek has been a forgotten story but it truly changed media and the role of women in magazines, newspapers and journalism as a whole. I’m surprised this book isn’t taught in classrooms all over the United States or at least it wasn’t when I was in school.

4. What authors are you excited to see at this year’s Baltimore Book Festival?

I’m really excited to see Nic Stone talk at the Enoch Pratt Free Library Children’s Stage! She’s an amazing author who writes such great stories that are really true to the time we are currently living in. It’s a treasure to have her at the Baltimore Book Festival.

5. Can you provide any tips for first-time attendees?

Come hungry! We don’t call ourselves “A literary feast with gourmet eats” for nothing! There is such amazing food at the Baltimore Book Festival! I cannot wait to get a crab cake, a cup of coffee and buy some new books for myself to also devour!


The Baltimore Book Festival returns to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor on Friday, September 28 through Sunday, September 30, 2018 from 11am to 7pm daily. The literary arts celebration features hundreds of award-winning and best-selling local, regional and national authors, readings on multiple stages, cooking demonstrations and samplings, workshops, panel discussions, storytellers, children’s activities, the annual Storybook Parade, live music, and food and beverage. Visit

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 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.

The Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts (BOPA) dedicates a Transformative Art Prize project by renowned artist Amy Sherald, in partnership with Station North Arts & Entertainment District. A large-scale version of the artist’s oil on canvas painting, “Equilibrium,” will be installed at Stavros Niarchos Foundation Parkway Theatre, 5 W. North Ave., Baltimore, MD 21201, situated at the geographic center of the city. After the dedication, guests are invited to a brief reception at the Parkway. 

The original painting is in the permanent collection of the Embassy of the United States, Dakar, Senegal. Originally awarded in 2014, the Transformative Art Prize project is managed by BOPA and supported by Baltimore City Department of Housing & Community Development, Station North Arts & Entertainment District and Charles North Community Association. PNC Bank was a dedicated supporter of this project in 2014.  

About Amy Sherald:
Amy Sherald (American, b. Columbus, GA 1973, lives and works in Baltimore, MD) received her MFA in painting from Maryland Institute College of Art (2004) and BA in painting from Clark-Atlanta University (1997), and was a Spelman College International Artist-in-Residence in Portobelo, Panama (1997). Known for her stylized portraits of African Americans, in 2016, Sherald was the first woman to win the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery’s Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition; an accompanying exhibition, “The Outwin 2016,” was on tour through August 2018. In February 2018, Sherald unveiled her official portrait of Former First Lady Michelle Obama, commissioned for the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C. Sherald has had solo shows at venues including Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago, IL (2016); Reginald F. Lewis Museum, Baltimore, MD (2013); and University of North Carolina, Sonja Haynes Stone Center, Chapel Hill, NC (2011). A solo exhibition of new and recent works first opened at Contemporary Art Museum, St Louis, MO in May 2018 and will travel to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AK, and Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, Atlanta, GA. Recent group exhibitions include “Southern Accent,” Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, NC (2016), which traveled to Speed Museum of Art, Louisville, KY (2017), and “Face to Face: Los Angeles Collects Portraiture,” California African American Museum, Los Angeles, CA (2017). Residencies include Odd Nerdrum Private Study, Larvik, Norway (2005); Tong Xion Art Center, Beijing, China (2008); Creative Alliance, Baltimore, MD (2016); and the Joan Mitchell Foundation, New Orleans, LA (2017). Sherald’s work is held in the public collections of the Embassy of the United States, Dakar, Senegal; the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C.; Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington, D.C.; Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C.; The Columbus Museum, Columbus, GA; Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MO; and Nasher Museum of Art, Durham, NC. Sherald is represented by Hauser & Wirth, New York.

Baltimore is one of 14 cities selected for the 2018 Public Art Challenge, part of Mike Bloomberg’s American Cities Initiative. Bloomberg Philanthropies announced the 14 finalists who could receive up to $1 million each as part of the 2018 Public Art Challenge, a program that aims to foster creative collaboration, address civic issues, and support local economies through public art. More than 200 cities applied with proposals addressing a range of pressing issues and social themes such as community development, environmental sustainability, and cultural identity. Many proposals also address issues like displacement, immigration, natural disaster recovery, and public health and safety. Additionally, the proposals reflect a diverse use of artistic mediums including augmented reality, light installations, murals, and performances.

Baltimore, MD – Enhancing Public Safety by Reducing Violence: “The Baltimore Resurgence Project”

The City of Baltimore proposes creating a series of murals and sustainable landscape projects to address public safety in connection with Baltimore’s Violence Reduction Initiative. The proposed project will be a multi-sector collaboration between the Arts & Parks organization, the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts, and Baltimore’s Mayor’s Office on Criminal Justice. Learn more here.

Image Credit: Bloomberg Philanthropies