Our Mission

Welcome to the official website of the Mount Vernon Cultural District! We are a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to support and promote the cultural institutions in the Mount Vernon Neighborhood of Baltimore, Maryland.

A Mount Vernon Staycation

August, 2017
Volume 5, Issue 2

Dear Reader,

Hotel Indigo Baltimore Downtown
The Beautiful Hotel Indigo,
courtesy of the hotel

Greetings from the ‘other side’ — I want to thank you for your well wishes as I underwent major surgery earlier this year. It has taken a while, but I’m happy to say I’m back on track!

Perhaps my mind has been sensitive to beautiful surroundings to escape and relax in, because this month, I had the chance to visit some of the city’s best hotels–and they’re located right here in Mount Vernon. So take a virtual tour with me and then enjoy a special discount for a staycation of your own making, below.  Special thanks to Hotel Indigo Baltimore Downtown, The Ivy Hotel and the Hotel Monaco for opening their doors to us.

An Interesting Bit of History

Some of you might remember when this 1908 building was a YMCA — in fact, it was one of the first of its kind in the nation.

Closed since 1981, after a $14 million renovation, in 2015 the Hotel Indigo Downtown Baltimore opened, and the place has been buzzing ever since. This is Intercontinental’s boutique offshoot, offering the brand’s same level of high-end service and modern accommodations at wallet-friendly prices.

Walk up the short flight of steps, and you’re welcomed into an expansive lobby lit by Palladian windows. To your left is the chic library, with several volumes dedicated to Edgar Allan Poe, himself perhaps the most stylish writer to walk the streets of Baltimore.

The Hotel Indigo’s Library, courtesy of the hotel

In fact, it’s said that Poe got into fisticuffs with a literary critic across from the Baltimore Basilica on nearby Mulberry Street!

Back at the hotel, you can create your own literary fantasies on one of its custom chartreuse sofas. The popular restaurant, Poets Modern Cocktails, fills the opposite end of the building, bedecked in glossy white shelving, dramatic etched mirrors and a selection of tasty home brews, such as the signature Gold Ale.

Hotel Indigo Downtown Baltimore is extending a special Friends of Mount Vernon discount to our readers: click here for complete details.

The hotel is located at 24 W. Franklin Street in Baltimore’s Mount Vernon Cultural District. Call 410-489-1580 for more information or visit http://www.baltimoreindigohotel.com.

A Jewelbox In Mount Vernon

The Ivy Hotel’s winding staircase, courtesy Miller Orians

Making headlines as one of the coolest new luxury hotels in the country, the 18-room Ivy Hotel is nestled into a historic brownstone on Calvert Street. 

Step inside and you feel as though you’ve entered a friend’s house; that is, if your friend is a B&O Railroad Baron. A conservatory filled with greenery and zebra-print chairs is the site of the evening cocktail hour. Guests are welcome to play a game of chess or billiards – both are antiques. Hand-painted murals by Baltimore artists fill one room; carved mahogany rosettes are in another.

All gratuities are included in your room rate, so when you get hungry you won’t feel bad about calling down to the famed on-site restaurant, Magdalena: The chef himself will send up a plate of goodies.

Guests take the winding wooden staircase (it’s original to the building) or one of two elevators to the upper-floor guest rooms.

Each layout is different and filled with one-of-a-kind finds: when I visited a 16th century tapestry from Spain had just arrived.

A bathroom fit for a king – or a B&O Railroad Baron, courtesy Miller Orians

The heralded Spa at the Ivy must have had a hand in the bathroom design, as each features heated limestone floors, deep soaking tubs, and NaturaBisse products. I can attest that the remote-controlled toilet speaks Japanese.

The Ivy Hotel has become a favorite haunt for weekenders from Pennsylvania, DC and Virginia (and beyond), so make your reservations now while you can. 

This hotel is located at 205 E. Biddle Street in Mount Vernon, Baltimore. Call 410-514-6500 for more information or visit http://www.theivybaltimore.com.

Perfectly at Home in Baltimore

Room service includes goldfish
at the Hotel Monaco Baltimore

Speaking of the B&O Railroad, its 1831 headquarters has become one of the city’s most popular overnight destinations, duly representing West Coast style and Charm City swagger: The Hotel Monaco.

It’s part of the Kimpton brand, which is best-known for its upbeat vibe and some quirky extras that feel right at home in Baltimore. Not only are dogs welcome, cats birds and even amphibians are allowed.

For those having trouble counting sheep, the front desk can supply a goldfish who will swim in circles for your evening enjoyment.

A beautiful grand marble staircase leads down from the hotel’s lobby area to the popular street-level B&O Brasserie. New arrivals will find friendly staffers in the lobby sharing space with bold art and contrasting patterned fabrics.

The Modern Lobby at the Hotel Monaco Baltimore, courtesy of the hotel

The nightly wine hour that Kimpton is known (and loved) for takes place by the fireplace near the reception desk. Generous staycation packages at the Hotel Monaco Baltimore include National Aquarium tickets and free parking: click here for all of the details.

The Hotel Monaco Baltimore is located at 2 North Charles Street in Mount Vernon, Baltimore. Call 443-692-6170 for more information or
visit http://www.monaco-baltimore.com


Upcoming Events In Mount Vernon

Baltimore School For the Arts
712 Cathedral Street | 443-642-5167 | Website

BSA banner

Open House/Information Day for Prospective Students
and Parents

Saturday, Oct 7 | 9 AM

Do you know a student interested in Baltimore School for the Arts? Join us at BSA for annual Open House/Information Day to learn all about the audition process and the school’s academic and arts curriculum. No reservations required, and all parents and families are welcome.

If your last name begins with A-L, please attend the morning sessions:
9 AM: Visual Arts, Vocal & Instrumental Music
10 AM: Academics
11 AM: Dance, Theatre, Theatre Production

If your last name begins with M-Z, please attend the afternoon sessions:
12 PM: Visual Arts, Vocal & Instrumental Music
1 PM: Academics
2 PM: Dance, Theatre, Theatre Production

You’ll learn about how to apply, how to prepare for the audition, how acceptance decisions are made, our college prep program, and what our alumni do. Student-guided tours follow each arts session.

All interested students must be accompanied by an adult.

Click here for more information.


Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
1212 Cathedral Street | 410-783-8000 | Website

Wynton Marsalis

2017 Gala Concert with Wynton Marsalis
Saturday, Sept 9 | 8 PM
The Meyerhoff

Marin Alsop, Music Director
Wynton Marsalis, trumpet
Dan Nimmer, piano
Carlos Henriquez, bass
Ali O.M. Jackson II, drums

Marin Alsop conducts the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, nine-time Grammy® Award-winning trumpeter Wynton Marsalis and three of the finest jazz artists in the world; the perfect pairing of legendary jazz and classical musicians in a celebration of America’s art form.

Click here for more information or to purchase tickets.

Enoch Pratt Free Library
400 Cathedral Street | 410-396-5430 | Website

Genealogy Circle Meeting: Brick Wall Session
Saturday, Aug 12 | 10:30 AM to 12 PM
Central Library, Meyerhoff Children’s Garden Night Room

Brick Wall

Do you have ancestors you just can’t find? What do you do when your research comes to a standstill and you’ve hit that proverbial brick wall? When you’ve already tried all the obvious places, you’ll need to consider the not so obvious.

Bring your questions, as well as your knowledge and experience to help others solve their problems. We’ll share and work together to break down those brick walls!

A panel of Maryland genealogy experts, including Lisa Crawley from the Reginal F. Lewis Museum’s Resource Center; Melvin Currie who has been working with genetic genealogy for over ten years; and Malissa Ruffner, Vice President of the Maryland Genealogical Society, will be on hand to work with you.

Click here for more information. Registration is not required.

Maryland Historical Society
201 W. Monument Street | Phone 410-685-3750 | Website

lady Baltimore

Eliza Crawford Anderson Godefroy: Shattering the Glass Ceiling in the Intellectual World of Baltimore, 1800-1819
Thursday, Sept 7, 2017
6:00 PM Cocktails
6:30-7:30 PM Lecture
7:30-8:30 PM Reception

This lecture is part of the Francis Scott Key Lecture Series, and is presented by Edward Papenfuse, Ph.D., Maryland State Archivist (retired).

A friend of Elizabeth Patterson, abandoned wife of a failed Baltimore merchant, a single mother who divorced for love to marry a French artist/architect, and an accomplished editor/writer in her own right, Eliza Godefroy’s life was both extraordinary and tragic. Her failed journal, the first of its kind in America edited by a woman, remains a monument to her skills as a writer and observer of the intellectual life of the emerging urban presence of Baltimore, as much as her second husband’s Battle Monument remains as the centerpiece of the city’s official seal. This lecture will explore the career of the brilliant, Eliza Godefroy during the first two decades of the nineteenth century.

Click here for more information or to purchase tickets.

Maryland Humanities
108 West Centre Street | 410-685-0095 | Website

Mt Vernon Park

Literary Mount Vernon Walking Tour
Saturday, Aug 19 | 11 AM
Enoch Pratt Free Library Central Library

What do Tupac Shakur, Upton Sinclair, and Emily Post have in common? At one point, all three resided in Baltimore’s historic Mount Vernon neighborhood. On Maryland Humanities’ Literary Mount Vernon Walking Tour, you’ll walk in the footsteps of these iconic cultural figures, along with other literary greats of Baltimore like Edgar Allan Poe and H.L. Mencken. There are only a few more tours left this season – get your tickets now and join the fun!

Advance reservations are required. Tickets are $10 per person and can be reserved online. Tours begin at 11 a.m. at the Enoch Pratt Free Library Central Library at 400 Cathedral Street.

Click here for more information or to purchase tickets.

Peabody Institute
1 East Mount Vernon Place | Phone: 410-234-4500 | Website

Peabody Conservatory to Offer Dance Degree

danah bellan

The Peabody Institute has announced the launch of a new bachelor’s degree in dance.

Internationally known dancer, choreographer, and teacher danah bella will chair new Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance program.

Building on its long history of high-level training for dancers, the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University will launch a Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance program beginning in the 2018-19 academic year, pending approval of the Maryland Higher Education Commission. danah bella, the founder of danah bella DanceWorks and former chair of the dance faculty at Radford University, will lead the new department.

“The Peabody Conservatory Dance BFA is designed to prepare exceptional 21st century artists to push the boundaries between dance and science and expand the role and relevance of dance,” stated Abra Bush, Peabody’s senior associate dean of institute studies. “With her bold artistry and diverse experiences as a performer, choreographer, and teacher, we’re thrilled that danah bella has agreed to lead this innovative new program at Peabody.”

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

Spotlighters Theatre
817 Saint Paul Street | Phone: 410-752-1225 | Website

Cleanup Day Volunteers

SPOTLIGHTERS CLEAN UP DAY
Saturday, Aug 26 | 10 AM – 4 PM

Volunteers can work as little as 2 hours – or as much as all day!

We will be working in three teams:

1. General Theatre Clean
Deep cleaning of seating areas
Cleaning Baseboards
Dusting / Cleaning around window & mouldings
Cleaning Ceiling Fans & Light Fixtures

2. Costume Room Organization
Sorting and Re-hanging of costumes
Re-stocking shoes & hats into proper containers
Re-shelving of fabrics (separating into finished pieces and raw fabrics)

3. Green Room / Dressing Room Clean
Cleaning counters and shelves
Organizing Under Cabinets and Kitchenette space
Cleaning Floors / Sweep, Vacuum, Mop as needed.

4. Outdoors
Re-painting the courtyard concrete (dependent upon weather)

To volunteer, contact Fuzz Roark by calling 410-752-1225.

The Walters Art Museum
600 N. Charles Street | Phone: 410-547-9000 | Website

Uncertain Times

Uncertain Times: Martin Luther’s Remedies for the Soul
Sunday, Aug 6, 2017 – Sunday, Oct 29, 2017 | 10 AM – 5 PM

Uncertain Times: Martin Luther’s Remedies for the Soul focuses on the ways in which Martin Luther, the 16th-century German religious reformer, comforted the distressed souls of his contemporaries by approaching them as a father, a husband, and a friend – rather than as a priest or theologian. This exhibition, curated by Zanvyl Krieger Fellow Yu Na Han, provides insight into Luther’s world, friendships, and family. Approximately 20 works will be on view, ranging from a simple beer cup to a mesmerizing rendering of the Lutheran orb and cross composed entirely of microscopic hand-lettered prayers. The Walters presents this one-gallery exhibition during the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.

Click here for more information.

Until next month,
laura-sig

Laura Rodini
Executive Director, The Mount Vernon Cultural District

The Mount Vernon Cultural District Is
A Proud Partner of Downtown Partnership of Baltimore and Visit BaltimoreC

New Developments at Grace & St. Peter’s Church

January, 2017
Volume 5, Issue 1

Dear Reader,

Grace & St. Peter's Church
Grace & St. Peter’s

Amidst all the buzz and new construction along Park Ave., one of the city’s oldest most established parishes is also seeing changes.

Grace & St. Peter’s Church, located at Park and Monument Streets, encompasses nearly an entire block with its grade school, The Wilkes School, and parish-owned apartments. But this past summer, its rector, Frederick Thomas, suddenly passed away. Father Thomas had been rector since 1998, and he was a familiar presence in the Mount Vernon community. A search community is hoping to name a new rector by the end of the first quarter. In addition, Sandy Schull is retiring after 20 years as Head of School at The Wilkes School.

“it’s an exciting time for our congregation,” says parishioner Dante Berretta, “even though our congregation is small, it’s cohesive and open to change.”

Berretta hopes that the church and school will do even more outreach in the neighborhood. And while these top-level changes are taking place, you might notice the church itself is being transformed.

Renovations are underway in the garden to make the entrance handicap-accessible and the space more inviting in general. New trees and shrubs are being planted, the retaining walls are being fixed and old ironwork is being repaired. “It is our hope that the community will be able to use the space for outdoor performances and events,” says Berretta.

An Interesting Bit of History

A Chinese New Year Celebration
A Chinese New Year
Celebration at Grace & St. Peter’s

In the early 20th century, the 300 block of Park Ave. in Baltimore was known as Chinatown. Immigrants moved west to work on the transcontinental railroad, and Grace & St. Peter’s established a mission to serve Chinese immigrants, most notably, by offering English language classes.

Grace & St. Peters welcomed immigrants into the parish and about 1/3 of parishioners are of Chinese descent. Chinese traditions play a big role in church activities today: You can see the slumbering dragon insignias on many of the cushions throughout the church. Check them out some time!

This year, you can celebrate the Lunar New Year through a special event at The Walters Art Museum on Sunday, January 29 from 11 am-4pm. There will be art activities and traditional Lunar New Year performances by the Baltimore Chinese School, the Johns Hopkins Lion Dance Troupe, and the Korean dance groups Sang Hee Ju Traditional Dance Company and Stepping Stones. See the Walters’ website for details.

Grace and St. Peter’s is located at 707 Park Avenue at Monument Street in Mount Vernon, Baltimore. Like them on Facebook and visit their website for more information.


 

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
1212 Cathedral Street | 410-783-8000 | Website

 

Jonathan Carney

Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7
Thursday, January 12 | 8 PM
The Meyerhoff

Marin Alsop, conductor
Valentina Peleggi, conductor*
Jonathan Carney, violin

From the vivid first notes of the Capriccio espagnol to the joyous close of Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony, this program is sheer delight. The Capriccio, a feast of Spanish melodies and a showpiece for soloists within the orchestra, introduces newcomer Valentina Peleggi, the current winner of Marin Alsop’s Taki Concordia fellowship. Concertmaster Jonathan Carney takes center stage in Walton’s tempestuous Violin Concerto, shining a light on his virtuosic talents. Beethoven called his Seventh Symphony “one of the happiest products of my poor talents.”

Click here for more information or to purchase tickets.

A Tribute to Ol' Blue Eyes

A Tribute to Ol’ Blue Eyes
Friday, January 27 | 8 PM
Saturday, January 28 | 8 PM
Sunday, January 29 | 3 PM
The Meyerhoff

Jack Everly, conductor
Ann Hampton Callaway, vocalist
Tony DeSare, vocalist
Frankie Moreno, vocalist

Come fly away with Jack Everly and the BSO SuperPops as we welcome Broadway’s own Tony DeSare, Ann Hampton Callaway and Frankie Moreno for a tour of your favorite Sinatra standards. It takes you back to the time when a great voice and a great song came together… and there was magic.

Click here for more information or to register.

Center Stage
700 North Calvert Street | 410-332-0033 | Website

 

The Ground On Which We Stand

The Ground On Which We Stand:
An Exploration of Black Excellence

Sunday, February 12 | 4 PM

100 Baltimore Jack & Jill youth were challenged to interpret the best of the African diasporic canon. Center Stage welcomes the contemporary voices of the heroes and sheroes of tomorrow as they celebrate the writers, poets, musicians, industry leaders, and intellectuals who redefined America. This one-time performance will feature music, dance, art, film, and projection technology highlighting breakthrough moments in history.

Presented by The Baltimore Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. in partnership with Baltimore Center Stage.

Click here or call 410.332.0033 for more information or to purchase tickets for $15.

Maryland Historical Society
201 W. Monument Street | Phone 410-685-3750 | Website

 

Out of the Box
Druid Hill Black Swimming Pool
Image: People swimming at the “Black Swimming Pool.” Druid Hill Park, Baltimore. Ca. 1948. Photograph by Paul Henderson Paul Henderson Photograph Collection, MdHS, HEN-01-03-013

Special Enoch Pratt Lecture
Honoring MLK and Civil Rights
Exhibit Relaunch
Saturday, January 14, 2017
Tours 10:30-12:30 PM | Lecture 2 PM

The Maryland Historical Society proudly relaunches its Paul Henderson Civil Rights-era photography exhibition featuring never-before-seen scenes of Baltimore life c. 1940-1960.

On January 14, 2017, free tours of the Paul Henderson: Maryland’s Civil Rights Era in Photographs exhibition will be offered in advance of a special MLK Commemorative lecture hosted by the Enoch Pratt Free Library and the Maryland Historical Society. The lecture, which will begin at 2pm, features Dr. Julianne Malveaux, Founder and President of Economic Education and author of the new book, Are We Better Off? Race, Obama and Public Policy.

Beginning at 10:30 am, Curator of Films & Photographs, Joe Tropea, and Historical Investigations Specialist, David Armenti, will lead guided tours of the exhibit Paul Henderson: Maryland’s Civil Rights Era in Photographs, c.1940-1960. The tours will cover topics such as Henderson’s life and work as a photojournalist, MdHS’s work on the 7,000 piece collection, and the many stories his photos convey. Each tour will begin on the half hour: 10:30am, 11:30am, and 12:30pm. Each session will last approximately 45 minutes. Tours will meet in the Symington Library.

Then at 2pm, The Enoch Pratt Free Library hosts its annual King Commemorative Lecture featuring Dr. Julianne Malveaux, Founder and President of Economic Education. This lecture will begin at 2:00pm in France Hall.

Click here for more information or to register. The museum will be free all day.

Peabody Institute
1 East Mount Vernon Place | Phone: 410-234-4500 | Website

 

Alexander Shtarkman

Variations on Goldberg IV
Thursday, Jan 26 | 8 PM
Miriam A. Friedberg Concert Hall

Alexander Shtarkman, Piano

The concert will feature Alexander Shtarkman on piano, performing Johann Sebastian Bach: Goldberg Variations, BWV 988.

Free admission, no ticket required.

Click here for more information.

Marin Alsop

Marin Alsop conducts Peabody Symphony Orchestra in Barber, Strauss, Shostakovich
Saturday, Feb 4 | 8 PM
Miriam A. Friedberg Concert Hall

Peabody Symphony Orchestra
Marin Alsop, conductor
Samuel Barber: Adagio for Strings
Richard Strauss: Don Juan, Op. 20
Dmitri Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5 in D minor, Op. 47

This event will also be streamed live on the Johns Hopkins UStream channel.

Tickets required. Currently, tickets are unavailable. Please call the Box Office at 667-208-6620 to be added to the waiting list.

Click here for more information.

Spotlighters Theatre
817 Saint Paul Street | Phone: 410-752-1225 | Website

 

THE THREEPENNY OPERA

THE THREEPENNY OPERA
Jan 13 – Feb 5, 2017

German adaptation by Bertolt Brecht
directed by Michael Blum

Synopsis: In 1928, Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill adapted John Gay’s 18th-century The Beggar’s Opera to fashion a savage, biting commentary on bourgeois capitalism and modern morality, set to unforgettable music with tunes that have been famous for 90 years. Our contemporary world sees 19th-century London through the lens of 1920s Berlin, to tell the bitter tale of the predatory outlaw Mack the Knife, who marries the daughter of Soho’s underworld boss but is betrayed by his sinister in-laws and his favorite prostitutes and sent to prison. He temporarily escapes with the help of the Sheriff’s daughter, but all the forces of society converge to bring about a menacing finale of ferocious irony.

Tickets: Adults $22; Seniors (60+) $20; Students & Military $18.
Ten Spot Thursday – ALL TICKETS JUST $10: Jan 19, 2017 (no other discounts apply). Purchase tickets by clicking here.

Post Show discussion with Cast, Director & Creative Team: Sunday, Jan 29, 2017 immediately following the performance.

The Walters Art Museum
600 N. Charles Street | Phone: 410-547-9000 | Website

 

Pasta Making with Schola

Make Night: Pasta Making with Schola
Thursday, Jan 19, 2017 | 6 PM – 9 PM

Celebrate the Walters’ Italian art collection with a culinary connection to the past as we make fresh pasta with the chefs at Schola Cooking School. After learning about some of the great works from the collection, you’ll use a pasta sheeter to create a few of the old favorites-fettuccine alfredo, pappardelle with Bolognese sauce, and cheese ravioli in spinach pesto. This workshop will be held offsite at Schola Cooking School, 1005 N. Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21201.

Click here for more information or to register.

Gerome

Adrienne L. Childs on Henry Ossawa Tanner
Saturday, Feb 4, 2017 | 2 PM – 3:30 PM

The Walters Art Museum is proud to have reinstalled Lion Drinking by African-American painter Henry Ossawa Tanner as part of From Rye to Raphael: The Walters Story. To celebrate this installation in conjunction with Black History Month, the museum will host scholar Adrienne L. Childs for a talk that discusses Tanner’s use of imagery from the Holy Land and North Africa.

Click here for more information or to register. Free, advance registration requested.

Until next month,
laura-sig

Laura Rodini
Executive Director, The Mount Vernon Cultural District

The Mount Vernon Cultural District Is
A Proud Partner of Downtown Partnership of Baltimore and Visit Baltimore

Welcome Home, Center Stage!

December, 2016
Volume 4, Issue 7

Dear Reader,

‘Tis the most glorious season of the year for our Mount Vernon Cultural District! Our neighborhood is the setting for two special happenings this month: The first is Downtown Partnership’s Annual Monument Lighting Ceremony, which takes place tomorrow beginning at 5 pm (details are below). And Center Stage’s historic Calvert Street building reopens to the public with the debut of a scintillating new performance of Les Liaisons Dangereuses.

Fulfilling Its Mission to Become Our Community’s Best Theatrical Hub

Center Stage Reno
Click here for a look at the renovation underway.

Since January, Center Stage has been transforming its historic theater through a $28 million renovation which will result in a new theater, a redesigned lobby and additional space for community and educational programs.

The Head Theater on the fourth floor is being completely redesigned by Charcoalblue, a theater design company based in London. Center Stage is adding a new 99-seat Third Space to be able to produce more cutting-edge work, as well as family programming. The Deering Lobby will be much more open and welcoming. There will be a new education center (the Eddic C. and C. Sylvia Brown Education Center) and a new costume shop (the Terry H. Morgenthaler Costume Shop), as well as a new café and bar (the Sherman Café and Bar). The project’s architect is Cho Benn Holback and its contractor is Whiting Turner.

“With this renovation, Center Stage will be able to fulfill its mission to be the best possible theatrical hub for our community, meeting people wherever they may be to engage and entertain,” Artistic Director Kwame Kwei-Armah says, “Through this transformational investment, we will be able to continue to offer diverse programming that reflects and supports our community and our times. For me, every inch of our theater is the stage. From the moment you walk in, you’re engaging with art. Let’s open up this space to everyone.”

Center Stage’s grand reopening will be on March 3, 2017, but starting on Dec 2, audiences can glimpse a peek at the renovation and enjoy the redesigned lobby and Pearlstone Theater, which has been updated with improved sound and lighting, making it a fitting location for the classic tale of love and betrayal, Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Dangerous Liaisons).

Les Liaisons Dangereuses

Two French aristocrats, Marquise de Merteuil and her ex-lover, the Vicomte de Valmont, challenge each other to seduce unsuspecting innocents in this story of revenge, debauchery, and hidden motives. Set just before the French Revolution, Les Liaisons is a glimpse into the lives of beautiful people poised to denigrate and control everyone around them, including each other. But when one of them actually falls in love, the real betrayals unfold.

Les Liaisons is a compelling story for contemporary audiences, says Center Stage Associate Artistic Director Hana S. Sharif. “The story is set at a moment right on the cusp of the French Revolution, a time when there had been no greater divide between the haves and the have-nots, the aristocracy and the common man,” she says.

“But inside the world of the play, people feel very isolated from the poverty and the dangers of a world on the edge. And that resonated with me in 2016,” she continues. “As a director, I wanted the production to be both period but contemporary in its energy, to be sleek and sexy, and to challenge us and illuminate something about our own nature.” Click here to read her full interview.

LesLiaisonsVid
Click to view video.

Befitting a production set in 18th century France, the costumes are both interesting and over the top. Award-winning costume designer Fabio Toblini details the time-intensive process he and his staff employed to create each dress-and which show-stopper is his favorite.

Previews of the performance are happening tonight and tomorrow, and Opening Night is Friday, Dec 2. The show runs through Friday, Dec 23 with a special Meet the Actors Night on Friday, Dec 16. Click here for full details and tickets.

Center Stage is located at 700 North Calvert Street in Baltimore’s Mount Vernon Neighborhood. Call 410-332-0033 or click here for more information.

Washington Monument

The 45th Annual Monument Lighting Is Thursday!

Our beloved yearly tradition continues tomorrow! The Downtown Partnership Monument Lighting celebration will begin at 5 PM and run through 8 PM when the monument is illuminated with thousands of sparkling, energy-saving LED lights.

The Monument Lighting will feature dozens of food and craft vendors, local entertainers, delicious eats, a Kid’s Corner, and a spectacular fireworks display and laser show. If you haven’t seen it, you must check it out!

The Morgan State University Choir will be on hand as well as a family from the Ronald McDonald House, who will help us count down to the finale

Click here to check the Downtown Partnership’s website for all of the latest.


 

Baltimore School For the Arts
712 Cathedral Street | 443-642-5167 | Website

 

Child's Christmas

A Child’s Christmas in Wales
Thursday, Dec 15 | 6 PM

Join us for a cabaret at Germano’s to celebrate the holiday season. Donald Hicken will read this heartwarming classic, and BSA theatre faculty and friends join in for a sing-a-long to cap the evening.

Dylan Thomas’ prose/poetic recalling of his boyhood in the coastal village of Swansea is a humorous, touching, and deeply human story of one particularly fabled Christmas seen through the eyes of the children who populate the poet’s memory. Renowned director Donald Hicken narrates this delightful Christmas classic. Following the reading, he will be joined by Nancy Krebs and Becky Mossing, who will lead the audience singing seasonal favorites.

Show at 7:30 PM. Doors open at 6 pm for pre-show dining.
Cabaret at Germano’s, 300 S. High Street. Call for reservations 410-752-4515.

Click here for more information or to purchase tickets ($15). The $15 charge is a tax-deductible donation to The Baltimore School for the Arts.


 

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
1212 Cathedral Street | 410-783-8000 | Website

 

A Swingin' Nutcracker

A Swingin’ Nutcracker à la Ellington Featuring Step Afrika!
Friday, Dec 9 | 7:30 PM
Saturday, Dec 10 | 2 PM
Saturday, Dec 10 | 7:30 PM
Sunday, Dec 11 | 2 PM
The Meyerhoff

Nicholas Hersh, conductor
Step Afrika!, dancers

Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker, composed and arranged by Ellington/Strayhorn/Murtha

STEP into the holiday season with this fully realized jazz version of the timeless Nutcracker. Riffing off of Ellington’s dazzling reimagining of a portion of Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece, jazz composer Paul Murtha has created an entire “Swingin Nutcracker” with both an Act 1 and Act 2.

This semi-staged production features the vibrant and percussive dancing of Washington based company, Step Afrika! Join the BSO for this very special world premiere.

Click here for more information or to purchase tickets.

It's a Wonderful Life

Movie and Music:
It’s a Wonderful Life

Thursday, Dec 15 | 7 PM
Friday, Dec 16 | 7 PM
The Meyerhoff

Justin Freer, conductor
Handel Choir of Baltimore

George Bailey’s extraordinary Christmas Eve journey with an Angel Second Class is a story we turn to year after year. As the BSO performs the score live to accompany the film, you’ll experience the warmth of this cinematic classic as never before.

Click here for more information or to register.

Maryland Historical Society
201 W. Monument Street | Phone 410-685-3750 | Website

 

MDHS Holiday Shop

 

A Sampling of Gifts Under $25

 

Tote Bag - MD Old Bay Soup Mug
Home State Apparel Tote Old Bay Soup Mug
$14.99 $14.99

Visit all of its new, consigment and Maryland-made gift items by clicking here!


 

Maryland Humanities
108 West Centre Street | 410-685-0095 | Website

 

Maryland Humanities

Maryland Humanities & The University of Maryland College Park Present Worldwide Arts & Humanities Dean’s Lecture: The Pulitzer 100
Tuesday, Dec 6 | 7-9 PM

The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center
8270 Alumni Dr, College Park, Maryland, 20742

What is the impact of the humanities on American life? As part of the Pulitzer Prizes’ Centennial Celebration, Maryland Humanities has partnered with the College of Arts and Humanities to present Pulitzer Prize-winning author-historians Taylor Branch and Isabel Wilkerson. NAACP’s Sherrilyn Ifill will moderate an engaging discussion between the two on the historical context behind their Pulitzer Prize-winning work and its relevancy to our lives today. A book signing and reception will follow the event. Tickets are free, but reservations required. Tickets will be available soon at www.mdhumanities.org.

Peabody Institute
1 East Mount Vernon Place | Phone: 410-234-4500 | Website

 

Peabody Concert Orchestra

Peabody Concert Orchestra with the Peabody Singers and the Peabody-Hopkins Chorus
Tuesday, Dec 6 | 8 PM
Miriam A. Friedberg Concert Hall

Tickets are FREE but required. Call 667-208-6620 or click here for more information or for tickets.

Now Hear This

Now Hear This
Wednesday, Dec 7 | 7:30 PM
Leith Symington Griswold Hall

Courtney Orlando, artistic director
David Smooke, faculty advisor
Works by Salvatore Sciarrino, Georg Friedrich Haas, and current Peabody students

Tickets are FREE but required. Call 667-208-6620 or click here for more information or for tickets.

Harlan D. Parker

Peabody Wind Ensemble
Saturday, Dec 10 | 7:30 PM
Miriam A. Friedberg Concert Hall

Harlan D. Parker, conductor
Ricson Poonin, trombone
Works by John Leszczynski, Johan de Meij, John Mackey, and Morton Gould

Tickets are FREE but required. Call 667-208-6620 or click here for more information or for tickets.

Spotlighters Theatre
817 Saint Paul Street | Phone: 410-752-1225 | Website

 

Game's Afoot

THE GAME’S AFOOT
(or Holmes for the Holidays)

Nov 17 – Dec 18, 2016

by Ken Ludwig
directed by Fuzz Roark
with Danny Romeo

Winner – 2012 Mystery Writers of America Edgar Allen Poe Awards – Best Play!

Synopsis: It is Dec 1936 and Broadway star William Gillette, admired the world over for his leading role in the play Sherlock Holmes, has invited his fellow cast-members to his Connecticut castle for a weekend of revelry. But when one of the guests is stabbed to death, the festivities in this isolated house of tricks and mirrors quickly turn dangerous. Then it’s up to Gillette himself, as he assumes the persona of his beloved Holmes, to track down the killer before the next victim appears. The danger and hilarity are non-stop in this glittering whodunit set during the Christmas holidays. A WhoDunnit with twists and turns and murderous pandemonium!

“An inspired whodunit…a snappy, clever drawing-room mystery. There are twists… that cause the audience to gasp.” – The Cleveland Plain Dealer

Tickets: Adults $22; Seniors (60+) $20; Students & Military $18.
Ten Spot Thursday – ALL TICKETS JUST $10: Dec 8, 2016 at 8 PM (no other discounts apply). Purchase tickets by clicking here.

Post Show discussion with Cast, Director & Creative Team: Sunday, Dec 4, 2016 immediately following the performance.

The Walters Art Museum
600 N. Charles Street | Phone: 410-547-9000 | Website

 

Sillage

Sillage
Sunday, Dec 4, 2016 | 10 AM to 5 PM

Have you ever thought about how to describe the smell of your neighborhood? Sillage is a collaborative art project that asks you to do just that. Contribute your thoughts about your neighborhood’s scents to the Sillage survey, and artist Brian Goeltzenleuchter will distill the submissions into ten new fragrances that represent Baltimore. Visit the Museum on Dec 4 with friends and family, and you can experience your neighborhood scent! Throughout the day a collective scent of Baltimore will fill the museum.

Inspired by the special exhibition

A Feast for the Senses.

Make Night: Scented Candles

Make Night: Scented Candles
Thursday, Dec 15, 2016 | 6-9 PM

Participants in this workshop will explore the diversity of scent while making two of their own scented candles. Local artist Letta Moore of Knits, Soy & Metal will teach attendees about an array of smells to fill your home with, ranging from floral, to earthy, to food inspired.

Inspired by the special exhibition A Feast for the Senses.

Make Night is an evening blending good wine and craft beer, great company, and fantastic art-making experiences led by local creative minds. Each workshop begins with a free drink and a visit to the galleries. Advance registration required.

Until next month,
laura-sig

Laura Rodini
Executive Director, The Mount Vernon Cultural District

The Mount Vernon Cultural District Is
A Proud Partner of Downtown Partnership of Baltimore and Visit Baltimore

Princes, Philosophers, Angels & Saints

“Tapestry with Narcissus at the fountain,” ca. 1500, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Charles Potter Kling Fund, IL.2016.35.1
November, 2016
Volume 4, Issue 6

Dear Reader,

Trumpeting Angel, 14th century, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, William Francis Warden Fund,

A Feast for the Senses: Art & Experience in Medieval Europe highlights items from The Walters Art Museum‘s world-renowned medieval collection. The exhibit transports visitors to the 12th-15th centuries while using sounds, smells and sights that appeal to modern sensibilities.

Citizens of our Digital Age may be used to the fast-paced world of a virtual reality, but in the Medieval era, people learned through sensory experience.

“In many museums today, visitors experience the artworks by viewing them from afar in silent galleries,” says curator Martina Bagnoli. “A Feast for the Senses will push the boundaries of the art museum by inviting visitors to encounter art with more than just their eyes.”

Enter the exhibit and you walk into a garden, depicted by a large tapestry teeming with animals, plants, flowers and a trickling fountain (pictured at top).

It’s a primordial land, one that appeals to a child-like sense of wonder. Have you ever noticed how a child’s eyes widen with delight when they gaze upon something new?

To Medieval philosophers, the five senses conveyed moral and spiritual meanings, and their artworks depicted a state of wonderment, as though something was being seen through the eyes of a child.

The garden scene at the start of the exhibit could signify paradise. How townspeople would have gazed with awe upon the intricately woven story!

Masterfully, The Walters utilizes the aid of children in helping to describe this exhibit: Wide Angle Youth Media filmed garden scenes and sounds at Ladew Gardens, in Monkton, MD, which are projected on the gallery walls and over loudspeakers.

Another, literal interpretation for the senses deals with smell. To Medieval sensibilities, a foul odor would literally be a sign of “something rotten.” One painting from the 14th century illustrates the death of a widely feared king, who was something of a tyrant and thought to have a corrupt soul. Two of his advisors seem to recoil from the putrid stench of his last breaths.

Censer, Gilded Silver, Germany, 1498, Acquired by Henry Walters, 57.699

In another gallery, visitors’ noses wrinkle at the pleasant fragrance of myrrh. Monks would fill censers with incense, and when used during a church service, each waft of smoke literally carried the prayers of the faithful up to heaven.

Sound, conveyed through bells and chanting, simultaneously alerted the faithful to important moments of a Mass and dispelled the works of the devil.

Spiritual matters aren’t the only themes of the exhibit–another gallery invites visitors to partake in a Medieval banquet, complete with Jasper chalices and intricately etched carving knives.

Another room illustrates how princes and other courtly folk expressed their feelings to their beloveds, and even showcases a heart-shaped book of poetry.

Shakespeare was inspired by these Medieval themes. Even in today’s Technological Age, in which there is a scientific explanation behind every happening, we devote a lot of attention to the supernatural. From Game of Thrones to the lyrics of Taylor Swift–our quest for deeper meaning continues as we search to find the truth in life, and, possibly, a glimpse at greater things.

Now if only we could find a few dragons.

A Feast for the Senses is on view through January 8, 2017.

The Walters Art Museum is located at 600 N. Charles Street in Baltimore’s Mount Vernon Cultural District. It’s open daily from 10 am-5pm and is completely free of charge. Call 410-547-9000 for more information or visit www.thewalters.org.


Baltimore School For the Arts
712 Cathedral Street | 443-642-5167 | Website

French Antilles

Fall Musical: Once On This Island
Friday, November 18 | 7 PM
Saturday, November 19 | 1pm and 7 PM

Come away to the French Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean Sea for BSA’s fall musical.

The winner of the Olivier Award for Best New Musical in 1995, Once On This Island tells the story of Ti Moune, a peasant girl who uses the power of love to bring people of different social classes together.

Click here for more information or to purchase tickets (between $10-$15).


Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
1212 Cathedral Street | 410-783-8000 | Website

Marin Alsop

Mahler’s Symphony No. 6
Friday, November 11 | 8 PM
Saturday, November 12 | 8 PM
The Meyerhoff

Marin Alsop, conductor

An acknowledged Mahler authority, Maestra Alsop is passionate about this composer – a man who grappled mightily with his own nature and that of all mankind, illuminating the human condition with every note he wrote. The Sixth Symphony is a massive undertaking – for the composer, for the conductor, for the orchestra and for the audience. Big, dramatic and life-affirming, it packs into one masterpiece Mahler’s lifelong efforts to succeed against the inevitable blows of fate. Not heard at the BSO since 1992, this is a rare opportunity to experience this extraordinary work.

Click here for more information or to purchase tickets.

BSO Rusty Musicians

BSO Rusty Musicians
Wednesday, November 16 | 8 PM
The Meyerhoff

Marin Alsop, conductor

On November 16th, BSO Rusty Musicians brings together adult musicians and singers with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra for a special reading of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 led by Music Director Marin Alsop. No audition required!

BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 9, Op. 125 “Choral”
I. Allegro ma non troppo
II. Scherzo: Molto vivace
III. Adagio molto e cantabile
IV. Presto – Allegro ma non troppo (Please note that the English translation of the fourth movement text will be used for this event.)

EVENT SCHEDULE
6:30 – 7:20pm Group 1 (Movements 1-3)
6:30 – 7:20pm Mandatory Chorus Rehearsal (JMSH Recital Hall)
7:20 – 7:50pm Break
7:50 – 8:40pm Group 2 with Chorus and Soloists (Movement 4 Only)

Click here for more information or to register.

Center Stage
700 North Calvert Street | 410-332-0033 | Website

Les Liaisons Dangereuses

Les Liaisons Dangereuses
Nov 26 – Dec 23, 2016

By Christopher Hampton
Directed by Hana S. Sharif

“What shocks even now is the sight of two French aristocrats using sex as an instrument of revenge.” – The Guardian

A SCANDALOUS TALE OF LOVE AND BETRAYAL. Two French aristocrats, Marquise de Merteuil and her ex-lover, the Vicomte de Valmont, challenge each other to seduce unsuspecting innocents in this story of revenge, debauchery, and hidden motives. Set just before the French Revolution, Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Dangerous Liaisons) is a glimpse into the lives of beautiful people poised to denigrate and control everyone around them, including each other. But when one of them actually falls in love, the real betrayals unfold.

Les Liaisons Dangereuses marks the reopening of Center Stage’s Calvert St. building, which remains under construction through December, 2016. Please note there will be no food or drink service, no lobby, and limited Box Office services.

Stay tuned for more exciting details about the renovation in our next Mount Vernon Cultural District Newsletter! 

Click here for more information or to purchase tickets.

Maryland Historical Society
201 W. Monument Street | Phone 410-685-3750 | Website

Out of the Box

“Out of the Box:” The Costume Collection at the Maryland Historical Society
Thursday, November 3, 2016
6-8 PM, lecture at 6:30 PM

Monkey Dress
Givenchy’s ‘Monkey Dress,’ 1954, collection of the Maryland Historical Society

The costume collection at the Maryland Historical Society is one of the museum’s greatest treasure troves. It’s comprised of more than 12,000 garments dating from the early eighteenth century to the 1960s, including Givenchy’s “Monkey Dress,” created for Wallis Simpson, the Duchess of Windsor.

This gorgeous dress (pictured at right) will be highlighted during Alexandra Deutsch’s richly illustrated lecture, “Out of the Box: The Costume Collection at the Maryland Historical Society” on Thursday, November 3 at 6:30 pm. 

Curator Deutsch will detail the discoveries made this summer by our Costume Interns, who rehoused hundreds of dresses in our collection in order to preserve, and, in many cases, save them.

Attendees will be offered the opportunity to see selections from the collection, many of which have not been on view at MdHS for decades, such as an extremely rare lace mantilla which Jerome Bonaparte gave to Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte.

Click here for more information or to register.

The Maryland Humanities Council
108 West Centre Street | 410-685-0095 | Website

All American Boys

One Maryland One Book: “All American Boys” discussion
Friday, Nov 4 | 12:30-1:30 PM

Enoch Pratt Free Library-Orleans Street Branch 1303 Orleans St, Baltimore, MD, 21231

Join us as we discuss the 2016 One Maryland One Book, “All American Boys” by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely. This event is FREE and open to the public.

Contact the Orleans Street Branch at 410-396-0970 for more information.

Baltimore

Baltimore Stories:
Morrell Park: A Community Conversation Event

Thursday, Nov 17 | 6-8 PM
Morrell Park Rec Center 2601 Tolley St, Baltimore, MD, 21230

Join us for the latest installment in Baltimore Stories, a short film of Morrell Park residents voicing their views about their neighborhood-past, present, and future. Share in the conversation afterward about the challenges and opportunities ahead for this community. Food and refreshments will be available.

Click here to register. For more information regarding the Baltimore Stories project, click here.

Peabody Institute
1 East Mount Vernon Place | Phone: 410-234-4500 | Website

Sinfonia

Peabody String Sinfonia Presents Food Pantry Benefit Concert
Wednesday, Nov 9 | 7:30 PM
Leith Symington Griswold Hall

The concert will feature soloists Violaine Melançon, violin and Michael Kannen, cello, music by Peabody composers Ledah Finck and Kevin Puts and other gorgeous music for strings by Bach, Barber, Bartok, Bloch, Mendelssohn, Mozart, Pachelbel and Vivaldi.

FREE ADMISSION: NO TICKETS REQUIRED. PLEASE BRING A DONATION OF A NON-PERISHABLE FOOD ITEM.

Click here for more information.

Blair Tindall
Blair Tindall (right) with Jason Schwartzman at the Golden Globe Awards

Dean’s Symposium: Blair Tindall
Monday, Nov 28 | 2:30 PM
Cohen-Davison Family Theatre

Dean’s Symposium with Blair Tindall, New York Philharmonic oboist and author of Mozart in the Jungle: Sex, Drugs, and Classical Music. This event will also be streamed live on the Johns Hopkins UStream channel.

FREE ADMISSION: NO TICKETS REQUIRED.

Click here for more information.

Spotlighters Theatre
817 Saint Paul Street | Phone: 410-752-1225 | Website

Game's Afoot

THE GAME’S AFOOT
(or Holmes for the Holidays)

Nov 17 – Dec 18, 2016

by Ken Ludwig
directed by Fuzz Roark
with Danny Romeo

Winner – 2012 Mystery Writers of America Edgar Allen Poe Awards – Best Play!

Synopsis: It is December 1936 and Broadway star William Gillette, admired the world over for his leading role in the play Sherlock Holmes, has invited his fellow cast-members to his Connecticut castle for a weekend of revelry. But when one of the guests is stabbed to death, the festivities in this isolated house of tricks and mirrors quickly turn dangerous. Then it’s up to Gillette himself, as he assumes the persona of his beloved Holmes, to track down the killer before the next victim appears. The danger and hilarity are non-stop in this glittering whodunit set during the Christmas holidays. A WhoDunnit with twists and turns and murderous pandemonium!

“An inspired whodunit…a snappy, clever drawing-room mystery. There are twists… that cause the audience to gasp.” – The Cleveland Plain Dealer

Tickets: Adults $22; Seniors (60+) $20; Students & Military $18.
Ten Spot Thursday – ALL TICKETS JUST $10: Dec 8, 2016 at 8 PM (no other discounts apply). Purchase tickets by clicking here.

Post Show discussion with Cast, Director & Creative Team: Sunday, Dec 4, 2016 immediately following the performance.

Until next month,
laura-sig

Laura Rodini
Executive Director, The Mount Vernon Cultural District

The Mount Vernon Cultural District Is
A Proud Partner of Downtown Partnership of Baltimore and Visit Baltimore
 

Old Makes New, Again & Again

 

Old Makes New, Again & Again

 

Summer, 2016
Volume 4, Issue 5
“Colossal Head in the Guise of Hercules,” Venetian, 2nd century, reworked 14th century, The Walters Art Museum, 27.533

Dear Reader,

“Waste Not: The Art of Medieval Recycling,” a remarkable new exhibit at The Walters Art Museum, demonstrates a very ancient practice.

This might sound surprising. After the unprecedented mass consumerism following WWII, the concept of recycling gained steam in America. First, in the 1970s, with the advent of Earth Day, and then in the 80s and 90s as landfills overflowed and the rainforests were razed–recycling wasn’t just popular, it was the right thing to do. But curiously enough, the idea wasn’t new.

“I think everyone can relate to the concepts of reuse and recycling, so key in our modern world,” says Lynley Anne Herbert, the Robert and Nancy Hall assistant curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts. “Through this exhibit, visitors will discover how equally prevalent and important this was in the medieval era.

Located in the Walters’ Manuscript Gallery, the exhibit features 20 treasures that visibly display proof of prior incarnations.

For instance, an enormous head of the Greek god Hercules did ‘double duty’ as a medieval saint outside of a baptistery in Florence, Italy. Originally chiseled during the 2nd century, craftsmen unearthed the 3-foot high marble head in the 1300s. They drilled precise holes in his lustrously curled beard so that medieval pilgrims would better observe the effect from far distances.

This process was known as spolia, says Curator Herbert, which means a reuse of decorative sculpture on new monuments, and it was quite common throughout the medieval era. These artisans did not have the complex trading routes the ancient Romans used to secure new building materials of the same caliber, so they simply reused what they found.

I’m not sure how Hercules himself felt about the costume change–his head had been repurposed so many times, curators at the Walters actually weren’t sure what era to categorize him in–but he seems quite happy greeting visitors into this exhibit. Plus, he makes a fine subject for a selfie or two.

Ghostly Writing

Beneventan Sacramentary-Missal, Venetian, 2nd half 11th century, Manuscripts & Rare Book, R358434

Curator Herbert also detailed how parchment, which is made by soaking, drying and stretching animal skin, would be reused in medieval times. As new psalms were created, monks couldn’t just buy another ream of paper at Staples. Thus they undertook an arduous process of literally washing the old ink from the parchment, drying it, and then applying new verses with tattoo-like precision.

On the manuscript (at right), conservators had discovered the text of an older psalm using a special light. (In fact, the Walters is renowned for advancements made in the realm of manuscript conservation.) An x-ray image of the ghostly text accompanies the page on display.

The Walters always does a fantastic job in not only telling stories, but also illuminating the process behind their discoveries, which makes the visitor feel like they’re along for the ride. You can also see examples of other fascinating conservation projects here. Or, you can visit The Walters’ conservation lab and watch their process first-hand every Friday-Sunday between 12:30 and 4pm.

“Two Leaves from the Mirror of Human Salvation,” German, late 14 century, The Walters Art Museum, W.149

A Textbook Cover of Epic Proportions

An even more apparent example of recycling parchment is another manuscript fragment (at right) made in Germany in the 14th century. Can you see the outline of the book the outer page covered? Who doesn’t remember using a brown paper bag to wrap their elementary school text books! The idea behind this practice is the same, as both are done to protect a valuable book from wear and tear. “Someone would have carried this book around in a knapsack,” Curator Herbert explains. “It would have gotten dirty, it would have had grunge.” She also adds that many of The Walters’ astounding collection of 4,500 manuscripts have unique covers because Henry Walters had a keen eye for these pieces.

In addition to sculpture and manuscripts, “Waste Not: The Art of Medieval Recycling” features exquisite jewelry, carved ivory, spiritual vessels and more. The exhibit runs now through Sunday, September 18 and is completely free–making it a great place to escape the humid summer heat.

More Fun at The Walters

Waste Land (2010), a film by Vik Muniz and presented in partnership with the Maryland Film Festival

Accompanying the exhibit, The Walters is hosting a special discussion about modern ‘remixes’ of art and music on Thursday, July 7 from 6:30-7:15 pm: Curator Herbert will examine the medieval art exhibition Making Odd Ends Meet, artist Loring Cornish will discuss his mosaic works, and DJ James Nasty will demonstrate how music is sampled and remixed. Register for this event here.

A screening of the film Waste Land takes place on July 14 at 6:30pm. Waste Land follows renowned artist Vik Muniz as he journeys from his home base in Brooklyn to his native Brazil and the world’s largest garbage dump, Jardim Gramacho. There he photographs an eclectic band of “catadores”-self-designated pickers of recyclable materials. His artistic collaboration with these inspiring characters reveals both their dignity and despair as they begin to re-imagine their lives outside the dump. A moderated Q&A session will follow the screening. This event is presented in partnership with the Maryland Film Festival. Register for the film event here.

And on Thursday, August 18 at 6pm, Guest artist Thea Canlas will show you some easy techniques to turn those plastic bags you have overflowing in your kitchen into a useful DIY object! Participants will learn how to make “plarn,” or plastic yarn, which can be used for knitting, crocheting, and sewing. Register here.

The Walters Art Museum is located at 600 N. Charles Street in Baltimore’s Mount Vernon Cultural District. It’s open daily from 10 am-5pm and is completely free of charge. Call 410-547-9000 for more information or visit www.thewalters.org.


 

Upcoming Events In Mount Vernon
Presented in Alphabetical Order

 

Baltimore School For the Arts
712 Cathedral Street | 443-642-5167 | Website

 

Music Motivating Minds

Time For Summer Camp!

Current BSA students and BSA alumni are either partaking –or organizing–innovative camps this summer for students of all ages! Music Motivating Minds, run by two BSA alumni, Dontae and Mashica Winslow – is a two-week summer camp that is free of charge for 35 children who participate in music, dance, academics and other activities throughout the day. Dontae recently worked with Beyonce and Dr. Dre and played at the BET awards. He’s also a grad of Peabody and won their Young Maestro Award. 

In addition, current BSA students are participating in a six week video camp sponsored by the Saul Zaentz Foundation. BSA high school students across all disciplines are learning to film, write scripts, act, and will produce short pieces at the end of six weeks. Check out this piece by Ron Matz from WJZ on that program by clicking here.

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
1212 Cathedral Street | 410-783-8000 | Website

 

Star-Spangled Spectacular

Star-Spangled Spectacular
Sun, July 3, 2016 | 8:00 PM
(Oregon Ridge Park)
Mon, July 4, 2016 | 8:00 PM
(Oregon Ridge Park)

Nicholas Hersh, conductor
Larry D. Hylton, tenor
Audrey Weise, “O, Say Can You Sing?”
contest winner performing July 3
Michael Miller, “O, Say Can You Sing?”
contest winner performing July 4

The BSO’s essential red, white and blue bash! This outdoor celebration features patriotic favorites such as Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture and Sousa’s Stars and Stripes Forever, topped off with dazzling fireworks. Plus, hear the winner of the BSO’s famed “O, Say Can You Sing?” contest perform The Star-Spangled Banner.

Come out early for food trucks and fun! Gates open at 5 pm.

There are two options for parking at Star-Spangled Spectacular:

Free parking in a remote lot with shuttle is available in a new location this year: Shawan Downs, located across from The Oregon Grill at 1401 Shawan Rd., Cockeysville.

A limited quantity of on-site parking is available for $12 in advance, $15 on site. Advance purchase is recommended.

Event tickets available online at $18 for adults and $9 for children. Tickets will also be available at the gate at $20 for adults and $10 for children. Click here for more information or to purchase tickets.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone™ in Concert
Thursday, August 4 | 7:30 PM
The Meyerhoff
Saturday, August 6 | 3:00 PM
The Meyerhoff

Justin Freer, conductor

The Harry Potter™ film series is one of those once-in-a-lifetime cultural phenomena that continues to delight millions of fans around the world. This concert will feature the Baltimore Symphony performing every note from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone™. Audiences will be able to relive the magic of the film in high-definition on a giant screen while hearing the orchestra perform John Williams’ unforgettable score.

HARRY POTTER characters, names and related indicia are © & ™ Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Harry Potter Publishing Rights © JKR. (s16) Click here for more information or to purchase tickets.

Maryland Historical Society
201 W. Monument Street | Phone 410-685-3750 | Website

 

What & Why:
Collecting At the Maryland Historical Society
A New Exhibit 
Sign from the Hippo, club formerly on Charles and Eager Streets, Baltimore, 1980s, MdHS, Gift of Mr. Charles Bower, 2015.19

The Maryland Historical Society proudly launches its newest exhibit, Why & Why: Collecting at the Maryland Historical Society, which contains more than 50 items spanning four centuries of donations to the Maryland Historical Society, including the sign from Club Hippo, two of Eubie Blake’s practice pianos, period clothing, portraits, silver, a wool tapestry of George Washington, and a video installation of images from the Preserve the Baltimore Uprising project. The exhibit will run through June 30, 2017.

About the Sign from the Hippo, club formerly on Charles and Eager Streets, Baltimore 

Charles L. “Chuck” Bower, the donor, was the second owner of the Hippo after purchasing the establishment in 1978. When he recently needed to vacate the building, he offered this sign to the Maryland Historical Society.

From 1972 until its closing in the fall of 2015, the Hippo, formerly the Chanticleer Club, was the linchpin of Baltimore’s gay community. Chuck Bower, owner of the club since 1978, wanted it to be a place where everyone was accepted and, in the late 1980s, stepped up to help Baltimore deal with the HIV/AIDS crisis. The role of the Hippo became more than just a meeting place, but grew to be one of the main symbols of the city’s gay community.

When asked to why he gave this sign to the MdHS, Bower wrote, “I know the Maryland Historical Society will take great care of [it.]” He went on to give a history of the club, explaining, “In 1972, Club Hippo opened to serve Baltimore’s gay population. For many years the ‘Club’ was a safe place where the gay community could gather, dance and enjoy themselves. As the years passed and society became more accepting of the lifestyle, one could find people from all walks of life enjoying the energy, atmosphere, state of the art lights and the high energy dance music. The Hippo is one of a few clubs that can boast of its longevity, open for 44 years under the same name. The club hosted many events to support community needs to would benefit citizens of Baltimore. It is my pleasure to donate the sign that welcome people for 44 years. The sign hung over one of the many entrances of the club.”

“We are very excited about the acquisition of the Club Hippo sign,” says Maryland Historical Society President and CEO Mark B. Letzer. “We are committed to telling the stories of the LGBT community as well as of all Marylanders.”

The Maryland Humanities Council
108 West Centre Street | 410-685-0095 | Website

 

July 5-14: Chautauqua History comes alive with Maryland Humanities’ FREE Chautauqua living history performance series each July. Audience members meet historical figures then participate in a thoughtful dialogue with each character. Chautauqua 2016 celebrates the Pulitzer Prize centennial with three characters: Duke Ellington, the incomparable showman; Gwendolyn Brooks, the first African American to win a Pulitzer Prize; and Ernest Hemingway, one of the greatest American literary figures of the twentieth century. Find a location near you at mdhumanities.org/events.

July 16: Literary Mount Vernon Walking Tour 11 a.m.

Meet outside the Enoch Pratt Free Library Central Branch
400 Cathedral St, Baltimore, MD, 20201, Baltimore Metro

On the Maryland Humanities literary walking tour of Historic Mount Vernon, you can dive into the world of rare books at the Peabody Library, see where the lives of Emily Post and Gertrude Stein intersected, and more. Tickets are $10 per person and can be purchased at https://2016mtvernonlitwalk.eventbrite.com

Spotlighters Theatre
817 Saint Paul Street | Phone: 410-752-1225 | Website

 

Evita

TICK, TICK, … BOOM!
July 8-July 31, 2016

Book, Music & Lyrics: Jonathan Larson
Direction: Jillian Bauersfeld
Musical Direction: Michael W. Tan

Synopsis: An aspiring composer questions his life choices on the eve of his thirtieth birthday in Jonathan Larson’s autobiographical musical. Before Rent, there was Tick, Tick…Boom!. This autobiographical musical by Jonathan Larson, the Pulitzer Prize- and TONY Award-winning composer of Rent, is the story of a composer and the sacrifices he made to achieve his big break in theatre. Containing fourteen songs, ten characters, three actors, and a band, Tick, Tick…Boom! takes you on the playwright/composer’s journey that led to a Broadway blockbuster!

Garrick Zink as Jon; Clare Kneebone as Susan; and Rob Wall as Michael

Fri & Sat – 8pm; Sun – 2pm

Tickets: Adults $20; Seniors (60+) $18; Students & Military $16.
 Ten Spot Thursday – ALL TICKETS JUST $10: July 14, 2016 – 8:00pm at 8 PM (no other discounts apply). Purchase tickets by clicking here.

The Walters Art Museum
600 N. Charles Street | Phone: 410-547-9000 | Website

 

The Walters Appoints Kate Burgin Deputy Director for Museum Advancement
Kate Burgin

Kate Burgin has been named the institution’s new Deputy Director for Museum Advancement after a national search. Burgin will lead the museum’s Advancement Division of development, marketing and communications, and visitor services staff dedicated to engaging audiences, building support and increasing awareness of the Walters. In this role, she joins the Walters’ senior leadership team, which comprises Eleanor Hughes as Deputy Director for Art & Program; Kathleen Basham as Chief Operating Officer; and Executive Director Marciari-Alexander.

“Kate brings a depth of experience in organizational strategy, audience development and revenue enhancement with a focus on cultural nonprofits,” said Marciari-Alexander. “Her data-driven approach and expertise in building engagement will lead to an expanded base of support for the Walters, and her wonderful presence will be an incredible asset to Baltimore’s arts community.”

“The naming of Kate Burgin to this role completes Julia’s new senior leadership team,” said Ellen N. Bernard, president of the Board of Trustees of the Walters Art Museum. “As the Walters continues its commitment to free admission for everyone, this leadership team will ensure that we engage audiences and increase our generous public and private support to sustain this great museum for generations to come.”

Burgin comes to the Walters with extensive experience in organizational strategy, audience development and revenue enhancement for arts and cultural nonprofits and foundations. Previously she was Senior Vice President and Director of Research and Special Initiatives at TDC, one of the nation’s top management consulting firms for the nonprofit sector. Burgin’s prior experience includes six years at the Boston Consulting Group, where her work focused on strategy, consumer audience research, and organizational development. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from Harvard Business School and a Bachelor of Arts degree, magna cum laude, in history and literature, from Harvard College.

“Julia’s arrival as Executive Director has marked the beginning of a new era for the Walters, characterized by a rethinking of how to leverage its renowned collections and programs to achieve even greater impact,” said Burgin. “I look forward to working with the museum’s exceptional leadership team, talented staff and committed Board of Trustees and volunteers.”

A native of Sacramento, California, Burgin lives in Baltimore with her husband and three children. She began her new position on May 9.


Until next month,

laura-sig

 Laura Rodini
 Executive Director, The Mount Vernon Cultural District

The Mount Vernon Cultural District Is
A Proud Partner of Downtown Partnership of Baltimore and Visit Baltimore