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.

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

 

A Standout Performance

April/May, 2016
Volume 4, Issue 4
From left: Brian Marable (Sly), Sarah Nealis (Caroline), Amari Cheaton (Lank), and Michelle Wilson (Chelle) in Center Stage’s production of Detroit ’67

Dear Reader,

Sometimes, the best way to understand history is by telling a story.

Center Stage has hit another home run with their latest theatrical production, Detroit ’67, which explores issues of race, urban identity and American history in a way that captivates its audience.

It’s no surprise, given Artistic Director Kwame Kwei-Armah’s brilliant ability to put a finger on the pulse of our collective consciousness (last year’s Marley is just one example).

This story, written by Dominique Morisseau, centers around the relationship between siblings Chelle (played by Michelle Wilson) and Lank (played by Amari Cheatom), as they come of age in the tumultuous environment of Detroit in the year 1967. While Motown sounds from their record player (and boy is the music wonderful), the city around them erupts in violence. Detroit was the scene of a 5-day riot that began when police raided an unlicensed bar in the city’s West Side.

Michelle Wilson (Chelle) and Amari Cheaton (Lank), photo by Richard Anderson

The entire story takes place in the basement of Chelle and Lank’s childhood home, where they often throw parties. One night, Lank carries home a white woman he discovered bruised and bleeding in the ‘wrong side of town.’ They allow Caroline (played by Sarah Nealis) to stay with them while she recovers, but her presence both transforms and threatens to tear the family apart.

Director Kamilah Forbes masterfully juxtaposes pathos and humor. Childhood friend Bunny (played by Jessica Frances Dukes) provides levity with her wild stories and psychedelic outfits that could have come out of Austin Powers. Sly (played by Brian Marable), compels Lank to invest the family savings in a nearby bar, to Chelle’s chagrin. But his motives are pure, as he wants the family to own the legitimate small business they deserve. He expresses his adoration for the reserved Chelle in an absolutely touching scene.

I won’t give away the entire plot, but the story takes a tragic turn during the height of the unrest, forever changing each character. There is no happy ending, and there shouldn’t be. There are no easy answers, just as the questions raised in this production have much relevance to Baltimore today. The siblings begin to find healing through dialogue with each other, serving as a microcosm of their larger community, and ours.

I’m looking forward to seeing it again.

While Center Stage’s Calvert Street theaters undergo renovations, performances of Detroit ’67 are taking place at Towson University’s Center for the Arts (1 Fine Arts Drive, Towson, MD). The show runs through Sunday, May 8 and tickets are available by clicking this link.

Center Stage plans to be back in its Mount Vernon home for the 2016-17 Season, after work has been done toward creating a redesigned 400-seat Head Theater, new lobby and entrance place, a new, 99-seat theater space, and a dedicated education and community programming studio. Learn more and subscribe to its 2016-17 Season by clicking here.


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

The Lone Bellow

BSO Pulse: The Lone Bellow
Thursday, April 28 | 8:30 PM
The Meyerhoff

Happy Hour @ 5:30-7 PM
Lobby Activities @ 7 PM
Concert @ 8:30 PM

Expand your musical horizons with Pulse, a new concert series that brings together the classical world and the indie rock scene on one stage. Each concert will explore connections that cross genres, opening with members of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, followed by a performance by the featured band and culminating with a unique collaboration. Start the evening off with food from some of the area’s best restaurants, happy hour specials, local vendors and live pre-concert entertainment!

Pulse is made possible by a generous grant from The Wallace Foundation.

Click here for more information or to purchase tickets.

Jeremy Denk

Beethoven’s Emperor
Thursday, May 12 | 8 PM
The Meyerhoff

John Adams, conductor
Jeremy Denk, piano

Post-minimalist conductor-composer John Adams returns to the BSO podium to conduct Beethoven’s grandiose “Emperor” concerto and his own intensely expressive Harmonielehre, the symphonic essay that helped him become one of the most performed and important composers alive.

 The appearance of guest conductor and composer John Adams is made possible through the major support of the Alvin and Fanny Blaustein Thalheimer Guest Artist Fund.

Click here for more information or to purchase tickets.

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

Annette Gordon-Reed

Writers LIVE:
Annette Gordon-Reed and Peter S. Onuf, “Most Blessed of the Patriarchs”: Thomas Jefferson and the Empire of the Imagination

Thursday, April 28 | 6:30 PM
Central Library, Wheeler Auditorium

In this groundbreaking work of history, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Annette Gordon-Reed and the country’s leading Jefferson scholar Peter S. Onuf present an absorbing and revealing character study that finally clarifies the philosophy of Thomas Jefferson. Tracing Jefferson’s development and maturation from his youth to his old age, the authors explore what they call the “empire” of Jefferson’s imagination – his expansive state of mind born of the intellectual influences and life experiences that led him into public life as a modern avatar of the enlightenment. Jefferson often likened himself to an ancient figure – “the most blessed of the patriarchs.”

 Annette Gordon-Reed is the author of The Hemingses of Monticello, which won the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. She is the Charles Warren Professor of American Legal History at Harvard Law School.

 Peter S. Onuf is the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation Professor Emeritus at the University of Virginia.

Click here for more information.

Ron Tanner

Writers LIVE:
Ron Tanner, Missile Paradise

Sunday, May 1 | 2 PM
Central Library, Meyerhoff Children’s Garden, Night Room

In the Marshall Islands, an island-nation in the middle of the Pacific Ocean that was once a testing ground for nuclear bombs, American engineers and programmers are making and testing missiles while their “hosts,” the indigenous Marshallese, sweep their streets and clean their houses. It’s 2004, the Iraq war is heating up, and 9/11 is fresh in everyone’s minds.

 Following four interconnected story lines – the meltdown of a burned-out cultural liaison who has “gone native” and bitterly resents his role in keeping the Marshallese down; a young programmer who has lost his leg in a reckless solo sailing journey; the struggles of a young widow with two children whose husband drowned in a mysterious diving accident; and the destructive spiral of a Marshallese teenager whose American girlfriend rejects him when she returns to the States – Missile Paradise is an epic, heartbreaking, and satirical novel about the clash of cultures between the Americans trying to realize their American Dream in this seeming paradise, and the Marshallese who are both angered and bedazzled by that dream.

 Ron Tanner’s awards for writing include a Faulkner Society gold medal, a Pushcart Prize, a New Letters Award, a Best of the Web Award, a Maryland Arts Council grant, and many others. He is the author of A Bed of Nails (stories), Kiss Me Stranger (illustrated novel), and From Animal House to Our House (memoir). He teaches writing at Loyola University Maryland and directs the Marshall Islands Story Project.

Click here for more information.

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

The Preserve the Baltimore Uprising
2015 Website Has Launched

Images From Website Will Become Part of a Video Installation at the
Maryland Historical Society

Baltimore Uprising image
Portrait of young demonstrator during student led protest taken by Jack Flame Sorokin, April 19, 2016

The Maryland Historical Society announces the launch of a website containing thousands of images documenting the unrest and cleanup efforts in the wake of Freddie Gray’s death. 

A video installation of these images will be displayed as part of the Maryland Historical Society’s newest exhibition, entitled “The What and the Why: Collecting at the Maryland Historical Society” which will open to the public on June 29, 2016.

“We have an obligation to record all aspects of Maryland’s diverse history, not only its distant past but its current events as well,” says Maryland Historical Society President and CEO Mark B. Letzer, “This material will be a seminal contribution to the collections of the Maryland Historical Society.”

The Maryland Historical Society believed that the events unfolding around the city in the wake of Freddie Gray’s death were important and historic. With many people plugged into the instant technologies of social media and cell phone photography, more people than ever before could participate in recording and preserving history as it unfolded. “We sensed the importance of what’s going on and sensed that people would study this event for years to come,” says Digital Projects Coordinator Joe Tropea.

More than 12,000 images were submitted, including photographs taken from cell phones and cameras, audio segments, oral histories, and more than 2,000 intergovernmental emails surrounding the unrest that were released by Baltimore City. The images depict activists, demonstrations, the presence of the National Guard, police officers, military hardware, and more.

Interns worked on processing the images. They included Michael Stone, grad student of UMBC, Angela Koukoui, an undergraduate from the University of Baltimore, and Jennifer Montooth, a grad student from UMBC (both pictured). They spent two days per week working on the project.

Angela and Jenn
Interns Angela Koukoui and Jennifer Montooth

“There’s a lot of material on the Internet, but no guarantee that those locations will exist indefinitely, says Denise Meringolo, Associate Professor of Public History at UMBC, “It’s important to ask people to think about what will survive into the future, and what organizations will survive. It was fantastic to have the Maryland Historical Society say ‘let’s partner here,’ to make sure those voices survive regardless what happens to Youtube or Twitter.”

The video installation will be part of an exhibit called “What & Why: Collecting at the Maryland Historical Society” that will open June 29, 2016. The exhibit spans four centuries of Maryland Historical Society acquisitions. “What & Why” will also contain objects recovered after the unrest such as burnt brick, a melted tail pipe from a bus and a lighter found in a looted convenience store.

About The Website

The effort behind the creation of the baltimoreuprising2015.org website, called Preserve the Baltimore Uprising, is a joint effort by Maryland Historical Society, faculty from University of Baltimore, University of Maryland Baltimore County, Coppin State University, Morgan State University, MICA, Johns Hopkins University, and staff from the Maryland State Archives to preserve and make accessible original content that was captured and created by individual community members, grassroots organizations, and witnesses to the protests that followed the death of Freddie Gray on April 19, 2015.  Submissions are still being received.

If you are interested in joining our efforts to Preserve the Baltimore Uprising and have questions about how you can join in, please contact Joe Tropea at the Maryland Historical Society by email at remembrance@mdhs.org.


Step into the “Atomic Era” with our 1950s Vintage Pop Up Trunk Show on Wednesday, May 4 at 6:30PM at The Maryland Historical Society! We’re celebrating the 1950s with an evening of curated shopping with local vintage clothing dealers and an Atomic Era fashion primer with Maryland Historical Society Chief Curator, Alexandra Deutsch. Trust us, you’ll need a strapless cocktail dress to wear this spring!

* Fashion Primer: 6:30-7:00 PM, Curated Shopping: 7:00-9:00 PM
* Light appetizers and beverages will be served.
* Silent auction of 1950s era hats worn by Helen Delich Bentley
* Wear your best vintage outfits – we’ll be awarding prizes!

Tickets are just $10 for MdHS Members and $15 for non-Members.
Register for the Atomic Pop Up Vintage Trunk Show by clicking here.

Then join us…

Enjoy vintage cocktails and the smooth sounds of jazz musician Lafayette Gilchrist, who’s been called “an old soul at ease in the modern world” by National Public Radio.

The cocktail party takes place in our beautiful Monument Street Garden on Thursday, May 19 at 6:30PM. Dress in 1950s inspired attire for the possibility to win fabulous vintage prizes.

* Who will be the best…?
* Best Beatnik? Best Celebrity? Best Couple? Best Cry Baby character? Best Rock Star?

Plus you’ll get a peek at objects we’ve acquired from Jazz Great Eubie Blake, including his practice piano! (An exhibit will open in June). Lite fare and vintage cocktails will be served.

Tickets are just $30 for MdHS Members and $35 for non-Members.
Combo tickets (Atomic Era Pop Up + Jazz Cocktail Party) are available.
Register now by clicking here.

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

Multiple Communities, Multiple Stories

Múltiples Comunidades, Múltiples Historias 
Saturday, April 23, 2016 | Sábado, 23 de abril del 2016 
Creative Alliance (3134 Eastern Ave, Baltimore, MD 21224) 
Community Conversation | Conversación comunitaria: 12:30 P.M. – 2:30 P.M. Digital Storytelling Workshop | Taller de historias digitales: 2:45 P.M. – 4:30 P.M. 
You are invited to join the conversation on April 23rd 
In the aftermath of the death of Freddie Gray in April 2015, we need conversations that bring together a variety of voices and communities to address the intersections of poverty, race/ethnicity, and gender and help create new stories about Baltimore. 
This event will highlight Baltimore communities and stories through conversations about the past, present, and future of the city. Participants will explore questions about equity, identity, immigration, and belonging and discuss how residents’ experiences are shaped in and through their neighborhoods. After the conversation, participants can also learn how to use digital storytelling as a way to record and disseminate their voices. 
Se le invita a que se una a la conversación el 23 de abril La muerte de Freddie Gray en abril del 2015 ha motivado la necesidad de reunir una variedad de voces y comunidades para dialogar sobre la intersección de pobreza, raza/etnia y género, y ayudar a crear nuevas historias sobre Baltimore. 
Este evento traerá a la luz historias de identidad, pertenencia y activismo de varias comunidades de Baltimore a través de conversaciones sobre el pasado, el presente y el futuro de la ciudad. Los participantes explorarán temas de inmigración, cambio, relaciones entre las comunidades, e igualdad social, y hablarán sobre como las experiencias de los residentes se forma dentro y a través de los vecindarios de la ciudad. Después de la conversación, los participantes tendrán la oportunidad de crear historias digitales como una forma de documentar y diseminar sus historias. 

 Information on the program / Informacion del programa
Register / Inscri­base

Ron Tanner


Md Humanities

Journalism & Its Power to Inform: The Environment
Tuesday, May 10 | 7 PM
The Baltimore Sun, 501 N. Calvert Street, Baltimore, MD 21202

The Maryland Humanities Council is commemorating the centennial of the Pulitzer Prizes with a year-long series of events highlighting the impact of this award-winning work on our lives. “The Environment” is the final of four panel discussions featuring acclaimed journalists. Featured journalists include Will Englund (Pulitzer 1998), John McQuaid (Pulitzer 1997, 2006), Elizabeth McGowan (Pulitzer 2013), and McKay Jenkins. Panels are FREE and sponsored in part by The Baltimore Sun.

Click here for more information.

Literary Mount Vernon Walking Tour
Tuesday, May 21 | 11 AM
The Baltimore Sun, 501 N. Calvert Street, Baltimore, MD 21202

Spring marks the return of the Maryland Humanities Council’s Literary Mount Vernon Walking Tour. Dive into the world of rare books at the Peabody Library, see where the lives of Emily Post and Gertrude Stein intersected, see the desk of legendary novelist John Dos Passos, and more.

NOTE: Meet outside the Enoch Pratt Free Library Central Branch, 400 Cathedral St, Baltimore, MD 21201

Click here to purchase tickets for $10.

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

Fleisher

Peabody Symphony Orchestra performs Mozart and Rachmaninoff
Saturday, April 30 | 8-10 PM
Miriam A. Friedberg Concert Hall

Peabody Symphony Orchestra
 Leon Fleisher, Guest Conductor
 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Symphony No. 41 in C major, K. 551, “Jupiter”
 Sergei Rachmaninoff: Symphony No. 2 in E minor, Op. 27

Tickets: $15 Adults, $10 Seniors, $5 Students. To purchase tickets, click here or call 410-234-4800.

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

Evita

EVITA
Apr 15 – May 15, 2016

Music: Andrew Lloyd Webber
Lyrics: Tim Rice
Direction: Fuzz Roark
Musical Direction: Michael Tan

Synopsis: Evita tells Eva Peron’s passionate and unforgettable true story. Eva used her beauty and charisma to rise meteorically from the slums of Argentina to the presidential mansion as First Lady. Adored by her people as a champion for the poor, she became one of the most powerful women in the world – while her greed, outsized ambition, and fragile health made her one of the most tragic.

Tickets: Adults $20; Seniors (60+) $18; Students & Military $16.
 Ten Spot Thursday – ALL TICKETS JUST $10: April 21, 2016 at 8 PM (no other discounts apply). Purchase tickets by clicking here.

Talk Back with Cast & Director: May 1, 2016 immediately following the performance.

Performance Dates: Apr 15, 16, 17; 21, 22, 23, 24; 29, 30, May 1; 6, 7, 8; 13, 14, 15. Ten Spot Thursday: April 21 – 8 PM.

After-School Academy

The 2016 Young Actors Academy Registration is Open!

Lower School Academy – 2016 (grades K-5)
 Program is divided in to Lower School I (grades K-2) and Lower School II (grades 3-5)

 Five one week modules are designed to provide an approach to acting, play writing, and the general craft of storytelling; students come away with notions of dramatic structure, character development, monologue and scene work, and more.

 A morning snack, lunch and afternoon snack are provided through the Baltimore Summer Lunch Program (a joint mission of the Department of Agriculture, Baltimore Housing Authority, and Baltimore Food and Nutrition Services). Limited before & after care is available.

Upper School Academy – 2016 (grades 6-12)

 A five week theatre intensive providing a range of education for both the Classical Theatre student and the Musical Theatre student. Classical Theatre students will have workshops in Acting Methods, Improv, Stage Combat, Movement, and Make-up. Musical Theatre students will have workshops in Voice, Dance, Music Reading, Stage Combat and Make-up. All classes are taught by regional and national theatre professionals.

Click here for more details, or to register your child. You may also email the Academy or call 410.752.1225 for more information or to register.

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

Expression through Fashion

Expression through Fashion
Thursday, May 5, 2016 | 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM

Fashion has been an important mode of expression in cultures from ancient eras until today. Join Manager of Docent Programs, John Shields, and Baltimore fashion designer Margie Troy as they use the Walters collection to discuss how garments were constructed and what they meant to their respective societies.

Click here for more information or to register.

Peabody on the Court Music Series

Peabody on the Court Music Series: Andrew Marino
Friday, May 6, 2016 | 12 PM – 1 PM

Please join us for this Peabody on the Court Music Series concert featuring guitarist Andrew Marino. Held on the Sculpture Court, these free concerts are presented on select First Fridays in partnership with the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University.

Click here for more information.

World's Longest Game of Telephone

World’s Longest Game of Telephone
Sunday, May 22, 2016
10 AM – 12 PM: Check-in/Registration
12PM – 3 PM: Longest Game of Telephone
Please note that this event will be filmed for record-keeping purposes.

Break the Guiness World Record for the Longest Game of Telephone. More than 1,330 volunteers are needed to form a line through the Museum’s galleries and pass a message – based on the Museum’s history – from beginning to end. Be a part of history by participating in this large-scale art game that nods to the original Guinness Record set in Baltimore for World’s First Instant Telecommunication in May 1844. This event will feature activities and presentations along the game path, and the opportunity to experience the Walters Art Museum like never before!

 This program is produced in partnership between the Walters Art Museum and Baltimore artist Lexie Mountain. It is funded in part with a grant from the Awesome Foundation.

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 Baltimore

Fabulous Finds at The Walters

March, 2016
Volume 4, Issue 3

Dear Reader,

“Saint George Slaying the Dragon from the Porto San Giorgio Altarpiece,” Carlo Crivelli. 1470.

The weather could not be more perfect today, which was a far cry from the snowy morning visit I made to the Walters Art Museum last week. But two new exhibits there are worth a visit in any type of weather.

These exhibits are free and are located on an upper floor amongst the Walters’ permanent collection, so your route involves an exploration of the museum’s gorgeous tiled hallways and objects ranging from ancient Greek sculpture to Byzantine paintings.

The first exhibition, “A Renaissance Original: Carlo Crivelli” features 14 paintings that literally jump from their gilded frames, due to the painter’s use of gems and other 3-D objects.

You might even say Crivelli was one of the first painters to ‘bling’ out his works.

His themes are religious, but Crivelli was also known to personalize his biblical stories using objects that would have appealed to the everymen of his era. For instance, there are cucumbers on the table at the Last Supper. “He has whimsy,” says Joneath Spicer, the James A. Murnaghan Curator of Renaissance and Baroque Art. “These are farmers. They eat local.”

“Crivelli finds one detail you can relate to,” she continues, “And from that you can extrapolate yourself.” His depiction of St. George slaying the dragon places the saint, who would have lived in the year 400, in a more contemporary surrounding. His horse utilizes stirrups, which were invented in China in the 5th century but would not be found in Western Europe for several hundred more years, and George himself wields a lance that also dates to the Renaissance Era. “Crivelli responds to the realistic trends of his own time while respecting the past that is part of the culture of the Adriatic basin – the culture of his patrons – yet his style is all his own.” Spicer says.

Studying these paintings, one can’t help but wonder why Crivelli wasn’t recognized as much of a master as other painters of his day, like Leonardo da Vinci. It might come down marketing. Spicer says that Da Vinci worked in Rome, the capital and hub of commercial activity. But Crivelli was born on the East Coast, in Venice. Ideas would not have spread as quickly (certainly not as fast as today) and thus might explain why Crivelli was more obscure.

But his hometown didn’t diminish his abilities – in fact, it added to his originality, as Crivelli sought reference from Byzantine painting models as well as the more physical realities of Renaissance Art.

“Splendor” was a word curator Spicer used to describe the works, and it is a fitting summation of the exhibit as a whole. See it while you can before May 22, 2016.

“Pair of Vases (Vases à tête d’éléphant), 1756-62, made by Sèvre and owned by Mme. de Pompadour, The Walters Art Museum

A Woman Ahead
of Her Time

I am partial to the second new exhibition at The Walters, because it’s simply so pretty.

The gallery featuring Madame de Pompadour, Patron and Printmaker is painted to resemble an 18th century boudoir, similar to the apartments in Versailles that Madame de Pompadour kept.

The mistress of King Louis XV employed artists and craftsmen to create cameo engravings, which are raised etchings on jewels, and intaglio engravings, which are designs etched into the gems themselves. She also commissioned her favorite images, of her dog, Bébé, for instance, to appear within other art forms, such as in prints and on vases and porcelain.

The gallery showcases examples of each medium as well as a remarkable discovery curator Susan Wager made: A first-edition set of Pompadour’s commissioned etchings that had been thought lost for more than a century. “They had been hiding here at the Walters masquerading as a much later posthumous,” Wager says.

Many people know that Pompadour was a great patron of the arts, but not as many people know how seriously she took her commissions, nor their relationship across different media. “Pompadour was the first member of the bourgeoisie to get the title of chief mistress of the King,” Wager says. “She had a lot of power.”

And with status and power comes envy. Pompadour was mocked by insecure members of court – they even printed pamphlets ridiculing her. They tried to downplay her accomplishments. “Because she was a woman in the 18th century collecting luxury items, people thought of her as a mindless accumulator.” Wager says. But what Pompadour did was different, and in many ways, ahead of her time.

“The works on view show that she was thinking about these objects and images in a very sophisticated way,” Wager says.

Pompadour herself had a great sense of humor. Her original surname, Poisson, meant fish. So she collected and displayed Chinese fish vases and even had them mounted with French mounts. Madame de Pompadour, Patron and Printmaker, is on view through May 29, 2016.

The Walters Art Museum is located in downtown Baltimore’s historic Mount Vernon Cultural District at 600 North Charles Street and open Wednesday-Sunday 10 am-5pm and Thursday 10 am-9 pm. For more information, call 410-547-9000 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

Turtle
Turtle by Neysa Johnson is one of about 50 works by BSA students included in the exhibit. The exhibit will be open through April 30, 2016.

The Development of the Young Artist
Friday, Mar 11 | 11 AM – 12 PM

Please join us at U.S. Department of Education for an Art Exhibit Opening featuring BSA students.

The program will include classical, jazz and theatre performances by BSA students and the Art Exhibit featuring the work of BSA’s visual artists. Remarks by Chris Ford, BSA Director, and Monique M. Chism, Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education at the U.S. Department of Education. All are welcome and we hope you can join us!

Location: The U.S. Department of Education 400 Maryland Ave., S.W., Washington, D.C.

Tickets: Please RSVP by Thursday, March 3 to bzuknick@bsfa.org Questions? E-mail or call Brigid at 410-625-0494.

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

Yuri

Yuri Temirkanov Returns
Friday, Mar 18 | 8 PM
Saturday, Mar 19 | 8 PM
The Meyerhoff

Yuri Temirkanov, conductor
Denis Matsuev, piano

At the heart of the anniversary celebrations, Music Director Emeritus Yuri Temirkanov brings authenticity and passion to two classics of the Russian repertoire. Tchaikovsky lays bare his soul in the fourth symphony, which combines fragile beauty and brassy bombast. First Prize winner of the Tchaikovsky Piano Competition, Denis Matsuev proves himself the equal to Rachmaninoff’s famous, bravura concerto.

Click here for more information or to purchase tickets.

Dr Dog

BSO Pulse: Dr. Dog
Thursday, Mar 24 | 8:30 PM
The Meyerhoff

Igor Stravinsky: L’Histoire du Soldat
Members of the BSO
Baltimore Boom Bap Society

Happy Hour from 5:30-7 PM
Lobby Activities at 7 PM
Concert at 8:30 PM

Pulse is back – this time with Dr. Dog! The program starts with members of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra performing Stravinsky’s L’histoire, a high-energy tale told through music of a fiddling soldier who does a deal with the devil – with spoken word narration by the Baltimore Boom Bap Society. Followed by a performance by Dr. Dog, culminating with a unique collaboration.

Start the evening off with food from some of the area’s best restaurants, happy hour specials, local vendors and live pre-concert entertainment!

Pulse is made possible by a generous grant from The Wallace Foundation.

Click here for more information or to purchase tickets.

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

Detroit 67

Detroit ’67
Apr 8- May 8, 2016

By Dominique Morisseau
Directed by Kamilah Forbes

“[A] poetic play of fire-fueled dreams and frustrated love that is set against a backdrop of historic social unrest in Motown.” – Star Tribune

After the death of their parents, siblings Chelle and Lank (named for poet Langston Hughes) make ends meet by hosting late-night parties in the basement of their childhood home. In 1967 Detroit the latest sounds of Motown echo from the record player, but the risk of their unofficial nightclub is high, given the intensifying police presence in the all black neighborhood. The danger increases when Lank rescues a battered white woman, and relationships between black and white, brother and sister, friend and stranger begin to shift. The music and politics of the Motown era sizzle in the background of this sharp-eyed drama that explores our shared humanity, across family and across race.

Playing in the Mainstage Theatre at Towson University.

Click here for more information or to purchase tickets.

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

The 14th Librarian of Congress

The 14th Librarian of Congress

We’d like to congralate the Enoch Pratt Library and Dr. Carla Hayden! President Obama recently nominated her to be the next Librarian of Congress. Click the link above for the fantastic video!

Grace & St. Peter’s Church
707 Park Avenue | 410-539-1395 | Website

Grace & St. Peters
The interior of Grace & St. Peter’s Church

Holy Week Schedule
Sunday, Mar 20 – Sunday, Mar 27

Palm Sunday, March 20
8:00 a.m. Low Mass
9:30 a.m. Confessions
10:00 a.m. Blessing of Palms, Procession, and High Mass
Messe Basse – Gabriel Faure
Solus ad victimam – Kenneth Leighton

Maundy Thursday, March 24
6:00 p.m. High Mass and Procession to the Altar of Repose
8:30 Confessions
Mass for 4 voices – William Byrd
Ave Verum Corpus – Peter Phillips
*Watch before the Altar of Repose begins after Mass

Good Friday, March 25
5:00 p.m. Confessions
6:00 p.m. Solemn Good Friday Liturgy
The Passion According to St John – Victoria
The Solemn Reproaches – Victoria

Holy Saturday, March 26
6:00 p.m. Confessions
7:00 p.m. Easter Vigil and High Mass
Missa super ‘Ich stund an einem Morgen’ – Jacob Handl
Now the Green Blade Riseth – Anonymous

Easter Day, March 27
8:00 a.m. Low Mass
9:30 a.m. Confessions
10:00 a.m. Procession and High Mass
Missa super ‘Ich stund an einem Morgen’ – Jacob Handl
Alleluia: Christus surrexit – Felice Anerio
Healey Willan: Rise up, my love – Healey Willan

Click here for more details.

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

A Taste of Maryland

A Taste of Maryland
Thursday, April 7, 2016
6-8 PM | Lecture begins at 6:30 PM, Reception to follow

Presented by Joyce White Food Historian

Learn about the history of Maryland’s most iconic food traditions and food businesses, such as Maryland Beaten Biscuits, crab cakes, coddies, McCormick Spices and Old Bay to some less well-known fare including black licorice, white potato pie, and peach fluff. A look at Native American fare will also be included. The presentation will be followed by the opportunity to taste as assortment of sweet and savory Maryland fare such as Mock Turtle Soup, Crab Chips, Otterbein’s Cookies, Jewish Apple Cake, and Maryland White Potato Pie!

Ticketing and Further Information: “A Taste of Maryland” is part of our Francis Scott Key Lecture Series. To register for this event, or subscribe to the entire series, click here.

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

Pulitzers

Join the Maryland Humanities Council for a series of discussions featuring acclaimed journalists, highlighting the best work in their profession, as we commemorate the centennial of the Pulitzer Prizes. The panels will touch on some of today’s most significant issues and will offer historical context to current events in Baltimore and beyond. Mark your calendar and join us for one or all four. All panels are free. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. A brief Q&A will follow each discussion.

  • March 29: War/Veterans/National Security – Dan Fesperman,David Wood (Pulitzer 2012)
  • April 19: Challenges Faced by Baltimore – Justin Fenton, Erica Green, E.R. Shipp (Pulitzer 1996), Diana Sugg (Pulitzer 2003)
  • May 10: The Environment – Will Englund (Pulitzer 1998), McKay Jenkins, Elizabeth McGowan (Pulitzer 2013), John McQuaid (Pulitzer 1997, 2006)

Andrew Green, Editorial Page Editor at The Baltimore Sun, will serve as moderator for all panels.

All panels begin at 7 p.m. and are sponsored in part by The Baltimore Sun, which will also serve as the host venue. The Baltimore Sun is located at 501 North Calvert Street in Baltimore.

Visit the Maryland Humanities Council website for more details on the panels as well as our other Pulitzer programming throughout the year, or contact us at (410) 685-0095.

This program is part of the Pulitzer Prizes Centennial Campfires Initiative, a joint venture of the Pulitzer Prizes Board and the Federation of State Humanities Council in celebration of the 2016 centennial of the Prizes. The panel discussions were made possible in part by The Baltimore Sun.

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

osi

Mozart’s popular comic opera
Così fan tutte

Thur, Fri, and Sat, March 10, 11, 12
7:30 PM
Miriam A. Friedberg Concert Hall

Peabody Opera Theatre
Jennifer Blades, stage director
Peabody Concert Orchestra
Hajime Teri Murai, Ruth Blaustein Rosenberg Director of Orchestral Activities

Tickets: $25 Adults, $15 Seniors, $10 Students. For more information, click here or call 410-234-4800.

Sylvia Adalman Chamber Series
“Poets and Another Planet”

Tuesday, March 29 | 8 PM
Leith Symington Griswold Hall

Peabody director of chamber music and cellist Michael Kannen joins with vocalists William Sharp and Hyunah Yu, pianist Seth Knopp, violinists Violaine Melançon and James Stern, violists Victoria Chiang and Maria Lambros, and cellist Alan Stepansky to perform Arnold Schoenberg’s String Quartet No. 2, Robert Schumann’s Dichterliebe, and the Sextet from Capriccio by Richard Strauss.

Tickets: For more information, click here or call 410-234-4800.

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

LADY DAY

LADY DAY at Emerson’s Bar & Grill
Mar 18 – Apr 3, 2016

Book: Lanie Robertson
Direction: Tom Flatt & David Gregory
Featuring Anya Randall Nebel

Synopsis: The time is 1959. The place is a seedy bar in Philadelphia – Emerson’s Bar & Grill. The audience is about to witness one of Billie Holiday’s last performances, given four months before her death. More than a dozen musical numbers are interlaced with salty, often humorous, reminiscences to project a riveting portrait of the lady and her music.

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

Talk Back with Cast & Director: Mar 27, 2016 immediately following the performance.

Performance Dates: Fri & Sat – 8 PM; Sun – 2 PM Mar 18, 19, 20; 24, 25, 26, 27; 31, Apr 1, 2, 3. Ten Spot Thursday: Mar 24 – 8 PM.

Mask and Movement

Mask & Movement Workshop
Saturday, Mar 12, 2016 | 11 AM

In our introduction to Mask & Movement Workshop you will learn the following:

  • Dynamic, highly physical research for the stage including muscle-memory exercises.
  • Ensemble play.
  • Historical context for the use of masks around the world.
  • A physical foundation for creating characters for the stage.

Location: Emmanuel Episcopal Church, 811 Cathedral Street, in The Great Hall (look for the signs)

Further information: click here or call 410.752.1225

After-School Academy

After-School Academy
Spring 2016 (Programs begin Mar, and run into May 2016)

If you are interested, please complete the online survey so that we can schedule the classes you want, when you want them. We will use information from the survey responses to schedule which classes are held, and on which days of the week, each class is held. Most classes require 6 students to achieve critical mass, and we will stop registration at 12 students.

We are pleased to announce that we have been given a funding grant by the Brown Foundation to support scholarships for students with a financial hardship. A short financial aid application will be provided those requesting financial assistance.

Further information: click here or call 410.752.1225



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