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.

Baltimore Strong

May, 2015, Volume 3, Issue 4

Dear Reader,

Board-close up
Just three days after the riots, Trinacria reopened its doors. Well-wishers left messages on the temporary plywood windows, above.

There isn’t one person who lives or works in Baltimore who hasn’t been affected by the recent unrest.

And while the glare of the national media focused on the violence that occurred, there is another story to tell — one that is unfolding as we speak.

We are Baltimore Strong.

“I have a lot of faith in the city and tourism in Baltimore,” says Mount Vernon Cultural District Member Haluk Kantar, who owns Cazbar and HomeSlyce.

The afternoon of April 27, Kantar shielded restaurant patrons from a group of rioters who came thru Mount Vernon. Some businesses, like Trinacria, 7/11 and Cozy Corner, were destroyed and looted; others, like Midtown BBQ, Mick O’Sheas, Lumbini and Cazbar, sustained broken windows and other damage. A total of 15 Mount Vernon businesses were hit.

Cazbar
Haluk Kantar, owner of Cazbar and HomeSlyce. Keep Baltimore Strong by supporting our businesses.

As soon as the smoke cleared, Mount Vernon residents and business owners came together to assess what happened. Kantar and his neighbors swept the streets clean of debris, replaced the damaged pieces, and then reopened.

“The only thing we can do is open up, clean up, show people there is life,” Kantar says. He says he saw a 50% drop in walk-in and catering business last week. “It will take a while, but I am optimistic we will come back.”

Mount Vernon’s arts institutions play an important role in Baltimore, as they represent the city’s cultural heart. Each of our Mount Vernon Cultural District members is helping the city to heal, by hosting performances responding to current events, maintaining regularly scheduled programming, or, simply, by being open.

I encourage you to help keep Baltimore Strong every day by supporting our Mount Vernon businesses and institutions.


The Arts Community Responds

Open
Enoch Pratt CEO Dr. Carla Hayden welcomes patrons

The Enoch Pratt Library System: A Safe Haven

As Newsweek noted, just one day after the city unrest, all 22 branches of the Enoch Pratt Free Library opened, including the branch at Pennsylvania & North Ave.

“It’s at times like this that the community needs us,” says Communications Director Roswell Encina, “That’s what the library has always been there for, from crises like this to a recession to the aftermath of severe weather. The library has been there.”

With its Central Branch located in Mount Vernon, the Library has been organizing food and supply drives to hardest-hit areas. Click here for a complete list of events and initiatives at the Enoch Pratt Library.


The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Performs Free Concerts

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra

On Wednesday, April 29, outside the Meyerhoff, the musicians of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra played a free concert in support of our community.

“It seems we could all use a little music in our lives right about now,” they said, and, quoting Leonard Bernstein, added, “This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before.”

The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra is planning on hosting additional free Music For Peace performances throughout the city. For a complete list of May events at the BSO,
click here.


Maryland Historical Society
Issues A Call For Photographs

The Maryland Historical Society has issued a public call for images from professional and amateur photographers in order to document the Freddie Gray protests, unrest and cleanup efforts in Baltimore. “We believe this is an important topic for public history,” says Maryland Historical Society President Burt Kummerow. “We have the resources to interpret these events as well as what has happened in the past.”

Images may be submitted to the Maryland Historical Society through Dropbox at Remembrance@mdhs.org.

Submissions should your name, email address, date and location that images were taken, and camera type/model.

The photographic images will become part of a digital collection that will be housed on a WordPress website maintained by The Maryland Historical Society. By submitting images to the Society, photographers should be assured that they are not waiving their rights to these images. The Maryland Historical Society hopes to make these images available for viewing by the general public, the Maryland State Archives and the National Archives.

In addition, the Maryland Historical Society will also be collecting objects and oral histories from protestors and civil rights leaders in Baltimore.


Mount Vernon Is Open For Business!
Here’s a look at what else happening in our neighborhood this month.
Presented in Alphabetical Order

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

Jacques Brel

May 6 – May 9, 2015
Spring Theatre Performance

Join us for Prophets of Death, an original work written by Tony Tsendeas featuring the Senior Acting Ensemble. Directed by Donald Hicken. Contact cbrown@bsfa.org for more information.

Tickets: $5, $10. Click here to purchase.

Performance Dates: May 6 at 5 PM, May 7 at 5 PM, May 8 at 7 PM, May 9 at 3 PM at the Shakur Black Box Theater

Jacques Brel

May 8, 2015 at 5 PM
Spring Theatre Performance

Join us for the year’s final dance concert! Includes a reprise of “Bust A Move” as well as other pieces. The final production of the year for our young dancers is a mixed bill of classical ballet and contemporary work. Included in this is a piece choreographed by BSA alumnus and Tulane University professor Jeffery Gunshol with collaboration from the senior class.

Tickets: $5, $10. Click here to purchase.

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

 

MARLEYFIN

May 8 – Jun 14
Marley
Music and Lyrics by Bob Marley
Book by Kwame Kwei-Armah

From Center Stage Artistic Director Kwame Kwei-Armah, comes a world premiere musical based on the life and music of Bob Marley. After surviving an assassination attempt in 1976, Marley left Jamaica for London, where he spent nearly two years in self-imposed exile. Chronicling the events surrounding this earth-shaking moment, Marley tells the story of a man transformed into one of the 20th Century’s most important cultural figures. Set in the soundscape of an era, this new musical weaves together the life and music of a man who, to heal himself, first healed his homeland.

Click here for tickets and more information.

Stir It Up

Friday, June 5, 8 PM Show
Stir It Up at Center Stage

Join us on June 5 for a Marley performance and a jammin’ after party! Dance, drink and share positive vibrations with the cast members, enjoy complimentary Jamaican food, wine, and beer as you jam to Rufus Roundtree & Da B’more Brass Factory.

TICKETS INCLUDE:
Marley Performance
Open Bar with Beer & Wine
Free Jamaican Food
$5 Jamaican Rum Punch

Ticket Information for Marley Performance and Stir It Up Party: single $75, couple $120. Click here for tickets.

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

Dancers

The Maryland Humanities Council supported traveling exhibition, “Moving History/History Moving: Stepping Down the Path of Peabody Dance through 100 Years of Maryland History” is on view at the Peabody Mews Gallery on May 9. Marylanders can discover the Institute’s history within the context of dance in Baltimore and statewide, major historical figures in dance, and national dance movements. Five recently restored historical films dating back to 1930s are among the items that transport viewers along the path of Peabody Dance.

The Maryland Humanities Council

The Maryland Humanities Council’s popular monthly Literary Mt. Vernon Walking Tours continue Saturday, May 16 and at the low cost of $10 per person. Tour goers will learn of the novelists, muckrakers, Pulitzer Prize-winning poets and authors, rappers, and editors who lived, worked or visited the cultural district, with a little history thrown in and sense of place to boot. The two-hour walking tour also includes a unique, hands-on experience with a presentation by Peabody Library Curator Paul Espinosa on some of the Library’s treasured collections. Appropriate for high school aged walkers and above.

Reserve your spot online today!

Humanities Connection

WYPR Radio’s Humanities Connection

You can hear all about the latest Maryland Humanities Council’s programs by tuning in to WYPR Radio’s Humanities Connection on Thursdays at 4:44 PM.

Check out these upcoming programs:

May 21
Humanities Connection: The Quince Orchard Project

Has your community had a ‘past life?’ Does your home address have a back-story? Jason Green is many things: attorney, entrepreneur, political strategist and documentary film maker. After discovering something new about his 95 year-old grandmother, he set out to capture the memories of the residents of Quince Orchard, a post-Civil War predominantly African American community near Gaithersburg that thrived for a century before vanishing. Recently he was named as a Docs in Progress 2015 Fellow, for The Quince Orchard Project, a documentary film which examining the history and heritage of this lost community. Today he shares one such remembrance.

May 28
Humanities Connection: We are Different People in Different Places

Elizabeth Evitts Dickinson is a fiction and non-fiction author who has written about the built environment and its relationship to humans and culture for nearly two decades. She is also contributing editor with Architect and Architectural Lighting magazines, and teaches at the Maryland Institute College of Art. Today she reflects on the role public places play in shaping urban life and culture.

Check out WYPR’s archive of shows by clicking here.

A Special MHC Program at Hampton National Historic Site!

Come out to Hampton National Historic Site for “On the Hampton Plantation: The Overseer’s House, Slave Quarters and Farm” on May 23, 2015 at 2 PM.

Dressed in period attire, Park Ranger Anokwale will guide visitors through the authentic slave quarters, dairy and overseer’s home and give voice to the enslaved African Americans who made the Ridgelys’ lavish lifestyle possible. Participants will have the opportunity to experience first hand, replicas of items used during the 1800s on the plantation. Bring the entire family. Please remember that all events and programs at Hampton are FREE, open to the public. and ADA compliant. We do not accept reservations and seating is available on a first come first seated basis. Leave plenty of time to travel to the site, park your car, and walk to the appropriate location.

Hampton National Historic Site is located at 535 Hampton Ln. in Towson, MD 21286 Call 410-823-1309 x251 for more details.

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

Jacques Brel

May 1 – May 24, 2015
Jacques Brel is Alive and Well
and Living in Paris

Production conception, English lyrics, additional material by Eric Blau and Mort Shuman based on Jacques Brel’s lyrics and commentary
music: Jacques Brel
director: Timoth David Copney
musical director: Michael Tan

Synopsis: The poignant, passionate and profound songs of Belgian songwriter Jacques Brel are brought to vivid theatrical life in this intense musical experience. Brel’s legendary romance, humor and moral conviction are evoked simply and directly – a powerful, intimate, bold and emotional evening of theatre. Brimming with flair, attitude and European sophistication, these rich compositions bring to mind the groundbreaking work of Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht, creating a universe all their own that consistently startles with its daring, candor and insight.

Presented by arrangement with Dramatists Play Service.

Tickets: Adults $20; Seniors (60+) $18; Students & Military $16.

Talk Back with Cast & Director: Sunday, May 17, 2015 immediately following the performance.

Performance Dates: May 8, 9, 10; May 15, 16, 17; May 22, 23, 24.

Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.

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

Walters and Morgan State Announce Strategic Partnership

On April 28, The Walters Art Museum and Morgan State University announced a new, multi-year partnership that will promote exhibitions, develop educational and artistic programs and create professional development opportunities for students and faculty at Morgan and staff of the Walters.

“The strategic partnership, formalized today, focuses on opportunities that will benefit both institutions, as well as the diverse citizens of the Baltimore region,” said Executive Director Julia Marciari-Alexander. “Through this unique relationship, we hope to create deep systemic organizational change and have a creative and economic impact on the city.”

A New Exhibition at The Walters!

Gold of the Ancient Americas

Gold of the Ancient Americas
Saturday, May 9, 2015 – Sunday, October 11, 2015
10 AM to 5 PM

Gold of the Ancient Americas showcases more than 50 artifacts, including cast animal pendants, a hammered gold disc, beaded necklaces and nose ornaments made by the indigenous peoples of the ancient Americas from Peru to Panama. The exhibition explores the Walters’ collection of gold ornaments crafted in Central and South America between AD 500 and 1500, alongside gifts to the collection from several generous donors.

A mix of art and science, the exhibition tells the story of ancient societies through their use of gold as a symbol of power, wealth, and privilege, and highlights the making of gold objects by ancient American goldsmiths before the Spanish conquest.


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 Wide World, ‘Imagined’

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April, 2015     Volume 3, Issue 3

 

Imagined Worlds Priestess
‘High Priestess,’ courtesy Baltimore School for the Arts

 

Dear Reader,

Close your eyes for a moment. Picture the most colorful, far-out landscape: Miles from civilization, and shrouded in myth.

It’s a world you’ve never seen before… and a world you’ve probably never thought was possible, unless it was in your imagination.

Yet students at The Baltimore School for the Arts are making this world a reality.

A new performance, entitled Imagined Worlds, is premiering at the acclaimed arts school this month.

The performance takes inspiration from Codex Seraphinianus, created in the 1980s by Italian architect and artist Luigi Serafini. His masterpiece was an encyclopedia, of sorts, that detailed an unusual fantasy world.

Codex Seraphinianus contained its own hieroglyphic language and page after page of surreal illustrations that challenged one’s mind to its utmost limits. Scholars believe that Serafini wanted to give readers a sensation that was similar to how children feel in front of books they could not yet read.

Mysterious Codex Seraphinianus
A surreal depiction from the Codex Seraphinianus

Composer Marcos Balter, a Guggenheim Fellow, was inspired by Serafini’s encyclopedia to create an operatic score he simply titled Codex. It details the story of a scribe who is in the midst of drawing when his love is kidnapped. He must transition into his own imagination to save her.

Baltimore School for the Arts’ students were tasked to bring Codex to life — and they did so using the cutting-edge technological tools available to them at the BSA’s new Center for Collaborative Arts & Technology.

For instance, with assistance from David Title of Bravo Media, a creative partner for the show, an entire ‘Burning City’ was created using programs like Adobe After Effects and Maxon Cinema 4D. A 3-D video projection will display these spectacular images beside the student dancers on stage at BSA’s Schaefer Ballroom. View a video preview here.

BSA students from every grade level teamed up to bring this production to life. More than 150 visual artists, dancers, musicians, actors and stage production students were involved in all aspects of the performance process, from learning the complicated orchestral score of Codex, to creating a hand-painted alphabet inspired by Serafini’s work, to constructing the sets, props and costumes, and, ultimately, acting in the performance itself.

“Everyone has to mesh to make this production work,” says Director Chris Ford. “Collaboration is one of the key skills employers are looking at today, and one that we hope to help students build while they’re here at BSA. A project like this gives them incredible opportunities to work with each other across disciplines, as well as to work with professionals in their fields.”

Imagined Worlds is directed and choreographed by BSA alum Katherine Helen Fisher (BSA ’97) and features a “Shadow Dance” created with Catapult Entertainment’s Adam Battelstein. Also featured in the performance are four short pieces designed and developed by students.

“Our students have created new virtual spaces,” says Arts Technologist Pat Galluzzo, “They have used cutting-edge multimedia programs to add in effects like fog, post-production. The fact that they know that these programs exist will help them move forward. It presents them with an infinite number of possibilities.”

“At BSA, we provide our students with extraordinary academic and arts training to prepare them for success as creative adults,” said Dr. Chris Ford. “Imagined Worlds brings BSA students in contact with some of the leading young artists of today as well as provides space for them to collaborate and explore current technology in the arts.”

The opportunity for BSA students, faculty and alumni to develop Imagined Worlds has been an exciting one, and they are eager to share it with the Baltimore community — and, since it’s the first time Codex has ever been performed in its entirety, the show will literally be something you’ve never seen before, in Baltimore or elsewhere.

Performances will take place on April 17 at 7:00 p.m. and April 18 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $10 for students/seniors and $15 general admission and can be purchased at the BSA’s website: http://www.bsfa.org.

The Baltimore School for the Arts is located at 712 Cathedral Street in Baltimore’s Mount Vernon Neighborhood.


 

Upcoming Events In Mount Vernon
Presented in Chronological Order

 

Baltimore Basilica
409 Cathedral Street | 410-727-3565 | Website

 

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Easter Sunday April 5th
Mass: 8 AM and 10:45 AM
No Evening Mass

 

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

 

Herzog Fest

April 1-12, 28-30: 4000 Miles

Set 10 years after After the Revolution, 91-year-old grandmother Vera Joseph takes center stage when, after a tragic loss on a cross-country bike trip, her 21-year-old grandson Leo shows up at her apartment. As a one-night stopover turns into an extended stay, these unlikely roommates frustrate, bewilder, and – eventually – connect with each other. In ways funny, raw, and heart-wrenching, grandmother and grandson find the common identity each needs. Click here to purchase tickets.

April 14-26: After the Revolution

Emma Joseph is young, ambitious, talented, and about to put the ideals of her politically leftist, New York family into action. But a long-buried secret about her much-loved blacklisted grandfather threatens her work and throws her principles – and loyalties – into question. As the family, including grandmother Vera, wrestle with their legacy, Emma must chart her own course forward. Click here to purchase tickets.

HERZOG FREE READINGS:
Mon, Apr 20, 7 pm | FREE!

Featured as part of The Herzog Festival, Amy Herzog’s acclaimed The Great God Pan and Belleville showcase the aftermath of rattling reveals. Then, join us for a related Play Lab workshop of Carey Perloff’s Waiting for the Flood.

The Great God Pan, By Amy Herzog
Mon, Apr 27, 7 pm | FREE!

When a childhood friend steps forward with a disturbing revelation, budding journalist Jamie must dive into the recesses of his memory and reconsider his version of events – and his life. RSVP here.

Belleville, By Amy Herzog
Mon, Apr 27, 7 pm | FREE!

Zack and Abby have escaped the States to start a life together in beautiful Belleville, France – but as deceptions big and small quickly pile up, only one thing seems certain: that nothing is. RSVP here.

 

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

 

Fairy

Fairy Tale Extravaganza Day 1
Saturday, April 11 at 10 AM to 3 PM
Central Library, Central Hall and Children’s Dept

Join us for the two-day kick off of the 13th Annual Fairy Tale Festival: crafts, magic, face painting, and lots of fairy tale fun for the whole family. Dress up like a prince or princess and get your photo taken on our royal throne. At 12:00 p.m. join us for Fractured Fairy Tales with Janice the Griot!

Schedule of Events:

10 AM to 12 PM: Free craft activities, dress-up corner, free royal photos, live magic tricks by Magic Mike, early learning area for children ages birth to five, all in Central Hall

12 PM: Fractured Fairy Tales with Janice the Griot, Wheeler Auditorium

1 PM to 3 PM: Free craft activities, dress-up corner, free royal photos, live magic tricks by Magic Mike, early learning area for children ages birth to five, plus free face painting, all in Central Hall. Click here for complete details

The fun continues on Sunday, April 12 from 1 to 3 PM

Fairy

Fairy Tale Extravaganza Day 2
Sunday, April 12 at 1 PM to 3 PM
Central Library, Central Hall and Children’s Dept

Join us for the two-day kick off of the 13th Annual Fairy Tale Festival: crafts, magic, face painting, and lots of fairy tale fun for the whole family. Dress up like a prince or princess and get your photo taken on our royal throne.

Schedule of Events:

1 PM to 3 PM: Free craft activities, dress-up corner, free royal photos, live magic tricks performed by Magic Mike, free face painting, early learning area for children ages birth to five all in Central Hall.

1 PM: Fairy Tale Ball with live music, dancing, and refreshments in the children’s department. Click here for complete details

 

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

 

Lincoln DC

A Special Tour
‘Abraham Lincoln’s Washington DC’
Saturday, May 16 9 AM to 6 PM

Join The Maryland Historical Society for a bus excursion to Washington DC led by MdHS President Burt Kummerow with stops at Ford’s Theatre, Lincoln’s Cottage at Soldiers’ Home, and the National Museum of Health and Medicine. Lunch is included.

Enjoy a performance by Ford’s Theatre Society of One Destiny, a one-act play that transports visitors back to April 14, 1865, and the events leading up to Lincoln’s assassination.
Visit the Peterson House, the house where Lincoln died across the street from Ford’s Theatre
Experience the Gothic Revival Cottage at the Soldiers’ Home where President Lincoln developed the Emancipation Proclamation
Learn about Civil War era medicine at the National Museum of Health and Medicine and see the temporary exhibition, “His wound is mortal; it is impossible for him to recover” – The Final Hours of President Abraham Lincoln

Tickets: $140 for MdHS Members and $150 for Non-members. Register by calling 410-685-3750 ext. 377 or clicking here.

Bus Departs The Maryland Historical Society promptly at 9:00 AM, please arrive at least 20 minutes early. Parking is available at the Maryland Historical Society.

 

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

 

The Maryland Humanities Council

Have you ever, after reading a book, wanted to tell the author how his or her words changed your life? Students from across the state will be honored as Maryland finalists on April 25th from 11 AM to 12:15 PM at the Enoch Pratt Free Library for their entries in the 2015 Letters About Literature contest, a signature program of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress and produced in Maryland by the Maryland Humanities Council. The Christine D. Sarbanes Teacher Award, honoring a Maryland teacher who works to promote reading by employing creative teaching methods, will also be presented during the awards ceremony.

Letters About Literature is a state and national writing contest that encourages young readers in grades 4 to 12 to respond to an author through a letter expressing how that author and book changed their worldview and themselves. Maryland celebrated a National winner in 2015. Jisoo Choi, who was an eighth grade student at Burleigh Manor Middle School in Ellicott City, has been named a National Letters About Literature winner (Level II: 7-8 grades) for her letter to Anne Frank for The Diary of a Young Girl.

The Maryland Humanities Council

The Maryland Humanities Council’s popular monthly Mt. Vernon Literary Walking Tour resumes April 18. Guides traverse the cultural district’s cobblestone streets highlighting the literary luminaries who lived, worked, and visited the historic neighborhood. From Karl Shapiro at the Enoch Pratt Library, to the Gertrude Stein house on Biddle Street, the tour intersects literature with history, architecture and the cultural institutions that call Mt. Vernon home. Peabody Library curator Paul Espinsoa provides a brief hands-on unique look at some of the libraries treasures. The cost is $10 per person for this two-hour tour. Reservations are required. Reserve your tickets online today at www.2015MtVernonLitWalk.eventbrite.com.

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

 

Peabody Polochick

Peabody Concert Orchestra;
Peabody Singers;
Peabody-Hopkins Chorus
Edward Polochick, Conductor
April 17 at 8 PM

Franz Schubert:
Mass No. 5 in A-flat major, D. 678

Johannes Brahms:
Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 68

The Peabody orchestras close out their season this month with two exhilarating concerts in Peabody’s Miriam A. Friedberg Concert Hall. On Friday, April 17, at 8 PM, conductor Edward Polochick leads the Peabody Concert Orchestra, Peabody Singers, and Peabody-Hopkins Chorus in Brahms’ First Symphony and Franz Schubert’s Mass No. 5 in A-flat major, with soloists Nicole Hodgins, soprano; Rebecca Roy, alto; Joshua Diaz, tenor; and John An, bass. And on Saturday, April 25, at 8:00 pm, Leon Fleisher leads the Peabody Symphony Orchestra in a program featuring Richard Strauss’ Don Juan and Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 25 in C major with soloist Min Young Park, winner of the Harrison L. Winter Piano Competition.

Tickets: $15 Adults, $10 Seniors, $5 Students. For tickets, please visit the Peabody Box Office website or call 410-234-4800.

 

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

 

Cuckoos Nest

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
by Dale Wasserman
Greg Bell, director
Mar 27 – Apr 19

Synopsis: McMurphy, a charming rogue who contrives to serve a short sentence in an airy mental institution rather than in a prison, learns he has made a mistake. He clashes with the head nurse, a fierce martinet. He takes over the ward and accomplishes what the medical profession has been unable to do for twelve years – makes a presumed deaf and dumb Indian talk. He leads others out of introversion; stages a revolt so that they can see the world series on television, and arranges a rollicking midnight party with liquor and chippies. For his offense, the head nurse forces him to submit to shock treatment, and eventually she forces him to submit to a final correction – a frontal lobotomy.

Winner of the 2001 Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Revival.
Presented by arrangement with Samuel French, Ltd.

Tickets: Adults $20; Seniors (60+) $18; Students & Military $16.
Ten Spot Thursday – ALL TICKETS JUST $10: Thursday, Apr 2, 2015 at 8 PM (no other discounts apply)

Talk Back with Cast & Director: Sunday, Apr 12, 2015 immediately following the performance.

Performance Dates: Mar 27, 28, 29; Apr 2, 3, 4, 5; Apr 10, 11, 12; Apr 17, 18, 19.

Click here to purchase.

 

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

 

Rinehart

Rinehart’s Studio: Rough Stone to Living Marble
Sunday, Mar 29, 2015 – Sunday, Aug 30, 2015
10 AM to 5 PM
Location: Centre Street: Level 1: Special Exhibition Gallery

Dive into an exhibition exploring the workshop of 19th century sculptor William Henry Rinehart. Click here for more information.

The Romance of Rome and the Business of Sculpture
Sunday, April 12, 2015, 2 to 3 PM
Location: Graham Auditorium

Listen to curator Jenny Carson as she outlines the way marble sculptures were produced and marketed throughout much of the 19th century. Click here for more information.

Women’s Committee Event:
A Spring Day in Paris Lecture and Luncheon
Friday, April 17, 2015, 10:30 AM to 2 PM
Location: Graham Auditorium and Sculpture Court

Listen and watch as Laura Dowling, chief floral designer at the White House, discusses and demonstrates floral arranging techniques. Seated luncheon follows the discussion. Click here for more information.

Free Spring into Science Family Festival
Saturday, April 18, 2015, 10 AM to 4 PM

Spend the day immersed in the wonders of science and art. No registration required. 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

A Tale of Mysterious Coffins

March, 2015   Volume 3, Issue 2

Dear Reader,

It was a moody Chesapeake afternoon late in 1990. There was a message waiting for Maryland Historical Society President Burt Kummerow when he returned to St. Mary’s City after a trip up the road. At the time, he was Director at Historic St. Mary’s City, and the archaeologists had a new find they wanted him to see. There always was something interesting going on in the field but there was palpable excitement with this request.

A visit to the 17th century capital of Maryland is an eye opener. A compact college campus and a small church on bluffs overlooking a picturesque river are surrounded by flat, rolling farmland. The so-called “Metropolis of Maryland” has vanished over the centuries. The remains of a hamlet of post in the ground wooden buildings with a brick structure here and there are now hidden under foot.

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Aerial photo of St. Mary’s City, courtesy Historic St. Mary’s

“This was the first rugged frontier for British America,” Kummerow says. “When I walked out into that large, empty field on a cloudy afternoon, our crew was digging in the foundation of Maryland’s first substantial Catholic Church. That Chapel, long dismantled but still hallowed ground with many burials of settlers seeking freedom from the religious wars then wracking Europe, was yielding a great mystery. It was a king of the conundrums that archaeologists, anthropologists and historians live for.”

As Kummerow walked up to a pit exposing the area of interest, about a half dozen or so archaeologists, trowels in hand were staring in wonder. “We had our answers along with a huge question. There, partially uncovered, were three lead coffins, large, medium and small, laid out in a row. We knew that there were important folks buried in these coffins but who could they be?”

The small group, students and supervisors, were all a bit shaken. They explained that, as they had uncovered the coffins, a sudden intense storm had rolled over the site. They all ran for cover thinking that perhaps they had unleashed some terrible force.

“Within an hour, we called up Ted Koppel of ABC News who had a second home only a mile or two away,” Kummerow said. “He and his wife, Grace Anne, wasted no time driving over to take a look. After parking on the side of the road, jumping a fence and marching through the tall grass to join our awe struck band, Mr. and Mrs. Koppel, seasoned world travelers, knew instantly that here was an important story in the making. Many months later, a special ABC “Nightline” reported on an amazing investigation then in the works.”

“That investigation, with hundreds of volunteer scientists, engineers, military medical personnel, even a local funeral director, began to unfold with a visit from Maryland Governor William Donald Schaefer. Holding a trowel for a photo-op, the Governor was so excited that he almost fell in the pit. That first visit with its attendant moment of drama began a year of adventures that no one involved would ever forget.”

 

A Tale of Three Coffins: Living and Dying
in 17th Century St. Mary’s City

 

MDHS_Chapel_300x350

Fast forward 25 years to the present. On Maryland Day, March 25, 2015, the Maryland Historical Society will present the items uncovered in St. Mary’s City as part of a new exhibition, ‘A Tale of Three Coffins: Living and Dying in 17th Century St. Mary’s City.’

The coffins, which are made of lead, held members of the Calvert family and represent the only physical remains of Maryland’s founding family scholars have ever recovered. The exhibition contains the coffins in the exact arrangement as they were discovered in the foundation of the Jesuit Chapel, the oldest brick building in Maryland.

“The presentation of this exhibition is a project we regard with the utmost respect,” Kummerow said. “For a short while, we will serve as the guardians of these coffins, which belong to Maryland’s founders. We wish to tell their story to as many people as possible. Because the coffins will be reburied, this is literally the only time you will be able to see them before they returned to their original location in the recreated 17th century Chapel in Historic St. Mary’s City.”

The exhibition will feature insights into seventeenth-century life from what settlers ate to the often gruesome medical practices they faced to their religious and burial customs that present a complete view of the harsh reality of seventeenth-century living. In addition, ‘A Tale of Three Coffins will highlight the process of archeological investigation, including film footage of the surprising discovery made in 1990.

The largest of the three lead coffins contained the poorly preserved, possibly embalmed remains of a male in his mid-50s, about 5 feet 6 inches tall, right-handed, with no evidence of heavy physical labor. Carbon-isotope testing indicated that he was English but had lived in Maryland several years. Pollen evidence in the coffin indicated that he died in the winter.Only one man matched the male’s forensic profile – Philip Calvert, son of the first Lord Baltimore. He had come to America in 1657, and served as Maryland’s governor, chancellor, and chief judge. He died in the winter of 1682-1683.
A woman’s coffin was placed close to his in an arrangement typical of a husband and wife. His first wife, Anne Wolseley Calvert, matched the forensic profile of the female buried there.
The smallest coffin contained the remains of an infant buried later than the other two. Much mystery surrounds the child, and to whom it belonged. Portions of the skeleton of the child will be on display; its bones are very fragile and some are quite small. An investigation into the child’s life reveals it suffered from extreme maladies, such as rickets, and was possibly swaddled to death.

The coffins are encapsulated in an acrylic resin called B-72 and so therefore, there is no lead exposure.

The Brutal Reality of Life in the Chesapeake

Bone and burial data reveal the rigors of life in the Chesapeake. Brutal summer heat and humidity taxed the colonists’ endurance. Heavy labor and outbreaks of conflict could gravely injure them. No one escaped illness. Limited medical knowledge and lack of larger family support made their lives even more precarious.

In addition to the coffins, the archeological investigations uncovered the remains of ‘everyday life,’ such as houses, pots, and food. Using these details, archeologists have been able to piece together remarkable insights into the colonists’ lives.

It is very fitting that this exhibit will be opening on March, 25, which is Maryland Day. With this special Maryland Day partnership between Historic St. Mary’s City and the Maryland Historical Society, visitors will have an opportunity to pay homage to the brave settlers who founded our state against long odds.

You’re invited celebrate Maryland Day for the opening reception of  ‘A Tale of Three Coffins: Living and Dying in 17th Century St. Mary’s City.’ You will have the opportunity to meet the personalities and experts behind the fascinating discovery of these unique artifacts from Maryland’s founding family. The reception will take place on Wednesday, March 25 at noon. To reserve your ticket, please call 410-685-3750 Ext. 377 or visit the Maryland Historical Society website.

The Maryland Historical Society is located at 201 W. Monument Street in Baltimore’s Mount Vernon neighborhood.

 


 

Upcoming Events In Mount Vernon
Presented in Chronological Order

 

Baltimore Basilica
409 Cathedral Street | 410-727-3565 | Website

 

Basilica Celebration

 

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

 

BSA Exp Flyer

For all of the Baltimore School For the Arts’ Spring Events, click here.

 

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

 

After the Rev

After the Revolution
By Amy Herzog
Mar 18 – May 17

“A beautifully rendered portrait…truthful and touching.”
-The New York Times

Emma Joseph is young, ambitious, talented, and about to put the ideals of her politically leftist, New York family into action. But a long-buried secret about her much-loved blacklisted grandfather threatens her work and throws her principles – and loyalties – into question. As the family, including grandmother Vera, wrestle with their legacy, Emma must chart her own course forward.

To purchase tickets, visit this link.

After the Revolution is a part of the Amy Herzog festival. For more information or to purchase tickets, click here.

 

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

 

Barney Frank

WRITERS LIVE!
Barney Frank
Frank: A Life in Politics from the Great Society to Same Sex Marriage
Thursday, Mar 19 at 7 PM
Central Library, Mail Hall

How did a disheveled, intellectually combative gay Jew with a thick accent become one of the most effective politicians of our times? In this feisty and moving memoir, former Congressman Barney Frank recounts the battle over AIDS funding in the 1980s, the debates over “big government” and gays in the military during the Clinton years, and the 2008 financial crisis. In 2010 he coauthored the most far-reaching, and controversial, Wall Street reform since the Great Depression and helped bring about the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Frank also discusses the frustrations and fears that come with elected office. He recalls the emotional toll of living in the closet for many years and how he decided to reveal his sexuality when the conflict between his public crusade against homophobia and his private accommodation of it was becoming unbearable. He discusses his quarrels with allies, his friendships with other public figures, and how he found love with his husband, Jim Ready.

To reserve a seat, buy a copy of Frank online for $25, click here. Additional seating available on a first-come, first-seated basis. For information, call 410-396-5494.

McCabe Booker

Carol McCabe Booker, ed.
Alone Atop the Hill: The Autobiography of Alice Dunnigan, Pioneer of the National Black Press
Tuesday, Mar 10 at 6:30 PM
Central Library, Poe Room

In 1942, Alice Allison Dunnigan, a sharecropper’s daughter from Kentucky, made her way to the nation’s capital and a career in journalism that eventually led her to the White House. With Alone Atop the Hill, Carol McCabe Booker has condensed Dunnigan’s 1974 self-published autobiography and added scholarly annotations that provide historical context. Carol McCabe Booker is a former journalist and attorney.

Preeti John

Dr. Preeti R. John, ed.
Being a Woman Surgeon: Sixty Women Share Their Stories
Thursday, Mar 12 at 7 PM
Central Library, Wheeler Auditorium

Being a Woman Surgeon, the first anthology of its kind, consists of contributions by a multidisciplinary group of female surgeons. This compilation of essays, interviews, and poems captures the essence of being a woman in a demanding medical field and offers vivid portrayals of the culture of surgery from a woman’s perspective. Dr. Preeti R. John, a critical care surgeon at the Baltimore VA Medical Center and the University of Maryland Medical Center, will be joined by a panel of several surgeons who contributed to the book.

Lieberman

Jeffrey Lieberman, MD
Shrinks: The Untold Story of Psychiatry
Tuesday, Mar 31 at 7 PM
Central Library, Poe Room

In Shrinks, Jeffrey Lieberman, MD, shares the story of psychiatry’s origins and the checkered history of useless or harmful treatments that made psychiatry the black sheep of medicine. Lieberman describes psychiatry’s scientific rehabilitation, beginning after WWII, with the discipline’s slow embrace of psychopharmacology, genetics, and neuroscience, and how it has been transformed into an evidence-based profession. Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman is former president of the American Psychiatric Association; Chairman of Psychiatry at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons; Psychiatrist in Chief at Columbia University Medical Center-New York Presbyterian Hospital; and Director of the New York State Psychiatric Institute.

For the complete schedule of events and to register, click here.

Writers LIVE programs are supported in part by a generous grant from PNC Bank.

 

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

The Maryland Humanities Council’s popular monthly Literary Mt. Vernon Walking Tours resume Saturday, April 18 at the low cost of $10 per person. Tour goers will learn of the novelists, muckrakers, Pulitzer Prize-winning poets and authors, rappers, and editors who lived, worked or visited the cultural district, with a little history thrown in and sense of place to boot. The two-hour walking tour also includes a unique, hands-on experience with a presentation by Peabody Library Curator Paul Espinosa on some of the Library’s treasured collections. Appropriate for high school aged walkers and above. Reserve your spot online today!

On March 19th at Morgan State University Center for the Built Environment and Infrastructure Studies Building the American Institute of Architects Baltimore celebrates Women’s History month with a talk and a sneak peek of a Maryland Humanities Council supported traveling exhibition launching in June that highlights early women architects in Maryland. The event features a brief presentation followed by an open gallery, and a reception. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/AIA.WAM or contact Sadie Dempsey at (410) 271-1773.

The Maryland Humanities Council supported traveling exhibition, “Moving History/History Moving: Stepping Down the Path of Peabody Dance through 100 Years of Maryland History” opens at the Peabody Mews Gallery on March 28. Marylanders can discover the Institute’s history within the context of dance in Baltimore and statewide, major historical figures in dance, and national dance movements. Five recently restored historical films dating back to 1930s are among the items that transport viewers along the path of Peabody Dance.

You can hear all about the latest Maryland Humanities Council’s programs by tuning in to WYPR Radio’s Humanities Connection on Thursdays at 4:44pm. The March 12 segment features the AIA project and the March 19 segment features the Peabody Centennial. Check out the shows by clicking here.

 

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

 

Centennial Dance

Peabody Dance Centennial Celebration
Mar 28 at 7:30 PM

Peabody Dance celebrates 100 years of excellence and innovation in American dance training with a new archival exhibit, a conference, and two special performances at the end of March. The celebration culminates in a performance on Saturday, March 28, at 7:30 pm, highlighting the program’s history and prominent partnerships.

Antony Tudor’s masterpiece, Dark Elegies, will be performed, as well as a restaging of Isadora Duncan’s Valse Brillante, the world premiere of a collaborative, contemporary dance piece titled Dear Mother, and a new ballet by Katherine Morris to the music of Gershwin. For tickets to this once-in-a-lifetime performance, please call the Peabody Box Office at 410-234-4800. For more information on all the centennial events, please visit www.peabody.jhu.edu/dance100.

The Peabody Opera Theatre will present Mozart’s first great hit comedy, Die Entführung aus dem Serail (The Abduction from the Seraglio) in two performances on Saturday, March 7, at 7:30 pm, and Sunday, March 8, at 3:00 pm. Garnett Bruce is the stage director and Hajime Teri Murai will lead the Peabody Concert Orchestra, with a cast of Peabody students joined by the rising young professional bass Aaron Sorensen. Tickets for the performances, at the Patricia & Arthur Modell Performing Arts Center at the Lyric, are $29.50, $39.50, and $49.50. For tickets, call 410-900-1150 or visit www.lyricoperahouse.com.

 

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

 

Leenane

The Beauty Queen of Leenane
by Martin McDonagh
Lance Bankerd, director
Feb 20 – Mar 15, 2015

A dark Irish comedy, full of deceptions, secrets and betrayals. Set in the mountains of Connemara, County Galway, join us for the darkly comic tale of Maureen Folan, a plain and lonely woman in her early forties, and Mag, her manipulative aging mother, whose interference in Maureen’s first and possibly final chance of a loving relationship sets in motion a train of events that leads inexorably towards the play’s terrifying dénouement. Presented by arrangement with Dramatists Play Service. Click here for more information.

Tickets: Adults $20; Seniors (60+) $18; Students & Military $16
TICKETS JUST $10 on Ten Spot Thursday: Thursday, Feb 26 at 8 PM

Cuckoos Nest

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
by Dale Wasserman
Greg Bell, director
Mar 27 – Apr 19

Who really is running the asylum? McMurphy, a charming rogue who contrives to serve a short sentence in an airy mental institution rather than in a prison, learns he has made a mistake. He clashes with the head nurse, and faces the final punishment. Click here for more info.

Spotlighters After School

After- School Theatre Program For Students in K-8th grades
Tuesdays, Mar 10 – May 5
4 PM – 6 PM

We are also working on some shorter 3-4 hour workshops for Middle and High School students; as well as some special workshops for adults. Please email or click here for more information.

 

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

 

Free African American Family Festival

Free African American Family Festival
Saturday, Mar 21, 2015
10 AM – 4 PM

Join us in honoring the rich African American culture that has made our world a beautiful place through music, story, and art.

Enjoy captivating performances, innovative art activities, and much more! Click here for complete details.

Rinehart Bust

Rinehart’s Studio:
Rough Stone to Living Marble
Sunday, Mar 29, 2015 – Sunday, Aug 30, 2015
10 AM – 5 PM on Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun

This spring, the Walters story continues with an exhibition exploring the workshop of 19th-century sculptor William Henry Rinehart, a Maryland-born artist whose works were among William T. Walters’ earliest acquisitions.

Today the Walters Art Museum contains an extensive collection of Rinehart’s exquisite sculptures, including marble portrait busts of Walters family members. Rinehart’s work can also be seen in Baltimore’s Mt. Vernon Place and Green Mount Cemetery, and is in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the National Gallery of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the Baltimore Museum of Art.

Rinehart’s Studio: Rough Stone to Living Marble is a counterpart to HAND/MADE, an exhibition at the Maryland Institute College of Art. Organized by students in MICA’s Exhibition Development Seminar (EDS), HAND/MADE showcases works of multi-disciplinary contemporary sculptors alongside a 19th-century marble work by Rinehart, a former MICA student. It will be on view at MICA’s Fox Building, Decker Gallery from January 30 through March 15.

This exhibition has been generously supported by Nanci and Ned Feltham and the Helen M. Hughes Trust.

For complete details and other events at The Walters, click here.

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 Knockout ‘Night’

 

February, 2015 Volume 3, Issue 1
Miami 1
Pictured (left to right) Grasan Kingsberry, Sullivan Jones, Tory Andrus (Photo by Richard Anderson)

Dear Reader,

This story begins on a night in February, 51 years ago. The location? Miami. The four men who had gathered in a nondescript hotel room read like a Who’s Who list of 1960s Pop Culture: musician Sam Cooke, human rights activist Malcolm X, football player Jim Brown and heavyweight boxer Cassius Clay.

Earlier that night, Clay had defeated Sonny Liston for the World Heavyweight Championship. It was a stunning upset.

The next day, Clay would publicly convert to the Nation of Islam, changing his name to Muhammad Ali.

Just what happened that night? Well, you have to see it to believe it…

Playwright Kemp Powers’ story ‘One Night In Miami’ imagines what might have happened in that tiny hotel room. As the Civil Rights Movement stirs outside, and the melody of “A Change is Gonna Come” hangs in the air, the four men emerge ready to define a new world.

‘One Night In Miami,’ the latest production at Center Stage, has been earning rave reviews for its take on race, religion and friendship, and for its stunning portrayal of these larger-than-life characters. “In less than 90 minutes, a long, difficult chapter of American history seems to sweep by,” writes Tim Smith of The Baltimore Sun, “The mind keeps flashing back and forward, even as the play grips us with the immediacy of the hotel room, where the buddies alternate between playfulness, rumination and, fully aware of the irony, eating the only food in the room – vanilla ice cream.”

The performance has been so popular, it was just extended for four shows that run through February 15. So if you haven’t seen it yet, you still have a chance!

‘Inviting The Audience In’

Miami 2
Pictured (left to right): Royce Johnson, Tory Andrus, and Genesis Oliver. (Photo by Richard Anderson)

The action of ‘One Night In Miami’ actually doesn’t begin on the stage. Before the show starts, a pre-show performance takes place in Center Stage’s lobby, which has been transformed into the 1964 Miami Convention Center, complete with an announcer, an Etta James singer, and a boxer.

“It’s great to watch people’s faces light up when they see this,” says Public Relations Manager Cassandra Miller, “They’re not expecting a boxer to run through the lobby and to start punching the air.”

“We hear from our audience members how hearing Sam Cooke sing ‘You Send Me’ sends shivers down their spines,” Miller continues, “The actors are so knowledgeable about the characters they portray, and it shows. This isn’t a ‘sit down and leave’ kind of play. In our post-show discussions, audience members have the chance to talk about themes brought up during the performance, and even share memories.”

Director Kwame Kwei-Armah has long been known for his ability to make characters come alive, and he has done that in spades with this production.

“I am so proud of this production, and thrilled with the response from audiences,” Kwei-Armah says. “People are responding to the powerful messages of these four iconic men. We’ve received many calls, emails and social media messages from people wanting to share this play with their friends and family. We’re glad to be able to give people one more weekend to experience ‘One Night in Miami.'”

Center Stage is proud to be a part of Baltimore’s thriving theater scene, along with established theaters like Everyman and the Hippodrome, Mount Vernon institutions such as Spotlighters, which highlights up-and-coming Baltimore talent, and newcomers like Single Carrot Theater and Chesapeake Shakespeare Company. While the show has been extended, tickets to ‘One Night In Miami’ are nonetheless selling fast — so get yours now by visiting Center Stage’s website or calling 410-332-0033.

Center Stage is located at 700 North Calvert Street, Baltimore, MD 21201.


 

February/March Events In Mount Vernon
Presented in Chronological Order

 

Baltimore Basilica
409 Cathedral Street | 410-727-3565 | Website

 

Basilica Celebration

 

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

 

Songs & Stories with Maria Broom & Jali D the Drumtalker
Saturday Feb 7; 12 PM and 1:30 PM

Maria Broom

Join storyteller Miss Maria, as she reads her new book, The Village Bully. Young Michael Jose Jamal and his classmates learn from their teacher how to create a “circle of love” to help stop bullying. Jali D accompanies Miss Maria as she tells this story based on the traditions of the Babemba tribe of Africa.

Copies of the book, beautifully illustrated by John Malloy and including a CD, will be available for the special price of $10. Book signing and refreshments follow each reading. Reading will take place in the France-Merrick Library. The event is free.

Expressions 2015 goes “Behind the Scenes” for a look at BSA- Join us!
March 7, 8 & 10

Expressions BSA

Expressions is BSA’s popular annual show featuring our talented young artists. A vital fundraiser for BSA, Expressions proceeds help to provide for everything from performances and scholarships to master classes, cultural outings, and supplies. Over the course of a long weekend and three great events, we’ll welcome 2,000 guests to the school to see our students perform. We hope you’ll join us for this exciting weekend!

Expressions events feature a Saturday Gala on March 7; two family performances on Sunday, March 8; and a lively cocktail party for the business community and friends sponsored by BSA’s Stage One|FANS on Tuesday, March 10. Click here to purchase tickets. Every year is a sellout so be sure to get your tickets early! For a copy of the invitation, click here.

This year we’ll be exploring “Behind the Scenes” and we’re thrilled to have Erin Becker at the helm as our chair. Thank you Erin and all of the sponsors, families and friends who support BSA and our young artists-in-training. To see our sponsors, click here.

For the Baltimore Sun’s video recap of last year’s Saturday gala featuring interviews with a few of our chairs, click here. For the Sun’s Scene and Heard gallery, click here.

 

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

 

African-American Innovators

African-American Innovators
Ken Lam, conductor
Baltimore City College Choir, Marcus Smith, director
Shannan E. Johnson, narrator
Marquita Lister, soprano
Break Dancers

Sat, Feb 21, 2015 11:00 AM

Celebrating Black History Month, this concert highlights the innovations of Elijah McCoy, Duke Ellington and Harriet Tubman. With musical selections by Duke Ellington, George Gershwin, Scott Joplin, James P. Johnson, and traditional spirituals, the accomplishments of these innovators come to life in an inspiring concert experience. Featuring guest artists such as Baltimore City College Choir, narrator Shannan E. Johnson, soprano Marquita Lister, and break dancers, this program honors the impact of African-American innovation on our collective history.

For children 4 and up and their families! Attendees of all ages are required to have a ticket.

Tickets are available through the BSO Ticket Office at 410.783.8000 or BSOmusic.org.

Patti Austin

Patti Austin Sings
Ella and The Duke
Jack Everly, conductor

Fri, Feb 20, 2015 8 PM (Meyerhoff)
Sat, Feb 21, 2015 8 PM (Meyerhoff)
Sun, Feb 22, 2015 3 PM (Meyerhoff)

Grammy and Oscar-winning vocalist Patti Austin joins The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in a performance dedicated to the brilliance of Duke Ellington and “The First Lady of Song,” Ella Fitzgerald. Enjoy Austin’s transcending style as she evokes the beauty and emotion of these legendary jazz classics such as “Cottontail,” “I Got It Bad,” “It Don’t Mean a Thing” and more.

Tickets are available through the BSO Ticket Office at 410.783.8000 or BSOmusic.org.

 

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

 

Ron Shapiro

Ron Shapiro, The Power of Nice
Sunday, Feb 22 at 2 PM
Central Library, Wheeler Auditorium

In his 50-year career as a negotiations expert, sports agent, New York Times bestselling author, attorney, business leader and educator, Ron Shapiro has discovered that people from all walks of life can make deals that achieve their goals if they embrace a systematic approach that focuses on making the deal and keeping strong relationships. Many dealmakers who play hardball by assuming a winner-take-all attitude risk alienating the party opposite them at the negotiating table, thereby losing out on future opportunities. In this revised and updated edition of The Power of Nice, Shapiro shows us how to use his Systematic Approach and do Win-Win deals.

The Ivy Bookshop will have copies of the author’s books for sale at a book signing following the program.

Writers LIVE programs are supported in part by a generous grant from PNC Bank.

 

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

 

The Mesmeric Revelations! Of Edgar Allan Poe
Thurs-Sat from March 26-early May, 2015, at 8 PM

Enoch Pratt House
Enoch Pratt House, unknown photographer, ca. 1926. MdHS, Vertical File, Special Collections, xa00839

Businessman and philanthropist Enoch Pratt left a legacy on Baltimore that continues to be felt today. Boston-born Pratt moved to Baltimore in 1831 with only $150 to his name, but he soon established himself as one of the country’s most successful merchant businessmen, making a fortune in railroads, banking and finance, iron works, and steamship lines.

Most people remember Pratt because of the many gifts he gave to the public, including the Enoch Pratt Free Library, Sheppard Pratt Hospital and the First Unitarian Church, to name a few.

Pratt and his wife, Maria Louisa, lived in Baltimore. In 1846, they constructed a substantial five bay, two-and-a-half-story tall gabled Greek Revival House on Monument Street in Mount Vernon. Enoch and Maria Louisa Pratt lived in the home for the remainder of their lives. In 1919, the house became the Maryland Historical Society’s main headquarters, library and gallery.

For decades, the house served as a site for educational tours for Maryland school children until it was closed to the public in 2004. But this spring, thanks to generous funding from PNC Bank, the Maryland Historical Society is excited to announce that the historic Enoch Pratt House will be the site of a new, immersive theater experience that is gaining national attention.

Mesmeric Revelations

The theatrical performance is called Mesmeric Revelations! Of Edgar Allan Poe, and it will channel the spirit and characters of one of Baltimore’s most treasured writers, Edgar Allan Poe.

The performance will take place in the theatrical style known as immersive theater. That means, in a nutshell, that there is no stage. Audiences will enter a Poe-inspired world that can be freely explored as stories unfold and secrets are revealed.

Throughout the show, audience members will share moments directly with the characters, interact with the sets, explore the environment, choose which stories to follow, and come away with a unique experience to discuss with others. The six main characters are pulled from Poe’s life and fiction, including Poe’s wife, Virginia, and his mother, Eliza. Both died of tuberculosis at a young age, but the show envisions how they may have lived beyond their deaths — a theme common in Poe’s work. “We’re drawing traits from a number of Poe’s characters, including Ligeia, Berenice, Morella, and Madeline Usher,” says producer and director Glenn Ricci, “The connections between the women in Poe’s life and fiction is a major focus.” The show also includes a character inspired by Poe’s detective, Auguste Dupin, and another by Sarah Helen Whitman, a love interest of Poe’s during the last year of his life.

These characters and others inhabit what the group calls “the Mesmeric World,” a unique crossroads between living and dead, fact and fiction. Poe used the theme of mesmerization in three of his stories and portrayed the mesmeric experience as a state in which one can tap into a greater consciousness and larger truths.

Being a site-specific work, Ricci knew the location would be crucial. The search to find a fitting home for the show took several months. The search eventually led to the doorstep of the Enoch Pratt House. Since it was built during the last decade of Poe’s life, “it seemed too good to be true,” Ricci said, “The house will be like another character in the show — and it really does have a great deal of character.”

Mesmeric Revelations! Of Edgar Allan Poe, will take place Thurs-Sat from March 26-early May, 2015, at 8 PM. The performance has already received national media attention from the New York Times, so tickets are going fast! To get yours, visit myedgarallanpoe.com.

 

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

 

Maryland Stories

MD Stories

The Maryland Humanities Council has launched a new website called www.mdstories.com. The site is dedicated to exploring Maryland heritage and culture on an annual theme. This year’s theme is sports in conjunction with the launch of the Maryland tour of the Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibition, Hometown Teams: How Sports Shape America, opening this Saturday at the Bannker-Douglass Museum in Annapolis. Be sure to check it out!

MHC is also about to announce the 2015 One Maryland One Book, which will be announced next week! Want to know which book is chosen? Join our OMOB Facebook page or sign up to receive our February Enewsletter.

 

Mount Vernon Place Conservancy
817 St. Paul Street | 410-752-1225 | Website

 

FREE weekly YOGA in Mount Vernon Place
Feb 7, 2015, 8:30 PM – 9:30 PM
Weekly on Saturday until May 23, 2015

Bring your yoga mat and a water bottle! Appropriate for all levels. Click here for more information.

Location: The Belvedere, 1 East Chase Street, Baltimore, MD

 

Old Saint Paul’s
233 N. Charles Street | 410-685-3404 | Website

 

How is the Episcopal Church Organized?:
How does Old St. Paul’s Function?
This Sunday’s Forum, February 8th 9:30-10:20 AM
The Grand Historic Venue
Led by The Rev. Mary Luck Stanley

Old St. Paul's

Our Church has a democratic structure that makes us different from some denominations.

Join us to explore questions like, what does it mean that we are part of the worldwide Anglican Communion? Where are decisions debated and voted upon? Who makes key decisions? Where does the authority rest? Who does what on the local level?

Kids & Families from Old St. Paul’s
are Invited to go Ice Skating
Sunday, February 8th
3 – 5 PM

Families, children, and youth from Old St. Paul’s are all invited to join us to have some fun together, building friendships outside of church. On February 8th come join your Sunday School friends for an ice skating event. The event will take place at Patterson Park Ice Rink from 3-5 pm. Admission is $4. Skate rental is $2. This is a public session so there is no need to RSVP. Just show up and have fun!!! Hope to see lots of Sunday School friends and family there!!!

 

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

 

Amit Pelad

February 12 – Peabody celebrates Founder’s Day (the day George Peabody signed the founding documents in 1857) by re-creating the recital performed here by the legendary cellist Pablo Casals 100 years ago. Faculty cellist Amit Peled will perform the same program – on the same cello – at 8 PM in Miriam A. Friedberg Concert Hall.

February 12 through February 15 – Peabody Chamber Opera presents the U.S. premiere of Mansfield Park, based on the Jane Austen novel. Composer Jonathan Dove and librettist Alasdair Middleton will attend the opening night performance, at 7:30 PM February 12 at the Theatre Project, and take part in a post-show Q&A.

February 24 – Violinist Herbert Greenberg and pianist Ann Schein together celebrate 140 years of music making with a special recital of works by Beethoven and Walton, 8 PM in Miriam A. Friedberg Concert Hall.

 

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

 

Leenane

The Beauty Queen of Leenane
by Martin McDonagh
Lance Bankerd, director
Feb 20 – Mar 15, 2015

A dark Irish comedy, full of deceptions, secrets and betrayals. Set in the mountains of Connemara, County Galway, join us for the darkly comic tale of Maureen Folan, a plain and lonely woman in her early forties, and Mag, her manipulative aging mother, whose interference in Maureen’s first and possibly final chance of a loving relationship sets in motion a train of events that leads inexorably towards the play’s terrifying dénouement. Presented by arrangement with Dramatists Play Service. Click here for more information and to buy tickets.

Tickets: Adults $20; Seniors (60+) $18; Students & Military $16
TICKETS JUST $10 on Ten Spot Thursday: Thursday, Feb 26 at 8 PM

 

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

 

Free Chinese New Year Celebration!
Sunday, Feb 22, 2015, 12 PM – 3 PM

ChineseNY

Good luck and fortune begin at the Walters! Celebrate the Lunar Year of the Sheep with art activities and traditional Chinese performances. Those born under the sign of the Sheep enjoy cultural activities and focus much of their energy on artistic hobbies. Let’s celebrate together!

Performances
12:30 and 1:30 PM Baltimore Chinese School Sculpture Court, Level 2A
1 and 2 PM Johns Hopkins University Lion Dance Troupe Sculpture Court, Level 2A

Art Activities
10 AM – 3 PM Meaningful Monuments Studio A, Lower Level
12 – 3 PM Dancing Dragons Studio B, Lower Level
12 – 3 PM. Lovely Lanterns Level 2 Lobby

 
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

The Holiday Issue

Mount Vernon’s Holiday Cheer

 

December, 2014 Volume 2, Issue 12

Dear Reader,

Monument Lighting Night

Now that the scaffolding has come down from the Washington Monument, the stage is set for the 2014 Downtown Partnership Monument Lighting, which will be held tonight, Thursday, December 4! The festivities begin at 5:30 pm and end at 8 PM.

The event is produced this year, as always, by Downtown Partnership with support from the City. In addition, there has been a lot of support from the Mount Vernon Conservancy, which has devised a new way to hang the lights from the Monument so that the structure is not damaged by the wires that support the lights. There will be live music, a holiday village in West Park and a special children’s zone. And, as always, the event will end with a spectacular crescendo including a fireworks display and the lighting of the Monument!

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

But that’s not the only holiday happening in Mount Vernon! Here is a shortlist of some of the very best events in our neighborhood this month. You’ll definitely want to check them out:


 

December Events In Mount Vernon
Presented in Chronological Order

 

Baltimore Basilica
409 Cathedral Street | 410-727-3565 | Website

 

Christmas Liturgy Schedule

Basilica

Christmas Eve,
Wednesday, December 24:

4 pm Mass
Christmas Carols by the Basilica Choir beginning at 3:30 pm

6 pm Mass
Christmas Carols by the Basilica Choir beginning at 5:30 pm

12 am Mass
Christmas Carols by the Basilica Choir beginning at 11:30 pm

Christmas Day,
Thursday, December 25:

10 am Mass
Church closes immediately after Mass

Mother Mary

Vigil: Solemnity of Mary,
Mother of God

New Year’s Eve, Wednesday,
December 31st:

5:30 pm Mass

New Year’s Day,
Thursday, January 1st:

10 am Mass

Church closes immediately after Mass

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

 

The Nutcracker with the BSO returns for a third year to the Modell Lyric, December 19-21.

The Nutcracker
The Nutcracker with the BSO returns for a third year to the Modell Lyric, December 19-21.

BSA & TWIGS dancers will perform The Nutcracker for the third year with the world renowned Baltimore Symphony Orchestra at the Modell Lyric. Last year, our hometown version of the classic was cited by the Baltimore Sun as one of “The Week’s 10 Best.” This is a not-to-be-missed holiday classic beautifully choreographed by Barry Hughson especially for BSA’s dancers and conducted by Robert Bernhardt. For tickets, visit www.ticketmaster.com.

Looking for other ways to celebrate as well? Join the BSO for their Holly Jolly Pops December 10-14 featuring our dancers in their Santa suits and tap shoes. The town’s favorite kick-line is choreographed by Jennifer Ladner.

For more information about The Nutcracker, call 410-783-8000.

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

 

Holly Jolly Pops

Holly Jolly Pops
Jack Everly, conductor
Baltimore Choral Arts Society
Tom Hall, music director
Debbie Gravitte, vocalist
Ted Keegan, vocalist
Baltimore School for the Arts dancers
Artists from Cirque de la Symphonie

Wed, Dec 10, 2014 2 PM
Fri, Dec 12, 2014 2 PM
Fri, Dec 12, 2014 7:30 PM
Sat, Dec 13, 2014 2 PM
Sat, Dec 13, 2014 7:30 PM
Sun, Dec 14, 2014 2 PM
All events held at the Meyerhoff

Jack Everly and the Tap-Dancing Santas are back! Experience this sparkling holiday celebration with full chorus, orchestra and guest vocalists. Carols, sing-alongs and artists from Cirque de la Symphonie will get you into the holiday spirit and deliver fun for the whole family!

Tickets range from $10 (College Night) to $84 and are available through the BSO Ticket Office at 410.783.8000 or BSOmusic.org.

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

 

It's A Wonderful Life

It’s a Wonderful Life:
A Live Radio Play

Adapted by Joe Landry
Directed by Nelson T. Eusebio III
Nov 18 – Dec 21

Revisit Bedford Falls, fall in love again with George and Mary, and discover the magic of an angel named Clarence. It’s Christmas Eve in 1946, and inside a live radio broadcast brings to life Frank Capra’s timeless film in all of its feel-good glory. Be a part of the live studio audience, and join the cast and crew as they take you on a journey through the most important evening in one man’s life. It’s the perfect holiday outing for the entire family and, who knows, an angel might even get his wings.

Tickets start at $19. Click here to purchase.

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

 

Enoch Pratt Book Sale

Winter Book Sale
Friday, Dec 5 at 10 AM to 5 PM
Through Dec 7, 2014
Central Library, Central Hall and 3rd Floor Hallway

Don’t miss this annual event at the Central Library!

For sale: thousands of used and new books, encyclopedias, VHS tapes, music CDs, DVDs, and books-on-tape.

New stock will be offered each day, all day.

Collector’s Corner: old, rare, and valuable books for sale.

Box Day: Sunday, Dec. 7, just $3.00/box for all the books you can carry.

Prices, excluding Collector’s Corner:
Hardback books $1
Paperbacks .50
DVDs (per disc) $2
VHS tapes .50
CDs (music) $2
Record albums $1
Record albums, multiple records $2
Books-on-tape $1
Boxes (empty) $1

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

 

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

 

Sunday, December 7: Advent II

8 AM – Low Mass
9:30 AM – Confessions
10 AM – High Mass
Missa Brevis No. 1 in E-flat – Healey Willan
Never weather beaten sail – Charles Wood

Monday, December 8: Immaculate Conception BVM

Noon – Low Mass
6 PM – High Mass
Mass in F-minor – Josef Rheinberger
Alma Redemptoris Mater – G.P. da Palestrina
Bishop John Rabb, guest preacher

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

 

Monument Lighting

Monument Lighting Open House!

Visiting Baltimore for tonight’s Washington Monument Lighting? Come in from the cold at The Maryland Historical Society. You can experience some good cheer, and explore our galleries for Free! We will be open until 8:00PM. Warm beverages and cookies will be served.

The Maryland Historical Society is located at 201 W. Monument Street in Baltimore MD (21201). Click here for directions.

And, for more information about the Monument Lighting visit this link.

Happy Holidays from The Maryland Historical Society!

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

 

Mendes Cohen Living History Performance
Dec 14, 2014, 2 PM

Mendes Cohen

Mendes Cohen was there. At Ft. McHenry when the bombs were bursting in air; at the Supreme Court when states rights were at stake; in Paris when the people prepared the barricades; at the Vatican for the installation of a new pope; down the Nile to collect artifacts; in Jerusalem as the first American tourist; in Annapolis when arguments raged over fugitive slaves; on the board of the nation’s first railroad. But who was Mendes Cohen?

A soldier, a banker, an adventurer, a politician, a philanthropist… a member of the elite, a member of a persecuted minority… a son of England, a son of Germany, an American patriot, a proud Jew? Come meet the most interesting person you have never heard of! The Jewish Museum of Maryland has developed a living (well, almost living) history character, the ghost of Mendes Cohen. Cohen’s ghost will visit some of his previous haunts throughout the year. This performance is free to the public.

Location: Pikesville Branch, Baltimore County Public Library, 1301 Reisterstown Road, Pikesville, MD 21208

Contact Info: 410-887-1234

Mount Vernon Place Conservancy
817 St. Paul Street | 410-752-1225 | Website

 

Make your own holiday wreath WORKSHOP!
December 13, 2014, 12 PM – 1:30 PM

We will have all of the materials ready for you to assemble your wreath. Pat Sherman, a Master Gardener, will run the workshop and instruct us on how to create a beautiful wreath!! Hope to see you on Dec. 13th in the North MVP Square at Noon! $20 materials fee

Location: Mount Vernon Place North Square, 699 Washington Place, Baltimore, MD 21201

Old Saint Paul’s
233 N. Charles Street | 410-685-3404 | Website

 

Christmas Concert

Christmas Concert
Sunday, Dec 14th, 7:30 PM

This concert will feature our very own talented OSP church choir (and Katie El-Diwany, organist).

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

 

Baroque Band

Baltimore Baroque Band
Dec 10, 7:30 – 9:30 PM

Baltimore Baroque Band
Peabody’s Baroque Orchestra
John Moran & Risa Browder, directors

Les Caractères de la Danse
Music of Lully, Rebel, Locke, Avison, and Mudge

Tickets: Free and open to the public

Location: Leith Symington Griswold Hall, 17 E Mt Vernon Place, Baltimore, Peabody Institute

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

 

Holiday Cabaret

HOLIDAY CABARET
PETER BISUITO, Stand-up Comic
TOM GOSS, Singer/Songwriter
ONE NIGHT! Dec 27th , 8 PM & 11 PM

PETER BISUITO – My Big Funny Peter
Peter Bisuito is the worlds Funniest Gay Bodybuilding Comedian. Peter considers himself a late bloomer. Although he’s been performing for 25 years, he decided to pursue comedy as a “full-time” career less than 2 years ago. And since then he’s made quite a mark in the comedy and entertainment scene. Peter sells-out theaters and receives standing ovations all over the country and also performs on cruise ships. His comedy was briefly seen on Oprah in 2010 when he entered her nationwide contest in finding America’s Newest Talk Show Host and made the top 20! His audition video was aired on her show December 30, 2010. He’s considering legally changing his name to “As Seen On Oprah, Peter Bisuito.”

Peter also teams up with charities all over the country for fundraising opportunities. He’s raised tens of thousands of dollars for cancer research, HIV Aids, children’s programs, fallen heroes and animal shelters. Oh…and he also likes pizza.

TOM GOSS – Singer/Songwriter
Tom’s music continues to stand at the forefront of LGBTQ equality and arts. His newest music single and video, “Illuminate The Dark” stars injured war hero turned underwear model Alex Minsky and challenges the way we see beauty and 2014’s single “Bears” became an instant hit, garnering attention worldwide. His previous videos have tackled DADT and marriage equality and have been featured in HuffingtonPost, The Advocate, Out, Queerty, LOGO, Towleroad and After Elton generating over 2.75 million views world wide.

A touring machine, Tom has performed in 40 states and over 100 cities to tens of thousands of listeners. Instantly accessible, his music has been featured on ABC, HBO and several independent movies. He is a 2 time finalist for the Mid-Atlantic Song Competition, was named 2011 and 2012’s best musician by The Washington Blade, won the 2009 Pride In The Arts award for “Favorite Male Musician” & his 2009 album “Back To Love” was voted best album of the year by independent NYC radio station “Radio Crystal Blue” and was spun nationally on over 250 radio stations

Tickets: $25, A Benefit for Spotlighters Theatre. Click here to purchase.

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

 

Jessye Norman: In Conversation with Tom Hall
Friday, Dec 5, 2014, 7 PM – 9 PM

Jessye Norman

Come hear Jessye Norman, one of America’s most accomplished and beloved opera singers, discuss her new book Stand Up Straight and Sing! This Grammy Award-winning international opera star will offer perspectives on her life – from growing up in the South to performing on the world’s greatest stages in conversation with Tom Hall, music director of the Baltimore Choral Arts Society.

This program is held in partnership with the Enoch Pratt Free Library. A book signing of her recent memoir follows. Copies available for purchase in the Walters’ Museum Store.

Museum doors will open at 5:30 PM. Seating is first-come, first-serve. The Museum Café will remain open until 7 PM. Click here to register online.

Tickets: $25 (includes one book).

Folger Consort Performs A Renaissance Christmas:
Music of Flanders and Italy circa 1500
Sunday, Dec 14, 2014, 2 PM – 4 PM

Folger Consort

The Folger Consort, the early music ensemble-in-residence at the Folger Shakespeare Library since 1977, will present A Renaissance Christmas: Music of Flanders and Italy circa 1500, a 90-minute concert featuring vocalists, winds, and strings. This performance is inspired by the Walters’ Madonna and Child with Angels, currently on view in our Italian Galleries. You won’t want to miss this special holiday program performed on the beautiful Sculpture Court.


One Final Note

Thanks

The holiday season is a time for giving thanks, and I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you, our loyal readers of our Mount Vernon Newsletter.

In particular, I wanted to give a special shout to our friend Dorothy Weidner, who has sent me a note after every newsletter goes out for the past 3 years.

Dorothy enjoys reading about the many interesting events in our Mount Vernon neighborhood — in fact, with so many wonderful things going on, it makes my job to report on them easy!

Dorothy recently retired after 28 years of ministry/service for the Archdiocese of Baltimore in the Administrative Offices on Mulberry and Cathedral Streets, and while she misses being downtown on a daily basis, she will continue to enjoy and appreciate such a historic area through all of our goings-on.

Thank you for your many years of great service Dorothy, and we look forward to seeing you around the neighborhood!

Happy Holidays everyone!

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