The Holiday Issue

December, 2015
Volume 3, Issue 11

Dear Reader,

This year’s poster was created by Lesser Gonzalez Alvarez

It’s been a monumental year in every regard for Baltimore’s Washington Monument, and the celebrations continue tomorrow with a beloved yearly tradition, The Downtown Partnership Monument Lighting celebration. The festivities 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 Chick-Fil-A Inner Harbor 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 the Harlem Globe Trotters, a step squad called Lethal Ladies of Bliss from Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women, music from the Baltimore City College Choir, Kristen Toedtman Band and much more.

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

But the Monument Lighting isn’t the only holiday happening in Mount Vernon…

Here is a shortlist of some of the very best neighborhood events this month:


Upcoming Events In Mount Vernon
Presented in Alphabetical Order


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


Christmas Liturgy Schedule


December 24th – Christmas Eve
Masses at 4:00 pm (Bishop Madden);
6:00 pm (Fr Graham) and
Midnight (Bishop Madden)

December 25th – Christmas Day
Mass at 10:00 am (Archbishop Lori)

December 31/January 1
Feast of Mary, Mother of God
Masses at 5:30 pm (Dec 31 – Vigil)
and 10:00 am (Jan 1)

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


The Nutcracker

The Nutcracker
Friday, Dec 11 | 7 PM
Saturday, Dec 12 | 11 AM & 4 PM
Friday, Dec 18 | 7 PM
Saturday, Dec 19 | 1 PM

BSA’s beloved Nutcracker, choreographed by Barry Hughson especially for our high school and TWIGS dancers, is returning to the Schaefer Ballroom. Herr Drosselmeyer and his hosts are excited to welcome guests back to their magical party featuring dancing mice, toy soldiers, Mother Ginger, and of course, the Nutcracker prince and Clara!

Tickets: $20, $15 (for students and seniors 75+) at Mission Tix.

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


Brian Stokes Mitchell

‘Tis the Season with Brian Stokes Mitchell
Wednesday, Dec 9 | 2 PM
Friday, Dec 11 | 2 PM & 8 PM
Saturday, Dec 12 | 2 PM & 8 PM
Sunday, Dec 13 | 3 PM
The Meyerhoff

Damon Gupton, conductor
Brian Stokes Mitchell, host and vocalist

Tony Award-winning Broadway phenomenon Brian Stokes Mitchell joins the BSO SuperPops to warm your heart with carols, classics and lots of surprises! Featuring holiday favorites such as “Sleigh Ride” and “I’ll be Home for Christmas.”

Hurry – kids 25% off!

And, get a Holiday Photo at the Meyerhoff! Capture a memory of your holiday experience with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Arrive at the hall a few minutes early and have your photo taken with Santa in our special set in the lobby. For only $10 you will leave with a beautiful souvenir photo. $9 photo tickets are available in advance by calling the box office at 410-783-8100.

Proceeds from photos with Santa go to support the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s education programs and initiatives.

Click here for more information or to purchase tickets.

Polar Express

Polar Express
Saturday, Dec 5 | 11 AM
The Meyerhoff

Ken Lam, conductor
Robert Cantrell, baritone
The Maryland State Boychoir
Actors from the Baltimore School for the Arts

Truly a holiday classic! Hop on the train as we yell “All aboard!” for a first-class ride to the North Pole on The Polar Express. This timeless tale of a boy who believes will have your young ones waiting for the sound of Santa’s bells! As still images from the book are projected onto the stage, the music by Robert Kapilow and the words on the pages of this magical Caldecott Medal winner will come to life.

Prior to each family concert, join us in the inspiration zone beginning at 9:45 am with fun interactive pre-concert activities!

Click here for more information or to purchase tickets.

Home Alone

Home Alone: Movie and Music
Saturday, Dec 19 | 3 PM & 7 PM
The Meyerhoff

Nicholas Hersh, conductor
Baltimore Choral Arts Society
Tom Hall, director

John Williams: Home Alone

The score to Home Alone contains some of John Williams’ most instantly recognizable and beloved melodies in a career full of memorable soundtrack themes. Conductor Nicholas Hersh leads the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Baltimore Choral Arts Society in a live score accompaniment of the classic 1990 film.

Click here for more information or to purchase tickets.

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


X's and O's

X’s and O’s
Nov 13 – Dec 20, 2015

By KJ Sanchez with Jenny Mercein

“Like the game itself: some of the hits are so hard, they’ll make you uncomfortable, but you won’t want to stop watching.”
– San Jose Mercury News (UK)

Baltimore. Loves. Football. And as the season kicks into high gear, Center Stage brings you a deeply moving, ripped-from-the-headlines play about our love for the game. Based on interviews with players, their families, and their fans, X’s and O’s delves deep into the questions that are being asked around dinner tables across the country: what are the dangers of the game? Should our children play? How do we balance our love for the sport with its potential risks? Co-commissioned by Center Stage and Berkeley Repertory Theater, and developed in part through Center Stage’s Play Lab series, X’s and O’s is a celebration of football that fearlessly tackles the sometimes tragic results of our passion for the sport.

Click here for tickets.

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


Enoch Pratt Book Sale

Book Sale
Friday, Dec 4, 10 AM to 5 PM
Saturday, Dec 5, 10 AM to 5 PM
Sunday, Dec 6, 1 to 5 PM
Central Library

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

Amazing deals on thousands of used and new books, DVDs, VHS tapes, music CDs, books-on-tape, encyclopedias, collectibles and more.

Stock is replenished throughout the sale.

Sunday 12/06/15 will be $3.00/box Day!

Cash or personal checks with ID only.


Hands on Holidays:

Wednesday, Dec 9, 10:30 AM
Central Library, Meyerhoff Children’s Garden

Join the Downtown Baltimore Jewish Community Center for a fun, cultural look at the Jewish holiday Hannukkah.

For children ages 3-5 with a caregiver.

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


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


The Bridge Ensemble presents: “December Light”
Saturday, Dec 5, 7:30 PM

Free Will Donations Accepted.

We are very honored to host the Bridge Ensemble, a top notch professional choir specializing in pre-17th-century and 20th/21st-century choral music. This new ensemble, founded by baritone and conductor Gilbert Spencer, has already made an enormous contribution to the cultural life of Baltimore, and we are delighted to hear them offer their December program in Grace & St Peter’s Church. The concert is Saturday December 5th at 7:30, and admission is free, although voluntary donations will be accepted.

A Colonial Christmas
Saturday, December 12 at 7pm

Tickets are $12 available at the door or by clicking here

On Saturday, December 12th, join us for a wonderful night of music, revelry and history as we present a concert of colonial Christmas music. Musicians Tyler St. Clare, Janna Critz, Joshua Barnett and Michael Jancarek will play music that might’ve been heard in Baltimore’s churches and taverns 300 years ago. They’ll also discuss the complicated history of Christmas in the colonies, which can be pretty different from popular imagining. The celebration of Christmas was for many years banned in Puritan New England, and any colonists caught reveling on that day could face fines, imprisonment or lashes. Even where it was legal to celebrate, Christmas was usually an occasion to get heavily drunk and harass the town’s gentry. However, a rich musical tradition emerged around the holiday, and you’ll get to hear it on this night.

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


Store Postcard

Opening in time for the 44th annual Downtown Partnership Monument Lighting on Thursday, December 3, 2015, The Maryland Historical Society is proud to announce the grand opening of its new Museum Store. Featuring hundreds of Maryland-themed gifts, children’s items and antiques, it’s the perfect place to find that holiday gift!

“We are thrilled to open a new museum store and showcase great gift items from Maryland artists,” says Mark B. Letzer, President and CEO of the Maryland Historical Society.

The store contains thousands of new and hardcover books, stationery, t-shirts, Maryland-themed gifts and a children’s section. A consignment shop rounds out the store’s offerings and features hundreds of high-end silver antiques and other collectibles. The store will be open during regular museum hours: Wednesday-Saturday 10 am-5 pm and Sunday from noon-5 pm.

As part of the celebration, the Maryland Historical Society will feature free museum admission, caroling and refreshments from 5-8pm on December 3.

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



(Baltimore) – The Maryland Humanities Council (MHC) is pleased to announce that it is now accepting applications to its new special grant program, the Humanities Fund for Baltimore.

The Humanities Fund for Baltimore will:

    • Support Baltimore nonprofits to create public programs that use the humanities (e.g. history, literature, poetry, ethics, sociology, philosophy, criminal justice) to respond to, interpret, and shed light on the unrest of April 2015 and to bring people together to understand the many contexts for the unrest.


    • Support humanities programs that educate young people and adults about the history and the roots of economic and racial inequality in communities of color in Baltimore City (e.g. housing discrimination, de-industrialization) and give opportunity and space for telling their stories.


  • Tap into and build on work already being done by others in the community. More specifically, we want to inspire new work that uses the humanities to explore the complex problems that plague our city.

Phoebe Stein, Executive Director of the Maryland Humanities Council, said: “Both the peaceful protests and the violence in Baltimore that followed the death of Freddie Gray in police custody this past April responded to decades of structural racism and inequity in housing, education, and economic opportunities. The Maryland Humanities Council believes that the equity that needs to be created here in Baltimore, and across much of the nation, can begin with the humanities. The humanities – especially history, the law, ethics, and philosophy – can give us the contexts for understanding and addressing these problems. Through the Humanities Fund for Baltimore, we hope to inspire new partnerships that move Baltimore to a better future.”

Nonprofit organizations, community associations, and faith-based organizations are eligible to apply for funding. All projects must be rooted in one or more disciplines of the humanities; engage communities impacted by structural racism in Baltimore; enlist the participation of humanities scholars or experts; be free and open to the public; and occur between January 29 and July 1, 2016 or between April 15 and September 15, 2016.

To learn more about MHC’s Humanities Fund for Baltimore, including full eligibility requirements and application information, click here.

The Humanities Fund for Baltimore is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) as part of the “Common Good,” an NEH initiative that seeks to bring the humanities into the public square and foster innovative ways to make scholarship relevant to contemporary issues. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this release do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The Maryland Humanities Council is a statewide, educational nonprofit organization. The Maryland Humanities Council creates and supports educational experiences in the humanities that inspire all Marylanders to embrace lifelong learning, exchange ideas openly, and enrich their communities. For more information, click here. The Maryland Humanities Council is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the State of Maryland, and the William G. Baker, Jr. Memorial Fund, creator of the Baker Artist Awards.

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


James Olin

Peabody Brass Ensembles present Holiday Brass
Thursday, Dec 3, 2015
8- 10PM
Leith Symington Griswold Hall

Peabody Brass Ensembles
Holiday Brass
James Olin, Director

Tickets: This is a FREE event. For more information, click here or call 410-234-4800.

Mendes Cohen

Peabody Concert Orchestra, Peabody Singers, & Peabody-Hopkins Chorus perform Duruflé and Tchaikovsky
Tuesday, Dec 8, 2015
8- 10PM
Miriam A. Friedberg Concert Hall

Peabody Concert Orchestra
Peabody Singers
Peabody-Hopkins Chorus
Edward Polochick, Conductor
Zoe Band, Mezzo-soprano
Rob McGinness, Baritone

The livestream event begins at 8 PM EDT (7 PM CT) and can be viewed live on Johns Hopkins Ustream channel.

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


A Tuna Christmas

Nov 20 – Dec 20, 2015

Book: Jaston Williams, Joe Sears,
& Ed Howard
Direction: Fuzz Roark
Stage Management: Ben Kinder

Synopsis: It’s Christmas in Tuna, TX, the third smallest town in Texas. Radio station OKKK news personalities Thurston Wheelis and Arles Struvie report on various Yuletide activities, including the hot competition in the annual lawn display contest and the mischevious pranks of the Christmas Phantom. In other news, voracious Joe Bob Lipsey’s production of “A Christmas Carol” is jeopardized by unpaid electric bills. All the while Aunt Pearl’s chickens are terrorized by an evil Blue Jay. And we all wonder, will Beula’s husband ever come home?

Tickets: Adults $20; Seniors (60+) $18; Students & Military $16.
Ten Spot Thursday – ALL TICKETS JUST $10: Sept 17, 2015 at 8 PM (no other discounts apply). Purchase tickets by clicking here.

Talk Back with Cast & Director: Dec 6, 2015 immediately following the performance.

Performance Dates: Fri & Sat – 8 PM; Sun – 2 PM Dec 4, 5, 6; 10, 11, 12, 13; 18, 19, 20. Ten Spot Thursday: Dec 10, 2015 – 8 PM.

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



Gérôme and His Circle: Travel, Art, and Business in the Middle East
Nov 14, 2015 to Sunday, Feb 7, 2016
10 AM – 5 PM on Wed, Thur, Fri, Sat, Sun

Jean-Léon Gérôme was the leading French academic artist during the second half of the 19th century, specializing in scenes depicting present-day Egypt and Turkey. He was extraordinarily influential in his time, training many artists from both Europe and the Middle East. In a new exhibition opening at the Walters in November, Gérôme forms the fascinating focal point of an international network of mid-19th-century painters who were his friends, travel companions, and business associates and who also took the Middle East as their subject matter.

Gérôme and His Circle complements the exhibition Pearls on a String: Artists, Patrons, and Poets at the Great Islamic Courts. Like Pearls on a String, this exhibition examines the creativity resulting from interactions fostered by collaboration and exchange. It also continues the focus on the story of how the Walters’ collection was formed, begun last October in the installation From Rye to Raphael: The Walters Story. Most of French art in Gérôme and His Circle was purchased by William T. Walters.

Curated by Jo Briggs (18th- and 19th-century art) and Amy Landau (Islamic and South Asian art), Gérôme and His Circle explores the movement of people, art, and ideas between Europe and the Ottoman Empire in the second half of the 19th century. Through 17 works from the collection, this exhibition in the museum’s Level 3 manuscripts gallery presents a new angle on the relationships between French dealers and artists and elite Ottoman patrons, whose taste for art depicting the people and places of the Middle East and North Africa was shared by collectors in Europe and United States, including William T. Walters. The two main themes of this exhibition – personal relationships and travel-are illuminated by drawings from Walters’ albums, an impressive Ottoman Turkish helmet owned by Gérôme, and exquisite 19th-century enameled glass inspired by medieval Egyptian examples.

Click here for more information.

Muslim Cloth

Local Lens: The Muslim Experience in Baltimore
Sunday, Dec 6, 2015 | 2-3:30 PM

What role can the museum play in the contemporary conversation about race and diversity? This panel discussion, moderated by Alison Kysia, ICJS Educator at the Institute for Christian & Jewish Studies, offers an opportunity for audiences to hear the viewpoints of the Latino and black Muslim communities. The panel includes Baltimore-based scholar Harold Morales from Morgan State University and entrepreneur Saafir Rabb from Interculture.

This program was also made possible by a grant from the Maryland Humanities Council, through support from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in these programs do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities or the Maryland Humanities Council.

Tickets: Regular: $10, Senior (Age 65+): $5, Young Adult (Age 18-25): $5, Member: Free. To purchase tickets, click here.

Happy Holidays!

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

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