To view online go to:

Baltimore County Executive Jim Smith (center) announced the creation of a new Conference and Tourism Advisory Council. State officials were in attendance, along with Hal Ashman (l), chair of the new group and Jill Feinberg (r), director, Baltimore County Conference and Visitors Bureau.


Governor meets with U.S., regional officials to plan security for inauguration

Gov. Martin O'Malley recently met with U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, District of Columbia Mayor Adrian M. Fenty and Virginian Gov. Timothy M. Kaine to discuss wide-ranging security issues related to the upcoming presidential inauguration.

The meeting also included representatives from a variety of federal departments and agencies, such as the Secret Service, Federal Emergency Management Agency, departments of Health and Human Services, Defense, FBI and Park Police.

According to a Homeland Security news release, nearly 60 federal, military, state and city law enforcement, and public safety agencies are working together for the inauguration. For more information, check the District of Columbia’s inauguration web site.

Tourism site features inauguration events

Did you know about the different celebrations in Maryland that are scheduled in honor of the upcoming presidential inauguration?

A compilation of inauguration-related events and information can be viewed on a special section of the Tourism Office's web site. The section includes details about inaugural balls and galas, transportation, hotel availability, special events at museums and more. It also has links to relevant sites hosted by federal agencies and the District of Columbia.

Free online registry showcases work by state artists

Maryland artists can post resumes, a description of their work and images from their portfolios online through the Maryland State Arts Council Visual Artists' Registry. The registry, linked to the Arts Council's web site, is a free resource for any Maryland visual artist – no jury process required.

More than 1,000 artists currently participate in the registry in order to attract the attention of curators, educators, gallery directors, designers, potential buyers and others.

For further information, check the Arts Council's web site, or call 410-767-6555. All documents and images can be uploaded online.


Tourism Office releases calendar for 2009 events

The 2009 Maryland Calendar of Events, a month-by-month listing of more than 900 events throughout the state, is now available at Maryland's 11 Welcome Centers. Maryland residents and visitors can also obtain or view the calendar through the Tourism Office's web site or by calling 1-800-719-5900.

This year's calendar includes events linked to the 375th anniversary of Maryland's founding. English settlers aboard two British ships – the Ark and the Dove – arrived at St. Clement's Island in 1634 and established St. Mary's City on the mainland. Today, St. Mary's City is recognized as one of the best preserved sites of a 17th-century British settlement.

Events in the calendar – scheduled at locations ranging from Ocean City to Western Maryland – spotlight history and heritage, culinary and cultural arts, sports, family fun, water-related activities, and hiking and biking. Contact Kat Evans for information about how to place a listing in the calendar.


Arts Council offers A&E technical assistance grants

Arts and Entertainment (A&E) Districts may apply to the Maryland State Arts Council for up to 50 percent of cash expenses – between $200 and $2,000 – that are associated with consulting services retained to assist with fundraising, marketing and public relations.

These matching awards can also go toward fees for professional development activities. For more information, contact Elizabeth Carven, deputy director of the Arts Council, 410-767-8831.


African-American tradition abounds in Maryland

Maryland's history includes longstanding ties to African-American heritage. Harriet Tubman, famous conductor of the Underground Railroad, and Frederick Douglass, prominent abolitionist and statesman, were both natives of the Eastern Shore. Cab Calloway, Billie Holiday and Eubie Blake were also from Maryland.

The state is home to numerous museums and attractions that celebrate African-American tradition. In Baltimore, for instance, you'll find the National Great Blacks in Wax Museum and the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture.

Take a look at a complete list of African-American heritage sites in Maryland and order a copy of Maryland's African-American Heritage Guide, either online or by calling 1-800-719-5900.


Profile: Marci Ross
Packaged attractions promote longer stays, tourism official says

"It's all about the three P's – product, promotion and partnership," says Marci Ross, assistant director for Cultural and Heritage Tourism.

Since she joined the Tourism Office in 1997, Ross has managed an evolving range of responsibilities that coincide with the development of Maryland's heritage resources as tourism attractions and destinations.

Sites like Frederick's Barbara Fritchie House, Boonsboro (Gen. Robert E. Lee's headquarters during the Battle of South Mountain) and Antietam National Battlefield, for instance, all became elements in one of Maryland's four Civil War Trails – the 1862 Antietam Campaign – a 90-mile driving tour that traces the route of Lee's assault on the state.



Updated Underground Railroad guide features 11 more places to visit

A new edition of The Underground Railroad: Maryland’s Network to Freedom – a guide to 41 sites, programs and facilities that depict the struggle of slaves attempting to escape to freedom through Maryland's Underground Railroad – is now available at Maryland’s 11 Welcome Centers.

You can also order or view copies through the Maryland Office of Tourism web site or by calling 800-719-5900. Maryland was the first state to publish a guide linked to the National Park Service's National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Program, which was mandated by Congress in 1998.


Radio stations air tips for places to go in state

A partnership of radio stations in Baltimore's CBS network and Washington, D.C.'s Clear Channel network are regularly broadcasting A Maryland Minute. The minute features Margot Amelia, executive director of the Tourism Office, as she highlights upcoming fairs, festivals and events in Maryland.



BACVA plans '12 months of creepy, morbid fun'

Nevermore 2009 – a year-long festival hosted by Baltimore City to commemorate the 200th birthday of Edgar Allan Poe (Jan. 19) – kicks off with two weekends of music, tributes and theatrical performances at Westminster Hall, starting Jan. 17. Westminster Hall and Burying Ground, at 515 W. Fayette St. in downtown Baltimore, is where Poe is buried. Check the Baltimore Area Convention and Visitors Association's Nevermore 2009 web site for details.

Maryland State Arts Council application deadlines

ARTvantage grant, Jan. 8
A&E District Technical Assistance grant, Jan. 15
Capital Region Performing Arts Touring grant, Feb. 20