NEWS IN BRIEF
1812 bicentennial coverage jumps in April
Media coverage of Maryland’s War of 1812 bicentennial commemoration resulted in more than $1 million in equivalent advertising value during March and April, according to a clipping service report prepared for the Maryland Office of Tourism. April’s total – nearly $725,000 – more than doubled the $292,000 ad value reported for March.
The drumbeat of bicentennial coverage has produced in excess of $2.8 million in equivalent advertising value for the six-month period that ended in April.
Media exposure of the bicentennial is expected to spike in coming weeks with the advent of Star-Spangled Sailabration, the June 13-19 maritime festival and air show that launches the three-year observance of the bicentennial.
A new 30-second Sailabration TV commercial will likely propel public awareness of the bicentennial further. The state tourism office and Visit Baltimore, the city’s tourism-marketing office, pooled their resources to purchase air time for the Sailabration spot in regional markets – namely Baltimore, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., along with Ohio, the rest of Pennsylvania (outside of Philadelphia) and northern New Jersey. The commercial started to run at the end of April.
Other reported data shows that 41,560 unique visitors went to the Star-Spangled 200 web site between April 30 and May 16, a 90 percent increase in traffic over the previous four weeks, April 1 to April 29. The recently re-designed site features detailed news about Sailabration events and activities, including the air show with the U.S. Navy Blue Angels. It also has a portal for individuals looking to book hotel rooms during Sailabration and information about the Star-Spangled Banner Commemorative Coins.
PR agency wins award for tourism and arts efforts
The Maryland Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America recently named Stanton Communications a “Best in Maryland” award-winner for its work on behalf of the Maryland Office of Tourism Development and the Maryland State Arts Council, and for pro-bono service with the 9/11 Memorial of Maryland.
“The team at Stanton Communications has helped us increase our media exposure year over year with favorable coverage of Maryland’s many sights, attractions and unique attributes,” said Margot Amelia, executive director of the tourism office. “I believe that the positive travel-related coverage they have generated over the past several years has helped contribute to the increases we are seeing in visitation.”
“Stanton Communications was one of the key partners who assisted in bringing this (9/11 Memorial) project to fruition under an extraordinarily tight timeframe – less than a year from start to finish,” said Hannah Byron, assistant secretary, Maryland Division of Tourism, Film and the Arts and member of the 9/11 Memorial of Maryland Committee.
In addition to ongoing work with the tourism office, Stanton provides support for the Arts Council’s Maryland Traditions program, a statewide initiative designed to discover, share and sustain Maryland’s living traditions.
Captain John Smith trail adds four rivers
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, joined by Gov. Martin O’Malley and other leaders, designated four water trails as new connecting components of the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail in a May 16 ceremony at Sandy Point State Park in Anne Arundel County.
“These river trails, totaling 841 miles in length, are closely associated with John Smith’s exploration of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries, including the American Indian towns and cultures of the 17th-century Chesapeake that he encountered,” said Secretary Salazar. “Incorporating these river segments into the national historic trail will increase public access, provide important recreation and tourism opportunities, and enrich exploration of the water routes in the entire Chesapeake watershed.”
The designation recognizes the significance of four connecting rivers – the Susquehanna, Chester, Upper Nanticoke and Upper James rivers — to the history, cultural heritage and natural resources of the 3,000-mile-long national historic trail in the Chesapeake Bay. It allows the National Park Service to work closely with state and local agencies and other partners to provide technical and financial assistance, resource management, facility enhancement and interpretive trail-route marking along the trails.
"By linking our extraordinary landscapes and waterways to our country's history,” said Gov. O’Malley, “the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail will support jobs and local economies across the region while providing unique opportunities for visitors to explore our cultural heritage while enjoying our natural resources."
View video coverage of this event.
UMBC hosts premiere of MPT 1812 documentary
A premiere screening of The War of the 1812 on the Chesapeake: Home of the Brave will be held at University of Maryland, Baltimore County on Wednesday, May 30, 7 to 9 p.m. in Lecture Hall 104 of the Information Technology/Engineering Building. The film airs on Maryland Public Television (MPT) on June 4 at 8 p.m., and on MPT2, June 27 at 9 p.m.
Drew Perkins, who made the film, joins Burton Kummerrow and Ralph Eshelman, co-authors of In Full Glory Reflected: Discovering the War of 1812 in the Chesapeake, in a panel discussion accompanying the film. Panel moderator is Bill Pencek, deputy assistant secretary, Maryland Division of Tourism, Film and the Arts. Pencek is also executive director of the Maryland War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission.
Admission is $5 and space is limited. Reserve a seat through the MPT web site, or call 410-581-4349. RSVP by May 23. Parking is available on the upper level of the Administration Drive Garage.
Montgomery County Civil War film vies for Emmy
The Heritage Tourism Alliance of Montgomery County, known as Heritage Montgomery, has received an Emmy Award nomination in the historical documentary category for Life in a War Zone: Montgomery County during the Civil War. (View the 60-minute film online at the Heritage Montgomery web site.) Barbara Grunbaum wrote, produced and directed the documentary. Heritage Montgomery was executive producer of the project.
The National Capital Chesapeake Bay Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences – responsible for awarding Emmy’s in the region – made the nomination. Emmy winners will be announced at a June 16 reception at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.
Heritage Montgomery has also published a 32-page booklet, Life in a War Zone: A Guide to the Civil War in Montgomery County, Maryland, which guides visitors to county locations that have Civil War significance. The publication is available online or by calling 301-515-0753.
Tourism tax-code revenue up by 7.7 percent
The latest issue of the Maryland Tourism Monitor — the Office of Tourism's monthly report on measures for visitation and marketing, tourism-related sales taxes and leisure and hospitality jobs — is available online. This month's issue includes analysis of the office’s social media strategy and kiosk use at the east and westbound I-70 welcome centers.
Among its findings: Sales-tax revenue from tourism tax codes grew 7.7 percent over last year — more than 50 percent above the 5.1 percent rate of growth for overall sales-tax revenue through March of this fiscal year. Additionally, with an increased advertising budget, the tourism office has seen 38 percent more web-advertising responses, 28 percent more print-advertising responses and more than double the number of broadcast responses compared to the same time period last year.
Volunteer for Star-Spangled Sailabration
Complete a registration form online and gain access to the variety of volunteer opportunities available at Star-Spangled Sailabration, the June 13-19 maritime festival and air show that launches Maryland’s War of 1812 bicentennial commemoration.
Free event salutes Individual Artist awardees
Recipients of the Maryland State Arts Council's 2012 Individual Artist Awards will be honored at a free, public ceremony and reception at the American Visionary Art Museum, May 23, 7-9 p.m. Event includes remarks by Kwame Kwei-Armah, artistic director at Center Stage. The 100 selected artists will receive a total of $252,000 in individual award amounts of $1,000, $3,000 or $6,000. This year's awardees competed in five categories: crafts, non-classical music composition, non-classical music solo performance, photography and playwriting. For more information, e-mail the Arts Council or call 410-767-6555.
Tubman symposium convenes historians, Shore residents
The annual Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Conference – hosted by the Choptank Region History Network – runs June 1-2 at Chesapeake College in Cambridge. Historians, educators and other experts present 25 workshops that explore the life, times and legacy of Tubman. Guided pre-conference tours of sites associated with Tubman are also planned, including bus, kayak and bike itineraries. Judith Wellman, a national researcher and writer with special interest in the Underground Railroad and women's history, is the first guest speaker. John W. Franklin, a program director for the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture – which is under construction – addresses a dinner event. Registration and more details are available online.
Develop 1812 stories for visitors along SSB trail
A workshop that provides interpretive assistance to representatives of sites along the Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail will be held June 12, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Historic London Town and Gardens in Edgewater. This is the first of three such workshops planned for upcoming months. It is funded by the National Park Service in partnership with the Maryland Office of Tourism Development, and coordinated through the Maryland Historical Trust and Maryland Association of History Museums. Workshop details and registration information are available online. Or, call or e-mail Rod Cofield, 410-222-1919, ext. 206