NEWS IN BRIEF
Exhibits and Civil War App launched in advance of Gettysburg 150th
On the eve of the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, the Maryland Office of Tourism and the Tourism Council of Frederick County cut the ribbon on two new promotional tools that showcase the region and its Civil War heritage at the Mason-Dixon Welcome Center on US 15.
The Maryland Office of Tourism introduced a new chapter of its Civil War mobile app, a comprehensive travel-planning tool for consumers. This new chapter joins the Antietam Campaign, which launched in September 2012, and focuses on the Gettysburg: Invasion and Retreat Civil War Trail.
"We've taken the two-dimensional guides and maps for the Civil War trails, and have created an interactive resource that provides visitors with an exceptional travel experience along those trails," said Hannah Bryon, assistant secretary, Division of Tourism, Film and the Arts.
The app also provides information about Civil War programs and events, dining and lodging options, and other tourism attractions along the trail. The tourism office developed the app in partnership with the Maryland State Highway Administration and the Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area. And, the National Scenic Byways Program provided a significant portion of the funding.
The event also featured the new heritage-themed exhibits produced and funded by the Tourism Council of Fredrick County, National Scenic Byways Program and the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority. The exhibits tell the story of region’s significance in the Civil War, the Star-Spangled Banner, outdoor recreation and religious heritage.
Stitching History: A Star-Spangled Banner
On July 4, The Maryland Historical Society (MdHS) began to recreate the 30 x 42 foot Star-Spangled Banner flag that inspired the writing of the National Anthem. The flag will be an authentic reproduction of the original and take more than 200 volunteer stitchers six weeks to complete. The July 4 start of the project began at Fort McHenry National Monument and Shrine in Baltimore and included Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, who sewed the 'first stitch'.
“Buy local” to discover the best of Maryland
"Tourism is all about buying local," says Margot Amelia, executive director of the Maryland Office of Tourism. "It's a maxim that resonates in our state, especially when you consider all of Maryland's signature things to see, do and eat. Certainly, travelers can experience the best of our state with a 'buy local' approach that allows them to enjoy Maryland's authentic treasures."
Amelia recommends dining on Chesapeake Bay seafood, selecting Maryland wine and beer, acquiring the work of local artists (from the bay to the Appalachians), and traveling along the state's four Civil War trails, six wine trails, Star-Spangled Banner Trail and even an ice-cream trail with seven dairy farms.
The tourism office spotlights a "buy local" perspective every July to coincide with Maryland's annual Buy Local Challenge, July 20-28. Challenge participants – residents and visitors – agree to eat at least one item from a Maryland farm or producer each day. The week-long event promotes the benefits of having fresh, seasonal food from local sources – a practice that supports family farms and sustainable food production, according to the Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission, the group that established the Challenge six years ago.
To find locally sourced products and produce, the Maryland Department of Agriculture has an online directory of farmers' markets in the state. True Blue, a program of the Department of Natural Resources, certifies if the crab in your cake or soup is from Maryland, and the University of Maryland Extension Service maintains a state agriculture web site that includes descriptions of Maryland farms by the products they offer.
New Howard County Visitor Center opens
Howard County Tourism and Promotion, in partnership with Historic Savage Mill, opened a new Visitor Center on July 6. The new center highlights the story of Commodore Joshua Barney, local hero of the War of 1812.
“The opening of the Savage Mill Visitor Center near Commodore Joshua Barney’s home gives Maryland another opportunity to share its Star-Spangled history,” said Bill Pencek, executive director, 1812 Bicentennial Commission. “Commodore Barney’s courage and preparedness form the fabric of the State’s multi-year commemoration of the War of 1812 and the writing of the Star-Spangled Banner.”
The new Howard County Visitor Center at Historic Savage Mill is open on weekends, year-round.
New councilors take positions July 1
The Maryland State Arts Council welcomed three new councilors this month. Susie Farr has served as Executive Director of the University of Maryland’s Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center (CSPAC) since 1999. Prior to her CSPAC tenure, she headed the Association of Performing Arts Presenters for more than a decade.
Baltimore County resident Shelley Morhaim is an award-wining independent filmmaker and longtime community activist. Combining her interests in film and ecological issues, Morhaim founded Earthome Productions in 2000.
Gary Vikan, internationally known medieval art scholar, was Director of the Walters Art Museum from 1994 until he stepped down last month. Hallmarks of his directorship include the elimination of the Walters’ general admission fee in 2006 and a commitment to open access to the museum’s substantial digital assets in 2008.
After completing two three-year terms, Dave Harp, Bill Mandicott and David Terry depart from the Arts Council. (pictured above)
Francine Speaker wins Chesapeake Bay Getaway
Ms. Francine Speaker was one of the nearly 4,000 people that entered to win the VisitMaryland.org spring contest. The Chesapeake Bay Getaway featured a two-night stay at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa and Marina, located along the Choptank River in Cambridge. The package also includes a $250 shopping spree at Queenstown Premium Outlets and gift certificates for these other Dorchester County businesses: Blackwater Paddle and Pedal Adventures, Kay’s at the Airport seafood restaurant, and Jimmie & Sook’s Raw Bar and Grill. For information on upcoming sweepstakes, please contact Lucy Chittenden.
Free outdoor movies
Watching movies on a big screen outdoors has become a summertime tradition in numerous communities across Maryland. The experience allows viewers to enjoy food, drink and good company in a variety of casual settings while seeing the stars under the stars. Here are locations in Maryland that have free, outdoor movies.
Plein-air contest returns to Howard County
Artists from around the region will take to the streets of Historic Ellicott City beginning July 12 to participate in the plein air paint-out event, Paint It! Ellicott City. En plein air, meaning “in the open air,” is the technique of painting outdoors, directly from life. The Howard County Arts Council, Howard County Tourism, and Howard County Public Schools are presenting the paint-out weekend that culminates in an exhibit at the Howard County Center for the Arts (HCCA).
Artscape returns this summer on July 19, 20 and 21, 2013
America’s largest free arts festival features live music of various genres on four outdoor stages, a full schedule of theater, dance and opera performances, in addition to classical, folk and experimental music, street theater, fine art and crafts from more than 135 artisans in the Artists’ Market, world famous art cars, the Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize Semi-finalists Exhibition, film, children’s activities, exhibitors and an assortment of food and beverages.
Webinars to aid Small Business to Increase Sales During Travel Season
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will host a series of webinars this month on how to increase sales during the travel season.
FiberFest returns in August
The Fiber Arts Center of the Eastern Shore (FACES), will be hosting a three-day celebration of the fiber arts featuring exhibits, workshops, classes, guest speakers, demonstrations, quilt documentations and special Underground Railroad-themed programs in celebration of the grand opening of the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway.
This FiberFest event takes place Aug. 1 through Aug. 3 in downtown Denton. Visit www.fiberartscenter.com for details and registration information.
SAVE THE DATE:
Mark your calendars for the 33rd Annual Maryland Tourism and Travel Summit to be held from November 6-8, 2013 at the Hotel at Arundel Preserve in Anne Arundel County.