NEWS IN BRIEF
Air show at bicentennial festival in June features Blue Angels
The U.S. Navy Blue Angels will perform in the Star-Spangled Air Show, June 16-17, 2012 – a part of Star-Spangled Sailabration, the international maritime festival at Baltimore's Inner Harbor that launches Maryland's commemoration of the War of 1812. It will be the first time the Blue Angels stage an air show in Baltimore.
Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz joined Maryland Transportation Deputy Secretary Darrell Mobley and Maj. Gen. James Adkins at Martin State Airport in eastern Baltimore County, Dec. 1, to make the announcement as a single Blue Angels F/A-18 Hornet banked overhead, then landed and taxied toward the media event.
"Baltimore County communities and citizens played a critical role in the War of 1812 and we are delighted to host the Blue Angels next June as they headline the air show," Kamenetz said. The Blue Angels will fly out of Martin State Airport for the show.
Star-Spangled Sailabration is expected to bring more than a million visitors to Baltimore and the region, generating a substantial economic boost and significant national and international media coverage.
Tubman advocates meet with national officials in Washington
A group representing advocates for federal legislation that would create Harriet Tubman national parks on Maryland's Eastern Shore and in Auburn, N.Y., returned to Washington, D.C., Dec. 1-2, to discuss the pending legislation with White House staff and elected officials.
In mid-September, two busloads of community advocates traveled from the Eastern Shore to Washington for Harriet on the Hill – an all-day event that included a rally on Capitol Hill in support of the parks legislation and pre-arranged meetings with legislative representatives.
"Given today's economic and political climate, the Harriet Tubman Historical Parks legislation clearly faces significant challenges," said Sally Kenyon Grant, federal policy coordinator, Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development. "However, we've made great headway and garnered support from key members of the Congressional delegation. Our partners in Maryland and New York remain optimistic as we take these important steps forward."
The Tubman advocates who met with White House staff last week included: Karen V. Hill, CEO and president of the Harriet Tubman Home in New York; Alan Spears, legislative representative, National Parks Conservation Organization; Marci Ross and Camila Clark, both representing the Maryland Office of Tourism; and Grant.
Following the White House session, they met with representatives of these Congressional officials: Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md.; Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md.; Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.; Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.; Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., majority leader; Rep. John Sarbanes, D-Md., member of House Natural Resources Committee; Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash., chair of House Natural Resources Committee; Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, chair of National Parks Subcommittee (Natural Resources Committee); Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle, R-N.Y.; Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y.; Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., ranking member of House Natural Resources Committee; Rep. Nan Hayworth, R-NY.; Rep. Andy Harris, R-Md.; Rep. Richard Hanna, R-N.Y.; and Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, ranking member of Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
State renews Silver Spring's A&E designation
The Silver Spring Arts & Entertainment (A&E) District became the second of Maryland's 19 A&E districts to receive re-designation, as of Dec. 1. Since its original designation in 2002, the Silver Spring district has become a vital element in Montgomery County's economic and cultural growth.
More than 50 arts, humanities and educational organizations exist in the district. A variety of performance spaces are also there, including a recent addition: The Fillmore Silver Spring. The district also has 35 pieces of public art, installed through the efforts of private-sector development and the Public Arts Trust.
Maryland's A&E program uses tax incentives for arts-related enterprises through local jurisdictions as a way to spur revitalization in the districts. Designations and re-designations of districts are in effect for 10 years.
ALTA Awards pay tribute to Maryland traditions
Maryland Traditions, the folklife program of the Maryland State Arts Council, presented its annual ALTA (Achievement in Living Traditions and Arts) Awards and concert, Dec. 3 at the Montgomery College Cultural Arts Center in Silver Spring. Named for the late Alta Schrock a folklorist and community leader in Western Maryland, the awards recognize the efforts of individuals and organizations to sustain Maryland traditions by honoring a person, place and tradition each year.
This year's awardees are: Rich Smoker, a master decoy carver who lives in Somerset County; Patterson Bowling Center Duckpin Bowling Lanes, the oldest duckpin-bowling alley in the world, located near Patterson Park in East Baltimore; and The Singing & Praying Bands of Maryland - representing a statewide, African-American musical tradition that began at Methodist prayer meetings during the 19th century.
The concert featured: Piedmont-blues musician Warner Williams, a recent recipient of a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts; "Godfather of Go-Go" Chuck Brown, a 2005 National Heritage Fellowship awardee; and Phil Wiggins, master blues harmonica player and a recipient of a Maryland Traditions Apprenticeship Award.
Artwork makes affordable, one-of-a-kind holiday gifts
Want to buy a unique holiday gift, support local enterprise and indulge your creative side – all at the same time? Then consider a visit to a local gallery, artwork holiday sale or arts-center gift shop, says the Maryland Office of Tourism.
"As you travel across Maryland, you'll find plenty of opportunities to purchase signature jewelry, ceramics, paintings, textiles and other distinctive local artwork," says Margot Amelia, executive director of the tourism office. "These original, hand-crafted items make wonderful gifts."
"You can also work with arts instructors and experts to make your own gifts," says Theresa Colvin, executive director of the Maryland State Arts Council. "Or, why not give the gift of an art class?"
View a selection of places across the state where you can either purchase the work of local artists or create your own masterpiece.
NEA announces 15 Maryland grant recipients
Thirteen Maryland arts organizations and two individuals have been awarded a total of $429,000 in grants from the National Endowment for the Arts in the Art Works and Literature (prose) Fellowship categories. The awards are among the 863 grants that NEA recently designated for organizations and individual writers across the country in 15 artistic disciplines, totaling $22.543 million. NEA received 1,686 applications for Art Works funding, and 1,179 applications for the fellowships.
Maryland recipients include:
- Center Stage in Baltimore, $55,000 to support the world premiere of Gleam, an adaptation of Zora Neale Hurston's novel Their Eyes Were Watching God
- Enterprise Community Partners (Columbia), $30,000 for support of the third annual Affordable Housing Design Leadership Institute, a program that promotes improved architectural design in low- and moderate- income communities
- Baltimore Choral Arts Society, $10,000 for its Land of the Free performances and educational activities to commemorate the bicentennial of the War of 1812 and the writing of the National Anthem
The other 12 Maryland grantees are: National Council for Traditional Arts (Silver Spring), $45,000; The Walters Art Museum (Baltimore), $34,000; Round House Theatre (Bethesda), $30,000; Class Acts Arts (Silver Spring), $30,000; Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, $35,000; Maryland Institute College of Art (Baltimore), $25,000; Baltimore Office of Promotion & the Arts, $25,000; Imagination Stage (Bethesda), $25,000; Susan McCallum-Smith (Baltimore), $25,000; Victoria Lancelotta (Baltimore), $25,000; Young Audiences of Maryland (Baltimore), $20,000; Heifetz International Music Institute (Ellicott City), $15,000.
Sailabration announcement gets wide coverage
On Nov. 17, Gov. Martin O'Malley, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and representatives from the U.S. Navy and Operation Sail announced plans for an international maritime festival in Baltimore's Inner Harbor, June 13-19, 2012. The festival, Star-Spangled Sailabration, kicks off Maryland's three-year War of 1812 bicentennial commemoration. Media coverage of the announcement – held at the Inner Harbor – drew local, regional and national coverage with stories in the Baltimore Sun, The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, WBAL (Baltimore), and WTOP (all-news radio in Washington, D.C.) Stories by the Associated Press and Capital News Service were also picked up in a variety of markets across the country, including Boston, New York, Atlanta, Fort Worth, Tex., and Sacramento, Calif.
Hagerstown restaurant among state's OpenTable awardees
LJ's & The Kat Lounge in Hagerstown is one of five Maryland restaurants to receive an OpenTable Diner's Choice Award for 2011 as one of the "Top 100" U.S. restaurants specializing in American cuisine. Volt in Frederick and three Baltimore restaurants – Charleston, The Prime Rib and Woodberry Kitchen – are the other award winners.
"To have a Hagerstown restaurant make the 'Top 100' in the United States is a truly remarkable accomplishment," said Tom Riford, president and CEO of the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Western Md. winery tops inter-state contest
Knob Hall Winery, Washington County's only winery (located near Clear Spring), recently won a Best of Show award with its chambourcin in a competition between Maryland and New Jersey wines at the American Wine Society National Conference in Rochester, N.Y.
The competition included dozens of chardonnay, aromatic whites (viognier and blends), chambourcin and meritage blends. "We had the best example of each from both states, and in a blind tasting with 42 certified wine judges, the Knob Hall chambourcin received the highest overall score and the most individual votes for Best of Show," said Joseph Fiola, the University of Maryland Extension specialist in viticulture and small fruit who helped to set up the contest.
Wineries serve up holiday events this month
Maryland wineries are celebrating the holidays with a variety of events this month. Among them: Legends Vineyard (Harford County) welcomes Santa, Dec. 10; Loew Vineyards (Frederick County) hosts Wine and Gifts Galore, Dec. 10-11; DeJon Vineyards (Baltimore County) has a train garden; Basignani Vineyards (Baltimore County) offers a Tuscan Christmas, Dec. 10-11; Port of Leonardtown Winery (St. Mary's County) runs a Holiday Open House, Dec. 10; Knob Hall Winery (Washington County) has Wind Down Fridays; Boordy Vineyards (Balitmore County) hosts Wine Country Christmas on weekends through Dec. 18; and Harford Vineyard (Harford County) presents Sip, Savor and Shop!, through Dec. 24.
Bicentennial conference series moves to Frederick
The Maryland War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission invites stakeholders in the bicentennial commemoration to an all-day conference in Frederick, Dec. 14. Sponsored by the Tourism Council of Frederick County, the conference includes presentations by Ralph Eshelman, a prominent Maryland War of 1812 author and historian, and Alan Gephardt, a ranger at Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine who will arrive as Francis Scott Key. The day also includes tours of War of 1812 sites in the area. Organizers plan a special announcement when the conference begins at the Frederick Visitor Center at 9 a.m. For more information, call or e-mail Kate Marks, 410-767-6974. Registration is available online. Cost is $50; advance registration is required.
Zoo offers winter hours again in 2012
The Maryland Zoo, located in Baltimore, will be open to the public during January and February 2012 on a limited basis – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Fridays through Mondays. Normal hours are in effect through December. A year ago, the zoo opened in January and February for the first time in five years. Founded in 1876, the Maryland Zoo is the third oldest zoo in the U.S. More than 1,500 animals are represented in its varied natural-habitat exhibits.