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Executive Director’s Letter May 15, 2018

Tune in to a special episode of Artworks on Maryland Public Television on Friday, May 18th at 7:30PM for the announcement of the 2018 Baker Artist Awardees and the kick-off of the Baker Artist Award's 10th Anniversary Celebration! The show is hosted by Rhea Feikin, who is joined by world-renowned photographer and William G. Baker, Jr. Memorial Fund Board of Governors Chair, Connie Imboden. You will also be treated to an update on the 2017 awardees. For the first time, MPT is providing a live stream which can be accessed here. In addition to local broadcast, segments from the Maryland version of Artworks are syndicated and appear in markets throughout the United States. We are grateful to MPT for providing such amazing exposure for Baltimore area talent. Watch for upcoming Baker Artist Portfolio events in the spring and fall. Visual and interdisciplinary winners from both years will be featured at a special exhibition and community celebration at the Baltimore Museum of Art in September 2018.

Two weeks ago, I attended the Association of Performing Arts Service Organization (APASO) annual conference. I was joined on a panel by Baltimore Arts Realty Corporation’s president and CEO Amy Bonitz, and Baltimore-based artist Jeffrey Kent to discuss the work of the Mayor’s Task Force on Safe Arts Space. There has been quite a bit of progress here, which will be announced soon. In the meantime, we also had the opportunity to learn and hear from artists in Austin, Texas, where the displacement rate of artists and arts organizations is rising alarmingly fast. With the increased cost of living and influx of high paying jobs in the tech industry, even organizations that have been operating for 15 or more years are losing their homes. And of course, artists are not alone in their plight. What were once “low-income” neighborhoods of color have now become desirable real estate. Efforts to stem the tide in order to preserve legacy neighborhoods and affordable space are underway, but it is a strong tide to fight. Learning about Austin made the urgency of our efforts in Baltimore even clearer.

In the meantime, one of the ways we continue to support artists right here in Baltimore is through the Rubys Artist Grants. Believe it or not, the next round of applications for Literary Arts and Visual Arts opens on June 1. You can get a head start by reviewing the application guidelines which have already been posted on the GBCA website. Artists, sharpen your pencils!

All the best,


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