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Executive Director’s Letter November 13, 2018

National Philanthropy Day, a program of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, pays tribute to the invaluable contributions that philanthropy has made to our personal lives, our nation, and the world. Congratulations to the William G. Baker, Jr. Memorial Fund who will be recognized tomorrow as the 2018 Outstanding Philanthropic Foundation of the Year at the National Philanthropy Day Luncheon Celebration. Others being honored are 2018 Outstanding Philanthropist of the Year, George and Betsy Sherman and Community Impact Awardees James “Winky” & Florine “Peaches” Camphor. We are grateful to all of them for the positive impact they have on our communities.

Speaking of Baker, David London and Renz Balagtas from the GBCA team have been spending the week at The Peale Center for Baltimore History and Architecture receiving and hanging the works of more than 100 area artists with active Baker Artist Portfolios. Come out and join us tomorrow night from 6:00 to 9:00 for the first ever Off the Web exhibition of Baltimore artists.

Last week’s historic elections have brought many changes to national and statewide politics. The incoming group of lawmakers in Congress and in Maryland’s legislature will be among the most diverse ever. That means a lot of new faces who need to know more about the value and impact of the arts and arts education. Arts advocates have an important opportunity to educate our lawmakers on the positive benefits and impacts of the arts in our lives, communities, and schools. You can learn about national issues through Americans for the Arts. And, keep an eye on Maryland Citizens for Arts who takes the lead in advocating for the arts with the state. They also organize Maryland Arts Day, so be sure to put February 14, 2019 on your calendar to join us in Annapolis. It’s never too soon to get to work.

As the 2018-19 Urban Arts Leadership Fellows dig into their work, the process of selecting the 2018 Host Organizations has been underway. To find out the latest in the selection process and the amazing project that will be undertaken, click here.

On a more somber note, last Saturday friends, family, community leaders, and admirers gathered at the Eubie Blake Cultural Center, to celebrate the life of Baltimore icon, Ernest Kromah. Ernest, who passed away last month, loved Baltimore and all its possibilities. From salons in the Kromah’s home to the many businesses he created, his ability to move conversations to action was infectious. Kromah was also a visionary entrepreneur. You can learn more about Ernest Kromah and view his work on his Baker Artist Portfolio.

Sending wishes for peace,


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