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Executive Director’s Letter February 26, 2018

In this, our last week of Black History Month, we bid farewell to a Baltimore icon and legendary jazz vocalist, Ethel Ennis. Many of us will be reflecting on the times we heard her sing and the impact that Ethel’s Place had on the music world. Mine was at a fundraiser for the social justice efforts of the YWCA, in the small theatre at their former home on Park and Franklin. She sang about life, Arabers, and a multitude of subjects. It was a remarkable evening for everyone present and her voice was completely radiant. Although she was wooed to move elsewhere, Ethel Ennis chose to continue making her home in Baltimore with her husband Earl Arnett. I and many others are forever grateful that she did! She was truly Baltimore’s “First Lady of Jazz."

Also this month, Kibibi Ajanku launched the highly - successful Third Friday Equity Conversations. The last conversation, which focused on Black History, was moving, thoughtful, and highly engaged. You can join the conversation by attending the March 15 conversation about Borders at the Motor House.

Next week, I will be joining Maryland Citizens for the Arts and other advocates from around the country for the Americans for the Arts National Action Summit in Washington, D.C. Taking nothing for granted in this volatile time, it’s crucial to meet on-on-one with our elected officials to thank them and encourage their continued support of the National Endowment for the Arts, The National Endowment for the Humanities, and The Institute of Museum and Library Studies. Help keep the conversation going with #ArtsAction on your social platforms. Even if you can’t make it to D.C. this year, you can check out AFTA’s Arts Mobilization Center, which is loaded with facts and talking points.

Thanks for reading and staying in touch with GBCA,


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