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Executive Director’s Letter March 26, 2019

The New York Times is really interested in Baltimore. Last week, the T Magazine published an article about Baltimore, and no, it’s not the one you’re thinking about that recounted the City’s troubles. The article, Why Baltimore Persists as a Cultural Beacon acknowledges, as we all must, the difficulties and yes even tragedies that many here face. However, the writer Andrew Martin is fascinated by the city’s creative engines and artists who explore on the edges and in the mainstream. The arts are the medium through which energy, joy, hope, genius, and hopelessness are all processed into something unique and compelling. Overall, while Mr. Martin misses some points, he does a pretty great job of exploring the wide scope of work emerging from this cultural hub by highlighting artists like Joyce Scott, John Waters, Abdu Ali, Shan Wallace, Dan Deacon, and more.

The great thing is that this energy doesn’t stop at the County line. Residents of the region are fortunate to have access to cultural riches throughout the area. Through dance, music, theatre, visual art and other practices, arts and humanities set the table for cross-county cooperation that is sorely lacking in other fields and endeavors.

Recently, I have had the privilege of visiting the Howard County Arts Council and the Arts Council of Anne Arundel County. (Harford, Carroll, and Baltimore Counties are up next!) These visits were not the first but happened now to further foster our regional relationships and to ensure that artists know that the Baker Artist Portfolio, Culture Fly Calendar, and GBCA’s many other services are available to them. Up and running now is Baker Artist Portfolio Howard County Community Landing Page and coming soon, Baker Artist Portfolio Anne Arundel both of which integrate with the overarching Baker Artist Portfolio site.

On the national front, President Trump has again submitted a budget that would zero out funding for the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for Humanities, and other key agencies. For more information and ways to take action, visit the website of our partner, Americans for the Arts. Let’s not only save the endowments, but work to increase funding just as we did last year!

Finally, as we move to the end of Women’s Month, take a moment to get to know Kibibi Ajanku through her GBCA blog post. We have more messages on the way, so we may be sharing additional blogs throughout April!

Happy spring,


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