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Grateful for Load of Fun, Looking Forward to the Motor House, an Exciting New Study in Baltimore City and the Mayor's Cultural Town Meeting

There is a myth about the overnight sensation. You know, the unknown superstar who rises to fame and fortune seemingly out of nowhere. The idea that success comes in a meteoric rise is reinforced by the exceptional experience of the occasional Justin Bieber who first broke out as a Youtube sensation. In the cultural world, we fight against this stereotype because it undervalues the hard work, the training, artistry, mastery of craft, determination, the years of hard work and sometimes sacrifice involved in creating artistic excellence. What’s that old adage about five percent inspiration and 95% perspiration?

That’s what came to mind when reading Jacques Kelley’s recent article about the Motor House development in Station North. The piece skipped from the building’s early years as a car dealership, to the present day, while ignoring its vital energy during the Load of Fun years. Now at a tipping point (or maybe just past), the transformation of North Avenue becomes more and more visible and it is all too easy to overlook all the hard work that has taken place in more recent history. Thank you to Station North Arts and Entertainment District's Executive Director, Ben Stone, for his thoughtful response and for calling out the visionary artists and neighbors who stepped into action so early on. We too are grateful to the many early efforts of individuals and are excited about Baltimore Arts Realty Corporation's (BARCO) commitment to ensuring that the former Load of Fun will remain an arts hub and its spirit will be honored.

Thanks to those of you who were able to come out yesterday evening to learn more about Making a Home for Art in Sacred Places and the Doris Duke Funded study for Baltimore, and thank you to First and Franklin Presbyterian Church for being such gracious hosts. If you were unable to make it, you can still participate in the associated study. If fact, we hope you will!

Baltimore is a part of a three-city study about the current state of available spaces for artists to develop their work. Rehearsals, offices, performances - all of it! Partners for Sacred Places, a national nonprofit dedicated to the preservation and sound stewardship of the country’s older historic, religious properties, is working to ascertain the need of the artists in Baltimore for spaces, as well as to identify local religious institutions that have unused or underused venues. You are invited to take part in the study by filling out a short survey, and to sign up to participate in one of the upcoming focus groups. For more information, please visit our website.

The countdown is on! Be absolutely sure to mark your calendar for the Mayor’s Cultural Town Meeting next Tuesday, October 15, 6:30pm at the Maryland Historical Society. The event is produced by Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts in partnership with GBCA and will be moderated by John Schratwieser, Executive Director of Maryland Citizens for the Arts.

See you next week!


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