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Executive Director’s Letter February 19, 2019

GBCA has two big announcements this week, first about a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and second about the Baker Artist Award Finalists!

National Endowment for the Arts Acting Chairman Mary Anne Carter has approved more than $27 million in grants as part of the Arts Endowment’s first major funding announcement for fiscal year 2019. Included in this announcement is an Art Works grant of $20,000 to Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance (GBCA) for an Urban Arts Leadership Field School. Art Works is the Arts Endowment’s principal program. The agency received 1,605 Art Works applications for this round of grantmaking and will award 972 grants in this category.

Using their inherent expertise in ethical practices for working in community, the Field School will engage folklorists, community scholars, and traditional artists to train UAL fellows on ethnographic documentation and engagement strategies. The pilot will culminate with an exhibition, related programming, and will lay the groundwork for further dissemination of the program throughout Maryland. Once complete, project documents will be archived in a location that ensures the materials are available to area residents.

The GBCA Board of Directors and staff are excited to receive this critical support and recognition from the National Endowment for the Arts for Urban Arts Leadership and the important history of Baltimore's Pennsylvania Avenue. A new Field School that is led by folklorists will significantly advance the understanding of ethical practices for community engagement for cultural organizations and artists throughout the region and state. We are especially pleased to be working with our partners Coppin State University, Maryland Tradition of Maryland State Arts Council, Sankofa Dance Theater, Motor House, University of Maryland Baltimore County, and others.

By engaging folklorists as trainers, the UAL Fellows can gain practical and visionary skills that can be put into practice throughout their careers in the arts.The Field School will create a comprehensive plan that includes research, curriculum development, training, and an exhibition.

Now on to the Baker Artist Portfolio! It is with great excitement, GBCA extends its congratulations to the 2019 Baker Artist Award Finalists. You can see all of the 36 artists below! Then keep your eye out for a series of events that will honor and feature this very talented group from throughout the Baltimore region.

Be careful out there in the impending wintery mess!


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