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Executive Director's Letter - 1/24/23

Last week, I had the pleasure of participating in a conversation with GBCA Board member and Co-Founder of The Youth Resiliency Institute, Navasha Daya and Baltimore Creatives Accelerator Network Executive Director, Maggie Villegas on WYPR’s Midday with Tom Hall. Tom brought us together to discuss the future of the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts (BOPA). It was a great opportunity to point out the importance of the cultural sector to the City and the critical need to strategize and secure funding at this pivotal moment for the City’s arts council. You can listen in to the conversation here.

It's a week of great news for the cultural community! Last Thursday, Arena Players announced the award of a $4 million-dollar federal grant. Supporters and sponsors of the funding, Senators Ben Cardin, Chris Van Hollen, and Congressman Mfume were present to make the award in person to Chairman of the Board and Former State Senator Larry Young. Joining them onstage were Arena Players' Director of Operations and Youththeater Director, Catherine Orange; and Artistic Director Donald Owens.

Arena Players is a Baltimore gem and the oldest continually performing and historically African American community theater in the United States. This federal grant, plus an additional $1.2 million from the State of Maryland, will allow Arena Players to begin and complete long-planned, comprehensive renovations to the building.

Kudos to the American Visionary Art Museum (AVAM) who, for the second consecutive year, has been nominated in the category of “Best Art Museum,” as part of USA Today’s “Ten Best” Readers' Choice Awards. AVAM is the only Maryland museum to be nominated this year and is among museums such as the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, the Getty Center in Los Angeles, and the Detroit Museum of Art also nominated. Those wishing to vote may do so once per day until polls close on Monday, February 13 at noon ET. The winning museums, as determined by the most votes, will be announced on Friday, February 24, 2023. To vote for AVAM, click here. The full list of museums nominated in the “Best Museum” category can be found here.

Last but not least, Arts Every Day is presenting a Dance and Theater Open House hosted by Chesapeake Shakespeare Company on Tuesday, February 7, 2023, from 3-5 p.m. This is a great opportunity for principals and educators to connect with arts organizations that can help you connect with immersive dance and theater performances, residencies, workshops, and classes designed to benefit your students. You can RSVP here through February 6, 2023. And for teaching artists, on February 11, 2023, from 10:30 a.m - 1 p.m. Chesapeake Shakespeare Company and Single Carrot Theatre will be co-presenting a hiring expo. All teaching artists are invited to engage and connect with local theaters and learn more about opportunities within their education programs. Click here to learn more and register for the expo.

Thank you to all our friends who made contributions to GBCA at the end of the year. You make it possible for our work to continue. For those of you who haven’t yet made your gift, it’s not too late! You can make a secure online donation right now by following this link.

Have a great week,


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