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Executive Director's Letter - 6/27/23

As we say goodbye to June, we will remember it as a time to engender respect and honor the unity of the human spirit. Juneteenth was a time to learn, celebrate, and to contemplate the true meaning of freedom and independence for formerly enslaved African Americans in the United States. And, at time of backlash against LGBTQIA family, Pride month highlighted the need to safeguard and celebrate the communities' many contributions. Let’s continue our thoughtful relationships with one another for more than a day, a week, or a month and affirm our commitment to equity.

In that vein, last Thursday, GBCA’s 2023 Urban Arts Leadership Fellows, Juan Ogando, Tracy Stevens, and Adriana Vélez, celebrated their graduation at Motor House, with a reception that followed at Nancy by SNAC. It was an inspiring evening that kicked off with a message to the Fellows from Mayor Brandon M. Scott who was in attendance along with City Council President Nick J. Mosby.

Also in attendance were many members of the Urban Arts Leadership Advisory Council, chaired by Dr. Garey Hyatt, GBCA Board member and Director of Coppin State University Fine Arts Department. Kevin Apperson, president of the GBCA Board of Directors and CIO of Maxim Healthcare spoke on behalf of the many Board members in attendance. We were also pleased to welcome Judges Nancy Alquist and Judge Marvin Garbis. Judge Garbis sits on the Board of the Saul Zaentz Charitable Foundation, a leading supporter of GBCA.

As we look forward to July, there continues to be a great deal to celebrate. In the coming week, GBCA is sponsoring two important events. The first is a jazz concert that takes place this weekend and honors the many contributions of Carl and Barbara Grubbs to the arts and families of Baltimore. This free event has been organized by Intersections of Change and will take place from 5-8pm on Saturday, July 1, at 1947 Pennsylvania Avenue. Thank you to the great Baker Artist Award winner, musician Todd Marcus, for conceiving and bringing this tribute to life. Carl and Barbara are treasures.

On July 4, from 1-10pm, GBCA is supporting the Youth Resiliency Institute’s 7th Annual Cherry Hill Arts & Music Waterfront Festival. The Youth Resiliency Institute (YRI), in partnership with the Cherry Hill Community Coalition and the Cherry Hill Family Congress, will host the event at Waterfront Festival at Middle Branch Park (3301 Waterview Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21230). The festival, which includes fireworks, is free, family friendly, alcohol free and open to the public. The theme of this year’s festival is “Healing through the Arts.” You can see more information about the festival here.

To provide greater visibility for artists who have an active portfolio on the Baker Artist Portfolios website, GBCA has joined the WTMD First Thursday concert series by launching the Baker Artist Village. This is a great opportunity for concert attendees to meet locally-based artists, and to add to, or start a personal art collection. The free concerts take place at Canton Waterfront Park throughout the summer, with the next event happening on July 6. Thank you to WIlliam G. Baker, Jr. Foundation for continuing to creatively expand its support for artists!

Enjoy your summer,


P.S. Congratulations to GBCA Member Baltimore Choral Arts Society who partnered with Maryland Public Television to produce "Dreamer" about their 2022 commission of Baltimore composer Jasmine Barnes. This weekend, they won a Capital (regional) EMMY award! You can watch the show with this link.

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