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Executive Director's Letter - 9/19/23

Last week was National Arts in Education Week, but we think it should be celebrated every day! Thanks to Mayor Brandon M. Scott, this week of September 18 has been declared ‘Arts and Culture Week’ in Baltimore!

Passed by Congress in December of 2010 through House Resolution 275, the celebration is designated to bring attention to this cause for elected officials and educational decision makers across the country, and to support equitable access to the arts for all students.

Multiple research studies support the notion that students who engage in the study of the arts perform better in math, reading, and writing. The Arts Education Partnership performed a meta-analysis of 62 studies that revealed that students who study music have increased achievement and proficiency in math. Reading and cognitive development were found to increase, as were verbal SAT scores.

The same study shows that the visual arts have a positive impact on students’ ability to organize their writing. Sophisticated reading skills are promoted as well, including the ability to interpret complex texts, such as those found in science courses. Students that take a combination of arts programs demonstrate improved verbal, reading, and math skills, and also show a greater capacity for higher-order thinking skills such as analyzing and problem-solving.(Public School Review)

In Maryland, the arts (Dance, Media Arts, Music, Theatre, and Visual) are core subjects, as stated in the Code of Maryland Annotated Regulations (COMAR), making arts education a right for all students. Arts Education is a Civil and Human Right is the driving force behind the advocacy initiatives of Arts Education in Maryland Schools (AEMS). You can learn more about their work on the AEMS website. While you're at it, check out the amazing efforts of two GBCA member organizations, Arts Everyday and Arts for Learning Maryland.

Artscape is back! This Friday, September 22 through Sunday, September 24, America’s largest free outdoor arts festival returns to Baltimore, and will celebrate our incredible cultural community with visual art exhibitions, music performances, culinary delights, community gathering spaces, immersive family youth experiences, an artist marketplace, and more. Many GBCA member organizations and individual artists will be participating.

2022 Baker Artist Mary Sawyers Imboden Award winner Ernest Shaw will be featured in Artscape’s B 23 Exhibit. On Sunday, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra will perform from 3 - 4:30pm. As part of their In the Neighborhood initiative, Artscape is also highlighting key community events, including MICA Weekend, Nate Bargatze’s performances at The Lyric, and the WordSmith Baltimore event at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum. For more information on Artscape’s performances and programming, be sure to visit

Great news regarding access to Artscape and other events taking place in the city this upcoming weekend: In honor of World Car Free Day on Sept. 22, the Maryland Transit Authority won’t charge for rides on local and commuter buses, Metro SubwayLink, light rail, MARC trains and MobilityLink van service. Driving to Artscape? Make sure you review the Department of Transportation’s list and map of this week’s event-related traffic accommodations and road closures.

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As a member of GBCA, you will not only gain access to wonderful benefits, but you will also become an active participant in a broader cultural community. Your organization and employees will directly benefit from opportunities to collaborate, connect, learn, network and share with your colleagues in the cultural community. Join our growing constituency of over 300 individual artists and organizations representing the region's extraordinary range of arts, culture, history, heritage, humanities, and attractions.

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