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Executive Director's Letter - 2/13/24

Congratulations to the honorees of The Baltimore Sun’s 25 Black Marylanders to watch. We were particularly delighted to see friends of GBCA and the arts community included on the list. Bravo to: Teri Lee Freeman, Executive Director of GBCA member the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture. Terri is also a former member of our Board of Directors. Joanne Martin, President and co-founder, The National Great Blacks in Wax Museum. Maurissa Stone, Organizer, The Black Canni and member of GBCA’s Urban Arts Leadership Teaching Team; SHAN Wallace, Artist, photographer and muralist, and wordsmith, songwriter, poet and Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Partner.

We thank them and all of the honorees for their many contributions to our community!

Today, GBCA staff are participating in Maryland Arts Day, the largest annual gathering of arts professionals in the state. With more than 500 participants representing every county in the state and Baltimore City, this arts advocacy event in Annapolis connects artists, educators, administrators, volunteers and trustees with lawmakers from every legislative district. Maryland Arts Day demonstrates strong support for the arts in Maryland and its impact on the economic and cultural vitality of the state.

Governor Wes Moore's proposed FY 2025 State Budget calls for a record-setting appropriation for the arts. This would mean a $31 million appropriation for the Maryland State Arts Council if fully funded.This year, advocates are asking lawmakers to:

  • Please support fully funding the Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC) at the mandated level of $31 million.
  • Please support fully funding the Arts and Culture Capital Grant Program at $3 million.
  • Please transfer the funds from the Preservation of Cultural Arts to MSAC.
  • Please vote yes on SB 764 – a bill to establish an arts incubator workgroup.

Also, at Arts Day was the announcement of the “Sue Hess Legacy Arts Advocate of the Year Award” which is named in honor of Maryland Citizens of the Arts’ first Chair of the Board of Trustees. The award recognizes an individual whose advocacy efforts have significantly increased support for and public recognition of the Arts in Maryland and this year honors Lorna Green. Green is the Founder and CEO of the Cultural Academy for Excellence, Inc. (CAFE), a nonprofit, arts-in-education organization established in Prince George’s County in 1996. Congratulations!

All my best,

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