Spring has sprung and along with the early blooming red buds there is a lot of big thinking going on in and around Baltimore. In my travels this past week, many conversations have revolved around creating a better understanding of the composition of the cultural community and quantifying its valuable contributions to the region. The cultural sector makes this area a more vibrant, successful, livable and interesting place to be. Research (complete and ongoing) is available to aid our efforts through the Maryland Cultural Data Project, Americans for the Arts, Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, Open Baltimore, Art + Justice at MICA and much more. We want to know what might be missing and how GBCA’s Advocacy Committee can use information and models to help articulate a compelling case for support and demonstrate our strengths.
GBCA is also interested in the needs of individual artists. In addition to ever-present funding challenges, what’s next on the list? Affordable health insurance? Access to studio/performance space? And what is GBCA’s role in helping to leverage such resources in a meaningful way? We will be looking for answers in the coming months and year.
On another note, our thanks go out to the Maryland Historical Society and the Maryland Archives for a wonderful and engaging happy hour. Last night, more than 60 people joined us for refreshments and a chance to learn more about two very special installations that tell the story of “The African American Experience through the Lens of Art and Culture.” Now, watch for news about our April 17 Brown Bag “Fear and Loathing: Demystifying the Simple Art of Writing a Grant” and our May 7 Happy Hour at the Eubie Blake National Jazz Institute and Cultural Center.
I look forward to seeing many of you this week at the National Symposium on Arts/Cultural/Entertainment Districts produced by Station North and taking place on April 4 and 5.