Executive Director’s Letter
August 14, 2012
Last week, Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance was asked to participate in hosting a delegation of ten arts leaders from throughout Poland participating in the International Visitor Leadership Program. The purpose of this visit to four American cities was to study “The Role of Culture in the Development of Local Communities.”
It’s refreshing to see your environment through the lens of a visitor. During our discussion, we talked about Baltimore’s assets, including the availability of affordable live-work spaces like H&H and the Cork Factory. Because this so piqued their interest, we were able to make arrangements with AREA 405 for the group to take an impromptu tour. Thanks to Stewart Watson and her patient family, the delegation not only toured the artist studios, but also her home.
For the Poles, Baltimore represents an example of how to energize a community thorough art and the presence of artists. At a time when the Polish economy has slowed, these cultural leaders are proactively exploring the role culture plays in engaging and inspiring communities large and small. Baltimore should celebrate our position as a leader in this regard.
And there was even a little commerce. Maria Daszko met artist Breon Gilleran at work in AREA 405 and was interested in purchasing a sculpture for the grounds of her school in Platerow. WOW!
There are many events brewing for this fall. Be sure to mark your calendar for “Financial Education for the Creative Leaders of Baltimore’s New Economy” September 24 and October 29, Maryland Citizens for the Arts’ “Innovations in Capacity Building for the Arts” on October 24, and the Mayor’s Cultural Town Hall Meeting on October 17 (details are forthcoming).
P.S. Check out the moving work of Gigi Mckendric in What Weekly and particularly her response to the 1972 Munich Olympics tragedy.