Mark your calendars for October 17th!

October 2nd, 2012

If you are in Baltimore City, mark your calendar for October 17. GBCA and the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts are co-presenting Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s Cultural Town Hall meeting. It will be moderated by Tom Hall of WYPR and Baltimore Choral Arts, and will take place at the American Visionary Art Museum.

In this incredible moment, in this vibrant city, it has never been more important to demonstrate our strength as a sector—artists, cultural institutions, history and heritage initiatives, attractions—and to embrace the urgency of partnering with local government.

You are the faces of $388.2 million in economic impact to Baltimore City, let’s show the Mayor what you look like! We expect to pack the house and hope you will show up when the doors open at 6:00pm.

We will be taking written questions for the Mayor from the audience, but we hope you will also submit your thoughts in advance on our Facebook Timeline and through Twitter (#BmoreTownHall). The more input we get online, the more possible it will be to focus questions on the burning needs of the community. This will also allow you to see what other folks are thinking. Since there won’t be time to get to all of them, questions not covered that evening will be shared with the Mayor and we’ll post her follow-up answers on the GBCA website.

As if the Mayor’s presence wasn’t enough, the evening will include the debut of a new video celebrating Baltimore’s emerging arts scene with a nod to organizations small and large that have helped create an environment in which they can thrive. Plus, the video features many of your favorite artists and friends.

Randy Cohen from Americans for the Arts will also make a brief presentation on his recent report, The Arts and Economic Prosperity IV in The City of Baltimore.

Finally, let’s remember to value our cultural treasures. It deeply saddened me to hear that the medieval marketplace in the Old City of Aleppo in Syria was destroyed during fighting this past weekend. From the bombing of London during World War II to the current destruction of historic and holy sites in the Middle East; war, fragile economies, and religious and political strife have cause the looting and destruction of historic treasures and irreplaceable artwork. Although we live in comparative calm in the United States, we should always be wary when clouds of intolerance gather and rain hatred on art, free expression, and symbols of our history and culture.

All the best,

P.S. Last week I mentioned the successful transition of Single Carrot and Glass Mind Theatre Company from the temporarily shuttered Load of Fun to other venues. Unfortunately, In Flight Theatre is still searching for a home for classes and rehearsals. Due to the unique apparatus required for their work, they need to find a space with a ceiling height of 14 to 18 feet, a smooth floor, and open hardwood rafters. If you can be of help, contact Mara Neimanis at


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