2012 Election and Hurricane Sandy

Executive Director’s Letter
November 6th, 2012

This is it: the campaigns have wound down and it’s time to get out there and vote. Lest you think the outcome of the election is irrelevant to the cultural community, make sure you take a look at how the respective parties and candidates stand with regard to funding and support for arts and culture.

The Baltimore region largely dodged the bullet with hurricane Sandy hitting our unfortunate neighbors to the north with full force. As the Red Cross, Salvation Army, and a host of heroic first responders have descended to render aid, artists, musicians and others have rallied to raise support for the storm’s victims. While food, shelter, and safety are top concerns, the storm has also had a devastating effect on an important economic sector– New York’s cultural community.

From individual artists to galleries to Broadway theatres– cancelled performances, destroyed property, and ruined work are a reality in a city that is known as an important home and travel destination for the arts. The Stryker blog not only tells an artist’s story, but also catalogues the possible sources of support and help specifically for artists. While encouraging, the consequences of the storm may be a harbinger for a lasting and structural change for the city.

This makes us mindful of the need to plan for our own emergencies in the Baltimore region. In the event of local natural disaster, let alone zoning violations, fires, or other calamities, to whom will our artists turn to for assistance? This is a good time to begin that discussion.

In the meantime, if you haven’t done so already get out there and exercise your right to vote. In addition to choosing a President, Marylanders are voting on a number of critical issues including marriage equality and the Dream Act– your vote matters.

All the best,
Jeannie

P.S. Baltimore Jazz Alliance recently launched a new, improved version of its web site. Under a jazzier masthead, features include newsletter articles, both three-day and five-week jazz calendars, a jazz map for the metro area, and more. Check it out!

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