The Recipients of the 2017 KENNY AWARD for Commitment to the Arts in Kent County: Diane & Jim Landskroener


Last December, Kent County residents and visitors alike were treated to a delightful stage production of the classic Christmas movie “Miracle on 34th Street” at the Garfield Center for the Arts.  We’ve lost count but we are pretty sure that this is the 1 millionth production that has been produced, directed, or had a cast led by either Jim or Diane Landskroener in the last 40 years. 

All kidding aside, the Landskroeners have been a staple on Kent (and Queen Anne’s) County stages since 1980’s.  Together they have asked some of the most important of life’s questions, such as “who’s on first?” “why is nobody listening?” “to be or not to be?” and even “Is Santa Claus real?”!  Jim and Diane, with colleagues like Vince & Leslie Raimond and Kate Bennett, Kate Schroeder, Vincent Hynson and countless others, have created one of the best, most welcoming environments for theater artists anywhere.  And it doesn’t stop there, they are educators, designers, administrators, and more. 

Together they have co-hosted the annual Dancing with the Stars Event to benefit Horizons of Kent & Queen Anne’s County.  For years Jim has MC’d the wildly popular Chestertown Tea Party Raft Race.  He has been an educator at The Kent School for 30 years, and directs their annual spring musical every year.  He’s also entering the final year of a two term commitment as the Chair of the Board of the Garfield Center for the Arts.  Diane spent 20 years as a graphic designer at Washington College now freelances and donates her time and talent to many nonprofit organizations and her thoughtful and inspired design work can be seen in organizations all over Kent County and across the internet. Having most recently played the creepy Dr. Sawyer in Miracle on 34th Street, she’s also recently directed “Love, Loss and What I Wore” at the Garfield.

Created in 2006, the Kenny Award honors Kent (hence Kenny, like the “Annie” in Anne Arundel County, and the “Howie” in Howard County) County residents who have gone above and beyond in their giving to talent, energy, and resources to increase the quality of life in our County.

We are honored to announce their selection as the 2017 Kenny Award Winner.

The award will be presented on Friday, February 2, 2018 at 7 p.m. at the Garfield Center for the Arts.  All are invited to come an applaud the honorees.  The event is free, but reservations are required.  Please call the Kent County Arts Council at 410-778-3700 to reserve your seats (or email  There will be a light dessert reception following the program.

The Hedgelawn Foundation provides competitive grants to support humanities and arts organizations on Delmarva, and research initiatives in Venice, Italy.  The Foundation’s Board is chaired by Judy Kohl.

The Kent County Arts Council seeks to invest in, infuse, inspire the arts in Kent County Maryland. KCAC provides competitive grant awards for nonprofit arts organizations as well as Project grants for artists and community organizations producing arts programming.

Illustrated Lecture: “Beyond Stereotypes: War, Warriors, and the Creative Arts”



WarFront/HomeFront with new Kent Arts Building in background

The public is invited to an Illustrated Lecture this coming Sunday, November 19, 2017 at 2 p.m. at the Kent County Arts Council Gallery, 101 Spring Avenue, Chestertown, Maryland.

“Beyond Stereotypes: War, Warriors, and the Creative Arts” will be presented by Tara Tappert, Founder and Principal of The Arts & The Military; and, Michael D. Fay, Retired Combat Artist and Founder of The Joe Bonham Project.  Both work with wounded veterans to help foster healing through artistic expression.  The works displayed show war through the eyes of those who lived it – and are still living with war’s impact.

Main Art Gallery in new Kent Arts Building

Tara Tappert, Art Consultant and founder of ThemArts and the Military

Tara Tappert, Founder & Director, The Arts & The Military ( is an Award-winning scholar, researcher, writer, curator, collections manager, archivist/librarian, editor, graduate-level teacher, academic adviser, and tutor for cultural, educational, and business institutions, and for private individuals and families. Her scholarship is focused in 20th c. American craft – particularly as a rehabilitation tool for war trauma and in late 19th and early 20th c. American art and culture– particularly portraiture, biography, women and art, family history, and genealogy. She is also a noted scholar of the portraitist Cecilia Beaux.

Michael D. Fay, artist and founder of WarFront/HomeFront & Joe Bonham Project

Michael D. Fay, Founder, The Joe Bonham Project, first served in the Marines from 1975 to 1978 as an infantry man attaining the rank of sergeant. He left the service to pursue a college degree and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Art Education from the Pennsylvania State University in 1982. He then re-enlisted in the Marines in December 1983 and served on active duty until September 1993. During this ten-year period he served in the Presidential Helicopter Squadron under President Ronald Reagan, and participated in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, Eastern Exit, and Provide Promise campaigns. Seven years later, he enlisted  into the Marine Corps Reserve in January 2000 in order to fill the billet of combat artist with the Field History Department supporting the Historical Division of the Marine Corps.

As an official Marine Corps combat artist, Fay has been mobilized for four extended periods, and has served two tours each in Afghanistan and Iraq. Fay’s paintings and drawings made during these deployments demonstrate how combat looks and feels in a very personal and immediate way. The focus of these works is the human face of war. In images of ordinary people conducting routine business in difficult and unfamiliar circumstances, he reminds us of individual sacrifice and heroism.

Drawings of soldiers in the WarFront/HomeFront Exhibit currently at the Kent County Arts Council Arts Building through Dec. 3.





Grand Opening of Kent County Arts Council’s New Gallery Space


Join us  on Friday, November 3rd – during Downtown Chestertown First Friday – for the opening of the
inaugural exhibition in the new gallery of the Kent County Arts Council (KCAC). We are christening our new space with artwork from The Arts & The Military ART/ifacts Collection and from The Joe Bonham Project. Our inaugural show – War Front / Home Front: Through the Eyes of Our Military – is created in partnership with curator Tara Tappert, Founder and Principal of The Arts & The Military and Michael D. Fay, Founder of The Joe Bonham Project. It is funded, in part, by The Institute for Integrative Health.

The ART/ifacts Collection is the tangible legacy of art-making as activism, and the nature of the work allows for the exploration of military culture, and the history of war, and its costs. Themes include patriotism, nationalism, and perceptions of duty, suffering, heroism, and loyalty. Several grassroots veteran-art groups are represented in the Collection – Button Field Paper, Combat Paper Project, Peace Paper Project, Veterans in the Arts, as well as the work of individual veteran-artists. The Joe Bonham Project is named after the fictional, limbless, faceless protagonist of the 1939 anti-war novel, Johnny Got His Gun, by Dalton Trumbo. The project’s purpose is to show the real face of war and the aftermath of war with artwork that portrays the realities and human consequences of combat. The project distances itself from politics, preferring instead to be seen as apolitical “witness art.”

There will be three special events during the run of the show. All are free and everyone is welcome.
1) Grand Opening – First Friday, November 3rd, 5:00 to 7:30 p.m.
2) Poetry Reading – Medic Against Bomb: A Doctor’s Poetry of War, Frederick Foote, M.D. (CAPT, MC, USN, ret.) – Sunday, November 12, 2:00 p.m.
3) Illustrated Lecture – Beyond Stereotypes: War, Warriors, and the Creative Arts, by Tara Tappert, Founder and Principal, The Arts & The Military; and, Michael D. Fay, (CW02, USMC, ret.) Retired Combat Artist, and Founder, The Joe Bonham Project, Sunday, November 19, 2:00 p.m.

Military Working Dog (for Dave Nevis)
by Patrick Sargent (United States Air Force), silkscreen on paper made from pulped military uniforms, 2015





Kent County Arts Council Gallery Hours:

Wed – Fri: Noon – 6 p.m.
Saturday: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Kent County Arts Council, 101 Spring Avenue / PO Box 330 Chestertown, MD 21620

10th Anniversary Poetry Festival


10th Annual Poetry Festival

Come join in an evening of shared poems to celebrate National Poetry Month. Read a favorite poem, share one that you’ve written, or just show up to listen and enjoy. The Bookplate and the Kent County Arts Council are co-hosting the 10th Annual Poetry Festival at The Bookplate (112 S. Cross Street, Chestertown) on Friday, March 24 from 4 to 7 pm. Email or call 410-778-4167 to reserve a time slot to read, or just drop in to read or listen. Snacks will be provided.

6th Annual Concert Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


The Kent County Arts Council and the Garfield Center for the Arts invite you to attend the 6th Annual “Lift Up Our Voices in Song” concert on Saturday, January 14th at the Garfield Center in Chestertown.

The commemoration in honor of the birthday of Dr. King begins at 5 pm. Admission is free with donations encouraged to the charities supported by the MLK Breakfast Celebration.

mlk2017_fbThis annual performance will recognize the power that music and poetry played in the Civil Rights movements, while celebrating the culture that continues to work for social justice. It is dedicated to the memory of Reverend Clarence Hawkins, a beloved member of our community and fierce advocate of social justice who passed away last year. Reverend Hawkins was the first African American to be elected to the Kent County Commissioners in 1993. He served as president during his last four years with the Commissioners and was the pastor of the Holy Trinity AME church in Edesville. He was an educator in Kent County for 32 years and was an inspiration to those looking for ways to positively effect change in the community.

The program will include performances by Lester Barrett, Jr., The Mt. Olive Praise Team, Andre Sisco, The New Gospelites, The Brian Black Family, and the Gospel Shepherds. There will also be poetry read by Robert Earl Price, comedy from Rakeem Hicks and Rakeem King, and a performance by the praise dancer Alberta Johnson. The emcees for the evening are Reverend Sheila Lomax and George Lomax.

This event is co-sponsored by the Chester Valley Ministers Association Breakfast Celebration, the Kent County Arts Council and the Garfield Center for the Arts. For more information please visit or call the box office at (410)810-2060. The Garfield Center for the Arts at the Prince Theatre is located at 210 High Street in Chestertown.

First Friday: The Paintings of Bill Lewis


The Kent County Arts Council wants you to join them for First Friday in March, as they embark on an inspiring visual journey through one man’s experience with brain cancer.

“The Mistrel” 36 x 48 Acrylic on Canvas

“The Mistrel” 36 x 48 Acrylic on Canvas

While he has been widely recognized as a Renaissance man, most predominantly for his wood work, Bill Lewis has been an artist of multi-media for years. Since being diagnosed in June, he has come back to his roots and once again embraced his role as painter, creating an extensive new body of work. Translating his experience through color, texture and abstract imagery, he navigates the waters of this illness with grace, and an openness for whatever floods in. This is sure to be a riveting show.

Please help spread the word by joining and sharing this event, as well as inviting others in the area. Looking forward to a night filled with an alluring array of colors, mellow tunes, and great friends. There will be a silent auction and raffle the night of the opening reception.

March 4 – March 25, 2016
Opening Reception – First Friday, March 4, 5-8 pm

Closing Party – Friday, March 25, 5-8 pm

Sumner Hall
206 South Queen Street

Andre Sisco to Play Sumner Hall Tonight

Andre Sisco

Andre Sisco

The “History of Emancipation inMaryland and Kent County” exhibit will be open from 4:40-7:30 pm for First Friday at Sumner Hall on Queen Street. If you have not explored Sumner Hall and its showcase of Chestertown’s African American History, or its many events, tonight would be the perfect time.

Gifted musician Andre Sisco will be performing from 6-6:45pm. Come join the fun.

More information about Sumner Hall may be found here.


Sumner Hall Observes Emancipation With Singing Praise Saturday



A Maryland Emancipation Observance at Sumner Hall will be held at 3 pm Saturday, October 31. This hour-long program will feature traditional music provided by The Burke Family Singers, The New Gospelites, Darryl Deaton with Men of Janes Choir with poetry by Robert Earl Price and the new Henry Highland Garnet film.

On November 1, 1864, the State of Maryland amended its constitution to abolish slavery and free all those held in bondage within its borders. Observe the 151st Anniversary of this seminal event at the Charles Sumner Post #25 (Sumner Hall) Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.), 206 South Queen Street.

The event is free.


Juneteenth Gala Returns With Reenactors, Music, and Tribute

Painting by Allen Johnson

Painting by Allen Johnson

On Saturday, June 20th, the Charles Sumner Post, Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) will reprise their annual Juneteenth celebration form 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The event will feature reenactors of 54th Company of Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, music from morning until night, games for children, tours of the historic Sumner Post, soul food, including chitlin’s, crab cakes and a fish fry.

At noon, there will be a gathering at the Colored Soldiers Monument in Memorial Park in downtown Chestertown to lay a wreath in honor of those Civil War heroes who fought to save the nation.

Clara Small will be the keynote speaker.

The Charles Sumner Post #25 is at 206 South Queen Street. The event is sponsored by the Kent County Arts Council.