RiverArts’ Paint the Town is April 24-27, Show & Sale April 26


Excitement is building for Chestertown RiverArts’ 5th annual Paint the Town, April 24-27, when forty-five artists come to Chestertown to paint the charm and beauty of historic downtown and rural Kent County. The public is invited to share in the event activities and to become patrons of Paint the Town.

From last year's Pain the Town: a Chestertown street painting by Michele Byrnes.

From last year’s Pain the Town: a Chestertown street painting by Michele Byrnes.

The artists’ finished works will be on display and available for purchase on Saturday evening, April 26. The Wet Paint Show and Sale at the RiverArts galleries will begin at 5:30 with a special reception, free and open to the public. Patrons for Paint the Town will be invited to enter the Wet Paint Show and Sale at 5:00, a half hour before the general public, giving them first choice of the paintings. Patrons will also have their names listed in the event program and on the RiverArts website. The cost to become a patron is $25. You can register to become a patron online at http://chestertownriverarts.org/events/paint-the-town/.

The reception, show and sale will provide the public with a chance to acquire art at reasonable prices and to meet with the artists themselves. It is not often that one can purchase a painting, take a “selfie” with the artist, and learn the story behind the art.

Plein air painting competitions such as Paint the Town bring artists and the public together, promoting art and enriching the community. Paint the Town is a unique opportunity for the public to watch artists at work, using local settings for their subject. “These paintings are a fabulous affirmation of what an incredible place we live,” said RiverArts president Lani Seikaly.

Young artists will have a special opportunity to participate in Paint the Town. Youth Plein Air will take place on Saturday morning, April 26 in Fountain Park. The works of these young artists will also be displayed outside the RiverArts gallery.

From last year's Paint the Town: a watercolor by Ray Ewing.

From last year’s Paint the Town: a watercolor by Ray Ewing.

At 11:00 on Sunday morning, April 27, the public is invited to take part in the Quick Draw paint-out. Noted artist Lee Boynton will be on hand to judge the Quick Draw. Melinda Carl, coordinator of Paint the Town, said, “We are very fortunate and honored to have Lee Boynton, a well-known painter of light, as our judge for the Quick Draw paint out.” She added, “Not only is Lee a revered painter and instructor, he has been a strong supporter of plein air painting and was instrumental in founding the Mid-Atlantic Plein Air Painters Association.”

The Quick Draw event is also an opportunity to vote for the People’s Choice Award. Judge Lee Boynton will announce the winners at noon.

Following the awards, everyone is encouraged to remain to enjoy the culinary arts. The annual Taste of the Town will feature local chefs, local food, and local beer and wine, from 12:00 to 3:00.

Former Starr Center Fellow Wins Pulitzer Prize


Internal Enemy copy resizedHistorian Alan Taylor, a national expert in Colonial America and the early U.S. republic, this week received a Pulitzer Prize for his book, The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia, 1772-1832, a book that Washington College played a part in supporting. The College’s C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience awarded Taylor its 2012 Frederick Douglass Visiting Fellowship, bringing him to campus that April for a stint of research, writing, and recreation.

The Pulitzer Prize committee commended The Internal Enemy as “a meticulous and insightful account of why runaway slaves in the colonial era were drawn to the British side as potential liberators.” The citation continued: “Taylor’s riveting narrative re-creates the events that inspired black Virginians, haunted slaveholders, and set the nation on a new and dangerous course.” His prize-winning book was shortlisted for a National Book Award, and is also a finalist for the 2014 George Washington Book Prize, cosponsored by Washington College.

Taylor, whose critically acclaimed work is characterized by detailed, groundbreaking research and broadly accessible writing, has received many prestigious awards. This is his second Pulitzer: In 1996, he won the History prize for William Cooper’s Town: Power and Persuasion on the Frontier of the Early American Republic. Taylor was selected in 2011 as a finalist for the Washington Book Prize for The Civil War of 1812: American Citizens, British Subjects, Irish Rebels, & Indian Allies. He was recently appointed to the Thomas Jefferson Chair in American History at the University of Virginia after teaching at the University of California at Davis for 20 years.

During his two-week fellowship at Washington College, Taylor combed local archives, worked on his manuscript, presented a public lecture, visited classes, and toured local War of 1812 sites (including the Caulk’s Field battlefield). Before his departure, he was challenged to an epic townball grudgematch by Associate Professor of History Kenneth Miller, who had been Taylor’s graduate advisee and athletic protégé at the UC Davis. Taylor played for “Team West” while Miller proudly represented “Team East.” Townball is a colonial version of baseball played on the campus green by students, faculty, and staff. In his preface to The Internal Enemy, after thanking the College and Starr Center for their support, Taylor praises the spirit of “justice and decency” that prevailed in the infamous townball match.

“We’re proud of the modest contribution that the Starr Center made to Alan Taylor’s important work,” said Adam Goodheart, the Center’s Hosdon Trust-Griswold Director. “And I think it’s safe to say that this is the only Pulitzer Prize-winning book that has ever given a shout-out to the Washington College townball team.”

Historian Alan Taylor received a Pulitzer Prize for his book, The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia, 1772-1832, a book that Washington College played a part in supporting.

Established through a generous gift from Maurice Meslans and Margaret Holyfield of St. Louis, the Starr Center’s annual Frederick Douglass Visiting Fellowship brings to campus an individual engaged in the study or interpretation of African-American history or a related field. Besides providing the recipient an opportunity for a period of focused research and writing, the fellowship also offers Washington College students and faculty a chance to spend time with some of today’s leading interpreters of African-American culture. Additional grant funds support students who undertake research projects in the field under the mentorship of College faculty.

The winner of the 2014 George Washington Book Prize will be announced at a gala event at Mount Vernon on May 20. In addition to Taylor, this year’s finalists are Andrew Jackson O’Shaughnessy for The Men Who Lost America: British Leadership, the American Revolution, and the Fate of the Empire (Yale); and Jeffrey L. Pasley for The First Presidential Contest: 1796 and the Founding of American Democracy (Kansas). For more information about the prize, please see www.washcoll.edu/gwbookprize.

The College’s C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience is dedicated to fostering innovative approaches to the American past and present.

Public Television to Feature Tilghman Films During Bay Week

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Artist and waterman Bill Cummings, skipjack captain Russell Dize and boatbuilder Johnny Kinnamon are featured in the films Growing up on Tilghman and Another Dawn- Tilghman in Transition.

On Friday, April 25, 2014 at 9 and 9:30 pm,two films produced by the Tilghman Watermen’s Museum will be featured on Maryland Public Television(MPT) during their Bay Week celebration.

The first film,Growing up on Tilghman, features eleven unforgettable island residents as they recall their heritage and share it with future generations. It has been shown nation wide on public television since it’s premier in 2010.

The second film, Another Dawn-Tilghman in Transition, centers on the challenges the watermen face today. The Bay’s bounty is declining, regulations are increasing and the costs of operating a workboat are escalating. This film tells the story of this Island community adapting to a new reality while retaining its traditional values and distinctive character.

Both films are part of the oral history program of the Musuem. Currently five short stories are being developed.
The Tilghman Watermen’s Musuem seeks to preserve the heritage and celebrate the lives and times of the men and woman and families of Tilghman Island and is a 501 c (3) charitable organization staffed entirely by a team of dedicated volunteers.

Blake Thompson: A Blues Journey at the Mainstay, May 3


Blake Thompson: A Blues Journey brings a musical history of the blues and his band to the Mainstay in Rock Hall, Maryland on Saturday May 3 at 8:00 pm as part of the Mainstay’s blues series, MainstayBlues. Admission is $20.

Blake Thompson has made his name as a hard-rocking guitarist with a deep love of the blues, for his blistering rock leads and his powerful blues chops. While he was, for a time a fixture on the local scene, he is now based in New England. This concert marks his return and will let him delve deep into the blues he loves.

This foot-stomping, hard-driving blues journey will travel from the roots of the blues in the rural South with stops along the way in Detroit, San Francisco, Austin, New Orleans, New York and more. Thompson will play everything from acoustic bottleneck slide guitar to an electric set with the full band featuring Kate Russo on violin. Featured will be the blues from Robert Johnson to Muddy Waters, Janis Joplin to Mike Bloomfield, Ry Cooder to Stevie Ray Vaughan and many more mainstays of the blues.

Blake Thompson is originally from Kent County, MD and has toured and or performed with Macy Gray, Steve Miller Band, Dave Matthews Band, The Gin Blossoms, Edwin McCain, Gavin DeGraw, David Crosby and Little Feat, among others. He also performs and tours with singer/songwriter/rock violinist Kate Russo, with his band, The Elliots and with The Blake Thompson Band.

For information and reservations call the Mainstay at 410-639-9133. More information is also available at the Mainstay’s website: mainstayrockhall.org.

The Mainstay (Home of Musical Magic) is the friendly informal storefront performing arts center on Rock Hall’s old time Main Street. It is a non profit dedicated to the arts, serving Rock Hall, MD and the surrounding region. It is committed to presenting local, regional and national level talent, at a reasonable price, in an almost perfect acoustic setting.

Speaker Shares Taste of Coffee for a Cause April 25


On Friday, April 25, Washington College welcomes Tebabu Assefa, founder and ‘chief storyteller’ of the Takoma Park-based benefit corporation Blessed Coffee. His program, “Blessed Coffee: Cultural and Economic Convergence for Sustainable Development,” will take place in Hynson Lounge, Hodson Hall. It will begin at 4 p.m. with a “coffee signing,” followed by a talk at 4:30 p.m. and a coffee tasting reception afterward.

Assefa is a community leader and social entrepreneur who received the Obama Administration’s Champions of Change award for his work with the Virtuous Exchange model. The model encourages direct connections between small farms and producers and the consumer, with the aim of promoting social justice, community resilience, and economic prosperity.

Blessed Coffee, which supports 205,000 coffee farmers in Ethiopia, was the second company in the United States to register as a Benefit Corporation—a hybrid of the profit and non-profit models. In the coffee-growing regions of Ethiopia, for example, Blessed Coffee has shared its profits to help fund schools, health clinics, safe water wells, and other community programming there.

“In Ethiopia, coffee is like wine is to the French,” Assefa once explained to the Gazette newspaper. “It’s a ritual.”

Assefa lives in Takoma Park with his wife and business partner, Sara Mussie, and their children.

Washington College Jazz Combo at the Mainstay, April 27


The Washington College Jazz Combo under the direction of Dr. Kenneth Schweitzer will present a free concert at the Mainstay in Rock Hall, Maryland on Sunday April 27 at 4:00 pm. Donations will be accepted.

The Washington College Jazz Combo is made up of six talented student-musicians under the direction of Washington College Music Department Chair Dr. Kenneth Schweitzer. In addition to a rhythm section, they will feature trumpet, alto saxophone, and flute. For this free concert, they will present an eclectic repertoire, including a wide variety of swing, bebop, Bossa Nova, and Latin jazz standards. In addition to their talented instrumentalists, several of their pieces will feature the wonderful vocal renditions of Kent County’s own Anna Black.

For information and reservations call the Mainstay at 410-639-9133. More information is also available at the Mainstay’s website: mainstayrockhall.org.

The Mainstay (Home of Musical Magic) is the friendly informal storefront performing arts center on Rock Hall’s old time Main Street. It is committed to presenting local, regional and national level talent, at a reasonable price, in an almost perfect acoustic setting.

“How I learned to Drive” Opens This Month at the Garfield Center


The Garfield Center for the Arts at the Prince Theatre presents their first theatrical production of 2014, Paula Vogel’s How I Learned to Drive, opening April 25th.

How I Learned to Drive is a passionate coming-of-age story set in rural Maryland during the 1960s. As Li’l Bit navigates the perils of her teenage years, she must also contend with a noxious relationship with her Uncle Peck as he gives her driving lessons. Told through a series of flashbacks, narrated by an older and wiser Li’l Bit, Vogel describes the show as a “walk down memory lane.”

Directed by Garfield Center Spring 2014 Artist-in-Residence Jeff Woodbridge, How I Learned to Drive stars Washington College senior Rachel Fisher, a newcomer to the GCA stage, as Li’l Bit, alongside Sam Little, Garfield Center production assistant, who is making his onstage debut as Uncle Peck.  GCA veterans Julie Lawrence and Bryan Betley, along with newcomer Sharaea Tiller, fill out the cast as the Greek Chorus, each playing multiple roles.

How I learned to Drive received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1998, the Obie Award for Playwriting in 1997, and the New York Drama Critics Award for best play. Vogel is also the author of  “The Baltimore Waltz” and “The Oldest Profession,” among other plays.

How I Learned to Drive runs April 25th, 26th & 27th, and May 2nd, 3rd & 4th. Friday and Saturday shows are at 8:00pm, with Sunday matinees at 3:00pm. Tickets are $15; students with a valid ID pay $5.

Ticket reservations can be made by emailing boxoffice@garfieldcenter.org, by calling 410-810-2060, or online at garfieldcenter.org.  Box Office hours are Tuesday through Friday 10am-3pm and Saturdays 11am-2pm.  The Garfield Center Box Office is open 90 minutes before show time; main theatre doors open 30 minutes prior to show time.

Note: This show contains adult material and themes, and may not be suitable for all audiences.



Queen Anne’s County Arts Council Offering a Variety of Classes in Visual Arts


The Queen Anne’s County Arts Council has a variety of Visual Arts Classes available in our Summer Class schedule. Our skilled instructors are offering classes designed to renew existing artistic interests and develop new skills. Classes are limited in size to ensure quality individual instruction.

Learn to paint birds. The journey begins with information on avian anatomy as an aide to understanding their characteristics. Instructor Ric Conn will teach a variety of painting techniques with an emphasis on “Painting Birds in Gouache”. Classes will be held Tuesdays May 6 – June 3 from 10-noon.

Enjoy the fun of learning the basics of “One-Stroke” painting, loved by beginners and experienced artists as well! Ann Pyper will provide step-by-step instruction in the painting techniques of using One-Stroke to create beautiful designs…to decorate your home, paint a gift for a friend, or even start your own business. One-Stroke blends, shades and highlights all in one stroke. Painting with acrylics allows you to paint on almost any surface including mirrors, glassware and ceramics, mailboxes, slates, wood, walls, fabric, and canvas. You can find examples of Ann’s work on display at The Creamery. Classes will be held Wednesdays from 1-3 pm May 7-21.

Wye River Designs, Candice Liccione, will offer several classes including her popular “Clay Mosaics”. Take mosaics to a different level by creating your own mosaic pieces and combining them with other elements to create a 12”x 12”mixed media mosaic. Making clay mosaics allows you to personalize a mosaic with names, favorite words or symbols. Join Candace Liccione for an afternoon of rolling out clay, stamping it, painting and embellishing your clay creations for your project. The workshop is June 8 from 1-3 pm.

Make a work of art to wear and learn” Epoxy Clay Jewelry Making”. For those who didn’t win this much sought after piece during Small Works, come and create your own amethyst jewelry with Instructor Janice Colvin. Using two-part epoxy clay and crystals you will design your own incredible necklace and earrings. Class will be held June 14 from 1-3 pm.

Learn to weave a beautiful woven vase with a glass liner in a matter of hours. This is a great project for a group of friends! Award winning local fiber artist and basket weaver, Instructor Heidi Wetzel welcomes all skill levels. Spend an afternoon learning this timeless technique. Class will be held July 26 from 10-2 pm.

Receive discounts on events and classes by signing up for a yearly membership now – $25 individual/$35 family. Visit queenancescountyarts.com for our full listing of classes and events. You can register on our website or call the Arts Council at 410-758-2520. Classes are held at the Queen Anne’s County Centre for the Arts, 206 S. Commerce Street, Centreville, MD 21617 unless otherwise noted.

The Queen Anne’s County Arts Council, Inc., is a non-profit organization committed to promoting, expanding and sustaining the arts.

Tom Stoppard’s “The Real Thing” at the Cadby Theatre at Chesapeake College April 17-19


Written in 1982, “The Real Thing” follows idealistic playwright Henry and his actress wife Annie. Topics explored include marriage, art, love and pop culture.

Patrick Cribben, who is Guest Director at Chesapeake College this year, directs the production and the role of Henry. The cast also includes: Daniel Meeks (Brodie), Danielle Waters (Debbie). Sam Martin (Billy), Michael Beverly (Max), Mary Hacker (Charlotte) and Juliet Smith (Annie).

Patrick Cribben and Danielle Waters appear in Tom Stoppard’s “The Real Thing” in the Cadby Theatre at Chesapeake College April 17-19 at 7:30 p.m.

Patrick Cribben and Danielle Waters appear in Tom Stoppard’s “The Real Thing” in the Cadby Theatre at Chesapeake College April 17-19 at 7:30 p.m.

The show will be presented in the Cadby Theatre, located in the Kent Humanities Building on April 17, 18 and 19 at 7:30 pm. General admission tickets are $12 and student tickets are available for $5. Tickets are available at the door before each performance, or in advance at the Business Office.

For more information, please call 410-827-5825.