Maryland Humanities Announces Next Stop of Smithsonian Traveling Exhibition

Share

Maryland Humanities is pleased to announce that its statewide tour of The Way We Worked, a Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibition, will move to its second stop in Chestertown on March 31. Sumner Hall (G.A.R. Post #25) will host the exhibition and along with its principal partner, Washington College’s C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience, will feature companion exhibits and programming across the county highlighting Kent County’s work history.

The grand opening on March 31 will feature a reception and preview party honoring exhibition producers, organizers, sponsors, partners, elected officials, and community volunteers, as well as a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The preview party will be held from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. at the Sultana Education Foundation, located just two blocks away from Sumner Hall. The ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held at 6:30 p.m. on the front steps of Sumner Hall. After the ceremony, participants will be invited to preview the exhibition in small groups.      

The companion exhibition at Sumner Hall, The Black Labor Experience in Kent County, will feature four displays:  (1) theStory of the Founders of Sumner Hall and the 471 African Americans who served with the Union forces during the Civil War;  (2) an exploration of the contribution of Free and Enslaved Labor in Kent County – from the Revolutionary War-era through the end of the 19th Century; (3) Tools of the Trades:  a display of traditional farm, fishing, household, and office “tools” used in Kent County; and (4) contemporary stories – Oral Work Histories  of Community Members.  There will also be a Kids Corner with hands-on activities for young children. 

The C. V. Starr Center is also offering three special events:  (1) a keynote lecture by Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed:  On (Not) Getting By in America; (2) Choppin’ at the Shop  – an original multimedia work of music, the art of conversation, and photography as it relates to African Americans who work or have worked in Kent County; and (3) A Walk Through Working Chestertown.  In addition, more than fifteen other venues across the county are hosting exhibits, lectures, and programs celebrating workers in the community. 

Nina Johnson, executive director of Sumner Hall, said:  “Hosting this exhibition has given us a unique opportunity to explore the rich history of the way we have worked in our communities across Kent County.   The Museum on Main Street project has allowed our community to come together in creative ways to identify individual stories and to document them. It has been a rewarding experience to see how our collaboration with Washington College, the Kent County Public Schools, the Historical Society of Kent County, the Sultana Educational Foundation, the Museums of Kent, the Kent County Public Library, and other local organizations and businesses has resulted in an exciting menu of educational and cultural programs across the county. While we are proud of all these offerings, our companion exhibition that showcases the contributions of Kent County African American workers from the 1650s to the present is especially important. The Way We Worked initiative has truly been a ‘win-win’ experience for everyone!”

“We’re delighted to bring The Way We Worked to five small communities across the state and celebrate Maryland’s diverse and engaging work history, from the paper and steel mills of the 19th Century to the technology boom of today. We hope you’ll join us in exploring the rich local history unearthed through each community’s companion exhibit and programming,” said Phoebe Stein, executive director of Maryland Humanities.

The Way We Worked will be on view at Sumner Hall March 31–May 20, 2017. Sumner Hall is located at 206 South Queen Street in Chestertown, Maryland. Learn more at sumnerhall.org.

Shakespeare Scholar Phyllis Rackin Visits the Literary House April 4

Share

Phyllis Rackin, the author of numerous books discussing Shakespeare and literary theory through a feminist scope, and a mentor to countless scholars including some of Washington College’s own, will speak at the Rose O’Neill Literary House on April 4. A professor emeritus of English at the University of Pennsylvania, Rackin will close out this academic year’s Sophie Kerr Lecture Series. The event starts at 4:30 and is free and open to the public, and will be followed by a book signing.

Rackin, a past president of the Shakespeare Association of America, mentored Kate Moncrief, professor of English and chair of Washington College’s Department of English, as well as assistant professor Courtney Rydel. She’s the author of numerous articles on Shakespeare and literary theory, and of four books: Shakespeare’s Tragedies (World Dramatists, 1978), Stages of History: Shakespeare’s English Chronicles (Cornell, 1990), Shakespeare and Women (Oxford, 2005), and, with Jean E. Howard, Engendering a Nation: A Feminist Account of Shakespeare’s English Histories (Routledge, 1997). She co-edited another book, The Merry Wives of Windsor: New Critical Essays, with Evelyn Gajowski (Routledge, 2014).

A recipient of the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching, Rackin’s landmark accomplishments have been honored with the Phyllis Rackin Graduate Fellowship for Feminist Scholarship in the Humanities and the annual Phyllis Rackin Lecture hosted by the Penn Medieval/Renaissance Seminar.

For more information on this and other English Department and Sophie Kerr events, visit the website at https://www.washcoll.edu/departments/english/events.php. For more information on the Literary House, visit http://www.washcoll.edu/centers/lithouse/.

Spy Moment: Kenny Award Presented to Red Devil Moon Cast

Share

The Kent County Arts Council and the Hedgelawn Foundation gave the Hedgelawn Kenny Award annually for excellence and service in the arts in Kent County Maryland a few nights ago. The 2016 award goes to the Creators and Cast of Red Devil Moon, which performed highlights at the Garfield Center for the Arts, on Wednesday, March 22, 2017.

Recipients include: Robert Earl Price (Book & Narrator), Pam Ortiz (Music, Lyrics & Musician), Principal Singers Karen Somerville, Lester Barrett, Jr., and Jerome McKinney, and Musicians of the Pam Ortiz Band, Ray Anthony, Tom Anthony, Nevin Dawson, Philip Dutton, Bob Ortiz, and Ford Schumann.

Leslie Prince Raimond, director of the Kent County Arts Council, and Judy Kohl, director of the Hedgelawn Foundation awarded the Kenny, which this year was designed by Rob Glebe.

Hee is Leslie’s opening remarks:

“I’m Leslie Prince Raimond, director of Kent County Arts Council, and this is Judy Kohl, director of Hedgelawn Foundation

It is our great pleasure and privilege to have been involved in the Arts of Kent County for decades. Our Community continues to support and appreciate all forms of Arts and Humanities, and it is this that strengthens us. It is very exciting to once again present the Hedgelawn KENNY award given for excellence and service in the arts in Kent County, Maryland.

Our program tonight offers, once again, the chance for all of us to celebrate this contribution to our lives by these incredible artists through the universal language of music and poetry.

…. And to quote actor Wendell Pierce, That’s what art is, a form in which people can reflect on who we are as human beings and come to some understanding of this journey we are all on.

As we grapple with the concepts of society’s struggle for freedom, and equality, we can be moved by the ARTS to help us understand. Our amazingly talented cast and creators of Red Devil Moon bring us the story.”

This video is approximately for minutes in length

7th Annual Empty Bowls is Set for Monday March 27

Share

The community is invited to enjoy a meal of soup, bread, and dessert in a keepsake handmade pottery bowl at the 7th Annual Empty Bowls on Monday, March 27. This event raises funds for the Kent County Food Pantry, and is held at the Garfield Center, 210 High Street in downtown Chestertown.
RiverArts Clay Studio artists created the bowls, which are a reminder of all the empty bowls in the world. The Chestertown Ukulele Club will provide entertainment.
This event is sponsored by the RiverArts Clay Studio, the Garfield Center for the Arts, Kent County Arts Council, Bookplate, MassoniArt, Mimi’s Closet, Peaceful World Enterprise, and Welcome Home.

No one should go to bed hungry.

Reservations are required. There are two seatings, 5 pm and 6:30 pm. For tickets please call the Garfield Center box office at 410 810 2060, or go online at www.garfieldcenter.org and click on all events.

Broadway Stars Performing at the Garfield

Share

The board of directors of the Garfield Center for the Arts are proud to announce the Theatre’s 2017 gala fundraiser; Broadway by the River! Hosted by Marti Gould Cummings and featuring an evening of intimate performances and conversations with cast members Brandon Hudson of Hamilton and Michelle Dowdy of Hairspray, Broadway by the River will deliver some of that “Big Apple” theatre magic to Chestertown on Friday, April 7th at 8pm.

Marti Gould Cummings (formerly of Kennedyville) is a comedian and host who most recently hosted the PBS show SIP N CHAT on New York’s WNET Channel 13. He can be seen as a regular guest host on MTV Live with Mike Kelton and weekly at his Broadway talk show, Stage Fright, that has featured over 25 Tony Award winners and nominees as guests. His comedy concerts have sold out across the country and in London. As an actor he was featured off Broadway in the Drama Desk nominated musical Twist, at Webster Hall in Life & Death of Kenyon Phillips directed by Tony Award winner Cady Huffman and on the hit NBC sitcom 30 Rock. For more info www.martigcummings.com

Brandon Hudson moved from St. Louis in 2013 with a bachelors degree in Dance from Lindenwood University. His most recent credits include: Hamilton: An American Musical on Broadway, the national tour of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, the international tour of West Side Story, a 2017 Mark Webb film The Only Living Boy in NY and a lab series by Estée Lauder.

Michelle Dowdy played Baltimore’s leading lady, Tracy Turnblad in the 2005-2008 Original Broadway Cast of Hairspray. Other theatre credits include: Regional: The Wild Party, Hairspray (RCL), Songs for a New World and The Vagina Monologues. She is a nightlife and cabaret Artist. Her one-woman show, A Brass Act, debuted at 54 Below and you can find it on iTunes. Hudson and Dowdy will be joined by Cummings for some of their singing performances.

Cummings wanted to share some of the NYC theatre world with the community where he grew up, and the Garfield was the perfect venue. He writes, “As my career grows I want to bring a little of that Broadway energy to the Eastern Shore.” Those lucky enough to get tickets will be able to hear Hudson and Dowdy perform songs from their respective shows, without paying the Broadway ticket price.

Tickets to this exciting event are expected to sell out. Limited VIP “Broadway Pass” tickets are $100 each and include front row table seating as well as entrance to an exclusive meet-and-greet with the performers after the show. Tickets for the front row of the balcony are $75, and general admission is $50. Tickets can be purchased online at www.GarfieldCenter.org, by calling 410-810-2060 or in person at the Garfield Box Office, located at 210 High Street in Chestertown. Purchase your tickets now to show your support for the Garfield’s mission of nurturing, celebrating and supporting the arts and artists through performance and education.

Kent County Fifth Graders Learn About Art and Science

Share

On March 11 and March 18, Kent County Public Schools’ art teacher, Aimee Boumiea and three elementary students visited David and Patti Hegland in their glassmaking studio in downtown Chestertown. The students were chosen through an essay contest, and the winners were those with the best response to why they wanted to learn about making glass.

The students had an opportunity to learn about the science behind art glass while they created artistic pieces of their own. One of the concepts they studied was “Equilibrium thickness” which is the thickness to which glass will naturally settle after being melted, about 1/4 inch. The students got to observe how large pieces will expand or flatten out to that thickness, and thinner pieces of glass retract to that size when they are cooled. They also learned about reactive colors. Glass is colored with different elements and when those elements come in contact with each other in the melting process, it produces a halo of a new reactive color.

Patti and David Hegland of Hegland Glass work with students from area elementary schools to create glass art

The program is part of the Arts in Motion program through Kent County Public Schools and was sponsored through a grant from the John Ben Snow Memorial Trust. The idea for the program came from Tom McHugh, KCPS Facilitator for Fine Arts, and was championed by Fine Arts Supervisor Gina Jachimowicz as a great way for students to see art and science in action. McHugh reached out to Patti and David Hegland who were eager to participate. The Heglands are nationally recognized fine artisans, having won the Niche award for glass in 2013 as well as being finalists for the award in 2014 and 2015. They began a second career as glass artists in Chestertown after leaving successful careers in engineering and finance.

When asked about their participation, David Hegland stated that they are supporters of public education and had a great time with the students. He stated, “It’s amazing how quickly the kids learned and were able to put together their own pieces of glass art. They gained an understanding of the physics of glass and had fun composing their own works of art.” Each student left the program with one or two pieces of glass art that they created as well as a better understanding of how scientific concepts are applied in the real world.

The High and Wides at the Mainstay

Share

The High and Wides bring their eclectic Americana roots music to The Mainstay in Rock Hall, Maryland on Friday March 31, 2017 at 8:00 p.m. Admission is $15 in advance and $18 at the door. Information and advance ticket sales are available at the Mainstay’s website http://www.mainstayrockhall.org and reservations to pay at the door can be made by calling 410-639-9133.

The High and Wides play music inspired by the days when the lines blurred between bluegrass, old-time, country, boogie, blues, rockabilly and western swing. It is upbeat and rocks out but still has that deep sense of its roots.

The band features three veterans of the long-time Eastern Shore bluegrass band Chester River Runoff: Marc Dykeman on guitar and vocals, Sam Guthridge on banjo/mandolin and vocals and Nate Grower on fiddle. The fourth member is jazz bass player Mike Buccino.

The High and Wides perform a wide assortment of material, from old-time brother duets to original material that defies convention. All of their music is informed by their years of playing bluegrass at clubs and festivals up and down the East Coast.

At The Mainstay, the band will be previewing material from their upcoming recording to be released later this year.

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 501(c)(3), nonprofit 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. Wine, beer, sodas and snacks are available at the bar.

The Mainstay is supported by ticket sales, fundraising including donations from friends and audience members and an operating grant from the Maryland State Arts Council.

The Mainstay sells advance tickets online through Instant Seats. Information and advance ticket sales are available on the Mainstay’s website http://www.mainstayrockhall.org. Follow the Buy Tickets link to buy tickets at the advance price. If you would rather pay at the door, you can make a reservation by calling 410-639-9133 and paying by cash or check at the door.

Upcoming Mainstay performances include:

April 3 – Mainstay Monday: Joe Holt welcomes Pam & Bob Ortiz
April 7 – The Tom Lagana Group featuring George Garzone
April 10 – Mainstay Monday: Joe Holt welcomes Max Murray on bass
April 15 – Charlie Byrd Tribute with Chuck Redd, Nate Najar with special guests Maucha Adnet, vocals and Harry Allen, sax
April 17 – Mainstay Monday: Joe Holt welcomes Jodie Littleton and Pres Harding on guitar and vocals
April 21 – The Steve Giordano Trio

Mid-Shore Arts: Kevin Garber and His Birds

Share

Kevin Garber’s road to the Eastern Shore, like many artists, was not a direct one. A native of Pennsylvania, Kevin headed west rather than stay on the East Coast to pursue his career in the fine arts, and eventually became a professor of printmaking and drawing at Washington University in St. Louis. And in that capacity, he was part of the famed Island Press, perhaps the most highly respected printmaking workshop in the country.

During that time, Garber was at the forefront of some of the innovative printing techniques that pushed printmaking into the high ranks of contemporary visual arts in the 1980s and 1990s. Working alongside such renowned American artists as Nick Cave, Tom Friedman, Willie Cole, and Ann Hamilton, Kevin devoted most of his energy to the workshop and his students and put on hold his lifelong passion for drawing and painting birds.

But after decades in St. Louis, Kevin, and his wife, Kathy Bosin, made the difficult decision to return to the Mid-Atlantic to be closer to aging parents in 2008. And with that move, Kevin finally returned to his first love of capturing birds on canvas.

The results of that return can now be seen at the Trippe-Hilderbrandt Gallery in Easton this month. From large scale watercolor monoprints to tiny renderings of birds from around the world, Garber practices his drawing skills and mark-making with these simple shapes to indicate a more complex view of the natural world.

The Spy spent a few minutes with Kevin at the Bullitt House last week to talk about his birds and his return to painting.

This video is approximately two minutes in length. There will be an opening reception on Friday April 7 from 5-8 during Easton’s First Friday Gallery Walk. The Trippe-Hilderbrandt is located at 23 N Harrison Street. For more information, please go here 

Peabody Conservatory Children’s Opera at the Garfield

Share

The Peabody Conservatory of Music’s opera department will be at the Garfield Center for the Arts at 10am on Tuesday, March 28th with a performance of Papageno! This special morning show is part of the Garfield Center’s Educational Outreach Program and is made possible by support from the Kent County Arts Council and the Hedgelawn Foundation. Papageno! is a 55–minute condensation of Mozart’s opera The Magic Flute and is ideal for a younger audience.

 

The main plot thread of the original opera is maintained, but the whole thing is presented from Papageno’s point of view, with the other characters as adjuncts to his story. Those familiar with the opera will note that the roles of Papageno, Papagena, Monostatos, and the three Ladies are virtually complete; Tamino, Pamina, and the Queen of the Night sing about half their music; and Sarastro and all the priestly characters are omitted. The roles of The Queen of the Night and Papagena are doubled by two of the three Ladies.

The Educational Outreach Program at the Garfield Center offers bi-annual high quality multi-cultural performances as a field trip opportunity to the local public and private schools. Tickets are $5, with special rates available for school groups. Tickets for individuals can be purchased only at the door, while school groups should contact the Garfield Center ahead of time to make seating arrangements. Please call 410-810-2060 or contact thogans@garfieldcenter.org to reserve your seats. The Garfield Center for the Arts is located at 210 High Street in Chestertown.