Maryland Humanities Announces Next Stop of Smithsonian Traveling Exhibition

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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.

Spy Moment: Kenny Award Presented to Red Devil Moon Cast

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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

Broadway Stars Performing at the Garfield

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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

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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

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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

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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 

Hogwarts Professors Visit Flourish and Blotts

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Prospective Hogwarts students are invited to meet some of their professors Sunday, March 26, from 2:30-4:00 PM at Flourish and Blotts (The Bookplate, 112 S. Cross St, Chestertown). Get a taste of classes like Divination, Defense Against the Dark Arts, and Transfiguration, and listen to excerpts from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Test your Harry Potter knowledge with trivia and help earn points for your House. (If you aren’t sure yet, the Sorting Hat will be available for consultations.) Hogwarts alumni are also encouraged to attend. Light wizard snacks will be available and magical attire is encouraged.

This event is sponsored by the Chestertown Harry Potter Festival. Admission is free, though donations are welcome, and will help us expand activities offered at our next festival, which is scheduled for Oct. 6-7, 2017. For more information, email info@chestertownhpfest.org.

Please note: This event, like our community festival, is created by fans for fans. Warner Bros. Entertainment and J.K. Rowling are not associated with or responsible for this event.

Washington College’s Spring Concert Series Kicks Off on March 24

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Washington College’s Spring Concert Series will provide an eclectic and global range of offerings this year, kicking off on March 24 with piano and violin and wrapping up in April with traditional Japanese music. Here’s the lineup of performances, all at Hotchkiss Recital Hall at the Gibson Centre for the Arts:

• March 24: David Kim, violin, and Matt Brower, piano, at 7:30 pm. Individual tickets are $20 (adults) and $15 (non-WC College Students/Seniors over age 65/WC faculty and staff). WC students and youth 18 and under are free.
• March 31: “The President’s Own” U.S. Marine Band Brass Quintet, noon, free.
• April 1: Yodo Kurahashi II, shakuhachi, Miyuki Yoshikami, koto, Jon Kenzen McCollum, shakuhachi, 2 p.m., free.

     

Photos: David Kim (left) and Matt Brower (right)

On March 24, as part of 2016-2017 Premier Artist lineup, the Washington College Concert Series presents David Kim, violin, and Matt Brower, piano, playing selections from Handel’s Sonata in D Major, Op. 1 Nr. 13; Kroll’s Banjo and Fiddle; Massenet’s Meditation from the Opera Thaïs and Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64.

Kim was named Concertmaster of The Philadelphia Orchestra in 1999 and appears as soloist with The Philadelphia Orchestra each season, as well as with numerous orchestras around the world. He has been awarded honorary doctorates from Eastern University in suburban Philadelphia, the University of Rhode Island, and Dickinson College.

Brower is a Philadelphia-based pianist, coach, and educator who brings vision and sensitivity to a variety of genres, from classical piano, chamber music, opera, and art song to musical theatre and jazz. At age 11, he made his New York City debut, performing an original composition at Weill Recital Hall (Carnegie Hall). He has since performed in such prestigious venues as Alice Tully Hall (Lincoln Center), Merkin Hall, and Steinway Hall, as well as in Europe and China. Brower received his bachelor’s degree in piano performance from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where he was awarded the Oberlin Piano Faculty Prize in Accompanying. He continued his studies at the University of Michigan, where he received his master’s and doctoral degrees in collaborative piano under the tutelage of renowned pianist Martin Katz. Brower has been a lecturer in piano at Washington College since 2015, teaching group piano classes and individual lessons for students at all levels. He is also a faculty member of the University of Delaware’s Master Players Summer Festival.

      

Photos: The President’s Own (left) and Yodo Kurahashi II (right)

On March 31 at noon, as part of its 12@Hotchkiss Series, the Washington College Department of Music presents a concert featuring The President’s Own U.S. Marine Band Brass Quintet. Members of this quintet are part of the President’s Own U.S. Marine Band whose mission is to perform for the President of the United States and the Commandant of the Marine Corps. Founded in 1798 by an Act of Congress, the Marine Band is America’s oldest continuously active professional musical organization. Today, The President’s Own is celebrated for its role at the White House and its dynamic public performances, which total more than 500 annually.

On April 1, traditional Japanese music will be the highlight at a performance featuring Yodo Kurahashi II playing the shakuhachi, Miyuki Yoshikami playing the koto, and Jon Kenzen McCollum of Washington College, also playing the shakuhachi. A reception will follow the concert.

Kurahashi is one of Japan’s great master shakuhachi flute players. He has been with this beautiful and evocative bamboo instrument for more than 40 years. His father, also a famous shakuhachi player, was his first teacher as a young boy, and Kurahashi-sensei eventually became head of his father’s dojo: Mujuan dojo.

For events that require tickets, individual tickets can be purchased online with a credit card via EventBrite, or with cash or check at the door. Inquiries and ticket holds can be sent to Debbie Reed at concertseries@washcoll.edu or 410-778-7839. More information on the series is available at washcoll.edu/concert.

Chuck Redd and The Bucket Brothers at The Mainstay March 25

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Vibraphonist Chuck Redd introduces The Bucket Brothers, two young jazz artists from North Carolina to The Mainstay in Rock Hall, Maryland on Saturday March 25, 2017 at 8:00 p.m. Admission is $17 in advance and $20 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 Mainstay’s favorite jazz drummer and vibraphonist, Chuck Redd always has his radar out listening for young talented jazz musicians. Recently he said “I think you are going to be very impressed by these two young gentlemen. They live in Chapel Hill, NC. [My brother] Robert worked with them at a music camp in West Virginia and I encountered them for the first time at the North Carolina Jazz Festival in Wilmington, NC when we both got to play with them…. They made their Kennedy Center debut with us at Christmas. Casey is 13 and Logan is 16 and I think you’re going to be hearing a lot more from them.”

The Bucket Brothers, Logan and Casey Valleroy got their group name because they started playing music, banging on buckets in the sandbox. Logan has played violin since the age of 7, winning fiddle competitions, scholarships, and numerous accolades along the way. He is also a highly-accomplished swing and jazz guitarist, and enjoys playing the mandolin, electric bass, drums, and piano. Casey began playing piano when he was 5. He also plays drums, saxophone, and melodica.

Since 2012, they have captivated audiences with their sophisticated arrangements, seamless improvisation, and beyond-their-years mastery of jazz. Both brothers display a depth of musical understanding and an ability to listen to one another that is rare at such a young age. Derek Kratzer, who has shared the stage with David Grisman and Del McCoury, says, “Technical proficiency and performance can be learned, but listening to one another requires a different kind of understanding and awareness that can only come through experience.”

The hard-working Bucket Brothers stay busy performing standards and their original compositions at festivals, fundraisers, and community and private events in North Carolina and beyond. Appearances in 2016 included the LEAF Festival in Black Mountain, NC, the Ocra Folk Festival on Ocracoke Island, the Pocahontas County Opera House in Marlinton, WV, and a house concert in the Washington, DC area. The brothers capped 2016 with a Christmas Day appearance at DC’s Kennedy Center with Chuck and Robert Redd and other leading jazz performers at the annual All-Star Christmas Day Jazz Jam. In early 2017, the Bucket Brothers were featured on the Woodsongs Old-Time Radio Hour, sharing the stage with Livingston Taylor and Rebecca Loebe.

In 2013, when they were just 13 and 10, the brothers were profiled in North Carolina’s acclaimed Our State magazine. They also have appeared twice (2014 and 2016) on WUNC public radio’s “The State of Things,” hosted by Frank Stasio. The brothers successfully funded a Kickstarter project to record their debut album (also titled “Our State”), which was released in May, 2016.

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 now 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 still make a reservation by calling 410-639-9133.

Upcoming Mainstay performances include:
March 27 Mainstay Monday: Joe Holt welcomes John Ewart, sax and Mike McShane, drums
March 31 The High and Wides
April 3 Mainstay Monday: Joe Holt welcomes Pam & Bob Ortiz
April 7 The Tom Lagana Group featuring George Garzone
April 15 Charlie Byrd Tribute with Chuck Redd, Nate Najar with special guests Maucha Adnet, vocals and Harry Allen, sax