Garfield Center Hires Rebecca Lepter as Development Director


The Board of Directors and Executive Director Tess Hogans are thrilled to announce that Rebecca Lepter has joined the staff as the new Development Director at the Garfield Center for the Arts. Rebecca is coming to the theatre from For All Seasons where she served as the Director of Grants & Contracts from 2016 until this year, and from Family and Community Partnerships of Kent County, which she directed from 2010-2016.

“After reviewing all of the applicants, it was clear that Becky was the best choice because of her extensive experience working with grants and in our local community.” Says Hogans.“She has already brought her exceptional work ethic to tackle two monstrous events (Women Helping Women and Broadway by the River) which were thrown in her lap as a new hire, and she handled them magnificently.”

Garfield Center Board Vice President Judy Kohl writes, “Becky completes the final piece in the puzzle!  The GCA now has a dynamic team to lead us into the next decade.”

She will be working directly under Hogans, exploring new grant opportunities and managing relationships with the organizations which currently provide general operating grants to the Garfield. She will also be coordinating the rentals, partnerships and special events that take place in the Garfield throughout the year. Lepter adds, “I am deeply honored to join the Garfield because of the role it plays in modeling innovation and progressiveness in our region. It will be a privilege and a joy to work with the exceptional staff, board and stakeholders to enhance the cultural life of our community by nurturing, celebrating, and supporting arts and artists through performing arts.”

A life-long resident of the Eastern Shore, she looks forward to moving the Garfield into a new era of growth. Rebecca lives in Sudlersville with her husband Steve and their two boys, Clark and Colin.

Arts & Entertainment District Announces “Tea Bag” Art Project


The Chestertown Arts & Entertainment District and the Main Street Chestertown Design Committee announce the Tea Party Festival Tea Bag public art project for 2018.  Artists, designers, students and creative spirits of all ages are invited to decorate cotton tote-bags with Tea Party or Chestertown themes and can compete for cash prizes.

The tote bags measure 15 inches square and come with a label that carries the Tea Party Festival logo and the tagline, “Chestertown: Steeped in History, Stirred by Art.”  They can be decorated with paint, markers, thread, found objects, or any other embellishment.  Three finalist prizes of $50 each and one grand prize of $100 will be awarded.

Participants can pick up the plain tote bags at Town Hall, 118 N. Cross Street, for $2.00 per bag. All decorated tote bags will remain the property of their creators. To enter the judging, the embellished bag must be returned to Town Hall by Thursday, May 24, 2018.  Winners will be announced at the Friday night Tea Party Street Party scheduled for the foot of High Street, May 25.

RiverArts’ 9th Annual “Paint the Town” Plein Air Festival


Talented artists from throughout the mid-Atlantic region and as far away as Connecticut and New Jersey will be arriving  to paint Chestertown and other local scenes in Kent and upper Queen Anne’s Counties in RiverArts’ 9th Annual “Paint the Town,” taking place April 26-29;

The artists will paint for three days, and it is great fun to watch them at work. On Thursday and Friday they will paint wherever they choose in Kent and Upper Queen Anne’s Counties. On Saturday  artists are encouraged to paint in downtown Chestertown.

The paintings will be framed and available for sale at the free “Wet Paint Reception and Sale” on Saturday, April 28, 5:30-8:00pm at RiverArts. The artists will have their own say by voting “Best in Show” and “Best Body of Work”. Sales tend to be brisk so visitors are encouraged to make their choices during the reception. However, if more time is needed, the paintings can be viewed again on Sunday.

Photo credit: Ken Young

In the Sunday morning “Quick Draw” artists have two hours to paint. Additional artists who were not able to participate during the week  have the opportunity to be part of “Quick Draw.” These paintings will also be for sale 11am-noon in Fountain Park and during the afternoon at the RiverArts Galleries in the breezeway.

Awards will be given for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places. The public will also be invited to vote for the “People’s Choice.”

The judge for the “Quick Draw” is Sara Linda Poly. This award winning artist has participated in many regional and national shows and plein air competitions. She has spent many years living, traveling, and teaching around the U.S., Europe and Mexico.

Sponsors for the four day event include Cross Street Realtors,  Home Mattress Center, The Peoples Bank, Cheap Joe’s Art Stuff, ACME Markets, and Redner’s Markets.

For more information visit or call RiverArts at 410- 778-6300. Chestertown RiverArts Galleries are located at 315 High Street, Suite 106. (in the breezeway).  Gallery hours are Tuesday – Friday, 11 AM to 5:30 PM, Saturday 10 AM to 5:30 PM, Sunday, 11 AM to 3 PM, and open on First Fridays until 8 PM.

Ben Price and Cliff City at The Mainstay April 28


Local rising stars Ben Price and Cliff City bring their original tunes to The Mainstay! $10 online AND phone reservation/door.

Cliff City is a newly formed band of friends that practice locally in Kent County.  Their music is a mix of Indie Folk and Pop. Band members are Gabriel Warner on bass, Nick Basham on drums, Alex Spry on lead guitar and bandleader Ben Price on guitar and vocals. Please join us at The Mainstay for an evening of the freshest new sounds in Kent County!

Ben Price is a high school senior who has been playing guitar, singing and writing music for most of his life.  At an early age, Ben was taught by his father and has continued on to study classical Spanish guitar with Kent County’s esteemed strings teacher, Tom Anthony.  Ben has played locally for First Friday events in Chestertown, at the Downrigging Festival and other town events.  He will be attending Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida next year and plans to major in music production.

Nick Basham, also a high school senior, has been playing drums for seven years.  He has studied with numerous master drummers and Nick’s previous band, Ricochet, has played at The Avalon (Easton, MD) and the Baltimore Soundstage.  Nick plans to major in business and music next year when he enters college.

Gabriel Warner is 17 and has been playing bass guitar since 6th grade.  He is a self-taught musician who has drawn most of his play style and influence from Punk and Pop Rock and has toured around Maryland with his previous band, The 47, playing multiple venues including The Baltimore Soundstage and The Fish Head Cantina.

Alex Spry has been playing guitar for 20 years.  You may have caught him at (the former) Andy’s Bar, the Garfield Center for the Arts or in many of the Music in the Park performances in Chestertown.

This concert is a production of The Mainstay’s Byrd’s Nest featuring student work.  Special thanks to The Peoples Bank for supporting young artists.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 and is committed to presenting local, regional and national level talent, at a reasonable price, in an almost perfect acoustic setting. Information and advance ticket sales are available on the Mainstay’s website

Upcoming Mainstay performances include:

April 30 Joe Holt welcomes Cody Leavel
May 4 John Thomas Quartet
May 6 Teodora Adzharova
May 7 Joe Holt welcomes Sam Guthridge
May 10 YacineBoulares and Ajoyo
May 14 Joe Holt welcomes Matt Brower
May 18 Ken and Brad Kolodner Quartet
May 20 Chester River Youth Choir
May 21 Joe Holt welcomes Michael DeMaio

Academy Art Museum Announces May Events


Joan Miró, (1893 – 1983), Oiseau Zéphyr, Color lithograph, 1960, AAM 2015.030.


The Academy Art Museum’s exhibitions are generously supported by the Maryland State Arts Council, the Talbot County Arts Council and the Star-Democrat. Free Docent Tours are every Wednesday at 11 a.m. for all exhibitions.

AAM @ 60: The Diamond Exhibition
Part I April 21–July 8, 2018, Members’ Reception: Friday, April 20, 5:30-7:00 p.m.
In 1958, the Academy Art Museum opened its doors to the public as the Academy of the Arts. In 2018 the Museum invites all audiences to celebrate its 60th anniversary, honoring the past and celebrating the future. Program highlights include a special two-part Diamond Exhibition, representing the creative genius of artists from Europe and the United States, spanning from the seventeenth century to the present. The AAM @ 60: The Diamond Exhibition will showcase a representative range of treasures and Picasso, and selections of its holdings in other media, including painting, photography and sculpture. AAM @ 60: The Diamond Exhibition will be accompanied by a special anniversary catalogue.

Michael Joseph, A-lister & Sherie, 2016 (detail) W, Archival pigment print.

New Photography: National Juried Exhibition
April 14 – July 15, 2018
Saturday, April 28, 3-4:30 p.m. – Awards Ceremony with Juror Sarah Stolfa
Photographic artists of all walks have submitted their latest works to a new national juried show at the Academy Art Museum in Easton, MD. The exhibition aims to highlight the current state of photography across a broad spectrum. Artists may submit all types of photographic works including digital, analog, alternative processes, etc.

Elizabeth Casqueiro: Entrances and Exits
April 14 –July 15, 2018
May 4, 5:30 p.m. – Artist talk on First Friday
Elizabeth Casqueiro is a visual artist who was born in England and grew up in Portugal, studying art at St. Martin’s College of Art in London, the Corcoran School of Art, and the Washington Studio School. Her work is an exploration of masked identity and taps into the playful and entertaining origins of identity through a series of works involving the action hero, the stage actor, and what she calls “the cheesy plot.” Following her fall solo gallery show in Portugal (2017), the Academy Art Museum is offering her a first solo museum exhibition in the United States.


Elizabeth Casqueiro, Do Something Batman, 2017 Acrylic and oil on canvas, Collection of the Artist.

Kittredge-Wilson Lecture Series
These lectures feature an exciting array of speakers who impart a diversity of perspectives on subjects such as art, architecture, history and literature.
Cost: $24 Members, Non-members $29. Pre-registration is suggested. Register online at

Painting for Princes: Dutch Art by Jan Baptist Weenix and Jan Weenix and book signing
Anke Van Wagenberg Senior Curator, Academy Art Museum
Friday, May 18, 2018, 6 p.m.
Anke Van Wagenberg will discuss paintings of Jan Baptist Weenix and his son Jan Weenix. These important Dutch masters and contemporaries of Rembrandt painted Italianate landscapes, portraits and still lifes. She recently finished the monographs on the father-and-son team with c. 500 entries. She is currently working on the Weenix drawings.


Anke Van Wagenberg Senior Curator, Academy Art Museum

Longwood Gardens
Tuesday, May 8
Cost: $75 Members $90 Non-members (includes admission)
One of the world’s great gardens, Longwood’s story is one of legacy, innovation, and stewardship.
Longwood Gardens are a living expression of all that the founder, Pierre S. du Pont, found inspiring, meaningful, and beautiful. From the intricate fountain systems to the meticulous gardens to the architectural grandeur, awe-inspiring discoveries await at every turn.


Exploration into Intaglio Printmaking with Rosemary Cooley
Instructor: Rosemary Cooley
3-Day Workshop – May 4, 5 & 6, 2018, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Cost: $185 Members, $220 Non-members (An additional $35 materials fee paid to the instructor and includes archival paper, plates, use of studio tools and inks as well as one archival mat.)
Students will learn how to prepare film positives of their artwork, which may then be later exposed onto light sensitive photo emulsion coated steel plates, known as Solarplates. Suitable artwork includes ink wash drawings, charcoal, pen and ink drawings, photographs, and other non-copyrighted images. Everyone is welcome to see the possibilities of this interesting process. Students will examine various film positives, which they may make themselves at a copy shop onto acetate sheets, and then will bring them to class to develop the images and print them on the etching presses in the new Printmaking Studio at AAM. This workshop is for the serious printmaker, and the results will be very exciting.

Longwood Gardens

Summer Mosaic Workshops for Adults and Teens
Instructor: Sheryl Southwick
2-Day Workshops: All are on Wednesdays and Thursdays
May 23 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. and May 24 from 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
June 13 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. and June 14 from 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
July 11 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. and July 12 from 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Cost: $75 Members per each 2-day workshop), $90 Non- members (plus $5 materials fee paid to instructor)
Students will learn the basics of mosaics: breaking and cutting glass and pottery, applying shards to a wooden surface with adhesives, applying grout. At the end of each workshop, the students will have a beautiful mosaic piece to take home. Goggles and gloves will be used to protect eyes and hands. Materials needed: All essential materials and tools will be provided. Students may bring in broken or chipped china or pottery and any special objects, like old jewelry. Bring a lunch.
Minimum for class is 6 and maximum is 10.

Sheryl Southwick

Paint Along with Diane and Sheryl
Mentors: Diane DuBois Mullaly and Sheryl Southwick
3 days: May 29-31
Tuesday – Thursday, 9 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Cost $95 Members, $114 Non-members
Diane and Sheryl invite all painters in any medium to paint along with them during this unique mentored outdoor painting experience. Each day the group meets at a different fabulous private property, where everyone picks a spot and starts painting. Diane and Sheryl will make rounds to each painter’s easel throughout the morning to make suggestions and give advice. They will also be painting. At about noon, the group will have lunch together, while Sheryl and Diane lead a constructive group critique of the paintings from that day. In the event of heavy rain, the group will paint indoors. Painters will find inspiration, grow their skills, and enjoy great group camaraderie – a special experience not to be missed! Bring a bag lunch except the last day, lunch is on us!, Minimum 10, Maximum 25.


Mini Masters Academy
Mini Masters is an art-based, early enrichment program for two to four-year old children. Flexible enrollment days are offered from September through May, Monday through Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 12:00, with optional extended day until 2 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Email for information and availability.


Piano & Guitar Lessons
Instructor: Raymond Remesch
Contact Instructor for further information at (410) 829-0335 or
Whether your goal is to audition for a conservatory, lead your family in song during the holidays, or learn to play the music you love, a personalized music education is one of the most rewarding and enduring investments people can make for themselves or their child.

Voice Lessons
Instructor: Georgiann Gibson
Contact instructor for information at (410) 829-2525 or
Whether you are interested in singing with a choir, becoming a soloist, getting a lead in the high school musical or community theatre production, joining a barbershop quartet, or preparing your audition for a conservatory, good singing requires a skill set that is developed over time.

Ballroom and Latin Dance
Instructor: Amanda Showell
Contact instructor for information at (302) 377-3088 or visit

For additional information, visit or call the Museum at 410-822-2787.

Fiber Arts Center of the Eastern Shore Launches Get Social Delmarva


Mindie Burgoyne

Fiber Arts Center of the Eastern Shore (FACES) has announced the launch of Get Social Delmarva, a new marketing training conference for artists, crafters, and makers of all types. The conference will take place on Friday, April 27th at Chesapeake College.

Get Social Delmarva will present social media and digital marketing training specifically designed to help artists launch or grow a creative business. Although familiarity with social media will be helpful, the conference is intended to help small business owners who have little or no experience using social platforms for business purposes. All instruction will be provided at an introductory level.

“Our goal is to empower artists and crafters to grow their business using affordable marketing tools and strategies,” said Marina Dowdall, Executive Director of the Caroline County Council of Arts, the parent organization of FACES. She said that most artists and small business owners do not have the resources to hire a marketing agency. “With today’s technology, artists can ‘DIY’ their own marketing, which allows them to grow their business more quickly and reach customers all over the world.”

Get Social Delmarva will include a keynote address on Marketing 101, which will cover the fundamentals of developing a cohesive and effective marketing strategy. The address will include an interview with Steve Konopelski and Rob Griffith, owners of Turnbridge Point, a bed and breakfast and custom bakery in Denton. The couple will share insights about what they’ve learned about growing their business using digital marketing tools.

The conference will then break out into workshops on a variety of topics. The workshops are categorized in three tracks, though attendees do not have to stay within a single track. Tracks include Facebook for Business, Visual Media, and Web Presence. Examples of workshop topics include Facebook Advertising, Selling on Etsy, and Introduction to Instagram for Business.

Conference attendance has been limited to 100 people to ensure smaller class sizes in the workshops. Attendees will also have the opportunity to eat lunch with instructors and ask them questions in a small group setting.

FACES has received grant funding from Rural Maryland Council to help launch Get Social Delmarva. Rural Maryland Council supports projects that foster economic growth in the rural areas of the state. The arts are a key component of the tourism and downtown development strategies for small towns throughout the Eastern Shore and broader Delmarva region. The headline sponsor of Get Social Delmarva is Stories of the Chesapeake Heritage Area, an organization that promotes the heritage and unique communities of the Mid-Shore.

Registration for Get Social Delmarva is now open at Tickets are $79 per person. There is a 20% discount for FACES members.

Garfield Center to Present Sondheim’s Dark Musical Sweeney Todd


On April 27th director Shelagh Grasso and musical director Julie Lawrence will be opening a new musical at the Garfield Center for the Arts; Stephen Sondheim & Hugh Wheeler’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. This will be the first musical that the Garfield Center has produced since Garfield Executive Director Tess Hogans directed My Fair Lady in 2016. This is a big year for musicals at the Garfield Center, with Jennifer Kafka Smith directing The Marx Bros. musical comedy, Animal Crackers in September.

The story of Sweeney Todd first appeared in the 1830s in England and was soon adapted for the London stage. When Stephen Sondheim, the celebrated producer of hit Broadway musicals, saw a version of the play in London in the mid 1970s, he asked Hugh Wheeler to collaborate with him on a musical adaptation. When the new Sweeney Todd opened on Broadway in 1979, it became an instant hit and later walked away with that year’s Tony award—Broadway’s highest honor.

The public was shocked but thoroughly entertained by the gruesome storyline of this musical thriller, which focuses on the murderous machinations of a vengeful English barber and his accommodating landlady. The play follows the barber, Sweeney Todd, as he plots his revenge against Judge Turpin, who sent him to prison on false charges—an act which causes the destruction of Sweeney’s family. As Sweeney’s revenge plot accidentally broadens to include other citizens of the corrupt society of Victorian London, his landlady, Mrs. Lovett, finds a way to cover up the barber’s crimes as well as her own. Through this darkly comic story, Wheeler explores the motivations for, and consequences of, revenge.

This new cast consists actors who frequent the Garfield stage, as well as a surprising number of new faces. The cast includes Christopher Wallace, Jane Copple, Melissa McGlynn, Matt Folker, Nic Carter, Shannon Whittaker, Max Hagan, Natalie Lane, Zack Schlag, Howard Messick, Zac Ryan, Kendall Davis, Nevin Dawson, Brian Whitaker, Doug Porter, Marcia Gilliam, Mallory Westlund, Kathy Jones, David Ryan, Brian Whitaker, Gil Rambach, Connor Christopher, Haley Melton, Robbie Spray and Troy Strootmam.

The show runs for three weekends, with performances on Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 3pm, April 27-May 13. Come on opening night to sample some of Mrs. Lovett’s meat pies, for sale at the concession stand!

Sweeney Todd is sponsored in part by The Hedgelawn Foundation.

Tickets are $20 general admission, $15 for military/seniors 65+ and $10 for students. They are available online at or by calling the Garfield Center box office at 410-810-2060. The Garfield Center for the Arts is located at 210 High Street in Chestertown.

Free Cappella Concert on April 22


Washington College’s Premier A Cappella Group will be performing on Sunday, April 22, 2018 at the Emmanuel Church located at 101 North Cross Street in Chestertown, starting at 4pm.

No cost for admission. There will be a basket for a free-will offering.

Acting Workshop for Adults at the Garfield Center


Adults interested in trying their hand on stage are encouraged to register for this acting workshop with Washington College’s professor emeritus of drama, Tim Maloney. Focusing on audition techniques and scene work, this six session class runs from April 30th-May 10th. Cost is $50 per person, limited to 10 participants. This workshop coincides with auditions for the Garfield’s “Short Attention Span Theatre” 10-minute play festival, giving the workshop participants a chance to try what they’ve learned.

Workshop Dates:
April 30th – 6-8pm
May 1st – 6-8pm
May 3rd – 6-7pm *SAST Auditions start at 7pm
May 7th – 6-8pm
May 8th – 6-7pm*SAST Auditions start at 7pm
May 10th – 6-8pm

The Garfield Center for the Arts is located at 210 High Street in Chestertown. Call 410-810-2060 or email for more information.