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.

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.

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.

As ‘House Of Cards’ nears End, Maryland Aims to Remain Film Contender


Eduardo Sanchez is sleeping in his own bed for once.

He’s taking a short break from work, but the majority of his time over the course of the next few months will be spent in Dallas, where the filmmaker best known for “The Blair Witch Project” is able to work on film and TV productions with what he says are better state tax incentives than in his native state of Maryland.

“I have a bunch of projects that I’d love to develop (in Maryland) that are, right now, dead in the water because of the (lack of) incentives,” Sanchez told Capital News Service. “If (a new tax incentive bill) passes, that opens up a lot of new work here, and I don’t think I’m the only one in that position. I think a lot of people are waiting for this to happen.”

Martin O’Malley visits the set of House of Cards at Joppa, Maryland in 2013

A push from local filmmakers like Sanchez for a new film tax credit plan reached the steps of the Maryland State House this year amid production of the shortened sixth and final season of Netflix’s 21-time Emmy nominee “House of Cards” in the Baltimore area.

According to CNS analysis of Maryland Film Office data, over the course of the past five fiscal years, 98 percent of film tax credits and grants — $72.5 million — has been allocated to “House of Cards” and “Veep,” the Julia Louis-Dreyfus political drama that relocated to California in 2015.

A new bill aimed at boosting the Maryland film scene was passed by the Maryland House Monday morning – the last day of the Maryland General Assembly’s 2018 legislative session – after passing in the Senate mid-March. It would increase the current Department of Commerce film budget by $3 million every year until 2023, when the budget would be capped at $20 million. It would also eliminate Maryland Commerce’s current film reserve fund.

The legislation, Senate Bill 1154, sponsored by Sen. Douglas Peters, D-Prince George’s County, goes to Gov. Larry Hogan’s desk for his signature. If signed, it will take effect July 1.

“Years ago, we had productions in Baltimore and then the production would end and there would be no new production and we would lose employees – they would move to other states,” Del. Eric Luedtke, D-Montgomery County, who sponsored a bill identical to Peters’s in the Maryland House, told CNS. “We want to make sure there’s continuity in the industry.”

To qualify as a film production entity, film and television projects – one season is considered a single project – are currently required to spend at least $500,000 in Maryland. The recently passed bill would reduce that requirement to $250,000.

Baltimore Film Office Director Debbie Dorsey told CNS she was thankful to Maryland lawmakers for “keeping the film industry alive,” noting the Peters bill’s ability to do “a little something for everybody,” big-name production entities and local, indie projects alike.

The Department of Commerce would also set aside 10 percent of its budget exclusively to accommodate small and independent entities, which would primarily help local filmmakers. The bill defines “small productions” as projects that spend $25,000 to $125,000 in-state and requires at least 50 percent of filming to be done in Maryland.

“I know a lot of filmmakers who are making movies for $50,000 at most and they get nothing,” Sanchez added. “That’s going to help a lot of people…but I still wish there was something to help the lower, lower productions.”

Sanchez recalled working on a film in Hagerstown in 2010. He said the state incentive program at the time allocated a small amount of money to the production. But unless explicitly earmarked for a certain project, it’s nearly impossible for low-budget projects to get much assistance.

“Since then, it’s kind of been the ‘House of Cards’ incentive program,” Sanchez said. “And they know it’s an important program and I’m glad they’ve been able to keep it in Maryland for sure, but there wasn’t much room for anybody else.”

Making room for others is the goal for more than a handful of local filmmakers and supporters. At a Maryland House Ways and Means Committee meeting March 7 to discuss Luedtke’s film tax credit bill, several local experts testified that lack of funding is the primary obstacle to building a larger film scene.

“Several times every month, my office and the Maryland state Film Office receive calls from production companies and producers who want to bring their film projects here,” Dorsey said. “And every July, as soon as we get the ‘open for business’ sign on the door, we have to flip it over and say ‘sorry, we’re closed.’”

In the last year and a half, 20 major films and TV shows have expressed serious interest in filming in Maryland, Dorsey estimated.

Among them: Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-nominee “The Post,” an Amazon show and a Hulu series, and HBO’s “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.” The latter settled for filming a handful of establishing shots in Baltimore before sending star Oprah Winfrey and the rest of the cast to Georgia.

Each project was turned away because “House of Cards” had consumed nearly all of the state’s annual budget, according to Dorsey.

Dorsey added in March that projects from HBO, Netflix, NBC and Lionsgate were awaiting confirmation of any new bill with a larger pool of funding before they could greenlight production in Maryland.

Even with SB 1154, the Baltimore Film Office may not have updates on those projects until the bill takes effect in July, according to Dorsey. Still, she noted that the bill will “provide consistency” and allow producers and studios to rely on Maryland as a production hub.

Filming in Maryland was always the plan for “The Blair Witch Project.”

Not only were Sanchez, who attended Wheaton High School and later Montgomery College, and co-director Daniel Myick fans of the physical setting – ominous horror movie woods are just one of the many versatile location options Maryland has to offer – but also the two were inclined to work in a place where they knew and trusted the industry professionals.

“There’s enough infrastructure as far as editing places, places to get sound done; there’s already a production base here,” Sanchez said. “There’s a lot of great professionals here. You can get a fairly decent-sized production going without having to import everybody from L.A. or New York.”

Season 5 of “House of Cards” alone supported more than 1,700 Maryland businesses, according to Maryland Film Office data.

Goldsborough Glynn Classic Furnishings was among them. The Kensington-based small business has sold furniture to the “House of Cards” set decorator for the past six years.

Not only has the company benefited from the production’s purchases, as the owners wrote in a testimony letter to the Maryland General Assembly, it further profited from the media attention and word of mouth that comes with being associated with a high-profile television show.

Since introducing the current film tax credit plan in 2012, the Maryland Department of Commerce helped finance 12 productions, nine of them individual seasons of “Veep” or “House of Cards.”

The department estimated that each production hired an average of 1,280 Maryland residents and worked with an average of 1,328 Maryland vendors. The combined projects have had a nearly $775 million dollar impact on the state economy.

If anyone understands the capacity Maryland has to be a filmmaking hub, it’s Sanchez and Myick. The two former college friends created “The Blair Witch Project” on an initial budget of less than $25,000, before the film went on to gross a whopping $249 million worldwide.

Nineteen years after its release, “Blair Witch” is still a local claim to fame as well as an example of small filmmakers’ potential for success.

“I think it’s common sense when you actually think about it,” Sanchez said. “You look at the other states who are actually building it and doing it right and it brings in work and it’s also a cultural thing, too. It brings in artists. It’s beneficial way more beyond the actual work.”


by Hannah Yasharoff


The Chesapeake Chamber Music Festival on June 5 through 17


This year’s 33rd Annual Chesapeake Chamber Music (CCM) Festival will be held in Talbot County, MD from June 5 through June 17, 2018.  Musicians from the world’s stages will perform the works of both familiar and lesser known composers from the past and present. During two music-filled weeks, artists and musical ensembles will perform nine concerts featuring a wide range of works by Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart, Mahler, Norman, Prokofiev and more. Among the 15 musicians participating in the Festival are celebrated flutist Tara Helen O’Connor and her friends who will bring the flute, violin, viola and cello together in a new exciting way. The opening concert at Christ Church in Easton will feature the works of Beethoven and Brahms, with a pre-concert commentary by Jonathan Palevsky of WBJC, and will conclude with a festive reception at Mason’s Redux 2017.  The closing concert, “Stradgrass,” will highlight a new musical art form, classical music with a bluegrass twist and an array of instruments, including winds, strings, piano, and this year, a vocalist will electrify several concerts.  Each concert tells a story through carefully matching composer, artist and instrument, creating something unique and memorable with each performance.

Photo by Cal Jackson

To wholly understand the dramatic effect of live chamber music, audiences must both listen and observe.  After three centuries, audiences around the world are still awed by the intimacy of chamber music.  As its name would suggest, chamber music was created to grace rooms rather than halls. Festival goers will enjoy returning to the smaller and more intimate venues of the Tred Avon Yacht Club, Oxford Community Center, and Academy Art Museum, as well as Easton’s Christ Church and Trinity Cathedral. The spacious Avalon Theatre will feature the 2018 Chamber Music Competition Winner as part of its special concert during Week Two.

Sponsors of this year’s Festival include the Talbot County Arts Council and the Maryland State Arts Council. Additional generous financial support from corporate, public and private benefactors enables Chesapeake Music to offer affordable tickets for Festival concerts and recitals; open rehearsals are free to the general public. Tickets go on sale in April 2018.  For additional information, visit or call 410 819-0380. Experience the Extraordinary at Chesapeake Music’s 2018 Chamber Music Festival.

On Golden Pond Closes April 22 at Church Hill Theatre


On Golden Pond, is a “a production any theater-lover will want to see”, says Peter Heck in his review.  The classic play from Ernest Thompson, brings a glow to the Church Hill Theatre this spring. Bonnie Hill directs this “warm, nostalgic play” that is an exploration of marriage, mortality, and cross-generational relationships.  The play, written by Ernest Thompson, was a critical success on the New York stage and a blockbuster hit in the film adaptation.  Hill has assembled a fine cast of area residents, including both newcomers and experienced actors with credits at CHT and other theaters.

Ethel (Nita Wieczoreck) and Norman (Brian McGunigle) Thayer stand on their porch at Golden Pond trying to spy the first loons of the season.

On Golden Pond is as simple—and complex—as life itself. Norman Thayer, a sharp-witted and tart-tongued professor, along with his intelligent and nurturing wife Ethel, return to their summer home in Maine for the 48th year.  Brian McGunigle takes on the role of Norman, making him “sympathetic” and also bringing out his “biting wit”.  Nita Wieczoreck is “warm and outgoing in the role of Ethel, a good choice for the role” according to Heck.  The couple are soon joined by their daughter, her boyfriend, and his son.  These roles are taken on by Heather Oland as Chelsea Thayer Wayne, Jeff Daly as Bill Ray, and John Crook as Billy Ray, Jr.  Charlie, the local postman and a family friend, is played by Paul Briggs.  Oland’s performance stands out, and although the role is not as central as that of her parents, Heck states that it is a, “strong performance [that] makes the emotional connections [amongst the family] clear”.  John Crook in the role of Billy Ray, a veteran of CHT’s Green Room Gang summer theater camp “captures the young boy’s varying moods…in a solid performance”.

In his review, Peter Heck made particular note of the “appealing” set designed by Earl Lewin, with construction undertaken by Carmen Grasso and Tom Rhodes.  Lighting and sound are designed and operated by Doug Kaufmann and Patrick Fee respectively.  Meg Lenher and Cynthia Fields assembled the props, while Nita Wiezcoreck takes on double duty procuring costumes as well as acting.  Assisting the director is Kathy Jones, Liz Clarke produces, and Steve Atkinson is the stage manager.

On Golden Pond continues at Church Hill Theatre through April 22, with weekend performances at 8 pm on Fridays and Saturdays and 2 pm on Sundays.  Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for members, and $10 for students.  Special pricing is available for groups of ten or more. Reservations can be made by calling the box office at 410-556-6003 or online at