KCAC Announces FY19 Officers, Names Carla Massoni to Board

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The Kent County Arts Council (KCAC) elected the following officers at its June 10, 2018 annual meeting to serve two-year terms:

Clark Bjorke, president
Charles Taylor, vice president
Meredith Davies Hadaway, secretary
Jason Claire, treasurer

The board also unanimously welcomed Carla Massoni of Massoni Art Gallery to a three-year term, effective July 1, filling a vacancy created by long-time member Marilee Schumann’s retirement.

“I am honored that Carla agreed to join our board,” said KCAC Director John Schratwieser, praising Massoni’s three-plus decades of commitment to arts and culture in Kent County. “She is one of those people who when we first met, I knew she ‘got it’. She shares the KCAC’s vision for the role of the arts in education, community development and economic vitality, and we shared the desire to maximize this role for the future of Kent County and its residents.”

Massoni has over 40 years of experience as an entrepreneur. A resident of Chestertown, Md., since 1985, she has been actively involved in community arts and humanities projects. She established a premier contemporary craft and fine art gallery (Massoni-Sommer) in 1990 and continues to provide educational programming and exhibitions featuring established contemporary artists at MASSONIART. In 2016, she opened CREATE art.craft.design in Chestertown with five partners – all award-winning craft artists.

Previous career highlights include: partnership in a pioneering human resources firm; founder and partner of a training program and school for women re-entering the job market, and owner of a boutique hotel and restaurant. She was the 2014 recipient of the William Donald Shaefer Helping People Award for Kent County.

Carla Massoni was eager to step up to support the Arts Council’s work. “I have long admired John Schratwieser. His commitment to the arts and the communities he serves is inspiring,” said Massoni. “I have great faith that John will continue Leslie Raimond’s dedication to serve those in Kent County who are often overlooked. John’s skills have been developed in numerous arts organizations and his work as Executive Director of Maryland Citizens for the Arts enables him to move with credibility on the both the state and national stage. The board he is developing is diverse and skilled. I look forward to working with all under his leadership.”

She continued by saying, “My particular focus will be the next generation. I hope to work closely with Kent County Public School teachers and students. There is no reason why Kent County cannot have the BEST schools in the State of Maryland. The arts provide the STEAM for the engine of social progress.”

Carla was a founding member on the Board of Directors for the Sultana Education Foundation; a member of the Board of Trustees at the Academy Art Museum in Easton, Md.; a member of the Board of the National Music Festival; a founding member of the Greater Chestertown Initiative; a member of the Washington College SANDBOX Advisory Board; and served on the Advisory Board of the Art of Stewardship Foundation.

Massoni founded the Women Helping Women annual concert to benefit migrant workers in Marydel, Md., and served as Southeast regional representative for the Beyond War Foundation’s Breakthrough Project US/Soviet Union. She previously served as a juror for the Academy Art Museum most recently for their 17th Annual Craft Show, has been a juror for numerous arts institutions in Maryland, and served as a juror for Philadelphia Museum of Art 2017 Craft Show.

The Kent County Arts Council was founded in 1975 and is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts service organization. KCAC’s mission is to invest, infuse, and inspire the arts for all in Kent County.

Self Driving Tour of 12 Kent County Museums set for May 5

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A self driving tour of 12 museums in Kent County MD, will be held on Saturday, May 5 from 10am to 4pm. Appealing to all ages and interests, they exhibit the culture, lifestyles and history of this Eastern Shore county.Knowledgeable guides, some special events, and free admission await visitors. Brochures with a map available at Visitors Center, Kent Library, Sumner Hall and The Bordley Building in Chestertown. Supported by the Kent County Tourism Department and the Kent County Arts Council.

Massey Aero Museum: A living airport-museum reminiscent of rural airports of bygone eras. Vintage aircraft, artifacts and touch and feel exhibits. A restoration shop operates most days. Frequent fly-ins. Open 10-4 33541 Maryland Line Rd Massey MD 21650

Kent Museum: Farming equipment representing the rural heritage of agriculture and domestic life. Charley’s House c. 1840, last surviving dwelling of a small black community. Open 10 – 3 13869 Turners Creek Rd Kennedyville MD 21645

Knocks Folly 1796 Federal style brick home houses exhibits which highlight the history of farming, the native American Tockwogh tribe and visit of Captain John Smith during his voyage on the Chesapeake Bay. Open 10 – 4 3761 Turners Creek Rd Kennedyville, Md 21645

Betterton Heritage Museum Betterton Fishing Ark open for tours. Speed Joiner decoys on display. Photos show fishing and hunting as main occupations. Popular beach in early 1900’s with photos of the grand Rigbie Hotel. Gift Shop. Open 10 – 3:30100 Main St Betterton MD 21610

Bordley History Center Headquarters for the Historical Society of Kent County. Many resources are available to the researcher within the library, genealogical and archival spaces. Historical exhibits and shop. Open 10 – 3 301 High St Chestertown MD 21620

Sumner Hall Restored and listed on National Register of Historic Places, it honors African-American Civil War vets of Charles Sumner Post #25, Grand Army of the Republic and features historical roles of African-Americans in Kent County. Open 10 – 4 206 S. Queen St Chestertown Chestertown MD 21620

African-American Schoolhouse Interpretive panel and exterior viewing only. Still in its original location. St. James Newtown Rd, north of Worton MD 21678

Cliffs Schoolhouse One room school with seven grades and one teacher served families of rural southern Kent County from 1878-1939. Furnishings, books and artifacts of the era. Blackboards with lessons. In its original location. Open 10 – 4 Cliffs City Rt. 289 S 8.5 miles south of Chestertown MD 21620

Rock Hall Museum Hand crafted boat and ship models, decoy carving shop replica, seafood processing, boat oystering rig, ice buoy, representing the marine culture of Rock Hall. Open 10 – 4 5585 Main St Town Building, Rock Hall Md 21661

Waterman’s Museum Artifacts and a fishing shanty from the early days of oystering, crabbing and fishing. Photographic documentation of past and present watermen. Next to Haven Harbour Marina. Open 10 – 4 Rock Hall Avenue, Rock Hall MD 21661

Tolchester Beach Revisited Presents and preserves the history of this amusement park 1877 to 1962. Pictures, artifacts and memorabilia of the most popular resort along the Chesapeake Bay. Open 10 – 4 Oyster Court off Sharp & Main Rock Hall MD 21661

Rock Hall Marine Restoration and Heritage Center Located in the historic Clam House on Rock Hall’s harbor. “Steamboats on the Chesapeake and Chester River” exhibit shows the history of recreational and working vessels on the ‘Bay. Open 11-4 21083 Chesapeake Avenue Rock Hall MD 21661

For more information please contact Carol Cordes (cordescarolb@gmail.com) or John Schratwieser(john@kentcountyartscouncil.org)

Kent County Arts Council Elects New Members to its Board of Directors

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The KCAC is delighted to announce the unanimous election of four new members to our Board of Trustees. Their diverse array of areas of expertise- from music performance to entrepreneurship to media relations – reaffirm the notion that a love for the arts can be carried across careers, age, and educational background.

These newly elected members join the Arts Council’s existing board members; Clarke Bjorke, Meredith Davies Hadaway, Carol DeGennaro, Marc Dykeman, Irene Moore, Robert Earl Price, Marilee Schumann, and Director Emeritus, Leslie Prince Raimond. The Arts Council is proud to introduce you to our new board members.

Top: Jason E. Claire, Stephanie King. Bottom: Kate McGraw, Charles Taylor.

Jason E. Claire– A native of the New York City suburbs, Jason fostered his interests in art, design, and gastronomy by graduating from Duke University with a triple major in art history, design, and pre-medicine. After receiving his MBA from Georgetown University, he co-founded a luxury furniture retailer and local gallery called Vastu in Washington D.C, which secured contracts for internationally recognized brands in addition to sponsoring six annual art exhibitions. While managing the development of interior design projects, Jason also supervised marketing, sales, training, and accounting at Vastu. Having recently returned from nearly five years in Switzerland with his husband Mark, where he worked in management consultancy for a company called FoundersCard, Jason is eager to establish firm roots in the Chestertown arts community and Kent County as a whole.

Stephanie King– After graduating from San Jose State University in California with a degree in Piano Performance, Stephanie earned her Master of Arts in Teaching and went on to direct band, choir, and orchestra in Oregon public schools. She later served as the Creative Arts Director for a metropolitan church in Portland, and for 12 years held the position of Music Director and Organist at a church in Sisters, Oregon. Her passion for music has taken her across many borders, as she has led five international choir tours and visits Italy every summer as faculty for the International Lyric Academy and Tuscia Opera Festival. Stephanie currently works here in Chestertown as the Music Director and Choirmaster at Emmanuel Church, and hopes to continue to support and encourage the arts in Kent County while also enjoying kayaking, yoga, cooking, and the company of her four grandchildren.

Kate McGraw– Kate is currently the Deputy Director of the Psychological Health Center of Excellence at the Department of Defense, where she focuses on meeting the mental health needs of female service members and veterans, as well as male and female service members who have experienced sexual assault and harassment. She is also the lead for the DoD Sexual Assault Advisory Group and the current chair for the Peace Corps Sexual Assault Advisory Council. Kate is also an accomplished musician and self-taught artist with an undergraduate degree in piano from the Hartt School of Music, where she also worked professionally as a vocal coach and music director. She has received numerous accolades for her solo piano performances, and in her spare time offers her services to local musical theatre companies and art galleries. Also a skilled writer, both professional and creative, Kate has penned an award winning column on mental health published in the Wilmington Delaware News Journal in addition to various professional articles in scientific books and journals.

Charles Taylor– Charles graduated from St. Paul’s College with a degree in Organizational Management and later studied Urban Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. An early job as a radio announcer followed by a brief stint as a newspaper reporter launched Charles on a 37-year communications and media relations career encompassing the nonprofit, public, and private sectors. Charles has served as a senior corporate communications representative for Pepco and Dominion Virginia Power, a government media relations manager for Arlington County, VA, and a writer at the National Association of Counties in Washington, D.C. Since retiring in Chestertown last year, Charles has immersed himself in the community and fostered his love for music by by serving on the county’s Social Action Committee, the Marketing Committee of the National Music Festival, and by singing with the Chester River Chorale.

“It is critical, when entrusted with public funds, that the board and staff of the Kent County Arts Council not only be fully engaged and fully transparent about our grant making activities, but that we hold our grantees to the highest of standards of community engagement,” said Arts Council Director John Schratwieser, “Our board of directors plays a critical role in ensuring that each application for funding is thoroughly reviewed, and is done so objectively holding the benefit to the community in the highest regard.” Our new members live and/or work in our community and are committed to measuring the impact of the public dollars that we award. In addition, each is fully committed to the Kent County Arts Council’s mission to “invest, infuse, and inspire, the arts for all in Kent County.”

The new members begin their work immediately, and will be a part of the FY 2019 grant award process which will begin in May 2018 for the coming fiscal year.

www.kentcountyartscouncil.org

“Heroin & Healing” Exhibition by Kent County Arts Council

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The Kent County Arts Council Presents a new Exhibition: “Heroin & Healing: How the Opioid Epidemic and Hurting Go Together.” The exhibit will be on view March 2-31, 2018 at the Vincent & Leslie Prince Raimond Arts Building, 101 Spring Avenue, Chestertown.

Join us on Friday, March 2, 2018 – during Downtown Chestertown First Friday – for the opening of the Kent County Arts Council’s (KCAC) next exhibition: “Heroin & Healing”, a New Day Campaign program curated by Peter Bruun of Bruun Studios.

Across the country stories of heroin and other opioid overdoses are leading the evening news.  Young and old, black and white, rich and poor, the disease is an equal-opportunity killer.  Peter Bruun created the New Day Campaign =around the concept of using the arts to help erase the stigma of addiction and helping families and communities begin to heal.

Prior to founding the New Day Campaign in 2015, Bruun served as founding Exhibitions Educator for The Park School of Baltimore from  2000-2005, pioneering a gallery program that put side-by-side works by local and national artists with art and objects from and by Park student and faculty. In 2005, seeking to expand his artistic,  curatorial and social engagement reach to all of Baltimore, Bruun founded the non-profit organization Art on Purpose, dedicated to using art to bring people together around issues and ideas. In June 2010, Bruun stepped down as founding director of Art on Purpose to pursue full time his own social engagement studio practice under the aegis of Bruun Studios. Bruun founded the New Day Campaign in early 2015, following the death of his daughter Elisif from heroin addiction in 2014.

KCAC Director John Schratwieser met Bruun in Baltimore and attended a few New Day Campaign shows in 2015.  He invited Bruun to come to Kent County and work with local practitioners, nonprofit and government service agencies, and Washington College to create an exhibition and program of related events to engage the community in a broader, more open conversation about addiction and healing through art.

The exhibition brings to Kent County works of art by seven artists whose art illuminate  themes of the exhibition related to heroin and healing:

Elisif Bruun, daughter of Peter Bruun, died of a heroin overdose on February 11, 2014, leaving behind a precociously strong body of diverse artwork. The exhibition includes her last drawing: a self-portrait completed just 20 days before her passing.

Peter Bruun, exhibition curator and father of Elisif Bruun, is a long-time artist whose figurative abstract art carries layered narratives. The exhibition features a watercolor drawing inspired by his daughter’s journey that invokes the tension between desiring grounded wellness and an unsteady mind’s impulse toward self-destructive behaviors.

Phylicia Ghee is a photographer and healing artist who presents and documents ritualistic performances rich in spiritual expression and sensory experience. Phylicia, who was the Resident Healing Artist in the New Day Campaign’s 2015 inaugural season, will exhibit a video in the exhibition.

Michelle Labonte is a Baltimore-based artist whose work documents her feelings, observations, and perspectives from living with debilitating depression and other related disorders. The artist’s works in the exhibition offer an illuminating look inside the heart of someone hurting.

Mark V. Lord is a photographer whose 2016 photographs of individuals who saved lives by administering Naloxone to opioid overdose victims where featured in a 2017 Maryland statewide public awareness campaign. A selection of photographs from that project will be included in the exhibition.

Anthony Ness, who lives near Washington DC, is a person in recovery whose colorful hyper-realist art expresses his emotional journey through using and sobriety. Several of his works will be included in the exhibition.

Sharon Strouse is an artist and art therapist. Since the passing of her daughter, Kristin Rita Strouse, from suicide in 2001, Sharon has immersed herself in healing from grief. The author of Artful Grief and a nationally known presenter in art therapy and recovery from grief, Sharon will share some of her own collages created in her own therapeutic journey after Kristin’s death.

The Month-long show will feature five special events:

OPENING – First Friday, March 2, from 4 – 7 p.m. Raimond Arts Building

GALLERY TALK – Saturday, March 3, from 2 – 4 p.m. Join Peter Bruun and other artists featured in the show for a conversation about their works.  Raimond Arts Building.

TRAUMA, ART & HEALING – Sunday, March 4, from 2 – 4:30 p.m. Led by healing artists Phylicia Ghee and Peter Bruun, a community conversation followed by a healing experience workshop.  Hynson Lounge, Washington College

Healing Workshop is FREE, but space is limited.

FILM & DISCUSSION – Friday, March 30, 7 p.m.,A screening of a 36-minute long video version of an art installation created by Peter Bruun about the life and passing of his daughter, followed by a public discussion with the artist and curator about his piece and the founding of the New Day Campaign. Norman James Theater, Washington College

OPEN MIC & CLOSING RECEPTION – Saturday, March 31. Open Mic – 3 – 5 p.m.  Sharing/Informing/Healing: An Open-Mic Experience is a community-oriented event sharing a wide ranging spectrum of experiences and feelings related to the opioid epidemic specifically and addiction generally. Rich in fellowship and hope, the event features music, stories, open mic opportunities, resource information, and a special slideshow highlighting remembrances of those we have lost, expressions of gratitude for those who have been there for us, well-wishes for those who are hurting, and art of all kinds related to recovery, wellness, and hurting. Featuring Sombarkin’.  Garfield Center for the Arts.

CLOSING RECEPTION Saturday, March 31. 5 – 7 p.m. Raimond Building.

The Kent County Arts Council and the New Day Campaign are proud to be working with multiple local partners/sponsors.  They include: REACH: Prevention, Education, Advocacy Center at Washington College; Maryland Coalition of Families; Kent County Behavioral Health & the Opioid Intervention Team; Eastern Shore Psychological Services; Chester River Wellness Alliance; and Herbal Alchemy.

New Day Campaign www.newdaycampaign.org

Kent County Arts Council www.kentcountyartscouncil.org

The Recipients of the 2017 KENNY AWARD for Commitment to the Arts in Kent County: Diane & Jim Landskroener

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Last December, Kent County residents and visitors alike were treated to a delightful stage production of the classic Christmas movie “Miracle on 34th Street” at the Garfield Center for the Arts.  We’ve lost count but we are pretty sure that this is the 1 millionth production that has been produced, directed, or had a cast led by either Jim or Diane Landskroener in the last 40 years. 

All kidding aside, the Landskroeners have been a staple on Kent (and Queen Anne’s) County stages since 1980’s.  Together they have asked some of the most important of life’s questions, such as “who’s on first?” “why is nobody listening?” “to be or not to be?” and even “Is Santa Claus real?”!  Jim and Diane, with colleagues like Vince & Leslie Raimond and Kate Bennett, Kate Schroeder, Vincent Hynson and countless others, have created one of the best, most welcoming environments for theater artists anywhere.  And it doesn’t stop there, they are educators, designers, administrators, and more. 

Together they have co-hosted the annual Dancing with the Stars Event to benefit Horizons of Kent & Queen Anne’s County.  For years Jim has MC’d the wildly popular Chestertown Tea Party Raft Race.  He has been an educator at The Kent School for 30 years, and directs their annual spring musical every year.  He’s also entering the final year of a two term commitment as the Chair of the Board of the Garfield Center for the Arts.  Diane spent 20 years as a graphic designer at Washington College now freelances and donates her time and talent to many nonprofit organizations and her thoughtful and inspired design work can be seen in organizations all over Kent County and across the internet. Having most recently played the creepy Dr. Sawyer in Miracle on 34th Street, she’s also recently directed “Love, Loss and What I Wore” at the Garfield.

Created in 2006, the Kenny Award honors Kent (hence Kenny, like the “Annie” in Anne Arundel County, and the “Howie” in Howard County) County residents who have gone above and beyond in their giving to talent, energy, and resources to increase the quality of life in our County.

We are honored to announce their selection as the 2017 Kenny Award Winner.

The award will be presented on Friday, February 2, 2018 at 7 p.m. at the Garfield Center for the Arts.  All are invited to come an applaud the honorees.  The event is free, but reservations are required.  Please call the Kent County Arts Council at 410-778-3700 to reserve your seats (or email johnschrat@gmail.com).  There will be a light dessert reception following the program.

The Hedgelawn Foundation provides competitive grants to support humanities and arts organizations on Delmarva, and research initiatives in Venice, Italy.  The Foundation’s Board is chaired by Judy Kohl.

The Kent County Arts Council seeks to invest in, infuse, inspire the arts in Kent County Maryland. KCAC provides competitive grant awards for nonprofit arts organizations as well as Project grants for artists and community organizations producing arts programming.

www.kentcountyartscouncil.org

Illustrated Lecture: “Beyond Stereotypes: War, Warriors, and the Creative Arts”

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WarFront/HomeFront with new Kent Arts Building in background

The public is invited to an Illustrated Lecture this coming Sunday, November 19, 2017 at 2 p.m. at the Kent County Arts Council Gallery, 101 Spring Avenue, Chestertown, Maryland.

“Beyond Stereotypes: War, Warriors, and the Creative Arts” will be presented by Tara Tappert, Founder and Principal of The Arts & The Military; and, Michael D. Fay, Retired Combat Artist and Founder of The Joe Bonham Project.  Both work with wounded veterans to help foster healing through artistic expression.  The works displayed show war through the eyes of those who lived it – and are still living with war’s impact.

Main Art Gallery in new Kent Arts Building

Tara Tappert, Art Consultant and founder of ThemArts and the Military

Tara Tappert, Founder & Director, The Arts & The Military (www.artsandmilitary.org) is an Award-winning scholar, researcher, writer, curator, collections manager, archivist/librarian, editor, graduate-level teacher, academic adviser, and tutor for cultural, educational, and business institutions, and for private individuals and families. Her scholarship is focused in 20th c. American craft – particularly as a rehabilitation tool for war trauma and in late 19th and early 20th c. American art and culture– particularly portraiture, biography, women and art, family history, and genealogy. She is also a noted scholar of the portraitist Cecilia Beaux.

Michael D. Fay, artist and founder of WarFront/HomeFront & Joe Bonham Project

Michael D. Fay, Founder, The Joe Bonham Project, first served in the Marines from 1975 to 1978 as an infantry man attaining the rank of sergeant. He left the service to pursue a college degree and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Art Education from the Pennsylvania State University in 1982. He then re-enlisted in the Marines in December 1983 and served on active duty until September 1993. During this ten-year period he served in the Presidential Helicopter Squadron under President Ronald Reagan, and participated in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, Eastern Exit, and Provide Promise campaigns. Seven years later, he enlisted  into the Marine Corps Reserve in January 2000 in order to fill the billet of combat artist with the Field History Department supporting the Historical Division of the Marine Corps.

As an official Marine Corps combat artist, Fay has been mobilized for four extended periods, and has served two tours each in Afghanistan and Iraq. Fay’s paintings and drawings made during these deployments demonstrate how combat looks and feels in a very personal and immediate way. The focus of these works is the human face of war. In images of ordinary people conducting routine business in difficult and unfamiliar circumstances, he reminds us of individual sacrifice and heroism.

Drawings of soldiers in the WarFront/HomeFront Exhibit currently at the Kent County Arts Council Arts Building through Dec. 3.

 

 

 

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Grand Opening of Kent County Arts Council’s New Gallery Space

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Join us  on Friday, November 3rd – during Downtown Chestertown First Friday – for the opening of the
inaugural exhibition in the new gallery of the Kent County Arts Council (KCAC). We are christening our new space with artwork from The Arts & The Military ART/ifacts Collection and from The Joe Bonham Project. Our inaugural show – War Front / Home Front: Through the Eyes of Our Military – is created in partnership with curator Tara Tappert, Founder and Principal of The Arts & The Military and Michael D. Fay, Founder of The Joe Bonham Project. It is funded, in part, by The Institute for Integrative Health.

The ART/ifacts Collection is the tangible legacy of art-making as activism, and the nature of the work allows for the exploration of military culture, and the history of war, and its costs. Themes include patriotism, nationalism, and perceptions of duty, suffering, heroism, and loyalty. Several grassroots veteran-art groups are represented in the Collection – Button Field Paper, Combat Paper Project, Peace Paper Project, Veterans in the Arts, as well as the work of individual veteran-artists. The Joe Bonham Project is named after the fictional, limbless, faceless protagonist of the 1939 anti-war novel, Johnny Got His Gun, by Dalton Trumbo. The project’s purpose is to show the real face of war and the aftermath of war with artwork that portrays the realities and human consequences of combat. The project distances itself from politics, preferring instead to be seen as apolitical “witness art.”

There will be three special events during the run of the show. All are free and everyone is welcome.
1) Grand Opening – First Friday, November 3rd, 5:00 to 7:30 p.m.
2) Poetry Reading – Medic Against Bomb: A Doctor’s Poetry of War, Frederick Foote, M.D. (CAPT, MC, USN, ret.) – Sunday, November 12, 2:00 p.m.
3) Illustrated Lecture – Beyond Stereotypes: War, Warriors, and the Creative Arts, by Tara Tappert, Founder and Principal, The Arts & The Military; and, Michael D. Fay, (CW02, USMC, ret.) Retired Combat Artist, and Founder, The Joe Bonham Project, Sunday, November 19, 2:00 p.m.

Military Working Dog (for Dave Nevis)
by Patrick Sargent (United States Air Force), silkscreen on paper made from pulped military uniforms, 2015

 

 

 

 

Kent County Arts Council Gallery Hours:

Wed – Fri: Noon – 6 p.m.
Saturday: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Kent County Arts Council, 101 Spring Avenue / PO Box 330 Chestertown, MD 21620

10th Anniversary Poetry Festival

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10th Annual Poetry Festival

Come join in an evening of shared poems to celebrate National Poetry Month. Read a favorite poem, share one that you’ve written, or just show up to listen and enjoy. The Bookplate and the Kent County Arts Council are co-hosting the 10th Annual Poetry Festival at The Bookplate (112 S. Cross Street, Chestertown) on Friday, March 24 from 4 to 7 pm. Email bookplate@verizon.net or call 410-778-4167 to reserve a time slot to read, or just drop in to read or listen. Snacks will be provided.

6th Annual Concert Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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The Kent County Arts Council and the Garfield Center for the Arts invite you to attend the 6th Annual “Lift Up Our Voices in Song” concert on Saturday, January 14th at the Garfield Center in Chestertown.

The commemoration in honor of the birthday of Dr. King begins at 5 pm. Admission is free with donations encouraged to the charities supported by the MLK Breakfast Celebration.

mlk2017_fbThis annual performance will recognize the power that music and poetry played in the Civil Rights movements, while celebrating the culture that continues to work for social justice. It is dedicated to the memory of Reverend Clarence Hawkins, a beloved member of our community and fierce advocate of social justice who passed away last year. Reverend Hawkins was the first African American to be elected to the Kent County Commissioners in 1993. He served as president during his last four years with the Commissioners and was the pastor of the Holy Trinity AME church in Edesville. He was an educator in Kent County for 32 years and was an inspiration to those looking for ways to positively effect change in the community.

The program will include performances by Lester Barrett, Jr., The Mt. Olive Praise Team, Andre Sisco, The New Gospelites, The Brian Black Family, and the Gospel Shepherds. There will also be poetry read by Robert Earl Price, comedy from Rakeem Hicks and Rakeem King, and a performance by the praise dancer Alberta Johnson. The emcees for the evening are Reverend Sheila Lomax and George Lomax.

This event is co-sponsored by the Chester Valley Ministers Association Breakfast Celebration, the Kent County Arts Council and the Garfield Center for the Arts. For more information please visit www.garfieldcenter.org or call the box office at (410)810-2060. The Garfield Center for the Arts at the Prince Theatre is located at 210 High Street in Chestertown.