BmoreArt News Briefs: Emily Breiter becomes Bromo Arts district director; Deutsch Foundation names Jessica Solomon as vice president; MICA awarded in National Democracy Challenge; and more

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The following art news briefs have been compiled by our friends at BMore Art. To read more at BmoreArt, click here.

Emily Breiter comes in as Bromo Arts District Executive Director

In a press release, Amy Cavanaugh Royce, board chair of the Bromo Arts District and executive director of Maryland Art Place, welcomed Emily Breiter as the arts district’s next executive director. Breiter formerly worked on business engagement, fundraising, and events at the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore. Breiter will replace Claudia Jolin in the position, but Jolin will remain on the Bromo Board of Directors.

According to the Bromo Arts District Website, “Emily is a Baltimore area native who has previously worked for Downtown Partnership of Baltimore’s Business Development Team. She is an avid volunteer with the Station North Tool Library and frequent supporter of the arts. She is currently the Director of Economic Development for Downtown Partnership where she oversees arts initiatives and the Bromo Arts District. When she isn’t walking around Downtown, you can find her on a bike during the Baltimore Bike Party on the last Friday of the month.”

The Downtown Partnership, which helped form the Bromo Arts District as an organization, will pay Breiter’s salary. “This interconnectedness also improves coordination on initiatives such as artist engagement, economic development, marketing, and grant funding,” Cavanaugh said in the press release. Breiter’s first move will involve working with the Bromo board to update the organization’s strategic plan.

MAP will host a happy hour on January 23, from 5:30–7:30 p.m., so the public and denizens of the district can meet Breiter and learn more about the Bromo.

Robert W. Deutsch Foundation names Jessica Solomon as Vice President

Jessica Solomon has served as the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation’s Senior Program Officer since 2017. According to a recent press release, the foundation (one of BmoreArt’s most significant supporters) announced that, “In her expanded role, Solomon will further refine and develop grantmaking strategies to ensure a strong culture of equity, learning and accountability to increase impact. Each year, RWDF makes grants in excess of $4,000,000 to Baltimore area non-profits.”

Bringing more than a decade of experience in organizational development to her new role, Solomon “will build on the foundation’s existing programs and place-based investments in arts and culture” including OpenWorks and Motor House, as well as community development and digital equity initiatives such as the Rubys Artist Grant Program, the Wash and Learn Initiative, and the Baltimore Artist Retreat, an annual intentional gathering for 50 Baltimore-based artists.

“This is an exciting time at the foundation,” said Jane Brown, president of the foundation. “2021 marks 30 years of grantmaking for RWDF, and as we approach this milestone, we see 2020 as an intentional time to reflect and actively shape what we become. Jessica’s insightful leadership will be critical to building and solidifying programs and making strategic investments that improve the quality of life in Baltimore and beyond.”

“This new role will enable me to support the foundation in remaining adaptive and responsive,” said Solomon, a native of Baltimore. “Historically, we tended to support the smaller, riskier organizations that serve marginalized populations and people of color. Now more than ever it is imperative that our work is well-rooted in a deep understanding of the history and the untold stories of the communities we serve. I look forward to helping steward this next chapter.”

MICA awarded in National Democracy Challenge

MICA recently won two awards from ALL IN, a national, college-focused voting and civic engagement initiative. The Champion Award recognized the school with the highest registration rate of all participating campuses, and the Best in Class Award (for small, private, four-year institutions) for MICA’s Campus Action Plan. MICA graduate Maddie Wolf also took home the Honor Roll, one of 10 students across the country chosen to receive this award. More than 560 schools across 1,053 campuses participated in the ALL IN initiative.

In 2018, the school’s voting rate of registered students increased about 40 percentage points (from 14 percent in 2014 to 51.7 percent in 2018), and the number of its eligible students registered to vote increased almost 30 percentage points (from 68.6 percent in 2014 to 95.2 percent in 2018).

“We are honored to be recognized for our early efforts to institutionalize voter engagement and civic action throughout our campus, mirroring a priority that has long been held with members of the MICA community,” Abby Neyenhouse, director for the Center for Creative Citizenship, said. “Along with the founding of the Center for Creative Citizenship, this award is a testament to the renewed commitment of our institution to critically examine our community engagement efforts and include civic voice; to remind each student of their potential and ability to become an informed global citizen and change-agent in Baltimore and beyond; and to make the voting process easy, fun and accessible for all members of our community who are allowed that right.”

“Civic engagement is a natural expression of the kind of contributions our students embrace and enact,” said MICA President Samuel Hoi, in a press release. “We are proud and honored that MICA’s educational approach is affirmed and recognized by ALL IN.” (Photos from MICA’s National Voter Registration Day event in 2019.)

Morgan State University receives grant to expand civil rights education for Baltimore City youth

Morgan State University received $248,442 from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services for the school’s Lillie Carroll Jackson Civil Rights Museum to bolster civil rights-based curriculum and programs for Baltimore City middle and high schoolers. A portion of the money will also go towards staffing at the museum.

MSU has partnered with the city public school system, the Maryland Historical Society, and Baltimore Heritage, “each of which will contribute expertise related to highlighting Baltimore’s civil rights leadership history and implementing experiential educational engagement for educators and their students,” according to a press release.

The three-year grant requires that the project supports the museum’s capacity-building, supports the “growth and development of museum professionals,” and offers “community access and awareness.” The funding has allowed the museum to hire Shana Rochester, Ph.D., as education coordinator and will help them hire interns to help with the project.

“Local teachers are visiting the Lillie Carroll Jackson Museum to build primary source research skills and to connect their instruction to Baltimore’s history and the city’s role in the U.S. civil rights movement,” according to the press release. “During the school year, teachers bring their students to the museum to engage in a hands-on experience that enriches their understanding of their city’s African-American history and legacy, while building essential historical thinking skills.”

“We are delighted to lead such an important and transformative educational initiative,” said Iris Leigh Barnes, Ph.D., the curator for LCJM and project manager/supervisor for the grant. “Baltimore has such a rich civil rights history. It is vital that the city’s youth understand how that history fits into the national freedom struggle and that they learn from the iconic Baltimore leaders and the tactics they used to experience successes in social justice reform.”

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