Culture

Building a civic life in the time of Trump

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Eric Liu Headshot
Liu is the featured speaker at Leadership Howard County Big Event

We know our politics are broken.

We yell at each other on Twitter and trade dark secrets culled from shadowy corners of the web. We live in different realities from each other. The world some of us see on the screen of Fox News is nothing like the world others of us live in daily on MSNBC.

The problems of our polarization and fear have been well-diagnosed. So where are the solutions? Eric Liu has a few.

PCs for People is refurbishing computers to provide tech access in Baltimore

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PCs for People is bringing its mission of digital inclusion to Baltimore. The organization opened a space in East Baltimore, where residents can receive free or low-cost computers and affordable broadband internet.

BMA adds new outdoor experiences starting Aug. 5

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Kota Ezawa. National Anthem (Video still). 2018. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Purchase with exchange funds from the Pearlstone Family Fund and partial gift of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. BMA 2019.161. © Kota Ezawa; Courtesy of the Artist and Ryan Lee Gallery, New York

Beginning Wednesday, August 5, the BMA debuts a presentation of Kota Ezawa’s powerful video National Anthem in the Latrobe Spring House and on BMA Go Mobile, the museum’s app. Beginning Saturday, August 15, the experiences will be accompanied by the Snow Cone Sisters snack kiosk featuring gourmet hot dogs and snow cones from Gertrude’s Chesapeake Kitchen. The Sculpture Gardens and Spring House will be open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday, weather permitting. The snack kiosk will be open Tuesday through Sunday, 11:00 a.m. to dusk.

Going medieval in the time of the pandemic

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Josse Lieferinxe - The Walters Art Museum
Josse Lieferinxe, Saint Sebastian Interceding for Victims of the Black Death, Provence, 1497–1499, the Walters Art Museum

The following essay is drawn from a chapter in ‘The Holy Shroud: A Brilliant Hoax in the Time of the Black Death,’ the latest book by former Walters Art Museum director Gary Vikan. The book was published May 5, 2020 by Pegasus Books.

The COVID-19 virus is new, but some of our responses to it are downright medieval: from Jim Bakker’s $125 “Silver Solution” and Alex Jones’ sham anti-virus toothpaste, to Donald Trump’s Hydroxychloroquine tablets – to his shouting “hoax” and blaming minorities and foreigners.

What’s open, Baltimore? Local institutions await your arrival

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As the lockdown has progressed over the months, we’ve learned how to make concessions between needs and wants, particularly when it comes to enjoying nature and culture. While most local cultural institutions like the American Visionary Art Museum and The Walters Art Museum are closed, here are a handful of open institutions that are waiting for you. Check their websites or call for current information before you venture forth, and remember to wear your mask.

AVAM moves programming online for remainder of 2020

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The American Visionary Art Museum. Photo by Jack Hoffberger.

The American Visionary Art Museum is moving the remainder of its talks, movie screenings and other events online for the remainder of the year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the exception of the White Elephant Barn Clearance scheduled for Aug. 8.

John Waters is the new face of Saint Laurent

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Image via Saint Laurent.

After representing Nike and Nordstrom last year, filmmaker John Waters is the new face of Saint Laurent menswear.

The Parisian fashion house posted two black-and-white images from a new ad campaign on its social media accounts today.

One (shown above) features a snarling John Waters, dressed in a black double-breasted jacket, with a black shirt and black polka dot tie, holding dark Saint Laurent glasses with the frames pointing to his pencil-thin mustache. The other shows Waters adjusting the same tie, glasses on. Both were taken by the noted photographer David Sims.

BSO cancels all concerts through November

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Image via the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s Facebook page.

The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra has cancelled all in-person performances through Nov. 29, citing the “uncertainty” of when audiences will be able to return to the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall and The Music Center at Strathmore as the coronavirus pandemic persists.

The BSO’s 2020-2021 season was set to begin in September, kicking off music director Marin Alsop’s last year leading the orchestra, but is instead pivoting to virtual performances and other programs.

Q&A: Brandon Soderberg and Baynard Woods discuss their GTTF book ‘I Got a Monster’

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Baynard Woods, left, and Brandon Soderberg, authors of “I Got a Monster.”

I first heard the name Det. Daniel Hersl while working at City Paper, where my colleagues and friends Brandon Soderberg and Baynard Woods reported on his harassment of Kevron Evans, better known as rapper Young Moose.

Hersl cited Moose’s lyrics and music videos in a warrant to raid the rapper’s home in July 2014, leading to the arrest of Moose’s father, brother and mother. But he did not issue a warrant for the rapper’s arrest until weeks later. Moose’s lawyer, Richard Woods, claimed Hersl was aware Moose was scheduled to open for Baton Rouge rapper Lil’ Boosie at Royal Farms Arena–a huge boost for the musician’s career–just days before police brought him in.

In March 2016, Moose and his family members were acquitted on drug charges stemming from the raid, one of several instances where Hersl locked up Moose or harassed the Evans family.

Open house at John Waters’ boyhood home draws a (socially distanced) crowd

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Guests tour Oak Grove, a 19th century residence and the boyhood home of filmmaker John Waters, during an open house. Photo by Ed Gunts.

Nearly a dozen pink flamingos lined the driveway of a stately residence in Baltimore County on Sunday, as visitors strolled past. Two pink flamingo-shaped planters framed the entrance. Inside, more pink flamingos adorned tea towels that were hanging in the kitchen with the greeting: “Let’s Flamingle.”

For anyone who couldn’t guess, this was the boyhood home of John Waters, writer and director of the 1972 film “Pink Flamingos” and other Baltimore-centric cult classic movies. Although the filmmaker hasn’t lived there since 1966, the current owners have kept his memory alive with Pink Flamingo-themed touches in and around the house. At Christmastime, they even put Santa Claus on the front lawn, with a sleigh drawn by pink flamingos.

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