Hidden Histories: The I. Henry Photo Project


Webster Phillips was around 9 years old when he first went out on assignment for the Baltimore Sun. Irving Phillips, his father, a staff photographer, brought Webster along with an extra camera so he could act as second photographer, getting detail shots while Irving focused on the action.

He was learning the family trade. Webster’s grandfather, I. Henry Phillips, was a photographer at the Afro-American newspaper. His father, Irving, also worked for the Afro, and traveled around the South with Martin Luther King Jr., documenting his speeches for the paper. In 1969, after he returned from serving in Vietnam, Irving was the first Black photographer hired by the Sun. Even Webster’s grandmother, Laura Phillips, worked in the Afro’s archive.

Baltimore Fishbowl’s Top 10 cultural stories of 2019

Image via the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s Facebook page.

This year saw major changes at some of the region’s biggest cultural institutions, not all of them good. But there’s plenty worth celebrating, including labor peace at the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Enoch Pratt Free Library’s central branch reopening after renovations and local designer Bishme Cromartie finding fame on “Project Runway.” Here’s our rundown of the most significant cultural stories of 2019. (Brandon Weigel)

All entries by Bret McCabe except where noted.

Weekend Events Calendar: Kwanzaa Celebration and Marketplace; Harlem Globetrotters and more

Image via the Reginald F. Lewis Museum’s Facebook page.

This weekend, Kwanzaa highlights the holiday celebrations, with events offering entertainment and marketplaces with local goods. Elsewhere, local musicians pay tribute to legends like Fleetwood Mac and Hank Williams. And the Steelers come to town.

Celebrate Kwanzaa at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum


Celebrate Kwanzaa on Saturday, 12/28 at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum. The day will include African dance, drumming performances, workshops, lectures, craft activities, and an African Marketplace celebrating the principle Ujima: Collective Work and Responsibility. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased here.

A Colonial Christmas at Mount Clare – 12/21 + 12/22, 12/28 + 12/29


Visit Colonial Christmas at Mount Clare, the first house museum in Baltimore, a Colonial Georgian masterpiece and Registered National Historic Landmark, located in Carroll Park, minutes from the Inner Harbor, centuries away.  For details go to

Maryland Zoo taps Kirby Fowler as next president and CEO

Kirby Fowler. Image via the Maryland Zoo.

The Maryland Zoo has picked Kirby Fowler, the long-time head of the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore, to be its next president and CEO, replacing the attraction’s leader for 10 years, Don Hutchinson.

Fowler is set to start at the zoo in April 2020 and will oversee its 250 employees, 225 volunteers and 1,500 animals. After a brief transition period, Hutchinson will step down at the end of June 2020.

Everyman offers a high-energy production of ‘Murder on the Orient Express’

Credit: Teresa Castracane.

“Murder on the Orient Express,” first a popular paperback and later multiple starstudded movies, has always been fun, gorgeous nonsense. The lavish staging now at Everyman is no different, despite the inherent handicap of bringing a complex, many-character mystery to stage.

The production sparkles with high-energy performances, witty banter and beautiful sets. But keeping track of so many characters and their alibis is almost impossible, and the mystery’s solution doesn’t make much sense, as you probably already know if you’ve read the book or seen one of the movies.

MD Historical Society set to open exhibit on Hutzler’s department store

Hutzler Bros. Building & Annex, 210-218 N. Howard St., circa 1915. Courtesy: Maryland Historical Society.

In its heyday, the Westside of downtown was the nexus of shopping in Baltimore, with department stores such as Hochschild Kohn, Hecht’s and Stewart’s all lining Howard Street.

And of course there was Hutzler’s, whose palatial flagship store, built in the 19th century, remains an icon of that bygone era. According to Maryland Historical Trust, Hutzler’s, which started out as a dry goods store just before the Civil War, “is believed to hold the record for longevity in an original location among American department stores.”

As pilot episode for ‘The President is Missing’ readies to film in Maryland, there’s hope of a sizable economic impact

Actor David Oyelowo is reportedly starring in “The President is Missing.” Image via IMDB.

By Ben Cooper
Capital News Service

After the Netflix series “House of Cards” had an economic impact of more than $700 million on Maryland while filming its six seasons in the state from 2012 to 2018, there’s hope that a new television show can make its mark in 2020.

Gov. Larry Hogan announced in October that a pilot episode for a potential new Showtime series, “The President is Missing,” starring David Oyelowo, is set to begin filming in Maryland in early 2020. Maryland Film Office director Jack Gerbes is optimistic about its prospective influence on the state’s economy.

Baltimore Museum of Art to Host FREE Event with 1619 Project Journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones, Activist/Art Collector Pamela Joyner, and Artist Zoe Charlton


On Tuesday, December 17, The Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) will host The Necessity of Tomorrow(s): Future Histories, a free conversation with award-winning journalist Nikole Hannah- Jones who created The 1619 Project for The New York Times; activist/art collector Pamela J. Joyner; and Baltimore-based artist and art professor Zoë Charlton. The event is part of the BMA’s The Necessity of Tomorrow(s) series, which brings together artists, writers, and thought leaders to examine and discuss issues and ideas at the intersections of art, race, and social justice. The Necessity of Tomorrow(s): Future Histories is free and open to the public from 6 to 10 p.m. Seating is first come, first seated in the BMA Auditorium and in live-streamed locations throughout the museum. The event includes free admission to the BMA’s Generations: A History of Black Abstract Art exhibition and cocktail reception with music, cash bar, and light bites. For more information, please click here.