Inspiring news times two this week for the Baltimore arts and Maryland at large.
Courtesy of Bmore Media – Growing up in Upper Marlboro, Aaron Marshall wanted to overcome his stuttering.
After many years of work with speech pathologists, Marshall succeeded and the attorney is now a board member for an agency that helps others find their own voice.
The senior counsel for Northrop Grumman Corp. in Linthicum became a board member of the nonprofit Hearing and Speech Agency of Baltimore. Last year, HASA provided diagnosis, speech therapy, family education and other assistance to more than 100 individuals who stutter and hosted a special viewing for the Oscar-winning movie “The King’s Speech.”
Join us, rain or shine, for the 17th Annual March for the Animals on Sunday, April 29 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Druid Hill Park. March for the Animals is an enjoyable event for pet lovers, and it’s for a great cause. Last year, the MD SPCA helped find homes for over 3,000 pets and spayed/neutered nearly 9,000 animals. The MD SPCA needs your help to continue its lifesaving work.
You can pre-register for the March for the Animals on Saturday, April 21 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. or Tuesday, April 24 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Maryland SPCA (3300 Falls Road, Baltimore, MD 21211). Participants who raise $30 or more receive a goody bag and a Maryland SPCA dog bandana; those who raise $40 or more also receive the 2012 March for the Animals T-shirt. You can turn in cash and check donations at pre-registration. Additional donations can be turned in up to and including the day of the event.
Pack T-shirts and goody bags are available only at pre-registration. Packs should have the team leader or another team member attend one of the pre-registration sessions and pick up the Pack members’ shirts, bandanas and goody bags.
You can register for the March for the Animals up to and including the day of the event. Registration forms are available at the Maryland SPCA and local businesses. You can download a registration and pledge form. You can register online, register at pre-registration (see above) or register at the event.
For ticket information and to view the artwork online, visit school33.org.
Almost two and a half years ago, following an engaged and engaging discussion at the central branch of the Pratt Library about how Americans talk — and don’t talk — about race, Open Society Institute-Baltimore director Diana Morris weighed in with a pithy, insightful analysis of our nation’s seemingly institutional racism.
“In America, we focus a lot on individuals; we don’t think about systems,” Morris noted in December 2009, prefiguring the current cataclysm surrounding the death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin. “Even in school, we don’t talk often about systems unless we happen to take a course in college about sociology. So that’s very helpful to me when I think through ‘how can we really talk effectively about the criminal justice system, which so adversely affects people of color and people who are poor.’ And that’s a system at work, and some of them are sort of unofficial or informal systems, and some of them are formal systems, but it’s more than just an individual bias. And we want to be able to convey that, because unless we can really pierce those systems, we’re not gonna really get effective change.”
Since 1997, Morris has brought a pronounced passion to effecting change in this city as overseer of the local outpost of gazillionaire philanthropist George Soros’ international Open Society Foundations. Specifically, OSI-Baltimore, according to its website, concentrates on “three intertwined problems: untreated drug addiction, an over-reliance on incarceration, and obstacles that impede youth in succeeding inside and out of the classroom. We also support a growing corps of social entrepreneurs committed to underserved populations in Baltimore.”
Since Tom Wilcox arrived here in 2000 to become president and CEO of the Baltimore Community Foundation (BCF), the city has witnessed a now-you-see-‘em/now-you-don’t burlesque of changes among its top officials – at City Hall, the police department, fire department, health department, public schools – that includes a mayor and a police commissioner convicted of low crimes and misdemeanors. Simultaneously, the city, sometimes by accident and sometimes by design, also has witnessed dramatic improvements: notably, a decreased crime rate, increased student test scores, and, probably thanks to the Internet, greater transparency at various government agencies. Partial credit, certainly, goes to a handful of forward-thinking municipal administrators, who, given a forum, loudly declaim their achievements. More quietly, the progressive policies of the BCF and its nonprofit brethren – true “BELIEVE” types – have just as demonstrably enhanced Baltimoreans’ lives.
As head of the BCF, now in its 40th year, Wilcox rides herd on 600-plus varied philanthropic funds, organizing “grants, initiatives, and advocacy around a vision of a Baltimore with a growing economy,” according to the foundation’s website. Last year, the BCF dispensed more than $20 million in grants to hundreds of local, regional, and national nonprofits. Specific to the metro area, its Invest in Baltimore agenda, co-crafted by Wilcox, “encompasses and measures coordinated efforts to reduce poverty, stimulate economic growth, and assure a high quality of life in Greater Baltimore.” In essence, BCF shepherds donors’ charitable giving by matching benefactors to their particular areas of interest: neighborhoods, education (including scholarships), health, and the arts.
Ok, there’s no real bar scene here, but everything else is in place for Cylburn Arboretum (you know, the tree place) to be the next Baltimore social hot spot. Looking way beyond the trees, Cylburn Arboretum has planned a spring and summer of nature-based art events – including a kid’s camp.
Starting on Friday, March 2nd from 6-8pm, there will be an exhibition of nature-inspired quilts, kicked-off with an opening reception underwritten by LifeBridge Health at the new Vollmer Center. Members of the Baltimore Heritage Quilters’ Guild will present the quilts and they will be on display from March 2-29, Tuesdays thru Sundays from 10-4pm.
On April 18th at 7pm, Paul Espinosa of the George Peabody Library will lecture on the history of botanical illustrations from 15th and 16th century woodcuts and more, with works taken from the Rare Books Collection of the Johns Hopkins University.
Then, party on at Cylburn, June 21st from 6-9 pm, at the “Summer Solstice In The City” party, featuring the Cylburn gardens lit by candlelight, live music, and dancing under the stars and wine from Boordy Vineyards, Heavy Seas beer and light fare.
Painters are invited to Garden Paint Outs on three Sundays this summer. Mark your calendar for June 24, July 15 and September 16, when artists will be painting “en plein air” throughout the beautiful grounds of the arboretum. To reserve a space for the September Paint Out Plus, go to mapapa.shuttlepod.org (click on events).
And for children ages 6-11, the Cylburn Nature Science Camp will be back with four one-week nature-oriented sessions beginning the week of June 28. Campers will learn about small mammals, salamanders, birds flowers, pollinators and trees. A new session for 10-11 year olds will explore biodiversity using technology, mapping and the scientific method For more information, check out the Cylburn website or e-mail [email protected].
For information on all the programs, you can call the office at 410-367-2217.
With Thanksgiving a week away, amid contemplating how to cram sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole and cheesy scalloped potatoes in the same tiny oven at the same time, we found ourselves remembering that many Marylanders have far more serious problems concerning food, like not enough of it. That got us thinking about the amazing Maryland Food Bank, which procures food and distributes meals to 600 small and large partners, like emergency shelters, soup kitchens, and food pantries — including the CARES Food Pantry in Govans and the Helping Up Mission in Baltimore.
The Food Bank feeds thousands upon thousands of people, not just on Turkey Day, but every single day of the year!
“More than 460,000 Maryland residents are ‘hungry,’ in our service area, which is the entire state except Prince Georges and Montgomery County,” explains Amanda Knittle, interim communications manager at the MD Food Bank. “Unique to Maryland: 45 percent deemed hungry are not eligible for federal food assistance programs; their incomes are considered too high.”
While your first generous thought might be to bag up canned goods for the organization, that’s actually not the most efficient approach. The Food Bank receives regular donations in bulk, from the M&T Bank Stadium and Oriole Park, Oakcrest and Charlestown retirement communities — the latter donate 400 pounds of food weekly. Capital Grille shares 100 pounds of food twice a week. The organization also receives good grub from McCormick and Schmick’s.
“Our drivers go out and pick up these donated items,” Knittle explains. “To make it worth the investment of drivers and gas, it’s more efficient to have a larger donation.”
Ongoing support is essential! You can enhance the Food Banks phenomenal efforts this Thanksgiving season and beyond by merely going online to give.
“Our business is to procure food — we have people who are food sourcers. They find the best food at the best prices. Somebody’s dollar can go much further through us,” Knittle says.
So, check out the virtual food drive.
Give money. Every dollar means serious nourishment.
Are you a Ravens’ fan? For every $10 worth of food that you donate through the Ravens Online Food Drive, you’ll be entered to win two tickets to a Ravens vs. Colts home game in December. $10 = one entry, $20 = two entries, $100 = 10 entries! Deadline for entry is November 20.
You can even help on Thanksgiving weekend, when Mr. Rain’s Funhouse the restaurant at the AVAM will collect funds to benefit the MD Food Bank.
Heartwarming end note: More than 9600 Thanksgiving “End Hunger” holiday boxes have already been assembled, through the MD Food Bank, containing kale, green beans, mashed potatoes, stuffing, mac and cheese, and pumpkin pie fixings. Each feeds 10. They will be distributed with a turkey, too. (Orioles’ wives sponsored a fundraiser this summer. Other donors include: C&S, Shoprite, Giant, WYPR/Eddie’s.)
Go online and help the Maryland Food Bank multiply modest money into miraculously nourishing meals. You’ll have a happier holiday for it!
Want a lump in your throat, in the best way?
This week the MD SPCA has launched the most adorable, uplifting, tear-jerking TV and radio campaign to promote pet adoptions and additional support of their lovely work on behalf of abandoned animals–the campaign will run for one month, airing on local TV stations and on WLIF-FM. Ready for the heart-pounding “Aw” moment? Click here to watch now.
To help the cause, share the video on Facebook. Plus, sign up to make a monthly gift during the campaign and you’ll score a “Feel the Warmth of a Cold Nose” bumper sticker, and will be enrolled in the organization’s Faithful Friends group.
If our encouragement isn’t enough, the cute-dog-leaping-into-his-owner’s-arms commercial should do the quick trick. Kleenex recommended.