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November 18, 2011

Latest NEA grants include Center Stage, BSO, Baltimore Choral Arts

A fresh round of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts includes music and theater organizations in the Baltimore area. Given periodic political threats to the NEA, threats that tend to get louder with each election cycle, any grant must seem doubly valuable these days.

Center Stage received $55,000 "to support the production of 'Gleam,' an adaptation by Bonnie Lee Moss Rattner of Zora Neale Hurston’s novel 'Their Eyes Were Watching God' ... considered one of the jewels of the Harlem Renaissance."

The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra was awarded ...

$35,000 "to support the Orchestra Fellows Program for musicians of color. Plans for the second year of the program will include mentorship activities, private coaching, audition preparation, and training for outreach and educational events."

The Baltimore Choral Arts Society earned a $10,000 grant "to support 'The Land of the Free,' performances and educational activities in celebration of the 200th anniversary of the events leading to the creation of 'The Star-Spangled Banner.' Plans include a public performance featuring composer Ysaye Barnwell's 'Fortune's Bones: The Manumission Requiem.'

On the visual arts front: Walters Art Museum, $34,000 "to support the exhibition 'Saints, Slaves, and Diplomats: The African Presence in Renaissance Europe'"; MICA, $25,000 "to support the Ceramic and New Technology Research Initiative."

And Baltimore-based Young Audiences of Maryland, Inc. (aka Young Audiences/ Arts for Learning) received $20,000 "to support the Rural Access for All Opportunity Program, [offering] performing and visual arts workshops and residencies ... in rural communities across Maryland."

Posted by Tim Smith at 1:18 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: BSO, Center Stage, Clef Notes, Drama Queens

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About Tim Smith
Born and raised in Washington, D.C., I couldn't help but develop a keen interest in politics, but music, theater and visual art also proved great attractions. Music became my main focus after high school. I thought about being a cocktail pianist, but I hated taking requests, so I studied music history instead, earning a B.A. in that field from Eisenhower College (Seneca Falls, N.Y.) and an M.A. from Occidental College (Los Angeles). I then landed in journalism. After freelancing for the Washington Post and others, I was classical music critic for the Sun-Sentinel in South Florida, where I also contributed to NPR. I've written for the New York Times, BBC Music Magazine and other publications, and I'm a longtime contributor to Opera News. My book, The NPR Curious Listener's Guide to Classical Music (Perigee, 2002), can be found on the most discerning remainder racks.

I joined the Baltimore Sun as classical music critic in 2000 and, in 2009, also became theater critic, giving me the opportunity to annoy a whole new audience. In 2010, my original Clef Notes blog expanded to encompass a theatrical component -- how could I resist calling it Drama Queens? I hope you'll find both sides of this blog coin worth exploring and reacting to; your own comments are always welcome and valued (well, most of them, at least).

Think of this as your open-all-hours, cyber green room, where there's always a performer or performance to discuss, some news to digest, or maybe just a little good gossip to share.
Note: Tim Smith now writes about the fine arts at This blog will be kept in place as an archive for an indefinite period. Please visit the new location to get the latest Mid-Atlantic arts coverage.
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