Archive | May 2013

Discussing Art and Advocacy at the BA+JP May Community Dialogue

The Baltimore Art + Justice Project’s latest community dialogue brought together local artists, activists, practitioners, community members, and organizers to discuss building (and maintaining) collaborative, working relationships between artists and non-profits. The dialogue was held in partnership with the Public Justice Center who were not only wonderful hosts but provided insight into their own experiences of bringing together the non-profit sector and artists in multiple successful ways.

Jennifer Pelton, Director of Development at PJC, described the work they do as focused on targeting the roots of poverty.  Pelton described how the advocacy driven organization had used powerful images and photographs of real life situations in Baltimore, such as tenant evictions, to convey the importance of taking action on specific issues. In addition to photography, the organization has collaborated with the Megaphone Project multiple times on films and brought in performers for their anniversary benefit. Pelton described that art makes individuals feel compelled do get involved in political advocacy, bridging the gap between the two communities: “Art makes us talk about difficult topics and justice gives us a course of action for those topics.”

Elliot Rauh and Jessica Garrett from Single Carrot Theatre also described in detail their experiences bridging artistic and non-profit communities. The members from the socially engaged theatre company described working to grow outreach and education programs through the theatre. One program in particular they discussed was their annual reading of the “Murder Ink” column from Baltimore’s City Paper. Without any fanfare the SC Theatre company has read aloud the names from the previous years’ column with the intent to not only bring up those individuals’ names again and have them remembered as Garrett stated that “every human being deserves to be acknowledged when they die.” Single Carrot also hopes to create a conversation through the readings explained by Rauh, “theatre sparks dialogue.”

Elliot Rauh, Murder Ink Reading

Elliot Rauh, Murder Ink Reading

The challenges of bringing together artists and non-profits were addressed during the dialogue and many thought the difficulties often rest in understanding the different communities, cultures, and priorities. Some artists might feel that non-profits have not provided the room for creative possibility while non-profits feel that artists might not respect their responsibilities or priorities. It was clear, however that the desire for collaboration was high and the need for a coalition was strong. Continually individuals discussed how necessary it was to build off of the assets that each community can bring, and make sure that we continue to maintain open communication. It’s clear that there are artists and non-profits working on the same issues in Baltimore City that can make incredible work when they collaborate.

Keeping the dialogue going:

What makes for a successful non-profit/artist partnership?

What are your experiences?

What do you think?

What Do You Think Baltimore?: Baltimore Think-A-Thon

On Friday May 24th an event is bringing together Baltimore artists, social activists, researchers, medical professionals, scientists, humanists, political representatives, and foundations to do some thinking. The Baltimore Think-A-Thon is an all day brainstorming event being held by the Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities at the University of Maryland, College Park and the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. Focusing on addressing both black infant mortality and rising AIDS/HIV rates in the city, along with other possible issues raised by participants, those in attendance will be coming together across occupations and communities to discuss past, present, and future ways to address these issues.

The Think-A-Thon comes out of recent studies that have found the collaboration between arts and science practitioners in problem solving can create innovative and effective interventions. The varying backgrounds of the thinkers involved from art to science, to politics encourages that they will bring different skills, perspectives, and thinking styles to the discussion. During the day artists will be working to create preliminary sketches of the ideas thought up by the group. The works created throughout the day will be used later in the “Baltimore Stories Project,” a larger community based project.

The intense day of problem solving, thinking and discussing will be taking place on Friday, May 24, 2013 from 9:00am-3:00pm and will be followed by a reception and a poster session. The Think-A-Thon is being held in the Westminster Hall, located at 519 W. Fayette Street, Baltimore, MD 21201

For more information and to register please visit http://www.arhu.umd.edu/thinkathon

Young at Art: Wide Angle Youth Media and The 8th Annual Youth Media Festival

Since 2000, Wide Angle Youth Media has been providing opportunities for Baltimore City youth to develop leadership skills, gain media education, and access to media resources and tools. Each year the organization works with hundreds of Baltimore youth who learn techniques that range from design to photography to film and more. Wide Angle provides these resources and education through a variety of different after school and summer programs: Wide Angle’s Attendance and Design Team, Baltimore Speaks Out!, Mentoring Video Project, Youth Speaks Out!, Summer Media Camp, Special Programs, and their Youth Media Festival. While each of these programs provide a different topic focus, the content is guided by and the end outcome is controlled by the youth involved. Running through all of Wide Angle’s programs is a consistent and clear intent to assist Baltimore City Youth in telling their own story through their own words… or images.

Wide Angle Youth Media_Brandon 636px             Wide Angle works to go beyond just providing the education and the resources, but creates platforms for youth to share their art with the rest of the city. The 8th Annual Wide Angle Youth Media Festival will be holding its Opening Reception next Wednesday May 15th, 2013 from 5:00-8:00pm at the Creative Alliance. The Youth Media Festival showcases the art of over 200 youth from over 40 schools and 10 after school programs across Baltimore City. Using photography and film, this year’s Youth Media Festival features pieces created to challenge negative stereotypes of young people in Baltimore. During the Opening Reception, Wide Angle is collaborating with The Gandhi Brigade’s Just Us Youth Media Festival to screen videos by youth from across Maryland addressing the difficulties they experience and the positive things young people are doing in response. From 3:00pm-5:00pm on the 15th Wide Angle will be hosting free art activities at the Creative Alliance prior to the official Opening Reception. While the Festival’s Opening Reception is next Wednesday the Exhibition will run from May 15th until May 24th.

Individual Tickets for the festival are $10 and can be purchased here.

Wide Angle Youth Media Festival
Wednesday May 15, 2013
Opening Reception 5:00-8:00 PM
Where:
The Creative Alliance
Amalie Rothschild Gallery
3134 Eastern Ave., Baltimore MD 21224Final-Festival-Postcard
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