Safe Art Space Public Forum

The Mayor’s Safe Art Space Task Force Public Forum is today, Thursday, February 16, 4-7pm, at the War Memorial building, 101 N. Gay Street. Contribute your input to help create a citywide network of safe, cost-effective, contemporary, living, live/work, studio, and performance spaces for established and emerging artists. Click here to learn more and register:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/mayors-safe-art-space-task-force-public-forum-tickets-32092245771

Advocate for local arts funding 2/14 & 3/20-21

Maryland State Arts Council is the largest funder of operating support in Baltimore City and is critical throughout the state and region. Our chance to advocate for local arts funding is now! Register for Maryland Arts Day on February 14 to show your commitment to the arts in Baltimore City. Early bird registration is through Friday, February 3rd. Click here to learn more and register.

Americans for the Arts’ Advocacy Day is March 20-21. Both the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities are threatened in the country’s current political climate. Click here to learn more and participate.

Take Action to Protect National Arts Funding

Last week The Hill newspaper broke the alarming story that policy advisors to the President are calling for the elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities and privatizing the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. While Citizen Artist Baltimore is focused on primarily on advocating for supporting arts and culture at a local level, we can’t stand by while larger institutions for support are threatened. Take action to protect national arts funding! Here is what you can do:

  • Click here to learn more from Americans for the Arts about about the funding threat to the NEA.
  • Take two minutes to contact your two Senators and your House representatives now.
  • Join the Arts Action Fund (for free) so we can get alerts to you as quickly as possible and you can respond to decision-makers fast.

Affordable & Safe Housing for All Baltimoreans

Since the tragic Ghost Ship artist warehouse fire in Oakland on December 2nd, artist live-work spaces have been subject to increased fire safety scrutiny nationwide. Locally, on December 5 the Bell Foundry live and work artist space was inspected and condemned. Residents and cultural workers were evicted without advance warning due to code violations. Today, December 21, Mayor Catherine Pugh announced a Task Force on Safe Art Spaces comprised of artists, city officials, cultural leaders, and developers. Citizen Artist Baltimore will work with the Mayor’s Task Force to contribute to housing solutions benefiting artists, cultural workers, and all Baltimoreans.

Baltimore Taskforce Safe Artist Spaces announcement

Station North Director Elissa Blout Moorehead speaking alongside Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh at the press conference announcing Task Force on Safe Artist Spaces.

Low-income artists seeking affordable live/work spaces routinely take on the financial and bodily risks of converting and occupying former industrial and commercial spaces. These spaces serve not only as places of artistic production and affordable shelter, but also as community spaces for marginalized groups, including those identifying as queer and people of color. The loss of these safe spaces is one piece of a much larger set of housing challenges in our city. Low income families are increasingly unable to find fair and affordable housing throughout Baltimore. More needs to be done to ensure access to safe and affordable housing and workspace for all.

As fire marshals continue to inspect buildings, Baltimore City should commit to supporting the immediate needs of those living with housing insecurity who are seeking to make necessary improvements and to also invest in other long-term solutions. Citizen Artist Baltimore stands in solidarity with long term fair housing advocates represented by the Baltimore Housing Roundtable and Housing For All, and support their efforts to implement the Affordable Housing Trust Fund approved by voters in the general election.

Safe and affordable housing and workspace is a human right. Citizen Artist Baltimore values the rights of artists, and all Baltimore residents, to safe and affordable housing and workspace. We will work with City Hall to make sure artist voices are heard! Sign up for action alerts as the new Mayor and City Council address these issues and to learn about other opportunities to advocate for arts and culture.

Click here to use the form on our frontpage to sign up for action alerts!

Baltimore Arts Education Coalition: Principal Panel Discussion

November 30, 2016 from 4:30-6:30 PM

Hosted by Arts Every Day
120 W. North Ave, Baltimore, MD 21201

Click here to RSVP

The Baltimore Arts Education Coalition (BAEC) is a group of citizens advocating for, and partnering with City Schools to build, strong arts programs. On November 30, the BAEC will hold a panel discussion with Baltimore City Schools principals to discuss strategies on how to ensure that all students participate in high quality arts education programs and receive instruction in all arts disciplines including dance, media arts, music, theatre and visual arts.

The panel is comprised of City Schools principals who are doing good work in providing quality arts instruction for students.  Panelists will share their insight on the budgeting, scheduling and day-to-day decisions that impact the arts. The program will include time for questions and discussion with the audience.

Panelists include:

Cathleen Miles, Principal at Abbottston Elementary School
Nancy Fagan, Principal at Highlandtown Elementary/Middle School #215
Craig Rivers, Principal at Mergenthaler Vocational Technical High School
Mathew Hornbeck, Principal at Hampstead Hill Academy
Jessica Johnson, Principal at Booker T. Washington Middle School for the Arts

Moving Forward

Citizen Artist Baltimore stands in solidarity with LGBTQI folks, women, people of color, Muslims, Mexicans, and indeed all people threatened by the presidential election results. As we heal from the trauma of the 2016 national presidential election, there are many local decisions that were made from which we can draw hope. Mayor-elect Catherine Pugh is already talking about top priorities affecting artists and cultural workers – jobs, education, and housing. In addition, important ballot questions were approved, including the charter amendment establishing the Affordable Housing Trust Fund. Working in community reminds us that supporting arts and culture are both means and ends as we continue to make Baltimore a more inclusive and prosperous place for our neighbors. Strengthening and building bridges among our many communities is where it all starts. Our love through organizing continues.

Citizen Artist Baltimore will be holding community gatherings and cultural organizing trainings in the near future. All will be welcome as we seek to expand our community networks, build leadership, and focus on the best ways to equitably support arts and culture in Baltimore City. Take the Citizen Artist Baltimore pledge to receive updates on participating in future events.

Get Out The Vote!

With 2016 General Election just over a month away, Citizen Artist Baltimore (CAB) is calling on YOU to register to vote, get educated on the candidates, and get out and vote! Heres how you can help:

  1. Learn about the mayoral candidates positions on arts and cultural priorities so that you can make the best choice.
  2. Find out about all of the candidates running to represent your district and find out more about the important ballot questions by using the League of Women Voters Vote Guide.
  3. Help get out the vote! The No Boundaries Coalition is going to be making phone calls, knocking on doors and giving people rides to the polls on election day. They are asking people to sign up in 2 hour shifts between 10am and 8pm.  Sign up to volunteer on election day using this form.
  4. VOTE ON NOVEMBER 8. Click here to find your Baltimore City polling location.

Sign up for updates on future events and help Citizen Artist Baltimore show the strength of Baltimore’s arts and cultural communities by taking the Citizen Artist Baltimore Pledge.

While you are getting out the vote In Real Life, join the conversation and help Citizen Artist Baltimore spread the word online! Follow us, share, and comment on facebook, twitter, and instagram. Share your citizen artist actions using the hashtag #CitizenArtistBmore.

Volunteer to Get Out the Early Vote!

Volunteer with the No Boundaries Coalition to help get out the early vote this Saturday, 10/29. Meet 9am at the Avenue Market, 1700 Pennsylvania Avenue. Look for the No Boundaries fruit stand to find a field organizer. Canvassing and ride sharing to early polling will run 10am-4pm.

Baltimore Stories / Art of Transformation

Art of Transformation

 

 

Citizen Artist Baltimore is excited to share an interactive presentation on with participants at the upcoming Art of Transformation: Reworking Baltimore’s Stories media screening and discussion at Arch Social Club on July 28 from 6-8pm. Citizen Artist Baltimore will help lead a discussion about what we heard at listening sessions, what the mayoral candidates said about arts and culture, and how you can help shape our future as a city-wide alliance of cultural organizing. This event is presented as part of the Baltimore Stories Project and will exploring the unique synergy between: Art, Local Business & the Soul of a Community.

Thursday, July 28th at 6–8:30pm
ARCH SOCIAL CLUB
2426 Pennsylvania Ave, Baltimore, MD 21217
Event is free and open to the public.
Food and drinks available for purchase.

Soul of the Community

Seven filmed interviews with artists, activists, and residents of the Sandtown/Winchester neighborhood of Baltimore inspire an exploration of the powerful relationship between the arts, local economy, and what causes a community to thrive. In addition to excerpts from the interview films, the evening will feature an interactive visualization that makes the synergy between these factors explicit for policymakers, activists, and residents alike.

Films feature: James Hamlin, Michael Wills, Nia Hampton, Denise Johnson, James Coombs, Dominic Nell, and Johnnie Jackson.

Presenters include: Denise Johnson, Michael Scott, Lee Boot, Tahira Madhi, and Chris Kojzar.

The Art of Transformation project is being developed by the Imaging Research Center at UMBC in collaboration with Baltimore Imagining Group (big) a coalition of individuals from Baltimore arts, community, and social justice organizations. Collaborators include Culture Works, The US Department of Arts and Culture, Equity MattersNew Lens, and Wombwork Productions.

Congrats to the Mayoral Nominees and Thanks to the Arts Voters!

Citizen Artist Baltimore extends our congratulations to the 2016 party mayoral nominees for Baltimore City: Democrat Catherine Pugh, Republican Alan Walden, and Green Joshua Harris. We look forward to continuing the conversation about Baltimore’s top arts and culture priorities ahead of the general election on November 8th.

None of this could have been possible without the thousands of arts voters who set our arts agenda and contributed to the surge in voter turnout during early voting and on April 26. Thank you all. Now that the field has narrowed down, we invite all arts voters to take a closer look at the questionnaire responses of the three leading mayoral candidates as you prepare to cast your final vote in November.

With the help of countless participants, invaluable guidance from our organizational partners and steering committee members, and major support from our funders, Citizen Artist Baltimore was able to include arts and culture as one of the many important conversations leading up the primary election. We engaged hundreds of citizen artists during seven listening sessions held at partner spaces across the city. Participants provided thousands of comments on existing cultural assets, forms of support, and concrete needs. Based on their input, the Citizen Artist Baltimore steering committee developed our priority statements focused on inclusive cultural planning, arts education and equitable access to jobs and funding for the arts.

These priorities served as the foundation for the mayoral questionnaire we distributed to all of the party candidates. With a nearly a month to spare, we secured, published and promoted in-depth responses from eleven of the leading mayoral candidates. These responses factored into the decision arts voters made at the polls leading up to and on April 26. Now the answers belonging to Senator Catherine Pugh, Alan Walden, and Joshua Harris will continue to serve as a crucial resource as we head towards the general election.

As we take a moment to celebrate (and catch our breath), Citizen Artist Baltimore is reaching back out to our listening session hosts, leaders, and partners in order to continue building on the successes of the initiative thus far. More details to follow on how we can and will leverage our art voting power to continue making Baltimore strong.

Citizen Artist Baltimore No Boundaries Block Party Future Arts Voter