Posts

United Not Blighted Rally

United Not Blighted poster

United Not Blighted Rally – Baltimore’s 20/20 Vision for Development without Displacement

Saturday, May 13, 2-5pm, Warm Memorial

101 N. Gay St., Baltimore, MD 21202

One of the top priorities we heard from citizen artists during our listening sessions last year was the need for access to affordable housing and workspace. Baltimore Housing Roundtable is leading the charge for fair development in Baltimore with their 20/20 Vision. Building on voter approval of the Affordable Housing Trust Fund during last fall’s election, BHR is now pressing forward with the #UnitedNotBlighted campaign. Will you join us to advocate for affordable housing in Baltimore?

The event will be hosted at the Baltimore War Memorial building from 2 to 5 PM on Saturday, May 13th. BHR will feature storytelling about displacement due to environmental injustices, neighborhood gentrification, and disinvested and blighted housing, and then issue a challenge to Mayor Pugh to invest in community-driven, equitable development. The event will be interspersed with musical performances and will end with a march on City Hall.

Together, we will demonstrate the imperative to put 20 million dollars in the the bond budget next year for deconstruction of vacant houses, greening, and environmental sustainability projects, and 20 million for the creation of permanently affordable housing through community land trusts. This event will launch us into our mass mobilizing phase of the campaign- sending all of us out to share the 20/20 campaign and gather thousands of petition signatures in support.
You can learn more about United Not Blighted and RSVP at http://www.unitedworkers.org/baltimore_s_20_20_vision.

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!

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.

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

 

Leading Mayoral Candidates Respond to Citizen Artist Baltimore Questionnaire

Citizen Artist Baltimore is excited to announce that all of Baltimore’s leading mayoral candidates have responded to our community-driven arts questionanire! Voters are invited to visit the questionnaire webpage at http://citizenartist.vote/candidates to learn about Baltimore City’s leading mayoral candidates positions on the educational, economic, and social values of local arts and culture.

Candidates who have responded to the questionnaire include Sheila Dixon, Elizabeth Embry, Joshua Harris, Patrick Gutierrez, DeRay McKesson, Nick Mosby, Catherine Pugh, Carl Stokes, Alan Walden, David Warnock, and Calvin Young.

Throughout January 2016 CAB conducted a series of listening sessions with hundreds of voters across Baltimore City. From these sessions, CAB synthesized the top priorities of Baltimore’s creative communities into a questionnaire and statement shared with all mayoral candidates.

On March 7, 2016, CAB held the first ever Mayoral Forum on Arts and Culture in which over 500 arts voters listened to eleven mayoral contenders as they spoke about important issues including increasing support for arts education, mandating equity in cultural funding, creating a cabinet level arts position, and developing an inclusive cultural plan for Baltimore City.

Citizen Artist Baltimore is a non-partisan advocacy effort to mobilize thousands of voters within Baltimore City’s creative communities by providing the opportunity for mayoral candidates to outline their positions and goals related to arts, culture and humanities. The effort serves as a call to action for individuals, organizations, and institutions to work together to advance inclusion of these issues in the April 2016 Primary Mayoral Election and beyond. The initiative also encourages voter registration and long-term engagement in the democratic process.

Citizen Artist Baltimore is led by the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance (GBCA), Maryland Citizens for the Arts (MCA), and the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation in partnership with nine additional arts organizations.

Mayoral Forum Success!

Mayoral Forum on Arts & Culture shows the Power of Citizen Artists

In an unprecedented show of strength by Baltimore’s creative communities, over five hundred citizen artists came together for first ever Mayoral Forum on Arts and Culture held by Citizen Artist Baltimore (CAB) on Monday, March 7 at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). Participating mayoral candidates included Sheila Dixon, Elizabeth Embry, Joshua Harris, Patrick Gutierrez, DeRay McKesson, Nick Mosby, Catherine Pugh, Cindy Walsh, David Warnock, Wilton Wilson, and Calvin Young. CAB asked questions based on input collected during seven listening sessions held all across Baltimore City. The mayoral contenders spoke about important issues including increasing support for arts education, mandating equity in cultural funding, creating a cabinet level art position, and developing an inclusive cultural plan for Baltimore City.

Mayoral Forum on Arts & Culture

Citizen Artist Baltimore
Mayoral Forum on Arts & Culture

Monday, March 07, 2016, 6-7:30pm
Falvey Hall, Brown Center, Maryland Institute College of Art
1301 West Mt. Royal Ave., Baltimore, MD 21217

The Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance (GBCA), Maryland Citizens for the Arts (MCA), and the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation along with the Maryland Institute College of Art are excited to announce the first-ever Citizen Artist Baltimore Mayoral Forum on Arts and Culture. The forum is free and open to the public.

Please RSVP here: http://bit.ly/1RTl4Va

Confirmed attendees include:

Sheila Dixon, Elizabeth Embry, Joshua Harris, Patrick Gutierrez, DeRay McKesson, Nick Mosby, Catherine Pugh, Cindy Walsh, David Warnock, Wilton Wilson, Calvin Young

GBCA Executive Director Jeannie Howe states:

“At this critical time for Baltimore, the region, and the country, the creative community can and is making an important contribution to political discourse and to building a strong, equitable, and successful Baltimore. The first-ever mayoral forum on arts and culture will also provide an excellent opportunity to for candidates to outline their positions and goals.”

MCA Executive Director John Schratweiser states:

“Baltimore is home to thousands of voters who care about the arts; theatre, concert, and museum-goers; and workers in creative fields. They value core issues like public safety and education, but they also care deeply about the candidates’ positions on arts and culture. ”

The arts and culture industry in Baltimore generates $388.2 million in total economic activity, supports 9,505 full-time equivalent jobs, generates $260.4 million in household income to local residents, and delivers $33.9 million in local and state government  revenue. (Arts and Economic Prosperity IV/Americans for the Arts 2010) .

Citizen Artist Baltimore (CAB) is a nonpartisan advocacy effort that is helping to mobilize thousands of voters within Baltimore City’s creative communities by providing the opportunity for mayoral candidates to outline their positions and goals related to arts, culture and humanities. Throughout January 2016 CAB conducted a series of listening sessions in every corner of Baltimore City. From these sessions, CAB has synthesized the top priorities of the creative sector into a questionnaire and statement that will be shared with all mayoral candidates and on its website.

Citizen Artist Baltimore serves as a call to action for individuals, organizations, and institutions to work together to advance inclusion of these issues in the April 2016 Primary Mayoral Election and beyond. The initiative also encourages voter registration and long-term engagement in the democratic process.

Click here to download a printable 8.5″ x 11″ poster for the event.