Focusing on what unites us

The progression of personal maturity is often listed as: dependence, independence, and, finally, inter-dependence. Sociology is displaying the same stages. Early human history saw significant gains in dependence with dictatorships. Recent history saw significant progress in individuality with the promotion of free markets. We are at a new stage as we question the value of the pursuit of personal gain. As individuals and entities we are starting to see the significance of shared values.

The power of music to build communities

Leonard Bernstein was a thinker, teacher, author, television star, provocateur, humanitarian and he was my hero. As with all true mentors, Bernstein taught me much more than a craft. He showed me the enormous power of music and how important it is to share it with as much of humanity as is possible.

Share your story

Have a holiday tale to tell? Our friends at the Stoop Storytelling Series are seeking storytellers for their live holiday radio shows at Center Stage. Email with your story idea. Learn more about The Stoop at

Baltimore: city of ART neighborhoods

I recently returned from a visit to Austin, Texas, whose slogan, “Keep Austin WEIRD,” is pure brilliance. Not only is it found on every product you’d ever want (or not), the concept attracts a diverse and interesting mix of people from all over the world. Our waiter was from Edinburgh (no slouch of a city), […]

A vibrant contemporary arts scene creates a vibrant city

Across the country, cities are seeking ways to stimulate the economy, engage new residents, and restore robust cosmopolitan life. For me, one of the best ways to do this is through contemporary art. When we think about urban environments impacted by art and artists, what comes to mind? Chelsea on Manhattan’s West Side, the West […]

The hook of a book

Imagine if everyone in Maryland read the same book at the same time… While reading is often a solitary pursuit, what kinds of conversations could we have if people were reading the same book—on the train to work, on the beach, in a classroom, during their lunch break, or for a book club—and with whom […]

Move into the neighborhood

What can a ceramics organization and its working artists do to improve the quality of city neighborhoods and the lives of its residents? Baltimore Clayworks has an audacious idea…move into those neighborhoods and be a part of the good and growing things there. Build satellite studios in partnership with community-based organizations, and otherwise simply set […]

Creating green spaces

Everyone knows that Baltimore has a plague of vacant lots that attract nuisances such as dumping, drug use, and crime. Some folks even do something about it, turning a vacant lot in their neighborhood into a community vegetable garden, pocket park, or even horseshoe pit. If you are troubled by a vacant lot near your […]

Art-filled spaces dedicated to issues, art and community

Visual art has the potential to play a more vital role in the life of our community than has yet been fully realized. There are a few local models out there hinting at possibilities. Coming up in November is the Baltimore Bioneers ’08 Conference, weaving issue-related art into an event all about innovative thinking on […]

Have you had your arts today?

High-performing schools have strong arts programs. Low-performing schools do not. This fact remains true regardless of the demographics. In fact, in challenging circumstances schools show the greatest improvement when the arts are strong. My audacious idea: at the end of each school day, each Baltimore City Public School student can answer “Yes!” to the question: […]