FKA twigs’ Baltimore Dance Project
In July, British phenom FKA twigs came to Baltimore for a show at Pier Six. But the day before, she hosted a dance workshop at the Lithuanian Hall for anyone over 18 who wanted to show up—she even ended up selecting a few participants to join her on stage the next night. This week, a nine-minute documentary about the experience was released, showcasing all the electric energy of that day. As FKA twigs says in an accompanying description, “With dance you get to create a universe and you have the power to let someone into that universe. For five hours we created this atmosphere that just kept growing.”
Dec. 9, Meyerhoff Gallery at the Maryland Institute College of Art, 1303 W. Mount Royal Ave. This month is a special edition of SunSets, the monthly meet up modeled after the salon gatherings of the Harlem Renaissance. Presented alongside the Intersections/ACTION! installation at MICA, this night includes some of the city's finest storytellers, who will share their own narratives of Baltimore in their chosen art forms. It features, Paul Coates, former Black Panther and founder of Baltimore's Black Classic Press, artist and writer (and Best of Baltimore winner) Tariq Toure, and legendary vocalist Iris Shaw.
CoHosts: Kimberly Drew and Platform Gallery
Dec. 12, Baltimore School for the Arts, Madison Ave. The Contemporary—Baltimore’s roving modern art museum—has selected six artist-run platforms and, to create this speaker series, asked them each: Who is the one artist or art professional you want to bring to Baltimore? This month, Platform Gallery gets together with Kimberly Drew, a Smith College graduate who has taken the art and social media worlds by storm. She’s worked for Hyperallergic, The Studio Museum in Harlem, and Lehmann Maupin., and has delivered lectures and participated in panel discussions at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, Art Basel Miami Beach, Moogfest, The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and the Brooklyn Museum.
A Benefit for the Bell and Oakland Fire Relief Fund
Dec.13, Metro Gallery, 1700 N. Charles St. You might have heard the news this week that artists were ousted from The Bell Foundry, a community arts space in Station North, after fire marshals declared the building unsafe. Now, DDM of local hip hop duo Bond St. District Kahlon, The Agency are hosting a benefit, with DJ sets by Dan Deacon and Abdu Ali, performances by :3LON, Basement Rap, Bobbi Rush, and a reading by Jana Hunter. Proceeds go to the Bell Foundry GoFundMe page, which has raised thousands more than its goal.
50th Anniversary of Kwanzaa Celebration
Dec. 30, The Reginald F. Lewis Museum, 830 E. Pratt St. This year marks the 50th anniversary of Kwanzaa, founded in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga, of Parsonsburg. Though it holds such a celebration every year, this one proves to be particularly celebratory, with crafts, performances, and more.
Jazz at Single Carrot Theatre
Dec. 9, 2600 N. Howard St. As part of its 10th anniversary season, themed “Love Letter to Baltimore,” Single Carrot Theatre launches a new jazz series featuring local Baltimore musicians and music inspired by Charm City. The first event of the series brings local bass clarinetist Todd Marcus back to SCT. Marcus, a 20-year resident and activist in West Baltimore’s Sandtown-Winchester and Upton neighborhoods, has spent the past year writing new music portraying the challenges and strengths of his community, and the beauty of both.
Dunbar Alumni Jazz Band performs Duke Ellington's Nutcracker Suite
Dec. 12, An Die Musik, 409 N. Charles St. Duke Ellington arranged Tchaikovsky's famous The Nutcracker Suite for jazz band in 1960. It turns gliding strings into brass bee bops and the dances you know so well (Sugar Plum Fairy, anyone?) into swinging syncopation. This version is compliments of the Dunbar Alumni Jazz Band, organized in 1995 and led by jazz educator/trombonist Charles Funn, and provides just the right twist to a holiday favorite.
Fete of Mistakes
Dec. 15-18, Mondo, 404-406 N. Howard St. It's the first official not ready for prime time sneak peek spectacle at MONDO, the first building to open as part of the larger Le Mondo project. (Read more in our Fall Arts piece here). Although not officially opening until March, this love/horror story about capitalist exploitation will give you a little taste of what’s to come.
Friends Records turns 7
Dec. 16, Ottobar, 2549 N. Howard St. All our Friends records faves are turning out to celebrate this big bday. Check out sets from Natural Velvet, Microkingdom, Blacksafe, Surf Harp, Amy Reid, and others.
The Warren Wolf Quartet at An Die Musik
Dec. 16 and 23, 409 N. Charles St. Renowned Baltimore native Warren Wolf brings his vibes, and his quartet, to this world-renowned performance venue, with special guests on each night. On December 16, catch the saxophone wails of Antonio Hart, and on December 23, Sean Jones' smooth trumpet will join Alex Brown on piano, Kris Funn on bass and Quicy Phillips on drums.
Through Dec. 17, St. Mark's Lutheran Church, 1900 St. Paul St. The Acme Corporation's newest piece, is a misinterpretation of the American classic A Streetcar Named Desire. Using the intentions and emotions of the original script, the piece alternates between a play and a video being live filmed for the audience, and incorporates language from canonical American plays, modernist existentialist writers, and Marxist feminism.
Under $500, Maryland Art Place's affordable art sale
Opens Dec. 9, 218 West Saratoga St. This fourth-annual event is intended to promote and encourage the purchase of original artwork in lieu of traditional, commercial holiday shopping and features the work of regional artists including Hoesy Corona, Ginevra Shay, and Bonnie Crawford Kotula. All artwork will be sold at a retail price of $500 or less, with proceeds split equally between MAP and the participating artists. And to get everyone in the holiday spirit, tickets include an open bar and light fare with a holiday twist. Plus, head to MAP’s underground, home of the 14 Karat, to check out its first print and vinyl bazaar.
Ferocious Beauty: Wrathful Deities from Tibet and Nepal
Through April 16, 2017, The Walters Art Museum, 600 N. Charles St. Although the wrathful Buddhist deities in the Walter’s latest exhibit may appear intimidating, they use their power to guard against antagonists and thwart obstacles to the spiritual goals of their devotees. This exhibition features 12 sculptures, paintings, and ritual objects drawn primarily from the John and Berthe Ford Collection.
Light City will be here before we know it (it runs from March 31 to April 8 in 2017). BOPA has announced the eight local artists and artist teams selected to participate in Neighborhood Lights, Light City’s immersive community artist-in-residence program. Selected artists will partner with community groups to create an illuminated visual or performance art project within the neighborhood of their residency, and are paid $15,000 for their work.
The selected artists and artist teams are: Jonathan Taube for Coldstream Homestead Montebello, April Danielle Lewis | Labbodies for Greater Mondawmin, Maura Dwyer for Hamilton-Lauraville, Isaac Ewart for Hampden, Laure Drogoul for Little Italy, Malaika Aminata Clements for Sandtown-Winchester, Wickerham & Lomax for Station North and Jose Andres Rosero-Curet for Waverly. The projects and their descriptions will be announced in January 2017.
Young Audiences, the nation’s largest arts-in-education provider, has announced a new partnership with The Peabody Institute to bring classical music and opera to students and classrooms in Baltimore City and throughout the state. Starting this school year, top-level conservatory student musicians will perform two musical programs in Baltimore City and Maryland Schools. With help from Young Audiences, the programs will be available to all 181 Baltimore City schools and the city’s 80,000+ students.
The Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts (BOPA) is looking for applications for its 36th Artscape, which runs from July 21 to 23, 2017. This year’s theme is “Camp Artscape: Adventure Awaits.” Applications are also being accepted for the Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize, which awards a $25,000 fellowship to a visual artist or visual artist collaborators living and working in the Baltimore region. The deadline for those submissions is January 17, 2017.
The Walters Art Museum has announced the promotion of Amy Landau to director of curatorial affairs and curator of Islamic and South and Southeast Asian Art. Landau was formerly associate curator of Islamic and South Asian Art. In this position, she will lead a newly built team of seven full-time curators, fellows, and interns as well as the Walters’ team of registrars.