Workin' It: Storytelling by Locals, for Locals

Coming up tomorrow: The BMI is delighted to host  Workin' It: Stories about Making a Living in Baltimore on Thursday, May 3, as part of the Stoop Storytelling Series. Hear the true tales of a master ice cream maker, an advocate for skate parks, a  commercial real estate VP who grew up in Brooklyn's ultra-Orthodox Jewish community and a beloved radio host tells of conducting a memorable concert in the 1980s that "involves cat pee and a machete."
The evening will include live music by Letitia VanSant, food trucks, and beer and wine for sale. And as always, free parking.
Seating is limited! Tickets are $25 non-members / $20 members at
Let's Talk About WHY WE WORK!
WHY WE WORK exhibition at the BMI
Have you ever thought about what motivates you at work, or how you'd describe your feelings about work in a single word? WHY WE WORK, an interactive exhibition opening at the BMI on May 19 asks visitors to do just that. WHY WE WORK features contemporary and historic portraits of Baltimoreans in their workplaces, from farms to funeral homes, and medical labs to machine shops. Using prompts, visitors respond to questions about issues related to work, creating a visual narrative about perceptions of contemporary labor.
The exhibition is the result of "Museum Lab," a course that the BMI's Director of Interpretation Beth Maloney taught at Johns Hopkins University in the fall of 2017. The course asked students to examine museum methodology designed to encourage visitor participation and interaction. The focus of the work examined techniques museums use to engage visitors, determined themes and content that might be explored in an interactive space at the BMI, and collaboratively developed a design for the project specific to the BMI's mission to engage and educate visitors in matters surrounding labor and industry.
The result, titled WHY WE WORK, opens May 19.  
Hopkins students worked with student partners from the Maryland Institute College of Art, led by design professor Jeremy Hoffman from Ashton Design. Ashton Design, the Baltimore-based design firm, was instrumental in developing the graphics and exhibition concepts that reflect the student's ideas and visions for the space. It features contemporary photography by Christopher Myers and historic portraits from the Library of Congress (FSA/OWI and National Child Labor Committee Collections), the Baltimore Museum of Industry BGE collection, and the photographs of A. Aubrey Bodine and others.
"This collaboration was fascinating, as students from two major institutions of higher learning worked together to share ideas, build consensus, and imagine future careers just as they are about to take the leap into their own worlds of work," says Maloney.
The exhibition is made possible through a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to the Johns Hopkins University in support of its Program in Museums & Society. Special thanks to Ashton Design.
See WHY WE WORK during a special FREE admission day on Saturday, May 19 to celebrate the kickoff of the 10th season of the BMI farmers' market.
This exhibition will be open through April 14, 2019.
15 Years of " Baltimore Stories"  at the BMI
Gil Sandler ( photo from WYPR)

The BMI is honored to receive 500 manuscripts from Baltimore native and author Gil Sandler, who's "Baltimore Stories" were a staple on WYPR radio for 15 years. These manuscripts reflecting generations of Baltimore life will be added to the existing materials currently being preserved within the BMI Archives' Gil Sandler collection.
Both an award-winning writer and lecturer, Gil Sandler has explored and exposed different sides to city life in Baltimore for decades through his books, broadcasts, and newspaper articles. "To me the really important stories are the remarkable, or surprising, or ironic, or incredible, things that happen to people-rich and poor, young and old, lucky and unlucky," said Sandler. "They aren't covered in the daily newspaper but to me they are the 'big' stories."
By making these stories available to the public at the BMI, Sandler's hopes that scholars and visitors will gain new insights into what life was like in Baltimore between 1920 through 2015. With the addition of the new material, the collection will include Sandler's research and stories in the form of roughly 800 transcripts, WYPR recordings on CD, Baltimore Jewish Times articles, Baltimore Sun clippings, reviews, and books.
Gil Sandler speaking at the BMI
What inspired Gil to donate his work to the BMI? "The BMI houses most of my Sun paper articles and hosted the launching of one of my books, Small Town Baltimore," he explains, "The museum and I have enjoyed a fine relationship through the years."
Sandler has been extensively involved with the BMI for years as guest speaker in community talks, contributor and narrator for the BMI's museum audio tour, and long-time donor dating as far back as 2008 when the BMI first acquired the Gil Sandler collection.
"The collection is a great complement to our other archival material documenting the industrial history of Baltimore and the impact on its residents," says BMI Archivist Matt Shirko. "Now that we have a full collection of his manuscripts the research opportunities are endless-we hope the community can benefit from Gil's work for years to come."
Starting July 1st, the collection will be accessible to researchers interested in the broadcasts, articles, and other materials related to Baltimore's history, business, and industry successes. To make an appointment to view the collection, contact the BMI Archives at (410) 727-4808 X112 or at
BMI Farmers' Market Celebrates 10th Season!

From fresh produce and seafood to natural body care products, homemade jams to artisan jewelry, the BMI farmer's market has something for everyone. A South Baltimore favorite, the farmers' market kicks off its 10 th season on Saturday, May 19, with live music, free admission to the museum starting at 10AM, and the opening of the new temporary exhibition, WHY WE WORK.
More than 26 vendors are scheduled to participate in the market's opening day, which will run from 9AM to 1PM.
Visitors will get a first-look at the market's special 10th anniversary commemorative poster created by BMI print shop volunteers, which will be available for purchase in the BMI gift shop, and an opportunity to participate in B'Eat More Pie Fest 2018. Inspired by the local culinary traditions on display within the museum's bakery gallery, the B'Eat More Pie Fest invites members of the public to bake their own pie for entry into a friendly competition. Raffle and Pie Bite tickets will be made available to individuals interested in sampling the competition pies. Register your pie for free entry into the contest here.
The 10th anniversary of the BMI Farmers' Market will be celebrated throughout the season with live music, special events---  such as Bike Day, Family Fun Day, and the Year of the Market program series--- as well as themed kid-friendly activities, the return of yoga on the waterfront, and more! The BMI Farmers' Market will also welcome select musicians as part of the SoBo Summer Music Series presented by the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts, in partnership with Youth Resiliency Institute, Baltimore City Recreation and Parks, Catholic Charities, and the South Baltimore Gateway Partnership.  
The BMI Farmers' Market will take place every Saturday from 9AM-1PM, except during the Baltimore Running Festival on October 20th.
Upcoming Programs at the BMI
Workin' It: Stories About Making a Living In Baltimore
Join the Stoop Storytelling Series and the Baltimore Museum of Industry for  a n evening of true, personal tales about what we do to "get paid"-everything from crazy careers to dirty jobs to passion projects.  Featuring live music by Letitia VanSant, food & drinks for sale, and gallery exploration. Attendees must be 21+.
WHEN  Thurs, May 3 | 7 PM-10 PM
COST   $25 non-members | $20 members | 
Advanced registration required | Register  online

Big Truck Day  Get a close look at work trucks, emergency vehicles, construction equipment, and other machines from the Baltimore City Department of Public Works.  Outdoor event, rain or shine.
WHEN  Sat, May 12 | 9 AM-1 PM
COST  Free

Year of the Market: Farmers' Market Kick-Off
Celebrate the 10th  anniversary of the BMI Farmers' Market with free museum admission (starting at 10 AM), live music, kids' activities, and the opening of a new exhibition, "Why We Work."
WHEN  Sat, May 19 | 9 AM-1 PM
COST   Free

Wee Workers graphic
Wee Workers | Preschoolers will love this program just for them. Explore the museum's galleries through stories, songs, crafts, and pint-size tours with a weekly theme.
WHEN  Tuesdays | 10:30 AM-11:30 AM
COST  Kids: Free; Adults: $5; BMI Members: Free. 
Advance registration suggested, contact  or 410.727.4808 x132
UPCOMING THEMES  MAY 1 Spring, Orioles and Mother's Day  | MAY  8: Tools | MAY 15 : Chesapeake Bay | MAY  22: Umbrellas | MAY 29: Famous People in Baltimore

Weekend Workers graphic
Weekend Workers | It's all about fun as you discover how things work. These engaging activities allow children of all ages to investigate the world around them. This month's activities are  sponsored by the   Propeller   Club   of Baltimore.
WHEN  Saturdays | 11 AM-2 PM unless noted
COST  Free with museum admission
UPCOMING THEMES   MAY 5 Working Cranes  | MAY 12 Dredging the Harbor | MAY 19 Engineering a Canal Lock | MAY  26: Lego Ship Building w/ Teach Fleet
Baltimore Museum of Industry | |410.727.4808


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