Here's the latest info from Baltimore’s nonprofit arts council, events center, and film office.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, event details are subject to change. Please contact the hosting organization for the most up-to-date information.
Explore the Arts Scene in Southeast Baltimore
The Highlandtown Arts & Entertainment District is one of the four state-designated Arts & Entertainment districts in Baltimore City. It is a highly active creative community in Southeast Baltimore with a little something for everyone. Here, you can visit galleries large and small, taste your way around the globe, shop for any number of handmade items, take in a performance, even make some art of your own!

If you've never been to the Highlandtown A&E District, the best time to get the full experience is during their First Friday Art Walks. On the first Friday of each month, shops and galleries host special events, pop-up performances make the streets come alive, and the entire neighborhood is buzzing with creativity. The next Art Walk is Friday, March 4, from 5:00–9:00 p.m. Mark your calendar and be sure to bookmark this interactive map, which will be updated the week of the event to show this month's participating businesses and organizations.

One of the greatest things about these events is that they are accessible to everyone -- people of all ages, interests, and experiences with art. They're perfect for families, first dates, and friend groups. Click the button below to learn more about the Highlandtown A&E District's First Friday Art Walks and we will see you there next Friday!
BOPA provides programming and technical support to the City's A&E Districts.
Your tax-deductible donation helps us to support the artists and arts organizations who make Baltimore beautiful!
A Conversation With Ernest Shaw Jr.
On Wednesday, March 2, at 6:30 p.m., join BmoreArt’s Jeffrey Kent and Cara Ober for a conversation on Zoom with artist Ernest Shaw Jr. and curator Kirk Shannon-Butts. They'll discuss the importance of authentic visual storytelling, as well as Shaw’s contributions as a mentor, muralist, and educator in Baltimore. This event is free. Simply click below to reserve your spot.
Ernest Shaw Jr.'s 'Continuous Line' exhibition continues through Sunday, April 17, at Top of the World Observation Level. Visit the "Gallery in the Sky" and take in the stunning views of Baltimore alongside Ernest Shaw's incredible art.
Emerge Baltimore Exhibition Series
Aliana Grace Bailey
Raquel Thompson
Derrick 'DJ' Smith
The Emerge Baltimore exhibition series is a year-long BOPA event featuring nine rising artists in the galleries at historic Bromo Seltzer Arts Tower. The series opened with the work of three incredible artists: Aliana Grace Bailey, Raquel Thompson, and Derrick 'DJ' Smith. Their individual solo shows are on view through Sunday, April 24, 2022. For more information about visiting the Bromo Arts Tower, click the button below.
The Origin of the Sondheim Art Prize
The 2021 Sondheim finalists, with winner Hae Won Sohn at bottom left.
The prestigious Sondheim Art Prize is named in honor of Janet & Walter Sondheim, who were instrumental in shaping the cultural landscape of Baltimore City. Walter Sondheim, Jr. was deeply involved in the development of Charles Center and the Inner Harbor, while Janet Sondheim was an accomplished dancer and educator. Now in its 17th year, the Sondheim prize will award $30,000 to a visual artist or visual artist collaborators living and working in the Baltimore region. This year's semifinalists will be revealed in March -- so keep an eye out for that announcement. To learn more about past winners, click the button below.
And Wedding Season Is Just Around the Corner
If you recently got engaged, you are cordially invited to attend the last Cloisters Open House Plus before the spring wedding season on Saturday, March 12, from 11:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m. You can start planning your own perfect day by getting a tour of the castle and meeting with an array of local vendors -- from caterers to photographers to DJs and more. Visitors and guests need to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test taken within 24 hours to attend. For more information, click the button below.
Quantifying the Impact of Arts Across the City
Maryland Arts Day, hosted by Maryland Citizens for the Arts (MCA), occurs every year during the Maryland General Assembly legislative session. It is a day when artists and arts professionals, advocates, audience members, and, crucially, students gather to meet with state legislators and advocate for the arts in Maryland. This year's event was Thursday, February 17, and by all the numbers, it was a very hopeful and inspiring day.
Over 300 attendees from across the state tuned in to Maryland Arts Day. Listeners got to hear from keynote speaker Quanice Floyd, Executive Director of the National Guild for Community Arts Education, as well as the recipient of the Sue Hess Legacy Arts Advocate of the Year, BmoreArt's founding editor and publisher Cara Ober. Brava, Cara!
After the morning's speakers, attendees broke up into virtual district delegation rooms. BOPA, which serves as Baltimore City's Arts Council, managed the Baltimore City delegation room, where more than 70 arts advocates spoke about the positive impact of the arts in our communities and the importance of properly funded arts programming.
This year, we spoke with 7 of our legislators about supporting the mandated and fully-funded Maryland State Arts Council Appropriation level of $29.8 million as well as an appropriation of $50 million for a COVID arts sector relief and recovery fund. We believe that sustained growth in arts funding contributes to a high quality of life for all Marylanders.
A huge THANK YOU to all the arts advocates who spoke on Maryland Arts Day, with special gratitude to the youth who took time to come and talk about the impact of the arts in their schools.
Live Interview Hosted by the Black Arts District
Tune in Friday, February 25, at 5:00 p.m. for an interview with comedian Big Fred on the Black Arts District's Instagram page. The discussion will cover what it’s like to have a creative career within the District, Big Laughs/Little Laughs, his journey into fulfilling his dreams, being a black creative in a district designed just for you, and more. Click the button below to watch.
The Party You Didn't Know You Were Missing
Dust off your dancing shoes for the Baltimore Square Dance this Saturday, February 26, from 8:00–11:00 p.m. (doors open at 7:30). The Baltimore Square Dance was named “Best of Baltimore: Party You Didn’t Know You Were Missing” by Baltimore Magazine. All dances will be taught, so people of all skills levels are encouraged to come cut a rug. No experience or partner is needed, but you will need proof of vaccination to attend. Entry costs $12; $10 for students. For more information, click the button below.
An Art + Civic Dialogue Event
Inspired by Healing City Baltimore’s mission, this art + civic dialogue event on Monday, February 28, at 7:00 p.m. will discuss what is necessary to build a united movement of Baltimore’s communities focused on healing from trauma, violence, and racial inequity. Featuring music by Be Steadwell, poetry by Meccamorphosis, a keynote by Baltimore City Councilmember Zeke Cohen, and more, attendees will leave energized to join the Healing City movement and inspired to commit to creating a racially, socially, and economically just and thriving Baltimore for all. This event is free. For details and to reserve your seat, click the button below.
A Month-Long Celebration of Literature
CityLit Project presents the 19th annual CityLit Festival, a celebration of literature for readers and writers alike. "How We Break Free: Confronting Hard Truths" is the underlying theme of the month-long event this year.

The Festival begins with a free virtual event on Tuesday, March 1, from 7:00–8:00 p.m. This event, Navigating Solitude, will feature a conversation with authors Kristen Radtke and Natalie Eve Garrett. Multi-disciplinary artist and educator Nguyên Khôi Nguyễn will serve as moderator.

For more information on this trio of talents, and to register for the March 1 event, click the button below.
BOPA is a sponsor of the CityLit Festival and is proud to partner with the Enoch Pratt Free Library to support readers and writers of all ages.
Contemporary Pieces by Baltimore Composers
Join Handel Choir on Saturday, March 5, at 7:30 p.m. for a concert of homegrown harmonies. "Made In Baltimore" will feature contemporary pieces by Baltimore composers, including the world premiere of Houses of Peace by Joshua Bornfield and repertoire by faculty at Peabody, UMBC, and Morgan State University. For details and tickets, click below.
Hosted by the Baltimore Composers Forum
On Saturday, March 5, at 8:15 p.m., the Baltimore Composers Forum will debut a virtual concert featuring a selection of short works for solo instruments with the addition of video, poetry, still imagery, fixed electronics, and theatrical elements. The event is free to stream with a $5 suggested donation. For details on how to watch, click the button below.
The Baltimore Composers Forum was a participating organization of BOPA's Free Fall Baltimore 2021. BOPA is thrilled to provide support through programs like Free Fall to help smaller organizations like this continue their work in the community.
In Case You Missed It
The HBO series detailing the rise and fall of the Gun Trace Task Force has settled on a premiere date. "We Own This City" will hit the streaming service on April 25. Read more about this upcoming show, which the Baltimore Film Office helped coordinate, below.

The buzz has been steadily growing for the upcoming exhibition at the BMA curated by the museum's security guards. "Guarding the Art" will open on March 27 and remain on view through July 10. To get a sneak peek of some of the pieces, read or listen to the full story below.

At his nonprofit, Art Health & Healing (AH&H), Paul Braswell uses art as a therapeutic tool to assist individuals with chronic medical conditions. Through his work, Braswell hopes to advance the notion that art is a factor in healing. Read more about Paul and his organization below.

National bestselling author and Baltimore native R. Eric Thomas is returning to his roots as a playwright and bringing his talents back home this spring with two new plays. Find out where his new works will be performed by watching the full story below.

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