Archive for the ‘Do & Go’ Category

Creative Voices and Cultural Happenings All Summer Long!

Tuesday, July 9th, 2019

Dear Colleagues,

If there is one thing we in Montgomery County take pride in, it is our local cuisine! Cities across the county host “Taste of” festivals throughout the year, showcasing the delicious fare they have to offer. Attendees can sample a variety of dishes that make up their community’s culinary identity and expand their foodie adventures beyond what is familiar. Just as Montgomery County is filled with a plethora of delectable cuisine, it also has an expansive arts and humanities community waiting to be explored. This summer gather up your family, friends and colleagues and take part in your own Taste of MoCo’s cultural community!

From free concerts and film screenings to art exhibitions and historical events, Montgomery County’s residents and visitors, people of all backgrounds and walks of life, are participating in our creative community’s cultural happenings all summer long. Join them! Venture out and engage in the vibrant arts and humanities sector you have helped to create. Sample the multifarious cultures that make up the county’s dynamic cultural identity, discover various creative voices expressed throughout the county, and while you are there, experience the diverse audiences engaging alongside you. Not sure where to begin? We have you covered! Hop over to CultureSpotMC for our comprehensive calendar of events and activities, favorite picks, discounted opportunities and more.

Audiences attend the arts for different reasons. A study by the National Endowment for the Arts found that 73% attend to socialize with friends or family, 64% desire to learn new things, 63% want to experience high-quality art, and 51% are there to support the community. As you journey through our cultural community, take note of who is there and why they are participating. Find out what value they place in that experience, why it is important to them, and begin building relationships through personal experience and participation. As professional arts administrators, we know a cornerstone of building audience diversity is through relationships. Authentic engagement in communities can break down barriers and lead to discovering life-time patrons, community advocates, and future staff, board or committee members. All of whom contribute to making our sector more innovative, inviting, and inclusive.

We are excited to hear stories of your exploration and look forward to seeing you out and about, enjoying Montgomery County’s lively arts and culture scene.

Onward!

Montgomery County Council Approves $5.6 Million Budget for the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County

Monday, June 10th, 2019

Montgomery County Council has approved a budget of more than $5.6 million for Arts and Humanities Council grants and administration. The resolution for FY20 is as follows:

  • Operating Support Grants: $3,374,941 (flat over FY19)
  • Small/Mid-Size Organizations, Creative Projects, Arts Education, and Individual Artist/Scholar Grants: $854,574 (flat over FY19)
  • Advancement Grants: $295,094 (flat over FY19)
  • Arts and Humanities Matching Fund:  $200,000 (flat over FY19)
  • Grants to Support Wheaton Arts and Entertainment District: $91,815 (flat over FY19)
  • Discretionary Grants: $250,000 (increase over FY19)
  • AHCMC Administration: $556,735 (increase over FY19)
Congratulations to our entire arts and humanities sector. We are thankful for your hard work and dedication to the field. The lives of Montgomery County residents are richer and more creative as a result.
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Onward!
Suzan
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AHCMC Welcomes Mariza June Avila

Friday, May 31st, 2019

Meet our new Public Art Intern Mariza June Avila, an aspiring graphic designer and recent graduate from Montgomery College. We sat down with her to learn about her background in the arts and what she is looking forward to most with AHCMC!

AHCMC: So tell us about yourself.

Mariza: I’m a first-generation Filipino-American, originally from San Diego, California. Last fall, I received my Associates of Arts from Montgomery College. I plan to transfer next spring and hopefully major in a mix of graphic design and traditional printmaking. As I have lived near the downtown Silver Spring area on and off for almost 10 years, I’m eager to deepen my relationship with the local arts and humanities community of Montgomery County. I am very thankful to CEO Suzan Jenkins for allowing me to continue learning with AHCMC as the Public Art intern!

AHCMC: What has your internship been like so far?

Mariza: It’s been quite an adjustment. Initially, I joined AHCMC through the Montgomery College Art Internship. When I started four months ago, I knew I would be dipping my toes into a little bit of everything, but I wasn’t sure to what extent. The AHCMC staff have been patient with me, showing me the ins-and-outs of operations. Upon learning that Amina, the Public Art Manager, would be departing, I felt like I still had so much to learn and would feel guilty if I did not “hold down the fort” until a new manager is hired. With two exhibitions already under my belt (The Shape of Things to Come and The County Collects II), I’m looking forward to the process of acquiring artwork as we wrap up the FY19 Contemporary Works on Paper Collection call.

AHCMC: What led you to the arts field?

Mariza: Honestly, college led me to pursue art. Since my dad is a civil engineer and my mom is a surgical technician in the operating room, I assumed I should be pursuing a STEM career. Outside of my studies, however, I was always involved in art. Growing up, I learned how to sing by listening to music. I sang in the school chorus, learned the clarinet and guitar, and eventually performed in talent shows. My “happy place” was at home, collaging, scrapbooking, and conducting experiments in my art journal. I also enjoyed taekwondo and being a member of my high school’s drama club. When I started taking art classes at MC Takoma Park/Silver Spring, I observed the successes and toils of being an artist from the staff, my peers, and professors, but I wasn’t deterred. Although it is a challenging lifestyle, I came to realize the arts have played an instrumental role (pun intended) in my journey of becoming the person I want to be.

AHCMC: What are you most looking forward to as the Public Art intern?

Mariza: I’m looking forward to getting involved in Public Art commissions. I want to see projects from the beginning planning stages to finish and conservation. I haven’t encountered an opportunity like that yet, so it would be interesting to get hands-on experience with the process. Also, I look forward to getting to know the AHCMC staff better. I absolutely love that most of us are artists in our own regard. I think our diverse backgrounds and interests definitely reflect the community we are representing.

AHCMC Strives to Set National Example in Equity and Inclusion

Friday, July 20th, 2018

Dear Colleagues,

Earlier this week we were thrilled to learn that (for the 4th year in a row) our Silver Spring-Frederick-Rockville, MD Metro Division is officially ranked #8 on the list of top 20 most arts vibrant large communities, according to the National Center for Arts Research (NCAR) Arts Vibrancy Index, proving once again that the inclusion of and investment in our County’s diverse communities contribute directly to our burgeoning creative sector’s $183M economic impact and serves as a model for our nation.  According to NCAR Director Zannie Voss, “…today’s climate of uncertainty makes it more important than ever to acknowledge and celebrate the essential role that arts and culture play in making communities…more vibrant places to live and visit.”

We are especially grateful for the entertainment, folk, and ethnic festivals produced in our Silver Spring, Bethesda, and Wheaton Arts & Entertainment Districts every year; we know that they add to the County’s vibrancy. AHCMC is proud to support these efforts and as a show of support, I encourage you to share this wonderful accomplishment!

As we strive to deepen our arts vibrancy and investment, we also endeavor to set a national example in equity and inclusion and learn from others. Recently, the Montreal Jazz Festival faced severe backlash for a controversial stage show, SLAV, featuring African-American slave songs performed by a largely white cast. The show’s performances were eventually canceled due to public protests and reproach of what many viewed as cultural appropriation. And historically in the musictheatre, and film/TV industries, the vast majority of featured artists and/or arts leadership directors are white men. This lack of inclusion leaves many voices and stories left untold, contributing widely to structural/historical racism and its effects on ALAANA communities in the arts. Considering the County Council’s Racial Equity Resolution adopted in April 2018, we know that the time is now to lead by example in Montgomery County. Our 2,000+ artists and scholars and 500+ arts and humanities organizations deserve nothing less.

In FY19 AHCMC is taking the necessary steps to realize our goal for more equitable grantmaking countywide. To that end, AHCMC is embarking on a fruitful partnership with Leadership Montgomery for the purposes of providing Racial Equity Training to our entire board and staff. Like our colleagues at  Arts, we believe this intentional examination of racial inequities will help us better understand root causes and systems, inform our understanding, and create solutions to address historical inequities in funding African, Latinx, Asian, Arab and Native American (ALAANA) artists, communities and arts organizations.  As we strive to achieve our Strategic Plan Goals, this expansion of our knowledge base will benefit all residents of Montgomery County without exception.

Whether mixing classical Hindustani music with beatbox, bringing a traditionally-costumed Chinese opera to local residents, or examining issues of mixed-race identity through memoirs, our FY19 grantees are producing innovative and community-minded programs and initiatives. So take a look at our FY19 Grants Brief to learn more and get out in our community to experience the plethora of multicultural offerings through CultureSpotMC.com!

Onward!
Suzan Jenkins,
AHCMC CEO

Montgomery County’s Political Candidates Vow to Continue Legacy of Local Support for the Creative Economy, Cultural Sectors, and Arts Education

Thursday, June 7th, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 7, 2018

CONTACT:

Ceylon Mitchell

240-839-4520

Ceylon.Mitchell@creativemoco.com

SILVER SPRING, Md. (June 7, 2018) — The Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County (AHCMC) announces the results of its 2018 Political Candidate Survey. AHCMC invited each candidate in the County Executive and County Council races to participate in the survey and share their platforms for the arts and humanities in the county with voters. The 39 participating candidates’ responses are available online at www.creativemoco.com/2018Election. The survey includes responses from five of the seven candidates running for County Executive and thirty-four candidates from the six County Council races.

Unanimously, all candidates surveyed agree that, “appropriating local tax-dollars to advance Montgomery County’s cultural and creative industries is important in supporting the success of a strong local economy,” and outlined their ideas to stimulate the local economy through public-private partnerships between the arts and cultural sectors and the local business and philanthropic communities. Candidates additionally shared views on arts education in Montgomery County Public Schools, public art and creative placemaking in the county, and workforce development.

AHCMC believes these results will be informative and impactful as residents head to vote in the June 26 primary election. “The results of this year’s election survey demonstrates the overwhelming support and understanding that our future political leaders have for our vibrant local arts and humanities sectors,” said Suzan Jenkins, CEO of the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County. “Whether they serve as ushers, volunteer at festivals, perform as artists, or simply attend local events, all participating candidates realize the joy, inspiration, innovation and quality of life that the arts and humanities provide to residents and businesses in our county.”

Supporting the views of many candidates, recent data provided by the Arts and Economic Prosperity 5 study from Americans for the Arts show that Montgomery County’s arts and humanities sector contributes $183 million to the local economy, supports 3,805 full-time local jobs and serves 3.5 million cultural event attendees annually. Of the candidates who participated in the survey, 97% strongly agreed that public funding of the arts and humanities is important for sustaining the nonprofit cultural and creative sector in Montgomery County, and nearly 90% of candidates support the incorporation of the arts and humanities into STEM programs, expanding from a STEM to STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) philosophy.

Early voting begins on June 14 and runs until June 21. Registered voters can vote early at any of the 11 early voting centers the county is running this year.

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About the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County (AHCMC)
Established in 1976, the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County (AHCMC) is the county’s designated local arts agency. Our vision is to provide leadership that sustains arts and humanities organizations, artists and scholars, and inspires participation in Montgomery County’s rich cultural assets. For more information about AHCMC, visit www.creativemoco.com or connect with AHCMC on Facebook and Twitter.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 7, 2018

CONTACT:

Ceylon Mitchell

240-839-4520

Ceylon.Mitchell@creativemoco.com

Montgomery County’s Political Candidates Vow to Continue Legacy of Local Support for the Creative Economy, Cultural Sectors, and Arts Education

SILVER SPRING, Md. (June 7, 2018) — The Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County

(AHCMC) announces the results of its 2018 Political Candidate Survey. AHCMC invited each candidate in the County Executive and County Council races to participate in the survey and share their platforms for the arts and humanities in the county with voters. The 39 participating candidates’ responses are available online at www.creativemoco.com/2018Election. The survey includes responses from five of the seven candidates running for County Executive and thirty-four candidates from the six County Council races.

Montgomery County Council Approves $5.3 Million Budget for the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County

Wednesday, May 30th, 2018

On Thursday, May 24, 2018, the Montgomery County Council approved the budget of $5,356,943 for the arts and humanities. The resolution for FY19 is as follows:

  • Operating Support Grants: $3,374,941 (flat over FY18)
  • Small/Mid-Size Organizations, Creative Projects, Arts Education, and Individual Artist/Scholar Grants: $854,574 (flat over FY18)
  • Advancement Grants: $295,094 (flat over FY18)
  • AHCMC Administration: $540,519 (flat over FY18)
  • Arts and Humanities Matching Fund:  $200,000 (flat over FY18)
  • Grants to Support Wheaton Arts and Entertainment District: $91,815 (flat over FY18)
Congratulations to the entire arts and humanities sector. We thank you for all of your hard work and dedication to the field. Our lives are richer and more creative as a result.
Onward!
Suzan

National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu tours Montgomery County

Monday, November 21st, 2016

On November 5, 2016, Jane Chu, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) visited Montgomery County to tour its rich arts and culture sector. Hosted by the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County, the Chairman had the opportunity to tour many sites at Glen Echo Park Partnership whose mission is “to present vibrant artistic, cultural, and educational offerings” and promote the region’s diverse population.

Stops on her tour included the Art Glass Center, Adventure Theatre MTC, Photoworks, Yellow Barn Studio, and a showing of Hansel and Gretel at the Puppet Co. Chairman Chu was accompanied by Arts and Humanities of Montgomery County CEO Suzan Jenkins, Arts and Humanities of Montgomery County Board Chair Eric Siegel, Glen Echo Park Partnership Executive Director Katey Boerner, and Glen Echo Park Partnership Board President Rachelle Cherol.

See select moments from Chairman Chu’s artful experience in Montgomery County below:

Chairman Chu engaged with artists, students and community members and experienced a great showcasing of the work and talent from individuals and organizations that make Montgomery County the cultural destination it is today. We were honored and elated to have her visit the county.

Public Art in Montgomery County: What’s Next?

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015

Todd Bressi, Public Art and Place/Urban Planning expert  is working with the Arts & Humanities Council of Montgomery County to develop the “Public Art Road Map”.  Read below for his thoughts on how this tool will help integrate public art into future development and urban planning strategies:


Chances are, you’ve seen one of the hundreds of public artworks in Montgomery County during your daily travels — perhaps at a school, a library or a park; perhaps in an urban space in Bethesda, Rockville or Silver Spring. Chances are there is a public artwork somewhere that has become a treasured part of your day because it brings a smile to your face, triggers a memory or simply lets you know where you are.

Montgomery County residents can enjoy hundreds of sculptures, murals, glassworks and other public art — commissioned over the years by the County, the cities of Gaithersburg and Rockville, and private developers — that are now woven into the fabric of the community.

Now, for the first time, the County is developing a “roadmap” for what kinds of artworks should be commissioned next, and it is asking for input from people who live or work in the County. As the County continues to grow in population, cultural diversity and economic vitality, public are will be an increasingly important part of the mix.

The Roadmap, a project of the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County, and the Public Art Trust, is asking an essential question: What new public art projects would be of the most benefit to people in Montgomery County today?

Looking around the world, there are exciting new models for public art that have emerged in recent years. Some examples of these can already be seen in Montgomery County, and the Roadmap will consider whether there are opportunities for creating more:

  • Placemaking projects, such as the Silver Creek fountain in Silver Spring, Darnestown Heritage Park or the Public Safety Memorial at the police headquarters building, create environments for social gathering, celebration, reflection and other activities.
  • Artist-designed pedestrian, bicycle and transit facilities, such as pedestrian bridges, bike racks and transit shelters, enhance ordinary infrastructure.
  • Social projects focus on community issues and identity. Just recently, AHCMC organized an Outdoor Living Room with artist Matthew Mazzotta to stimulate thinking about creative placemaking in the Wheaton Arts and Culture District
  • Environmental artists are developing projects that connect people with stormwater, weather, flora and fauna in new and engaging ways.
  • Temporary artworks are activating urban spaces for short periods of time.

The Roadmap will also examine areas of the County that could benefit most from new public art projects.

  • Are there areas where there are fewer public art projects, relative to population? Wheaton, East County and “second-ring” residential neighborhoods just outside the Beltway might deserve a closer look.
  • Can public art ideas and projects be seeded during comprehensive land-use planning process, and implemented as capital projects and private development occur?
  • Are there collaborations that can help support the mission and priorities of other County agencies and cultural initiatives, such M-NCPPC’s focus on small urban parks, or the County’s three Arts and Entertainment Districts?

We hope you will lend your voice to the conversation. How can public art impact the future of Montgomery County? What types of projects would be most beneficial? Take the Montgomery County Public Art Survey to give us your direct feedback.

Raising $15K for Arts & Humanities

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

Maybe you’ve heard this one: “Say it’s only a micro-gift, a tax-deductible micro-gift…”

Yep, that zippy little jingle for power2give.org performed by Vaudeville’s Late Bloomers, Diz & Izzy Aster, is just the tip of a sizeable iceberg floating in the Arctic Sea of fundraising. It’s the microdonation. The $5 or $25 gift that can’t even keep a nonprofit in hand soap for a year. How important can that be?

Well, as a matter of a fact, QUITE important!

Factoid: In 2012, micro donations outpaced their macro counterparts. According to PayPal data, the average donation size globally decreased by $0.71 last year, while the number of global donations to nonprofits increased by 20 percent!

So what do Diz & Izzy have to do with it?

Those late bloomers are singing about the thousands of dollars power2give.org is raising for cool projects right here in Montgomery County. Projects like: a new floor for the Dance Exchange, the After School Dance Fund’s “Dress to Impress” program, and Symphony of the Potomac’s music programs for schools. Programs that are going to impact the quality of life for people living in Gaithersburg, Silver Spring, Rockville, Glen Echo and all over the county.

The Asters, created by Mark Jaster and Sabrina Mandel of Happenstance Theater, put on quite a show at the launch for power2give.org on June 12 at Round House Theater.  Special guests included Montgomery County’s most passionate cultural supporters, Ike and Catherine Leggett, and representatives of power2give sponsors: Monument Bank, Ballard Spahr and Bethesda Magazine.

Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

“We thank the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County for all the contributions that enrich our community,” said  Senior Vice President, Patrick Van Der Ham of Monument Bank, “and are pleased to offer our support.”  Monument Bank is a lead sponsor for power2give and their gift has been matched to 13 of the 21 projects on the website.

So, nine days out where are we?  Just a smidgen under $15,000. Pretty impressive for a bunch of little microdonations, huh? The average gift in Montgomery County is $52. As Catherine Leggett said in her remarks at the opening, “You don’t have to be a millionaire to be a patron of the arts and humanities. That’s what makes power2give.org so special.”
In fact, you can donate amounts as small as $5 to power2give. As Ryan Rilette said, “every little bit helps.”  For funders who want to make a bigger philanthropic statement, you can become a matching sponsor at varying levels from $1,000 to $10,000.  For matching sponsors gifts under $1,000 make your donation to the Collective Impact Fund for the Arts & Humanities. That’s what the Eric and Sue-Ann Siegel Family Foundation did and through the Impact Fund they’ve helped Create Arts Center and Friends of Library move closer their goals.

So, let’s recap: microdonations, matching sponsors, big impact, Montgomery County. That sounds like a hit!


AHCMC Launches power2give.org With Special Guests County Executive and Mrs. Leggett

Thursday, June 13th, 2013

County Executive Isiah and Mrs. Leggett where the special guests of the Arts and Humanities Council ofPhoto Credit BethesdaNow.com Montgomery at the official launch of power2give.org (one of the hottest new charitable giving sites for arts and culture in the country) in Montgomery County, June 12, 2013, at Round House Theatre in Bethesda. Since its inception in 2011, power2give.org has raised over $3.076M in support for the creative community, and received over 13,245 total donations.

Jump-starting the momentum in Montgomery County, the Leggetts gave $200 to Round House Theatre’s “Act Now” project, sponsoring scholarships for children and youth from around the county to attend RHT summer camp.  It was an incredible moment.

AHCMC’s power2give corporate matching sponsors were also there in full force showing their support. Patrick Van Der Ham, Senior Vice President of Monument Bank, Steve Hull, Publisher of Bethesda Magazine, and Erica Leatham, an attorney for Ballard Spahr and the chair of the AHCMC board all donated matching funds to power2give.org/MontgomeryCountyMD that provide an additional 50 cents towards each creative project for every dollar raised on power2give.org. Their generous support made the Leggett’s first $200 gift instantly transform into $300 for Round House Theatre, demonstrating the full power in power2give.org.

Photo Credit BethesdaNow.com“People often feel that if they can’t make a really big donation, they shouldn’t donate at all,” said Ryan Rilette, Producing Artistic Director at Round House Theatre. Power2give capitalizes on the surge in mircrodonations that has swept the philanthropic community.  power2give let’s donors know “that any little bit you can give will actually make a very clear difference in people’s lives,” Rilette commented.  power2give.org makes it possible for anyone to be a philanthropist and everyone to make a difference.

Since power2give.org went live in Montgomery County, it has raised over $10,000 in support for creative projects in the nonprofit arts and humanities community. “This is bigger than we imagined,” said an enthusiastic Suzan Jenkins, CEO of the AHCMC. Jenkins was the inspiration behind introducing power2give to Montgomery County. “I’m an early adopter of technology and when I saw a demonstration of power2give.org at a conference two years ago, it was love at first sight. We were excited to receive a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts to bring power2give.org to Montgomery County. We’re the first jurisdiction in the Washington region to participate in the power2give network.”

Only one day after the launch, power2give.org is making a huge impact in our community.

Photos courtesy of BethesdaNow.