Archive for the ‘News and Events’ Category

Celebrating the Arts and Humanities

Thursday, October 18th, 2018

Dear Colleagues,

October is National Arts and Humanities Month (NAHM). It’s the time of the year when we encourage our national community to celebrate, promote and participate in the arts and humanities. It’s also a great time to reflect on the many contributions made to our local communities through the arts and humanities. We have seen huge economic, educational and creative gains as a result of the activity and vitality of the arts and humanities in our everyday lives, locally and nationally. At the Arts and Humanities Council, we work tirelessly to ensure that Montgomery County’s arts and humanities sector is vibrant, diverse and representative of the County’s rich cultural assets.

The recent Creative Industries: Business & Employment in the Arts reports from Americans for the Arts are a reminder of the presence, the power and the vital contributions of the arts and humanities to our local and global economies. Findings from the reports show that there are more than 3,000 arts-related businesses in Montgomery County that employ more than 11,000 people.

Collectively, 5 percent of the total number of businesses in Montgomery County are arts-related, which is more than the national percentage of 4.6 and more than MD state’s percentage of 4.1. Our commitment to our County’s creative industries is a strong testament to our appreciation and our value of the richly rewarding and diverse human experiences and opportunities that they offer.

This commitment is especially salient as we draw closer to honoring the many contributions of our County’s arts and humanities organizations and contributors during the 2018 County Executive’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts and Humanities. Now in its 17th year, these Executive’s Awards allow us to pay tribute and celebrate some of the individuals and organizations who are making a difference in Montgomery County through the arts and humanities. This year’s ceremony will take place at Montgomery College Cultural Arts Center on October 29, 2018. You can reserve free tickets for this year’s awards here!

I hope you’ll join me and communities everywhere in showcasing and highlighting the work of artists and scholars this month and every month. I’m proud of our creative industries and the work they do in helping to build a stable, profitable, and artistic economy for our local community, and I am excited to celebrate them all year long.


Suzan Jenkins,

Arts Education Provides Children with Knowledge and Creativity in and out of the Classroom

Thursday, August 23rd, 2018

Dear Colleagues,

The 2018/2019 school year is right around the corner, and that means it is time to start thinking about science projects, math equations, history reports, and after-school sports. But let us not forget about the arts—from marching band, school plays, ceramics, and watercolor paintings—the arts are important. Whether you are a parent, teacher or student, this year I encourage you to consider the importance of arts education; it’s the STEAM behind creative thinking!

Arts education covers a wide-range of disciplines and has multiple definitions. I like Americans for the Arts (AFTA) broad definition of arts education. Americans for the Arts (2013) defines arts education as “instruction and programming in all arts disciplines, including but not limited to dance, music, visual arts, theater, creative writing, media arts, and arts history, criticism, and aesthetics (p. 6).”

I believe that arts education is important because it includes both instruction and programming—in and out of the classroom—and comprises all arts disciplines. Inside the classroom arts education can range from STEAM—science, technology, engineering, arts, and math—curriculum to arts-integration programs. Such programs can include arts integration residencies, where teaching artists use performing and visual arts to explore and teach academic subjects. You can learn more about arts integration here.

Outside of the classroom, arts education can include after-school art classes, weekend dance classes, music lessons, and summer theater camps. The Bilingual Guide to Children’s Art Activities is a wonderful resource to various art, dance and music classes as well as summer camp programs for children of all ages and backgrounds. Click here to read this year’s Guide to Children’s Art Activities.

Whether inside or outside of the classroom, arts education provides students with the opportunity to learn everything from basic art skills and creativity to reasoning and problem-solving skills. The impact of arts education is far-reaching and that is why it is so important. Arts education can happen during the school year or summer break. It can include science, math, history and even physical activity—it’s all-encompassing! If you want to learn more about arts education and why it is so important, I encourage you to visit AFTA’s page on arts education. In the meantime, between science projects and math equations register your student for a dance class, theatre workshop, or voice lesson. I promise, it will enrich their life!


Suzan Jenkins,


AHCMC FY18 Grantees Receive “Best Local Nonprofits” Honors

Thursday, June 21st, 2018

Congratulations to several AHCMC FY18 Grantees who have been selected by the Catalogue for Philanthropy: Greater Washington for its Class of 2018-19 Catalogue Charities.

Each of these nonprofits has been chosen, from 200+ applications, as “one of the best” local nonprofits in the region. The charities listed below have successfully passed a rigorous review process conducted by a team of 120+ experts in the local philanthropic field.

See all regional winners

Enjoy June with Free Summer Concerts, AFI Docs, Pride Month, and Heritage Days

Thursday, June 14th, 2018

Dear Colleagues,

Summer’s here and the time is right for free summer concerts! Want to be in the know?  Check out our Free Summer Concert Guide 2018 from You’ll see our favorite picks from Gaithersburg to Wheaton and all over Montgomery County. Whether you are young or old, lively or low-key, now is the perfect time to reacquaint yourself with our creative voices and cultural happenings. The month of June also affords us the opportunity to celebrate advances made in civil rights, racial equity, and inclusion as we recognize LGBTQ Pride Month, Caribbean American Heritage Month, Juneteenth, and the 21st Annual Heritage Days. So get out and go play in Montgomery County!

As our richly diverse community prepares to exercise its most cherished civic duty in the 2018 elections, you can make informed choices about your vote as you peruse the results from our 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 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.

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 shared views on arts education in Montgomery County Public Schools, public art and creative placemaking in the county, and workforce development. 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.

That’s GREAT NEWS for our creative sector!

The time is NOW to hold candidates’ accountable for their words so GET OUT AND VOTE! Early voting begins TODAY Thursday, June 14 and runs until Thursday, June 21. Registered voters can vote early at any of the 11 early voting centers the county is running this year. As the U.S. House Appropriations Committee approves increased FY19 funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) at $155 million and our County Council supports our creative and cultural sectors with $5.3 million, I hope you will join me this election season and make your vote count for the arts and humanities!

Suzan Jenkins,

Celebrate Spring with National Preservation Month, National Chamber Music month, and Jewish American Heritage Month

Monday, May 14th, 2018

Dear Colleagues,

Welcome Spring! May provides us with many opportunities to celebrate our local arts, history and culture as we recognize National Preservation Month, National Chamber Music Month and Jewish American Heritage Month. These designations remind us to cherish our past and embrace the accomplishments of Americans working across the multidimensional, multicultural fields and sectors in the arts and humanities. With a plethora of offerings at our fingertips through, I invite you to get involved with these commemorations through inspiring programming throughout Montgomery County! (more…)

Montgomery County Contemporary Works on Paper Collection – Call for Art 2018

Wednesday, March 28th, 2018

 Montgomery County Contemporary Works on Paper Collection Call for Art 2018

Deadline: Friday, April 20 by 11:59PM

Download the Call for Art

Apply Now

The Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County (AHCMC) and the Montgomery County Public Art Trust are issuing a call for art to reactivate The Contemporary Works on Paper Collection with new acquisitions from artists living in Montgomery County and the Greater Washington area. Artwork in this collection is owned by Montgomery County under the County’s Public Art Trust program and loaned to County agencies for display in public buildings.

This call is specifically for the purchase of original and unframed two-dimensional works of art that are contemporary and modern in style. These works may include but are not limited to paintings in various media, drawings in various media, photographs, mixed media, and limited edition prints.  These artworks should help create inspiring spaces that foster innovation, creative excellence and personal reflection. The Public Art Trust is especially interested in artworks that reflect the unique and diverse character of Montgomery County.

Required Application Materials

  • Artist Information: full name, current address, contact information, Artist Information: full name, current address, contact information
  • Artist Statement: 1 page maximum
  • Artist Resume: 1 page maximum
  • Images: High quality JPEG image files are preferred; professionally taken photographs of the artwork may be submitted.
  • Exhibition List: a document that includes the title, year, medium, dimension, price and edition number (if applicable) for each uploaded work of art. Listed price shall reflect a 20% discount.

AHCMC Welcomes Ceylon Mitchell

Monday, February 5th, 2018

Ceylon Mitchell, a communications specialist with a background in music performance, recently joined our staff as the communications and public relations manager. We sat down with him to learn about his background in the arts, his first few weeks at the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County, and more!

AHCMC: So tell us about yourself.

Ceylon: I am a native of Anchorage, Alaska and very excited to work with AHCMC. I have a Master of Music Education from Boston University as well as a Graduate Certificate in Multimedia Journalism and Master of Music in flute performance from the University of Maryland. Prior to joining AHCMC, I served as the Communications & Media Coordinator in the University of Maryland Office of Community Engagement, an organization committed to facilitating connections, networking opportunities, and partnerships between the University of Maryland and surrounding communities. In this position, I managed press relations, creative assets, social media strategy, and web content while sharing knowledge and promoting the many engagement efforts in “Greater College Park.” While I have greatly enjoyed making a difference for my alma mater, I am excited to learn more about the local arts and humanities sectors in Montgomery County.

AHCMC: What led you to the arts field?
Ceylon Mitchell

Ceylon Mitchell, AHCMC Communications & Public Relations Manager

Ceylon: I play the flute! As an active artist and educator, I am the co-founder and flutist of Potomac Winds, a local chamber music collective. We engage in performances, collaborations, private instruction, and educational outreach, all very important to me. As a private consultant, I support performing arts individuals and organizations with digital media marketing strategies, multimedia content, and tailored services in order to ensure their artistic success. My mission is keeping the arts alive, authentic, and accessible in our communities!

“I’m looking forward to reading, listening, and sharing all of the wonderful cultural news, events, and opportunities happening in Montgomery County…”

AHCMC: What interested you to come work for AHCMC?

Ceylon: During my graduate studies at the University of Maryland, I learned about the arts communities, individuals, and institutions in the Washington D.C. metro area. Specifically, I have worked as the flute choir conductor with the Potomac Valley Youth Orchestra in Montgomery County for the last three years. This opportunity allowed me to learn about the diversity, community involvement, and wealth of cultural assets in the county. Upon discovering AHCMC, I was truly inspired by the organization’s mission and interested in learning more about the arts, grants, and nonprofits on a local level. With a unique experience in the performing arts, journalism, and advocacy, working with the Arts & Humanities Council of Montgomery County felt like the perfect fit!

AHCMC: Tell us a fun fact!

Ceylon: I grew up playing four sports – soccer, track, cross-county running, and cross-county skiing.

AHCMC: What are you most looking forward to as the CPRM?

Ceylon: I’m looking forward to reading, listening, and sharing all of the wonderful cultural news, events, and opportunities happening in Montgomery County for the community to enjoy. So send me those press releases at!

AHCMC joins the global #GivingTuesday movement!

Friday, November 24th, 2017

The Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County has joined #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving that harnesses the collective power of individuals, communities and organizations to encourage philanthropy and to celebrate humanity worldwide. Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, and one of the best ways to get involved is in your own community.

#GivingTuesday donations will provide significant assistance to AHCMC as we work to keep the arts and humanities alive in communities across Montgomery County. The Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County is asking for you to support us in our goal of raising $10,000 by December 31st by donating on #GivingTuesday (November 28) at

In Montgomery County, we are truly fortunate to have a robust arts and humanities community that offers rich cultural experiences and drives our local economy. Our programs help advance this economic and cultural growth!

  • Arts in Education – Partnering with local teaching artists to bring unique arts education programs to 9 Montgomery County Public Schools, one library and one senior care facility focusing on underserved students and community members.
  • CultureSpotMC – Montgomery County’s premiere online cultural calendar and only dedicated arts and culture publication.
  • The Public Art Trust – Managing the county’s public art collection and placemaking initiatives in partnership with the county and developers.

We know that #MontgomeryCountyGives! So, how will you support on #GivingTuesday?

Your contribution of $10, $20, $50 or $100 will help us reach our $10,000 goal!  These funds will be used to support our operations, drive our programs, and help us build a new! A contribution of any amount is greatly appreciated.

Thank you for supporting the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County!

Support AHCMC this #GivingTuesday.

2017 Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient Muriel “Mimi” Hom

Sunday, November 5th, 2017

At this year’s County Executive’s Awards ceremony, Mr. Ike Leggett will present the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award
to Muriel “Mimi” Hom for her work with Opera International.

Reserve your ticket today and join us on November 6 at 7 pm as we honor Muriel and many others, at the 2017 Montgomery County Executive’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts in Humanities

Read on and get to know a little more about Muriel.

In what ways do you think your involvement in the Montgomery County arts and culture sector is impactful?

I felt that the establishment of Opera International which I founded provided opportunities for young artists to perform and be trained. By garnering the support of foundations such as The Nancy Peery Marriott foundation, The Carita and Li foundation, we were also able to bring opera to seniors and students and educate young people who might not have been able to afford such cultural opportunities.

What do you love about the arts and culture sector in Montgomery County?

I feel there is a diversity of the kind of programs that are given, such as operas, classical concerts ranging to the popular, jazz and rap and there are so many venues provided. Shopping malls have even entered into the arts and culture projects.

What advice do you have for anyone looking to get involved in arts and culture?

The advice I would give to anyone entering into and getting involved into arts and culture is to go to places such as The Music Center at Strathmore, Montgomery College and the many theaters in the county and volunteer their services. For performers, constant auditions and entering into the many competitions that are offered in the county should be considered.

What do you see on the horizon for arts and culture in local and global communities?

I see in the horizon a constant blooming of the arts and culture in the county due in part to the scientific information given today that studying music and all the art forms are very good for the brain.  I hope that the schools will return to emphasizing art and culture in their curriculum. Shopping malls and restaurants are all entering into the picture.

What was your earliest “art spark” or impetus for an interest in the arts?

My “art spark” came when I was 11when my piano teacher took me to my first opera, Mozart’s “Cosi fan tutte.” did not know the story nor the language but was enthralled with the performance. The music, the singing, the sets, the acting all mesmerized me. So later in life I founded Opera International to provide opportunities for the singers to be trained and perform, to educate the young into an appreciation of a higher art form and provide world class opera for the community at affordable prices.

2017 Lifetime Impact Award Recipient Phillip Brown

Sunday, November 5th, 2017

At this year’s County Executive’s Awards ceremony, Mr. Ike Leggett will present the 2017 Lifetime Impact Award
to Phillip Brown for his work with Montgomery County Woodturners.

Reserve your ticket today and join us on November 6 at 7 pm as we honor Phillip and many others, at the 2017 Montgomery County Executive’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts in Humanities

Read on and get to know a little more about Phillip.

In what ways do you think your involvement in the Montgomery County arts and culture sector is impactful?

The formation of Montgomery County Woodturners (MCW) provides how-to-do-it training to amateurs, some of whom later create quality work accepted for exhibits and which sells in craft shows.  MCW has exhibited member work at eight county libraries, those with exhibit cases, for the last 10 years.  MCW has arranged multiple visits for members to major turned wood and craft collections in this area, including those of Fleur Bresler, Jerry and Deena Kaplan, Jane and Arthur Mason, and Judy and Jeff Bernstein.  I have shown my turned work in invited or juried exhibits at the Tower and Popcorn Galleries, Glen Echo Park; Kramer Gallery in Silver Spring; Blackrock Center for the Arts in Germantown: VisArts and Washington Arts (now Artists and Makers) in Rockville; and in Creative Crafts Council exhibitions at Strathmore Mansion, and serve as the CCC treasurer.  I helped hang pictures and shown in the Labor Day Art Shows at Glen Echo Park.

What do you love about the arts and culture sector in Montgomery County?

I like that there are art centers and galleries where I can see exhibitions in all media, theaters like Round House and Olney, and the Baltimore Symphony at the Strathmore Music Center.

What advice do you have for anyone looking to get involved in arts and culture?

I would recommend people identify the medium they are most interest in, volunteer at an organization, and attend events and exhibitions focusing on the medium.  If they want to make art, there are classes at VisArts, Glen Echo Park, other art centers, and other places.

What do you see on the horizon for arts and culture in local and global communities?

I hope county, State and Federal funding will continue to be available to support the arts in our community as well as nationally and internationally. However, I am too poorly informed and involved to make a meaningful statement on this topic.

What was your earliest “art spark” or impetus for an interest in the arts?

An important and lasting spark for me was seeing the Craft Multiples exhibition at the Smithsonian Renwick Gallery in 1975. This exhibition caught the attention of numerous people who became craft artists or collectors.