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Howard County Briefs

Art programs

Registration is under way for the Howard County Arts Council's fall educational programs at the Howard County Center for the Arts in Ellicott City. The council offers classes and workshops for ages 5 to adult. The art programs begin the week of September 9 and classes range from one-day workshops to eight-week sessions.

Fall classes for ages 5-12 include Saturday Art Studio and Discover 3-D. For teens and adults, offerings include drawing and composition and three new workshops: art quilts, reliquary boxes and mosaic basics. Ongoing weekly drop-in sessions for drawing and painting from portrait and life models are also available.

Registration and full class listings are available at Brochures are available at the art center, and requests for a brochure to mailed may be directed to 410-313-2787. Early registration suggested as space is limited.

Volunteer naturalists

The Howard County Conservancy seeks volunteer naturalists for its fall field trip programs. Naturalists assist conservancy staff during field trips by leading nature-oriented hikes on the 232-acre historic farm property. Field trips are offered during October and November, and naturalists are asked to lead a minimum of three hikes. Training takes place from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Thursdays, Sept. 12, 19, and 26 for the elementary program and Tuesdays, Sept. 10 and 17 for the secondary program. Participants will receive a manual and learn ecological concepts as well as about the history, plant life and wildlife of Howard County. To register and more information, call 410-465-8877.


•Columbia Pro Cantare is holding auditions for all parts for its 37th anniversary season. Works by Bach, Mozart, Verdi, Strauss and Brahms, Handel's "Messiah," Rutter's "Requiem" and music from the British Isles will be performed. To schedule an audition, call 410-730-8549. Information: Regular rehearsals begin Sept. 3 and are held from 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesdays at Hammond High School in Columbia.

•Laurel Mill Playhouse will hold auditions for six men and a woman for its production of Martin McDonagh's dark comedy, "The Lieutenant of Inishmore," running Nov. 8-Nov. 24 at 508 Main St. in Laurel. Auditions will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 31, noon to 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 1, and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sept. 3. There will be cold readings from the script. Bring conflicts, head shots and resume. No appointment required. For more information, call Maureen Rogers 301-452-2557 or email her at Website is

Kindred Spirits

Kindred Spirits, a social club for people diagnosed with early memory loss or dementia, meets from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays in the 50+ Center at the Gary J. Arthur Community Center, 2700 Route 97, Cooksville. Highlights include therapeutic activities, including music, art and exercise, as well as a support group. A daily fee of $30 includes snacks, lunch, coffee and tea. The program is sponsored by the Howard County Office on Aging and the Alzheimer's Association of Greater Maryland. Information: call Judy Miller at 410-313-5441 or email

Child advocates

Voices for Children, Howard County's Court Appointed Special Advocate Program, seeks volunteers to train and match to children, up to 21 years old, who are living in foster care. Volunteers must be 21 and pass a criminal background check. Training will be offered from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays for eight weeks beginning Sept. 20 in Ellicott City. For an application and more information, call 410-740-0933 or go to

Skills park

Rockburn Skills Park, targeted toward mountain bikers and trail runners, features a pump track, flow trail, descending trail, climbing trail and an uphill return trail. The 450-acre Rockburn Branch Park includes 7.4 miles of trails, woodlands, marshes and stream valleys, multipurpose athletic fields, baseball diamonds, tennis and basketball courts, two playgrounds, an 18-hole disc golf course and picnic pavilions. Information: go to

Guided hikes

The Howard County Conservancy offers free guided hikes and talks on the second Saturday of each month. Visitors can enjoy an easy walk in the meadows and woods of the conservancy, 10520 Old Frederick Road in Woodstock. Information: call 410-465-8877 or go to

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