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Museum of Modern Art
35 years later, the Baltimore School for the Arts is still changing lives
35 years later, the Baltimore School for the Arts is still changing lives

Everybody has heard of the actor Will Smith. Most will know of his wife, the actress Jada Pinkett Smith. Some will know that she was trained at the Baltimore School for the Arts, now celebrating its 35th anniversary. She is but one of many successful actors, dancers, musicians and other arts professionals who got a start there. This is the story of how the BSA came to be. In the fall of 1975, I was a young real estate developer who had been an aide to Mayor William Donald Schaefer when he appointed me president of the Board of School Commissioners. The board had just fired the city's first African-American superintendent, Roland Patterson. So began the most difficult five years of...

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