ELIZABETH MALBY / Baltimore Sun
Baltimore's rich cultural assets include several with deep roots. In addition to Vagabond Players, which bills itself as “America's oldest continuous little theatre” (it turns 100 next season), there's Arena Players, the nation's longest continually operating African-American community theater, launched in 1953. “This is where African-Americans in Baltimore could go when they couldn't go anyplace else,” says Arena Players artistic director Donald Owens, “and where African-American actors could perform when they couldn't go anyplace else — unless they wanted to play a butler.” As it has from the start, the company continues to tackle lots of intriguing repertoire, vintage and new.
Arena Players, 801 McCulloh St.
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Barbara Haddock Taylor / Baltimore Sun
John Quincy Adams called Baltimore "a monumental city" in 1827. It got a lot more monumental later. Over time, we've added commemorations of Francis Scott Key that are traditional (in Bolton Hill) and almost campy (at Fort McHenry); monuments to both sides in the Civil War; statues of Martin Luther and Pope John Paul II; a bust of anti-Semitic German composer Richard Wagner and a Holocaust Memorial. "When you start delving into the icons of the city, you can get deep into different periods of history," says Burt Kummerow, president and CEO of the Maryland Historical Society. Mount Vernon Place is a great starting point for a tour; it's dotted with impressive statuary. And the first civic attempt in the country to build a monument to George Washington is right there.
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Tips and suggestions for the culture-hungry visitor in Baltimore, brought to you by The Baltimore Sun's '101 days and nights in Baltimore,' which highlights the city's vast array of activities and attractions.