Transformative Art Prizes to turn vacant lot into theater, create murals, more

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced Thursday that five neighborhoods and organizations will receive a total of $110,000 in 2016 PNC Transformative Art Prizes.

The awards, which range from $15,000 to $30,000, are given annually with the goal of enlivening public spaces through high-impact art projects.


This year's winners are:

  • The largest award, $30,000, will be used to convert a vacant lot at 1835 W. Lanvale St. into a outdoor community theater and rotating gallery that uses film projections. Artists Ashley Milburn and Johnnie Jackson, working under the auspices of Morgan State University, will hold workshops on building digital cameras. Participants will then photograph their communities, and the results will be displayed during the opening exhibit for the new theater.
  • The Patterson Park Neighborhood Association is getting $25,000 to build a more beautiful bus bench at the intersection of E. Fayette St. and N.  Milton Ave. Mural artists Shawn James and Charles Lawrence will work with sculptors Tim Scofield and Kyle Miller to create a Chesapeake Bay-themed mural, which will adjoin an oasis consisting of custom-built containers featuring native plants and trees.

Two organizations are receiving $20.000 grants:

  • Artist Ali Duggan will work with residents of the Harlem Park neighborhood to create a series of murals in the 700 and 800 blocks of N. Fulton Ave. The project, sponsored by the drug addiction treatment center A Step Forward, Inc., will also feature a community garden.
  • A new singing group called The Cherry Hill Intergenerational Choir will be formed and led by singer/songwriter Navasha Daya. The choir, which will consist of members of the Youth Resiliency Institute and Cherry Hill residents, will team up with drummer Moziah Saleem and visual artists Jackie Mayo and Dirk Joseph to create a performance/visual art hybrid that will tour throughout the city.
  • The Creative Alliance at the Patterson has been granted $15,000 to create a traditional Mexican Posada -- or community celebration featuring pinatas  -- in Highlandtown.  The money will be used to train local pinata artists, hire them to conduct pinata-making workshops and perform a posada. The procession will feature young adults in biblically inspired costumes, live music, and a party featuring homemade food and pinata-breaking.