Fall Arts Guide 2016: Names to know

Get acquainted with these 10 Baltimore-area artists. You'll be hearing plenty more about them.

Name to know: Wordsmith, rapper

Wordsmith has steadily built a career where he sidesteps curse words completely. It's an effort to not only keep his subjects approachable for all ages, but to challenge himself artistically.

Name to know: Jen Grow, writer

In May, Jen Grow's book picked up the Mary Sawyers Baker Prize, which comes with $20,000. Last November, she won a $6,000 Ruby Artist Project Grant for a project to pair images taken by the photographer Craig Lammes with an essay Grow is writing about dismantling her father's house after his death.

Name to know: Stephen Towns, visual artist

Two dozen new works exploring the psychology of violence will go on exhibit at Galerie Myrtis in November

Name to know: Neptune the Poet

Neptune delivers raw meditations on racial inequality and inner-city violence, but also self-worth and pride.

Name to know: Ryan Haase, songwriter

Haase has composed more than 25 songs for "Dorian's Closet," a musical about a drag queen and a mummified body she kept. Rep Stage in Columbia will give the world premiere in April.

Name to know: Josh Kohn, performance director

Kohn's bookings have included comedian Judah Friedlander, experimental rockers Horse Lords and D.C.-based Ethiopian accordion player Hailu Mergia.

Name to know: Joy Postell, singer/rapper/songwriter

Postell creates socially aware, outward-facing music -- a hybrid of singer/songwriter R&B with touches of soul and rap

Name to know: Meng Su, classical guitarist

Meng Su's resume shows off top prizes at international competitions; extensive concert tours as a solo player and member of the Beijing Guitar Duo with Yameng Wang; well-received recordings of the Duo and her first solo CD.

Name to know: Michael Faulkner, filmmaker

"Shu-De!" – Tuvan for "Let's go!" — was one of the crowd favorites at May's 18th Maryland Film festival, where it had its East Coast premiere (its world premiere was a few weeks earlier, at the Nashville Film Festival).

Name to know: Lynne Bellinger, ballerina

Lynne Bellinger didn't realize how much she loved ballet until she stopped dancing – risking her career