When city thrives, so does culture

Gary Vikan, director of the Walters Art Museum, would tell the mayor to remember that everything is connected and that the arts will only thrive if the rest of the city thrives.

"As Willy Don [Schaefer] used to say, 'everything is a priority,' " Vikan said. "A healthy city will support the arts."


He would like her to champion more cooperation between the arts and Baltimore's green spaces and to encourage bringing more culture into the schools.

And, of course, he hopes she'll keep the money coming.


"My hope would be that funding for the arts would be flat from last year," he said. "That's my letter to Santa."

Vikan sees Rawlings-Black at the museum with her family and at events that bring Baltimore together. "I don't doubt for a second that she … sees [the arts] as integral to the quality of life of the city."


Rawlings-Blake made a recent splash when she successfully pushed for a bill that allows more live entertainment venues in parts of the city.