Annual Books in Bloom event taking place online; and other Howard county arts happenings

Maryland Poet Laureate Grace Cavalieri reads poetry during a 2019 Evil Grin poetry event in Annapolis. Cavalieri will host a Emerging Voices: Young Writers’ Workshop at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 8, as part of the fourth annual Books in Bloom.
Maryland Poet Laureate Grace Cavalieri reads poetry during a 2019 Evil Grin poetry event in Annapolis. Cavalieri will host a Emerging Voices: Young Writers’ Workshop at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 8, as part of the fourth annual Books in Bloom. (Terrance Williams/Capital Gazette)

Books in Bloom now online

The fourth annual Books in Bloom is taking place this year in a virtual format.

Hosted by the Downtown Columbia Partnership and the Howard Hughes Corp., the Books in Bloom program brings together county residents and top authors from across the country. This year, it opened on July 23 and continues with various events scheduled through Aug. 20.


Current events scheduled:

Friday, Aug. 7, 7 to 8 p.m.


Saturday, Aug. 8, 11 a.m.

  • Emerging Voices: Young Writers’ Workshop with Grace Cavalieri

Thursday, Aug. 13, 7 to 8 p.m.

  • Conversation with Elizabeth Acevedo, New York Times best-seller and author of “Clap When You Land,” a novel-in-verse about loss, forgiveness and the bonds that shape our lives

Saturday, Aug. 15, 11 a.m.

Wednesday, Aug. 19, 7 to 8 p.m.

  • Well Red Book Club: Sheila Williams, whose novel,The Secret Women,” looks at mother-daughter relationships

Thursday, Aug. 20, 7 to 8 p.m.

Events are free, but registration is needed. For full event listings and links to event registrations, go to booksinbloommd.com/events.

Tickets still available for the Celebration of the Arts Gala

Tickets are still available for Howard County Arts Council’s Celebration of the Arts gala at 8 p.m. Aug. 27. The virtual event will feature a screening of the Rising Star Performing Arts Competition, the presentation of the Howie Awards and an art auction.

The Rising Star finalists performing at the 2020 celebration will be Maya Celeste, dance; Kayla Dunn, musical theater; Gabriel Hightower, cello; Kyeongmi Lim, piano; Ching-Yi Lin, piano; Alan Naylor, musical theater; Mayukha Pakala, dance; Gillian Rossbach, classical voice; and Nia Savoy, musical theater.

Ticket holders will be able to vote for their favorite performer through Aug. 30, with the winner announced live online Aug. 31.

Howie awards will be presented to Hsien-Ann Meng, outstanding artist; Donna Pidel, outstanding arts educator; and The Howard Hughes Corp., outstanding business supporter of the arts. A Legacy in the Arts Award will also be presented to Thomas Sankey, theater director for Mt. Hebron High School and Howard County Summer Theatre.

Gayle Danley, an International Poetry Slam champion, Maryland Library Association Poet of the Year and former Young Audience’s National Artist of the Year, will be the featured performer. Slam poetry features poets performing spoken word poetry before a panel of judges and an audience.

Presented by Howard Bank, the gala was originally scheduled for March but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Ticket are $50 or $100 and are available at hocoarts.org/celebration.

Entries being accepted for Pataptsco photo contest

The Patapsco Heritage Greenway is accepting entries for paSNAPsco, a photo contest and exhibit highlighting the Patapsco River valley.

The contest is open to both amateur and professional photographers. Images can feature historic structures and attractions, the Patapsco River and its environment, Main Street moments, recreational opportunities and cultural activities.

Winning photographs will be featured in a 2021 Patapsco Valley Heritage Area calendar.

Last year, 22 photographers entered 60 photos, with the winning photographs displayed in the PaSNAPsco Photo Exhibit from November 2019 through January at Atwater’s restaurant in Catonsville.

Past winners and new entrants can submit photographs for the 2020 PaSNAPsco Contest, but photographs submitted for the 2018 and 2019 PaSNAPsco contests are not eligible to be resubmitted.

Individual cash prizes of $100 will be awarded in the following categories:

  • Step back (historical)
  • Nature nurtures (environment)
  • Main Street moments
  • Get out! (recreation)
  • A muse (cultural)

A Patapsco Favorite will be selected for a $200 cash prize, and a People’s Choice Award will be selected via an online contest for a $100 cash award.

Photos must be taken within the boundaries of the Patapsco Valley Heritage Area. Deadline for entries is Sept. 1. The contest is sponsored by the Rogers Family of Ellicott City and made possible through a grant from the Maryland Heritage Area Authority.

For more information, contest rules and entry forms, go to Patapsco.org or email info@patapsco.org.

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