October always tends to be a busy cultural month, as arts organizations fully immerse themselves in their new seasons. This month's designation as National Arts and Humanities Month will focus even more public attention on this dizzying array of activities.
Developed by the National Cultural Alliance, a non-profit coalition of arts and humanities organizations nationwide, this designation is for the most part a means of calling attention to already existing events. Politicians and arts organizers will be finding various ways to spread the word about the importance of the arts. There also is a national advertising campaign.
"We want to call attention to the vast and diverse activities in Baltimore City," explains Jane Vallery-Davis, spokeswoman for the Mayor's Advisory Committee on Art and Culture.
In Baltimore, Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke was scheduled to dedicate Arts events listing two new murals by Helen Glazer and Jenny Merker near Hollins Market this morning. Also to be released today are a brochure, "Walls of Art," serving as a self-guided tour of mural sites in Baltimore, and the 1994 edition of the Cultural Resource Guide. The mayor also was to help install new pole banners along the Mount Royal Cultural Corridor this afternoon.
As for statewide efforts, the Maryland Citizens for the Arts has organized an ArtSalute, which will take place tonight at the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall at 7:30 p.m. Gov. William Donald Schaefer serves as honorary chairman for this performance and awards program, for which all the free tickets have been distributed.
Maryland Medici Awards are to be given to Shirley Giarritta, an arts advocate in western Maryland; Patricia Bonacorda, owner of a plumbing, heating and air conditioning business in Prince George's County that has been generous in giving out arts scholarships; First National Bank of Maryland; the Peggy and Yale Gordon Trust, which has proved invaluable for supporting young musical talent; and a lifetime achievement award to Baltimore art patrons Randolph S. Rothschild, recently named president emeritus of the Chamber Music Society of Baltimore after serving for 39 years as its president, and his wife, Amalie, an artist.
Performers at tonight's ArtSalute include the Salisbury Symphony Orchestra; the Baltimore Choral Arts Society; the Japanese dance theater performer Shizumi; African dance from the Sankofa Dance Theater; the Baltimore American Indian Center Dancers; and jazz performers Gary Bartz, Ruby Glover and Nataska Hassan.