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Howard County Briefs

Housing applications

Howard County Housing will begin accepting applications Oct. 1 for the October enrollment period for the Moderate Income Housing Unit program. The MIHU is an inclusionary zoning program that requires developers of new housing in certain zoning districts to sell or rent a percentage of the new dwelling units to households of moderate income. The program offers homes at reduced sale prices and rents to income-eligible individuals and families. Open enrollment ends Oct. 31. Information: 410-313-6318 or

Art programs

Registration is underway for the Howard County Arts Council's fall educational programs at the Howard County Center for the Arts in Ellicott City. The council offers classes and workshops for ages 5 to adult. Programs and classes range from one-day workshops to eight-week sessions.

Fall classes for ages 5 to 12 include Saturday Art Studio and Discover 3-D. For teens and adults, offerings include drawing and composition and three new workshops: art quilts, reliquary boxes and mosaic basics. Weekly drop-in sessions for drawing and painting from portrait and life models are also available.

Registration and full class listings are available at Brochures are available at the art center, and requests for a brochure to mailed may be directed to 410-313-2787. Early registration is recommended.

Volunteer naturalists

The Howard County Conservancy seeks volunteer naturalists for its fall field trip programs. Naturalists assist conservancy staff during field trips by leading nature-oriented hikes on the 232-acre historic farm property. Field trips are offered during October and November, and naturalists are asked to lead a minimum of three hikes. Participants will receive a manual and learn ecological concepts as well as about the history, plant life and wildlife of Howard County. To register and more information, call 410-465-8877.

Vendors and sponsors

The annual 50+EXPO will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 18 at Wilde Lake High School, 5460 Trumpeter Road in Columbia. The event is presented by the Department of Citizen Services Office on Aging. The Capitol Steps will perform at noon and 2 p.m. in the Jim Rouse Theatre.

Vendor and exhibitor space is available on a first-come, first-served basis and application fees are based on category and booth location. Vendor packets and information on sponsorship opportunities are available at Applications should be faxed to 410-313-5950 or mailed to: 50+EXPO 2013, c/o Donna Tugwell, Howard County Office on Aging, 6751 Columbia Gateway Drive, Suite 211, Columbia, 21046. Information: Lisa Madera at 410-313-5990 or email

Kindred Spirits

Kindred Spirits, a social club for people diagnosed with early memory loss or dementia, meets from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays in the 50+ Center at the Gary J. Arthur Community Center, 2700 Route 97, Cooksville. Highlights include therapeutic activities, including music, art and exercise, as well as a support group. A daily fee of $30 includes snacks, lunch, coffee and tea. The program is sponsored by the Howard County Office on Aging and the Alzheimer's Association of Greater Maryland. Information: Judy Miller at 410-313-5441 or email

Calling artists

The Meeting House Gallery at Oakland Mills Interfaith Center is accepting applications from artists for its "Season of Light" exhibition beginning in November, and also for a nature exhibition beginning in January. For applications and more information, go to

Child advocates

Voices for Children, Howard County's court-appointed special advocate program, seeks volunteers to train and match to children up to 21 years old who are living in foster care. Volunteers must be 21 or older and pass a criminal background check. Training will be offered from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays for eight weeks beginning Sept. 20 in Ellicott City. For an application and more information, call 410-740-0933 or go to

Howie Awards

The Howard County Arts Council is seeking nominations for the 2013 Howie Awards, which honor individuals and businesses that have made significant contributions to the arts. Forms are available online at and must be postmarked, emailed or faxed by Nov. 1. Information: 410-313-2787.

Gardening volunteers

The Howard County Conservancy seeks Wednesday morning drop-in gardening volunteers from 9:30 a.m. to noon to help maintain its themed and native plant gardens. All levels of experience welcome. For information, call Tabby Fique at 410-465-8877 or go to

Skills park

Rockburn Skills Park, targeted toward mountain bikers and trail runners, features a pump track, flow trail, descending trail, climbing trail and an uphill return trail. The 450-acre Rockburn Branch Park includes 7.4 miles of trails, woodlands, marshes and stream valleys, multipurpose athletic fields, baseball diamonds, tennis and basketball courts, two playgrounds, an 18-hole disc golf course and picnic pavilions. Information: go to

Guided hikes

The Howard County Conservancy offers free guided hikes and talks on the second Saturday of each month. Visitors can enjoy an easy walk in the meadows and woods of the conservancy, 10520 Old Frederick Road in Woodstock. Information: call 410-465-8877 or go to

Theater rental

The Howard County Arts Council has announced the availability of the Black Box Theatre for rental. The 98-seat multipurpose performance space is equipped with professional sound and lighting equipment, dressing rooms, padded seats, black stage curtains and a sprung dance floor. A performance grand piano is available for rent through a separate agreement with the Howard County Music Teachers Association. All renters of the theater are required to carry commercial liability insurance. Other requirements and rental request forms and rates can be found at Rental request forms should be mailed to Room Rentals, Howard County Arts Council, 8510 High Ridge Road, Ellicott City 21043.

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