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Maryland State Arts Council Awards $50,200 in FY2016 Grants

Maryland State Arts Council Awards $50,200 in FY2016 Grants


Supporting Living Traditions

June 03, 2015Press Release

June 5, 2015 (Baltimore) – Maryland Traditions, the folklife program of the Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC) celebrates and documents traditional arts and culture across Maryland. For more than ten years, Maryland Traditions has cultivated a statewide infrastructure and grant system encouraging folk arts and folklife, with assistance in funding from the National Endowment for the Arts. Since 2001, Maryland Traditions has given $412,700 in apprenticeship and project grants, safeguarding Maryland’s traditional art forms.

“Upholding tradition is essential to our lives. Without it we are bound to lose sight of where we came from,” said MSAC Executive Director, Theresa Colvin. “Traditions bring people together, whether it’s through family customs or by passing on music and art forms from the past. MSAC is pleased to support these statewide arts organizations and individual artists for sharing their diverse talents and enriching their communities.”

Recently, a jury of folklife experts recommended 11 Maryland Traditions Apprenticeship Awards, totaling $22,000, to master traditional artists to mentor an apprentice for one year, beginning in July 2015.  Each master-apprentice team receives a total of $2,000. This money helps to cover apprenticeship-related expenses to ensure the continuity of Maryland’s diverse living traditions for future generations.

Since the Apprenticeship Award program began in 2004, Maryland Traditions has supported a wide variety of traditional arts. Past apprenticeships have focused on a wide variety of traditional forms, including Irish button accordion, boat building, decoy carving, South Indian dance, metalwork, and Smith Island cake.

The FY2016 Maryland Traditions Project Grants program appropriated $28,200 to seven organizations. Grants range from $3,200 to $5,000 per cultural institution. The Maryland Traditions Project Grant program was launched in 2006 to provide support to non-profits  for initiatives that document, preserve and present the state’s rich traditional arts and culture.  Funded projects will take place between July 2015 and June 2016.

The Maryland Traditions Program identifies documents and celebrates living traditions, communities and practitioners that constitute the state’s folk and traditional arts and folklife. It supports the dissemination of information to wider audiences through publication, presentation, and other educational activities. In addition, the program works directly with individuals and cultural institutions to sustain living traditions and folk arts. MSAC has hosted a folklife program since 1974 – the longest -running in the nation – and has built a robust archive of Maryland Folklife now housed at UMBC.

2016 Maryland Traditions Apprenticeship Awardees:

•    Master Christopher Clayton (AKA “DJ Karizma”) of Baltimore and apprentice Baronhawk Poitier Williams of Prince George’s County, for Baltimore Club Music – song craft and performance technique.

•    Master Tyrome Elliott of Baltimore County and apprentice Ryan Elliott of Baltimore City for a Quartet-style African-American gospel.

•    Master Kuribachew “Kuri” Gebretsadik and apprentice Eyerusalem Kidane both of Montgomery County for Traditional Ethiopian dance.

•    Master Dennis Klima of Wicomico County and apprentice Maks Bondyra of Baltimore County for Polish Dances from the Beskid Slask Region.

•    Master Lise Lorentzen and apprentice Michele Fiore Wimmers both of Harford County, for Rosemaling (Norwegian decorative painting).

•    Master Prem Raja Mahat of Baltimore City and apprentice Roshan Pratap Rana of Montgomery County for Nepalese Murali (traditional mountain flute).

•    Master George Pappas and apprentice Lauren Pappas both of Allegany County, for hand-dipped Easter chocolate.

•    Master Joung Sook Park and apprentice Joseph Cho both of Montgomery County, for Traditional Korean drumming (Jangoo and Buk drums).

•    Frances Mann Riale of Cecil County and apprentice Angelita (Ann) Porcella of Baltimore City for Country and old-time music on upright bass.

•    Masters Leslie Trageser and Noreen “Freddy” Herbert of Baltimore County and apprentice Jeffrey Smith of Baltimore, for Traditional Sour Beef & Dumplings.

•    Master Chu Shan Zhu and apprentices Sean Tan/Alexander Butman, all of Montgomery County, for Traditional Chinese Opera (sword-fight and dance techniques).

2016 Maryland Traditions Project Grant Awardees:

•    Baltimore Museum of Industry of Baltimore City ($3,000): Grant will fund a series of sign-painting workshops associated with the exhibit “Not Yet Lost! The Art of Maryland Sign Painters.”

•    Center for Research in Basketry, Inc. of Baltimore City/Statewide ($5,000): Three events examining Maryland’s occupational basketry traditions tied to fruit/vegetable baskets, eel baskets, and tobacco baskets. Programs will take place on the Eastern Shore and Southern Maryland.

•    Crisfield Heritage Foundation of Somerset County ($3,200): Grant will fund the “Dock Day on the Bay” maritime heritage festival on the Crisfield waterfront.

•    Institute for Musical Traditions of Montgomery County ($4,000): Grant will fund the creation of a DVD teaching the playing technique of Irish button accordionist Billy McComiskey.

•    International Rescue Committee, Inc. of Baltimore City ($5,000): Grant will support workshops for the IRC’s “New Roots” program. Project will focus on sustaining agricultural/gardening traditions in Baltimore’s Iraqi, Burmese, Bhutanese and Sudanese refugee communities through community gardening.

•    Washington Chu Shan Chinese Opera Institute of Montgomery County ($3,000): Grant will fund a performance and publication to honor the 25th anniversary of the Washington Chu Shan Chinese Opera Institute.

•    Wide Angle Youth Media of Baltimore City ($5,000): Grant will fund a story collection project for youth to research and create audio and images of food traditions in Northwest Baltimore City. Completed projects will air on WYPR 88.1.

For information contact MSAC Maryland Traditions Director, Cliff Murphy, 410-767-6450,

About the Maryland State Arts Council

An agency of the Maryland Department of Business & Economic Development, Division of Tourism, Film and the Arts, the Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC) is dedicated to cultivating a vibrant cultural community where the arts thrive. Maryland State Arts Council grantees generate $1 billion in economic activity and support more than 12,000 jobs and $45 million in state and local tax revenue.  Source: Economic Impact of the Arts in Maryland: FY2013. For information call (410) 767-6555 or TTY (410) 333-4519.