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Best Local Organization- Queen Anne’s County Library

We’re celebrating some of the local businesses and organizations that you voted the best! This issue we’re highlighting Queen Anne’s County Library, an organization that you voted “An Organization that Makes Our Community a Better Place.” Beyond books, our local library has unique services that help make it the “The Best of the Best.” We talked to Allison Wood at the library to learn more about some of the new and interesting resources our local community has available through the library.

One of the most impressive of the library’s newest additions is their collection of 3D printers. They have two Prusa Mini printers that can create 3D objects up to 7”x7”x7”. They also have a smaller Toybox 3D Printer designed as a learning experience for kids, but also for any age as a wau to learn how 3D printing works. If you are a beginner interested in learning 3D printing, the library recommends you try the free 3D printing program called Tinkercad to help understand all you can do with 3D printing. You can download the program or learn more online here: https://www.tinkercad.com/.

Another very modern addition to Queen Anne’s County Library is their podcast. “We started thinking about it with the rise of interest in podcasts. It seemed like a great way to get the word out about our books,” Allison told me. Each month two librarians pick a theme and discuss books that you can check out from the library that fit the monthly theme. Their most recent episode was on poetry. You can find the episodes on Spotify by searching “Queen Anne’s County Library.”

While many of the library’s newer offerings are very forward thinking, one in particular is available to help preserve the past. The Queen Anne’s County Library’s “Memory Center” helps patrons convert old home videos into MP4s, which can be stored on hard drives or DVDs. They also can transfer VHS, Mini DV, Video8, Hi8 and Digitial8. Some of the mediums, such as VHS, decompose over time, meaning that digitization is the only way to save the footage.

The last unique QAC Library feature we’re highlighting is the “Library of Things.” The library functions like a normal library, but instead of checking out books, you can check out a variety of different objects. Allison told me they have, among other items, CD Players, fishing poles, Legos®, DVD players, and ukuleles. Some of the items in the library are donated items from the community, while others were bought for patrons due to popular demand.

If you would like to learn more about Queen Anne’s County Library you can go to their website at https://www.qaclibrary.org/. There you can learn about some of the unique services we mentioned in the article as well as others such as Notary and testing services. With 3D printing, podcasts, books and more, it is no wonder you named Queen Anne’s County Library “The organization that makes our community a better place.”

MSO Elects Philip Webster and Philip Davis to its Board of Directors

The Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra has elected Philip J. Webster and Philip Davis to its Board of Directors. The Orchestra’s mission is to inspire, enrich, educate and entertain a diverse audience of all ages through live musical performances and to engage students in the world of music through its Outreach Programs. This mission is only possible with the support and guidance of a strong board of directors.

A long-time resident of St. Michaels, MD, Philip Webster brings decades of volunteer service with arts organizations to the Orchestra. In the Arts, Webster served as Public Relations Director of the Seventh U.S. Army Symphony Orchestra in Europe; Manager of The Handel and Haydn Society of Boston orchestra and chorus; Board member of the Boston Women’s Symphony Orchestra; Chairman of the Walnut Street Theatre of Philadelphia, America’s oldest theater;  Public Relations Committee of the Philadelphia Orchestra; Chairman of International House of Philadelphia and its annual Festival of World Cinema; and Producer of the International Choral Festival in Symphony Hall, Boston with choruses from 15 countries.  

On the Eastern Shore, Webster has served as the Founding Board Chairman of the Avalon Theatre and Avalon Foundation; Vice President and Board Member of Chesapeake Music; and Chairman and Founder of the Aspen Institute Wye Fellows and its music series.  He has also served locally on the Boards or as a Committee member of Sultana Education Foundation, Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, Miles River Yacht Club Foundation, Eastern Shore Land Conservatory, ShoreRivers, Waterfowl Chesapeake, Christ Church-St. Michaels, Episcopal Diocese of Easton, Chesapeake College Foundation, Mid Shore Community Foundation, and Aspen Institute Wye River Campus.

Philip Davis was raised in a Chicago suburb but came East for college and law school.  After graduating from The George Washington Law School, Davis clerked for a Federal District Court judge and then joined the Washington, D.C., office of Kirkland & Ellis, where he became a litigation partner in anti-trust, employment and general commercial matters.  He eventually left Kirkland to become a founding partner at what is now known as Wiley Rein.  At Wiley, his litigation practice evolved into a nationally-recognized government contracts practice, representing a diverse array of clients that did business with the Federal government, primarily in the defense field.  Besides his legal practice, Davis served for several years in firm management and as the firm’s Recruiting Partner.  Now, as Senior Counsel, he has a less demanding schedule, but still periodically advises his colleagues and clients when called upon.

On the Eastern Shore, Davis has gradually become a more involved member of the community.  He is a mentor with Talbot Mentors, a youth mentoring organization that provides support, guidance and coaching to young people in Talbot County; he currently mentors a junior at Easton High School.  Davis is also a member of Christ Church, St. Michaels, where, among other activities, he serves on the Vestry.  In addition, Philip and Sara support the Avalon Foundation, Academy Art Museum and Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, and are members of the Talbot Country Club. 

Board President, Jeffrey Parker said, “The addition of both Philip Webster and Philip Davis will reinforce and strengthen an already motivated and ambitious board of directors. We welcome them and look forward to all that they will bring to our great organization.”


ShoreRivers is pleased to announce the return of its highly anticipated State of the Rivers events—a series of free presentations held each spring to inform the public about the current state of our Eastern Shore waterways and what we can all do to protect and restore them.

Each year, between April­ and October, ShoreRivers’ professional Riverkeepers conduct weekly tidal sampling of more than 60 sites from Cecilton to Cambridge, then test for multiple scientific water quality parameters including dissolved oxygen, nutrient pollution, algae, pH, and clarity. These indicators reveal the overall health of our waterways and our progress toward protecting and restoring our local rivers. ShoreRivers, statewide groups, and national agencies use this information to track trends, develop remediation strategies, advocate for stronger laws and enforcement, alert the public of potential health risks, and inform region-wide efforts toward clean water goals.

The public is invited to learn more about the results of this testing at this year’s State of the Rivers presentations, hosted around the region by the Riverkeepers themselves. Light refreshments, including local oysters, will be provided and activities will be available for children ages 6–12. ShoreRivers is grateful for this year’s State of the Rivers sponsors: Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay, Cult Classic Brewing, Choptank Oyster Co., Orchard Point Oysters, Ten Eyck Brewing Company, Worton Community Center, and Galena Volunteer Fire Department.

Please save these dates for this year’s State of the Rivers presentations:

Wednesday, April 26, at Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, from 5:30–7pm, featuring Choptank Riverkeeper Matt Pluta and your new Miles-Wye Riverkeeper

Wednesday, May 3, at Cult Classic Brewing in Stevensville, from 5:30–7pm, featuring Chester Riverkeeper Annie Richards and your new Miles-Wye Riverkeeper

Thursday, May 4, at Kent County Community Center in Worton, from 5:30–7pm, featuring Chester Riverkeeper Annie Richards & Sassafras Riverkeeper Zack Kelleher

Tuesday, May 9, at Galena Fire Hall, from 5:30–7pm, featuring Sassafras Riverkeeper Zack Kelleher

Wednesday, May 10, at 447 Venue in Cambridge,
 from 5:30–7pm, featuring Choptank Riverkeeper Matt Pluta

In addition to analyzing water quality data and communicating this information to the public, Riverkeepers use their weekly sampling as an opportunity to monitor changes along shorelines, identify potential indications of illegal discharges, and scout submerged aquatic vegetation beds. These observations, coupled with the quantitative data collected throughout the year, paint a holistic and well-informed picture of the health of each river and its tributaries. Riverkeepers work collaboratively with the community to increase awareness of the issues, inspire behavior change, and implement practices for healthier river systems.

“Eastern Shore waterways are choked by polluted runoff from residential, commercial, and agricultural properties,” said Matt Pluta, ShoreRivers’ Choptank Riverkeeper & Director of Riverkeeper Programs. “Intentional and unintentional bacterial contamination poses risks to human health. Regular scientific monitoring for these and other pollutants is a signature component of ShoreRivers’ operations and the only comprehensive testing of our local rivers currently being conducted. Please join us at a State of the Rivers event in your area to learn what’s happening, why it’s happening, and the important ways we can work together to make it better.”  

CBMM to offer charters for watching log canoe racing

In the coming months, the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum is offering private river cruises aboard its historic floating fleet vessels to watch log canoe races on the Miles River.

These two-hour charters, scheduled for June 24 and 25, July 29 and 30, and Sept. 9, 10, 16 and 17, are being offered in place of the log canoe spectator cruises aboard Winnie Estelle, CBMM’s venerable passenger-carrying buyboat that is undergoing a refit in the Shipyard this year.

The cost is $375 per charter for up to six passengers, with a 20% discount for CBMM members. Registration for these cruises is set to open March 17 at bit.ly/LogCanoeCruises2023, with a two-week sign-up period exclusively for CBMM members before open registration begins March 31. There are a limited number of charters available, and all cruises are dependent on marine conditions.

To become a CBMM member and access early registration as well as the charter discount and all the other exclusive programming and benefits of membership, visit cbmm.org/membership or contact Membership Services Coordinator Debbie Ruzicka at 410-745-4991 or druzicka@cbmm.org.

These cruises offer an up-close view of a unique Eastern Shore tradition. Races featuring Chesapeake Bay sailing log canoes are staples of the region with competitions held along the Chester, Miles, Choptank, and Tred Avon rivers.

With an iconic design featuring long masts and large sails, the log canoes keep upright as they accelerate to speeds of 10 knots or more, thanks to crew members climbing to the ends of 15-foot boards that hang off the side. 

Amateur photographers, sailing aficionados, and wooden boat enthusiasts will all find something to enjoy on these action-packed charters led by an experienced captain and crew aboard a traditional Bay vessel in CBMM’s floating fleet.

With Winnie Estelle undergoing maintenance, CBMM will also be offering drop-in cruises aboard boats in its floating fleet, including Dory BoatVolunteer, and Old Point, on Fridays, Saturday, Sundays, and select Mondays, beginning May 19.

These 45-minute Harbor Highlights Tours offer guests the opportunity to explore St. Michaels Harbor, including CBMM’s working waterfront, while learning the history of the port. The cost is $15 per passenger for CBMM members and $25 for non-members.

Passenger cruises aboard Winnie Estelle are expected to resume in 2024.

Continuum Dance to Offer Class Samples at Free “Meet Continuum” Event

Continuum Dance will offer a free “Meet Continuum” event on Saturday, April 15, 2023 at 10:30am, where attendees can get a feel for what to expect from an adult dance class. 

This event will include a general warm-up, followed by sample combinations of ballet, modern, jazz, and hip hop styles, to provide an idea of the types of combinations and movement that might be seen in classes of each style. Participants will be encouraged to follow along to get a physical feel for the movement, but are welcome to simply observe, if preferred. 

Offering classes to individuals of all ages and dance experience levels, Continuum designs their classes to nurture creativity, bring together a community of like-minded individuals, and celebrate physical expression in a relaxed, non-judgemental environment. Continuum’s offerings of all-levels, adult dance classes encourage both the first-time dancer and the experienced to keep moving and have fun. 

This event is free and open to the public, and will take place from 10:30-11:30am on Saturday, April 15 at Pulse and Beats, 8626 Brooks Drive, Suite 303 in Easton, Md. Drop-in attendance will be accepted, but advance signups are encouraged at www.continuumdancecompany.org/upcoming-events/

Continuum Dance is committed to providing greater accessibility and knowledge of artistic dance in the Delmarva community. As an emerging professional performance company, Continuum Dance showcases accomplished professional artists of the region, provides training and experience to young dancers through an apprenticeship program, and celebrates the art of dance through master classes, open houses, and other public events. For more information or to get involved, visit www.continuumdancecompany.org or email continuumdanceinfo@gmail.com

Queen Anne’s County Annual Senior Summit Returns on May 19

The 18th Annual Senior Summit is back by popular demand for in person activities. This year’s event will take place on Friday, May 19, 2023, from 9:00 am – 2:00 pm at the Queen Anne’s County 4-H Park in Centreville.

The summit is open to all ages and will feature a health and wellness fair, vendors, entertainment, and food for purchase.

Queen Anne’s County Department of Community Services Area Agency on Aging invites the public to celebrate your spirit the week leading up to the summit and then joining us at the 4-H Park on May 19th.

Spirit Week Themes:

  • Monday May 15 – Pajama Day
  • Tuesday May 16 – Crazy Hat and Sock Day
  • Wednesday May 17 – Patriotic Day
  • Thursday May 18 – Sports Day
  • Friday May 19 – Mardi Gras Day at the 4-H Park

For additional information call the Department of Community Services Area Agency on Aging at (410)758-1040

QAC Implements New Management System To Attract More Applicants to Boards and Commissions

Queen Anne’s County has implemented OnBoard, a board and committee management system County officials say will save time, money and attract more applicants to serve on citizen advisory bodies.

The new system, OnBoard, one of ClerkBase’s suite of open government solutions, allows County staff to update contact information for board members, track membership, print board books, create mailing lists, run term expiration reports, and much more. 

OnBoard provides County staff with the ability to easily make updates to contact information; track membership over time and across boards; create mailing lists, labels and mail merges; store mail, email and phone numbers for each member and generate reports related to upcoming vacancies. The Applications add-on module will replace the previous process of emailing or mailing letters of interest and resumes for consideration.

“OnBoard was selected to assist in our digital transformation efforts by bringing our County’s Boards and Commissions information to a transparent, easy-to-use platform,” said County Administrator Todd Mohn. “Residents can view general information, vacant seats, and apply online.”

“OnBoard improves board management and makes it more efficient in terms of money spent and time saved,” says ClerkBase President Jay Rosenfield. “Queen Anne’s County and other local governments across the country have discovered that board management can be improved with the right tool.”

Queen Anne’s County is continually seeking volunteers to serve on various boards and commissions. Residents with an interest in serving on a board or commission can now use the online application form supported by OnBoard, https://onboard.qac.org/ or by going to qac.org and selecting a specific Board or Commission. 

If you have any questions about using the new online applicant process, please contact Stephanie Jarrell, sjarrell@qac.org or Shari Hershberger, shershberger@qac.org

Local Earth Data Employee Supports Guatemalan Project While Mountain Biking

Jeff Chipman, a geologist with Earth Data, Inc. in Centreville, recently left his comfort zone to go on a mountain biking trip in Guatemala which benefitted women in third-world countries. Although he was raised in Utah and accustomed to outdoor sports, including whitewater rafting, he was relatively new to mountain biking.

“This part of the world really interests me. I like the people, I like the culture, and I like the food of Central America. Specifically, as a geologist, there are also several active volcanoes throughout this region,” Chipman states.

He had been looking to book a trip to Guatemala in December of 2022 when his sister contacted him to tell him that there was a women’s nonprofit group, World Ride, that was offering a co-ed mountain biking trip in Guatemala that same month. World Ride works to empower women globally through mountain biking. They have established programs around the world where they work with local women to create bike libraries, assist women with leadership and guide training, and support women with their race goals.

“What was neat about this nonprofit is that it trains local women in third world countries to be mountain bike guides in these eco-tourism destinations and the proceeds from the trips get funneled back to the local communities for women’s rights groups and women’s causes,” Chipman adds.

“Although I wasn’t down there like building schools or anything like that, it was rewarding to see my trip support a good cause.”

According to Chipman, who took the trip in December, the people live a very isolated life in the mountains of Guatemala. He observed that it was not an everyday occurrence for the people he encountered on the trails each day to see mountain bikes. 

“In addition, I was made aware of the repressed, traditional culture for women in the mountains of Guatemala. These women are expected to make textiles and farm, but not do mountain biking. Mountain biking is a male sport there. Although the people had very few resources in the mountains, including water or electricity, they were some of the happiest people I have ever seen,” he adds. 

“Travel is a good thing for everyone to do. Whether that’s traveling outside of your state, or outside of your country, experiencing different people and cultures is a very beneficial thing for many, many different reasons. Going into a third-world country especially gives you that huge perspective that ‘stuff’ doesn’t matter. For the overwhelming majority of the people I met and talked to, you could tell that they were more than willing and happy to talk to you and help you in any way – even if they didn’t have resources.”

In thinking about future opportunities to travel and contribute to the world, Chipman hoped to find future opportunities like World Ride. He concludes, “Supporting women in these third-world countries makes me want to find and do more. There is work to be done in these places and I’d like to a part of it.”

“Seeing our employees take trips like this for their vacations is very heartwarming for me. Our company embraces community service throughout the year. I believe we need to leave the world a better place than we found it. We are people who work hard and want to help, not only our clients but our community,” comments Mark Williams, President of Earth Data, Inc.

For more than 48 years, Earth Data, Inc. has been providing field-oriented water resources and geospatial consulting services using high-tech tools to collect, analyze, manage, and distribute data in sophisticated ways. For further information, visit earthdatainc.com.

Captions: Pictured is Jeff Chipman, a geologist at Earth Data, Inc. in Centreville, who recently left his comfort zone to go on a mountain biking trip in Guatemala which benefitted women in third-world countries.

#1: Jeff Chipman and fellow bikers taking a break outside of a rural Escuela school.

Queen Anne’s Chorale to FEEL THE SPIRIT this spring!

Spring is just around the corner and time for the very popular Queen Anne’s Chorale spring concert! There will be 2 concerts performed at the Centreville United Methodist Church:

Saturday, April 22, 7:00 pm.

Sunday, April 23, 3:00 pm.

Tickets are $20.00 each and are sold at the door or can be purchased from a Chorale member. Children through high school are admitted free.

Feel the Spirit is our program theme and the repertoire promises to get your toes tapping and your soul enriched! The musical selections have been carefully chosen to explore familiar African-American spirituals and gospel songs, along with White spirituals that were sung at 19th century revivals and camp meetings. Both are an important part of our American musical heritage. Narration will provide some interesting background on each selection and audience participation will add another fun element to the concert. Soloists and the Chorale’s Select Ensemble will also add to the experience.

Repertoire will include rousing numbers such as “Every Time I Feel the Spirit”, “This Little Light of Mine”, “The Storm Is Passing Over” (a Chorale favorite!), “When the Saints Go Marching In”, “Little David, Play on Your Harp”, and “I Know the Lord”.“We’ve had great fun rehearsing these numbers”, says Artistic Director Bob Huntington. Another popular number is “Down to the River to Pray”. The version used in the 2000 film O Brother, Where Art Thou? is sung with the text “Down in the River to Pray” to accompany its original use at full-immersion Baptisms, as depicted in the movie.

More reflective numbers are “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot”, “My Shepherd Will Supply My Need”, “Wayfaring Stranger” and “Lonesome Valley”.

It is noteworthy that the Queen Anne’s Chorale is in its 35th season of bringing a variety of beautiful choral music to the Mid-Shore and beyond. As you will see, every singer thoroughly enjoys performing for you! We hope to see you in our audience, so do join us for these inspiring and entertaining April concerts.

For more information, contact Anne Foss, 410-827-8618.

The Queen Anne’s Chorale is supported in part through grants from the United Way of Queen Anne’s County, the Queen Anne’s County Centre for the Arts, and the Maryland State Arts Council, an agency dedicated to cultivating a vibrant cultural community where the arts thrive.

WAF exhibits at KIFA

Working Artist Forum Artists (WAF) will Hold a Judged Art Exhibition at Kent Island Federation of Arts from April 6th through May 4th, 2023.

The exhibit will be judged by Brad Ross, an award-winning Plein Air painter and popular drawing and painting instructor at the Academy Art Museum in Easton. Co-chairpersons of this exhibit are WAF members Maureen Wheatley and Georgette Toews.

Three Judge’s Awards of Excellence Awards will be awarded by WAF at a reception on Thursday April 13, 2023 from 5 to 7 pm.  In addition, a Memorial People’s Choice Award will be given and announced by KIFA at the end of the show.

During this exhibit period a Featured Wall of Remembrance of art will be displayed in honor of deceased WAF Artists.

WAF Members are practicing artists with a high level of education, expertise, and experience in the visual arts.  The professional expertise of WAF members is fostered through programs, group critiques, demonstrations, workshops and member exhibitions.  More information on WAF and its members and events can be found at www.WorkingArtistsForum.com.

KIFA is a non-profit organization that for 60 years has supported artists of all ages and experience on the Eastern Shore through exhibitions, education and events celebrating all the arts. Many KIFA artists have been or currently are WAF Members, as well as having taught art at KIFA.  Kent Island Federation of Arts is located at 405 Main Street, Stevensville MD 21666.

For more information contact arthousekifa@gmail.com – 410-643-7424

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