Tag Archives: Maryland Humanities Council



The Maryland Humanities Council (MHC), in conjunction with local partners, will present the 20th-annual summer Chautauqua series in six Maryland counties from July 5 through July 14.

Free and open to the public, live local musical and theatrical acts open each show. Living history performances by actors/scholars are followed by question and answer sessions, which spark spirited conversation and provide informative family fun. Audiences will hear from the voices of the reclusive poet Emily Dickinson, celebrated Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, and American painter Georgia O’Keeffe. Via partnerships with the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance and Montgomery College, select performances will be live streamed; audiences will be able to access the performance via the MHC homepage at www.mdhc.org.

Chautauqua performances will take place at Garrett College in McHenry, the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, the College of Southern Maryland in La Plata (as part of their Twilight Performance Series), Montgomery College in Germantown, the Community College of Baltimore County in Dundalk, the Cecil County Public Library’s Elkton Branch, and Perryville Middle School.



58 Students Advance; 77 Receive Special Awards

Over 600 talented middle and high students, along with their proud parents and teachers, converged on the campus of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County on Saturday, May 3, 2014 to compete in the Maryland History Day competition. Fifty-eight students, representing 10 counties and Baltimore City, advance to the National History Day Competition. Additionally, seventy-seven students won special awards at the contest.

A program of the Maryland Humanities Council (MHC) now in its 14th year, the statewide competition involves nearly 19,000 students at the school level, representing 20 counties and Baltimore City. Students spend months researching topics that address the National History Day theme and participate in school and county competitions to qualify for the state contest. The 2014 theme is “Rights and Responsibilities.”

Winners were chosen at their district level for both individual and group efforts from five different categories—research papers, museum-type exhibits, performances, websites, and multimedia documentaries. First and second place winners will represent Maryland at the Kenneth E. Behring National History Day Contest on June 15-19, 2014 at the University of Maryland, College Park. Students in Allegany, Anne Arundel, Calvert Cecil, Harford, Howard, Frederick, Montgomery, Prince George’s, and Worcester counties and Baltimore City will compete in nationals.

Repeat Advancers

This will not be the first time competing on the National level for some advancers. Matthew Blum, a Howard High School student, will compete this year in the Senior Individual Documentaries category for his film “The Food and Drug Administration: Balancing Governmental Responsibilities and Citizens’ Rights.” In 2013 his documentary also advanced to Nationals. Calvert County student Will Bury from Huntingtown High School entered an exhibit which advanced to National History Day in 2012. His exhibit this year is entitled “The Ethical Effect: Medical Rights and Responsibilities after the Tuskegee Syphilis Study.” Three Frederick County homeschool students will return to the national competition this year, after having their projects advance in 2013. Maddie Hurwitz’s Senior Paper “The Nuremberg Code: Rights of Human Subjects and Physicians’ Responsibilities” received first place in that category. Students Carrie Pritt and Alayna Stepp will return to College Park with another first-place Senior Group Performance, “Life Behind a Wall” The Denial of Rights in Communist East Germany.” One Montgomery County student, Elsa Sellmeyer, will compete again, this time with her first-place Junior Paper entitled “’Agitate! Agitate! Agitate!’: How Law, Abolitionist Literature, and Personal Responsibility Incited the Civil War and Helped End Slavery in America.” A team of two students from Allegany High School took home the first place award in the Senior Group Documentary category. Demetri Cendo and Ethan Greist also had documentaries which advanced to the National level in 2012 as competitors and this year their film entitled “Nuremberg: The Modern Foundation of Human Rights” will represent Maryland at National History Day.

Special Prizes and Teacher Awards

Twenty-four special prizes, in addition to Teacher awards, were bestowed during the ceremony, sponsored by History Day supporters. The Patricia Behring Middle School Teacher of the Year for Maryland was awarded Leah Renzi of Parkville Middle School in Baltimore County. Mark Howell, a teacher at Westlake High School, received the Patricia Behring High School History Day Teacher of the Year for Maryland. Teachers in 13 counties and Baltimore City also received their district’s teacher award.

A complete list of advancers, special prize winners, and teacher awards is also available at www.mdhc.org. Maryland History Day is made possible with generous support from the Maryland State

Department of Education and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Columbia Gas of Maryland, Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance, and Star-Spangled Banner 200 have sponsored specific award categories.

The Maryland Humanities Council is a statewide, educational, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The purpose of MHC is to stimulate and promote informed dialogue and civic engagement on issues critical to Marylanders. For more information, visit www.mdhc.org. The Maryland Humanities Council is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the State of Maryland, and the William G. Baker, Jr. Memorial Fund, creator of the Baker Artist Awards.

Now Marylanders can support MHC by text! Text “Give2MHC”, with your email and phone number to “20222” to donate $10 to the Maryland Humanities Council. Message and Data rates may apply. Visit our website to learn more. 

Chautauqua Summer Series comes to CBMM this July

CBMM_Chautauqua_July2014_TomChalkleyChautauqua Summer Series comes to CBMM this July

From 7 to 9 p.m. on July 7, 8, and 9, the Chautauqua Summer Series comes to the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum (CBMM) in St. Michaels, MD. This summer marks the 20th anniversary of the Maryland Humanities Council’s (MHC) free and family-friendly summertime living history performance series. Each year, important historical figures are brought back to life for audiences all over Maryland. This summer’s theme is “Creative Women: Breaking the Mold,” and features Georgia O’Keeffe, Emily Dickinson, and Frida Kahlo.

On Monday, July 7, Georgia O’Keeffe will be played by Kelley Rouse, an award-winning broadcast journalist and former news anchor at WBOC-TV in Salisbury, who has been appearing as Georgia O’Keeffe since 2002. Georgia O’Keeffe (1887-1986) is considered the first woman in the American Modern Art movement and is best known for her striking paintings of flowers, bones, and landscapes.

On Tuesday, July 8, Emily Dickinson will be played by MiMi Zannino, the poet-in-residence for the Maryland States Arts Council, who researched, wrote, and performed “Time Travel with Emily Dickinson” throughout the mid-Atlantic region. Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) was an American poet whose works are considered among the finest in the English language.

On Wednesday, July 9, Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) will be played by Marian Licha, an award-winning actress best known for her one-woman show Frida Vice-Versa, which she co-authored and produced. Frida Kahlo was a Mexican artist best known for her self-portraits painted in vibrant colors.

A Chautauqua performance is an unscripted and spontaneous historical improv featuring individuals that are part scholar and part actor. Each performance is broken into three acts, where the performer represents a historical figure in the first person, then invites audience questions, and in the final act, steps out of character to answer questions that the historical figure could not have been able to answer.

“Chautauqua” was the name for the Chautauqua Lake area in upstate New York, where the movement began in 1874 as a Methodist summer retreat. A wide range of religious lectures and educational programs attracted a huge following. As it evolved, the Chautauqua movement presented the latest in thinking in politics, economics, literature, science, and religion. MHC launched the modern Chautauqua program in Maryland in 1995.

The Chautauqua Summer Series at CBMM is free and open to the public. Beer, wine, and other refreshments will be available for purchase, including Justine’s ice cream, with the public invited to bring lawn chairs and blankets. Carry-on food and alcohol is prohibited. All performances are to be held on the lawn of Fogg’s Landing, which is near the museum’s Steamboat Building. In the event of rain, performances will be held in the Van Lennep Auditorium. No registration is required.

The Chautauqua Summer Series at CBMM is generously underwritten by the Women & Girls Fund of Easton, MD, Geoff Oxnam, Carolyn Williams, Karen Shook, Blair Potter, Jocelyn Eysymontt, Kay Perkins, Cecilia Nobel, and Catherine Hill.

For more information, visit www.cbmm.org or call 410-745-2916. Additional information about the Chautauqua Summer Series can be found at www.mdhc.org.

Illustration by Tom Chalkley, Baltimore.




The Defying Definitions Project is growing! This spring the Defying Definitions Project will enter a new phase in which colleges will offer programs to spur discussion about race, stereotypes, and diversity on their campuses, with monetary support from the Maryland Humanities Council (MHC) and using and contributing content to www.defyingdefinitions.org website.

Defying Definitions is a community engagement and public dialogue pilot program created through a unique partnership between The Maryland Commission on Civil Rights (MCCR) and the Maryland Humanities Council. MHC’s distinctive approach utilizes the humanities (personal stories, film, literature, photography, and poetry) to bring people together for dialogue, both online and in community settings, with the goals of breaking down stereotypes, reducing conflict, and modeling civil and meaningful discussion.

Defying Definitions challenges participants to reflect on how they perceive others, how they are perceived by others and what they understand about themselves. The program engages participants both in person at dialogue events and via www.DefyingDefinitions.org, an online platform. In 2013, Defying Definitions teamed up with Southern Maryland Community partners, including the Calvert Library, the College of Southern Maryland and the Diversity Institute of Charles County, Democracy Conversations in St. Mary’s County, and the Community Mediation Centers of St. Mary’s and Calvert Counties.

In 2014, college partners are creating new dialogue programs using the humanities to initiate civil conversation highlighting issues including disability, sexual orientation, race relations, and social justice and equality. Each of these programs will expand and utilize the Defying Definitions website to collect and highlight personal stories for their humanities and discussion programs.

The College of Southern Maryland, who was a pivotal partner in the first phase of Defying Definitions, continues its outreach with a diversity forum at a local high school entitled “A Just Community—Our Future,” including a performance of “the Bully Plays” and using historic photographs from Charles County to encourage dialogue. The University of Maryland College Park’s “Rise Above Ableism” project shines a spotlight on people with disabilities and will screen the film “Who Cares About Kelsey?” followed by workshop entitled, “Creating a Culture of Inclusion through Film” that includes a talk with the film’s director, Dan Habib. St. Mary’s College will adapt the Defying Definitions project with a series of workshops for student groups who work on social justice and diversity issues. Participants will learn how to use storytelling as a tool to initiate dialogue on personal experiences and lead further dialogues in the fall. On April 17th Salisbury University will hold a three-hour workshop featuring Dr. Bryan Horikami, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Communication Arts. The team will use popular nursery rhymes, policies, laws, and other texts to explore the power of words and plans to develop strategies to create a more welcoming environment for LGBT students and create an informative pamphlet or book for wider distribution.

Upcoming Events include:

March 30, 2014 | 3pm-7pm | St. Mary’s College of Maryland, Glendenning Annex
Defying Definitions Storytelling Workshop
16800 Pt. Lookout Road | St. Mary’s City, MD | 20686
A training session focusing on storytelling as a tool to facilitate social justice conversations as well as making them more accessible. Storytelling often takes a significant role, as it facilitates multiple connections between people. In addition, stories can provide a foundation for concrete changes in systems for social change.

Contact: Jonathan Sheldon (443) 975-2028 or Yasmin Sanchez (206) 676-2903.

April 17, 2014 | 9:30am-12:30pm | Scarborough Student Leadership Center at Salisbury University Creating Safe Spaces: School, Work, and Community
1204 Camden Avenue | Salisbury, MD | 21801
This three-hour workshop is designed to help people reduce the often hostile environments in which LGBT navigate in their daily lives. From the classroom bully to the unintentional exclusion by use of certain language, LGBT people frequently find themselves uncomfortable in many situations.

Contact: George Whitehead (410) 543-6369

April 12, 2014 | 9am-1pm | North Point High School
2014 Unity in the Community Forum
2500 Davis Road | Waldorf, MD | 20603
The College of Southern Maryland Diversity Institute welcomes Guest Speaker Dana M. Jones, Chief Executive Officer United planning Organization addresses topics youth face including bullying, social justice, identity, and civility, followed by breakout sessions by community members of Charles County.

Contact: Ava Morton (301) 539-4742 or amorton@csmd.edu

Maryland Humanities Council Announces Author Tour

KPBookCover (259 x 400)-One Maryland One Book Author King Peggy Tours Maryland

The Maryland Humanities Council (MHC) will welcome 2013 One Maryland One Book author King Peggy to Maryland from September 7 – September 28 for a seven-stop tour across the state, to speak about, King Peggy: An American Secretary, Her Royal Destiny, and the Inspiring Story of How She Changed an African Village. King Peggy will start her author tour at North Caroline High School in Ridgley and end the tour at the Baltimore Book Festival. King Peggy will also visit the Elkton Central Library, The Weinberg Center for the Arts in Frederick, Lexington Park Library, Harford Community College, and at the Montgomery College Cultural Arts Center.

One Maryland One Book (OMOB), a program of the Maryland Center for the Book, brings diverse groups of Marylanders together in library, school, and community settings to share a common reading experience through book discussions and companion programming each fall. To find discussions and other programs or author tour information visit www.onemarylandonebook.org.

About the Book:
King Peggy: An American Secretary, Her Royal Destiny, and the Inspiring Story of How She Changed an African Village by Peggielene Bartels and Eleanor Herman
King Peggy chronicles the journey of American secretary, Peggielene Bartels, who suddenly finds herself king to a town of 7,000 people on Ghana’s central coast. On a hot August night in 2008, Peggielene was startled awake by a long-distance call. It was her cousin in Ghana with incredible news: Peggy’s uncle Joseph, king of a beautiful village on the west coast of Africa, had died, and sacred rituals revealed Peggy to be the next king of Otuam. Thinking it was a joke, she almost hung up. How could a secretary in Washington, D.C., an American citizen, be an African king? Not to mention that she was a woman. But it was true, and, in an instant, Peggy’s life was forever changed. Peggy’s first two years as king of Otuam unfold in a way that is stranger than fiction. In the end, a deeply traditional African town is uplifted by the ambitions of its decidedly modern female king, and Peggy is herself transformed, from an ordinary secretary to the heart and hope of her community.
About The Authors
Peggielene Bartels—“King Peggy”—was born in Ghana in 1953 and moved to Washington, D.C. in her mid-twenties to work at Ghana’s embassy. She became an American citizen in 1997. In 2008, she was chosen to be king of Otuam, a Ghanaian village of seven thousand souls on the west coast of Africa. She lives in Silver Spring, Maryland, still works at the embassy, and spends several weeks each year in Ghana. Find out more at www.kingpeggy.com.
Eleanor Herman is the author of three books of women’s history, including The New York Times bestsellers Sex with Kings and Sex with the Queen. Her profile of Peggy was a cover story for The Washington Post Magazine. She lives in McLean, Virginia. Find out more at www.eleanorherman.com.
“Wandering Books” – King Peggy Wanders Maryland

Free copies of the 2013 One Maryland One Book selection have been released around the state with a fun campaign to entice readers to the program, called “Wandering Books.” Readers can receive clues about where to find books via MHC’s One Maryland One Book Facebook page or by following @MDHumanities on Twitter. Libraries in Washington, Harford, Queen Anne’s, Frederick, Talbot, Prince George’s, Calvert, Charles, and St. Mary’s counties are responsible for each book’s starting location. Readers log onto www.bookcrossing.com and register their book’s ID number, leave a comment or review, then return it to a new locale to be found again. Instructions located inside the book jacket guide readers. Participation is free. Participants who register books will be automatically entered to win a $25 gift certificate to Barnes and Noble when the campaign ends in the fall.

About the Maryland Humanities Council: MHC is a statewide, educational, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that stimulates and promotes informed dialogue and civic engagement on issues critical to Marylanders. For more information, visit www.mdhc.org. MHC is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the State of Maryland, and the William G. Baker, Jr. Memorial Fund, creator of the Baker Artist Awards.
2013 One Maryland One Book Author Tour Schedule

EVENT: An Afternoon with King Peggy
Date: Saturday, September 7, 2013
Time: 2:00 p.m.
Location: North Caroline High School – 10990 River Road, Ridgely
Info: (410) 479-1343

EVENT: An Evening with King Peggy
Date: Monday, September 9, 2013
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Location: Elkton Central Library – 301 Newark Avenue, Elkton
Info: (410) 996-5600

EVENT: An Evening with King Peggy
Date: Friday, September 13, 2013
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Location: The Weinberg Center for the Arts – 20 W. Patrick Street, Frederick
Info: (301) 600-2828

EVENT: King Peggy LIVE!
Date: Saturday, September 14, 2013
Time: 2:00 p.m.
Location: Lexington Park Library – 21677 FDR Boulevard, Lexington Park
Info: (301) 863-8188

EVENT: An Evening with King Peggy
Date: Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Location: Harford Community College Chesapeake Theater – 401 Thomas Run Road, Bel Air
Info: (410) 273-5600

EVENT: An Evening with King Peggy
Date: Friday, September 27, 2013
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Location: Montgomery College Cultural Arts Center Auditorium – 7995 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring
Info: (240) 567-1688

EVENT: Baltimore Book Festival – Baltimore, Maryland
Date: Saturday, September 28, 2013
Time: 1:00 p.m.
Location: Baltimore Book Festival’s Literary Salon. Mount Vernon Square, Baltimore City
Info: (410) 685-0095

One Maryland One Book is proudly supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Maryland State Department of Education, the Alvin and Fanny B. Thalheimer Foundation, and BGE, with additional support from M&T Bank, and in partnership with the Enoch Pratt Free Library. The 2013 Author tour is coordinated in partnership with Calvert Library, Caroline County Public Library, Cecil County Public Library, Charles County Public Library, Frederick County Public Libraries, Harford County Public Library, Montgomery College, St. Mary’s County Library, and the Southern Maryland Regional Library Association, with additional support from Frederick Reads, Friends of Caroline County Public Library, Caroline County Public Schools, Harford Community College, Harford County Community Services, Hosanna School and Museum, The Weinberg Center for the Arts, and Tuscarora High School.

Maryland Humanities Council’s FREE July Chautauqua Series Brings the War of 1812 To Life At Six Locations Around the State

The Maryland Humanities Council (MHC), in conjunction with local partners, will present the 18th annual summer Chautauqua series, commemorating the bicentennial of the War of 1812, from July 5–July 13 at six regional locations across the state.

Free and open to the public, live local musical and theatrical acts open each show. Living history performances are followed by a question and answer session which often sparks spirited conversation and provides great educational family fun. See below for a complete schedule.

“Inspiration, Unity, Preparedness, Courage: Maryland and the War of 1812” features three of five key historical figures at each location. Audiences will hear from the voices of the following characters:

· Francis Scott Key: An American lawyer and amateur poet who penned the lyrics of The Star-Spangled Banner, our National Anthem
· Rosalie Stier Calvert: A member of a wealthy Maryland family whose extensive correspondence illuminated life on the Calvert plantation leading up to and during the War of 1812
· Mary Pickersgill: The Baltimore flagmaker who stitched the famous flag that flew over Fort McHenry during the Battle of Baltimore
· Robert Ross: The British Major General who routed American troops at the Battle of Bladensburg, burned Washington, and was mortally wounded on his way to the Battle of Baltimore
· President James Madison: The fourth President of the United States (1809-17) who led our nation into the War of 1812

MHC is a statewide, educational, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The purpose of MHC is to stimulate and promote informed dialogue and civic engagement on issues critical to Marylanders. For more information about MHC, please visit www.mdhc.org.

Jill Peterson (Mary Pickersgill) has been performing as the flagmaker for the Star-Spangled Banner Flag House since 2002. She conducts outreach across the Baltimore region and has appeared as Mary on Maryland Public Television and at War of 1812 events at Fort McHenry. She has a B.A. in Communication from Concordia College, Seward, NE, and was a photographer in the Air Force.

Alan Gephardt (Francis Scott Key) has been portraying Francis Scott Key at schools, historical societies and other gatherings since 1989. He has worked in the public history field for over 20 years, and is currently a ranger for the National Park Service, splitting his time between Hampton National Historic Site, Fort McHenry, and the James A. Garfield National Historic Site. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in history at Towson University in 1974 and his Master’s at the University of Maryland in 1997.

Mary Ann Jung (Rosalie Stier Calvert) is the award-winning actress behind the History Alive! interactive= shows. She has been a lead actress and Director of Renaissance History and Shakespearean Language at the Maryland Renaissance Festival for over 30 years. She is a Smithsonian scholar/performer and has appeared on CNN, the Today Show, and Good Morning America. Jung’s living history performances include Julia Child, Clara Barton, Mistress Margaret Brent, Rosalie of Riversdale, Amelia Earhart, Good Queen Bess, and Rosie the Riveter. She has a B. A. in British History from the University of Maryland.

Doug Mishler (Robert Ross) is an independent scholar who has taught at the University of Nevada and Western Washington University. His the author of a history of the Ringling Brothers Circus. He has previously appeared at MHC’s Chautauqua as Jefferson Davis, P.T. Barnum, Theodore Roosevelt, William Lloyd Garrison, Henry Ford, Upton Sinclair and George Wallace. He also portrays Ernie Pyle, Billy Sunday, William Clark, Andrew Carnegie, Andrew Jackson, Edward R. Murrow, and Thomas Hard Benton. MIshler has a Ph.D. in American cultural history from the University of Nevada.

John Douglas Hall (James Madison) has portrayed James Madison at Montpelier—the President’s hom
in Orange County, Virginia—since it was re-opened in 1987. He has also represented Madison at conferences, colleges, museums, and historic sites around the country. In his unique approach to living history, he studies and portrays events as they occurred 200 years ago to the day—starting each day by reading gazettes and pamphlets of that particular date in history.


MHC offers several ways for the public to enhance their Chautauqua experience. Here are a few:
Online Resources: MHC’s website, www.mdhc.org offers a War of 1812 resources page full of links to War of 1812 sites and resources.

Watch a Sneak Peek: Scan the QR box with your smartphone to view a five-minute clip of award-winning actress Mary Ann Jung as Rosalie Stier Calvert or follow the following link to MHC’s You Tube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/MDHumanitiesCouncil?feature=mhee

MHC Blog: During the month of June, our blog, located on the MHC homepage at www.mdhc.org, will feature Interviews with Chautauqua performers, and articles about the War of 1812.

2012 Chautauqua Schedule

7:00pm music, 7:30pm performance, under the tent
In case of severe weather: indoors in Garrett College Auditorium
Thursday, July 5 President James Madison
Friday, July 6 Rosalie Stier Calvert
Saturday, July 7 Major General Robert Ross

7:00pm music / 7:30pm performance, indoors in Q Theater
Friday, July 6 President James Madison
Saturday, July 7 Mary Pickersgill
Sunday, July 8 Major General Robert Ross

4:00pm music / 4:30pm performance, indoors in the church
Friday, July 6 Francis Scott Key
Saturday, July 7 Rosalie Stier Calvert
Sunday, July 8 Mary Pickersgill

7:00pm music/7:30pm performance, outdoors
In case of severe weather: indoors in the Avalon Theatre
Monday, July 9 Major General Robert Ross
Tuesday, July 10 Rosalie Stier Calvert
Wednesday, July 11 Francis Scott Key

6:45pm music / 7:15pm performance, outdoors
In case of severe weather: indoors in FA Building Theatre
Tuesday, July 10 Major General Robert Ross
Wednesday, July 11 President James Madison
Thursday, July 12 Rosalie Stier Calvert

7:00pm music / 7:30pm performance, under the tent
In case of severe weather: Lower Atrium, High Technology Bldg
Wednesday, July 11 Major General Robert Ross
Thursday, July 12 Mary Pickersgill
Friday, July 13 Francis Scott Key
Schedule subject to change. Visit www.mdhc.org for details.

Maryland Humanities Council Announces Sites for Statewide Smithsonian Institution Exhibit Tour

The Maryland Humanities Council (MHC) has announced the five sites chosen to host Journey Stories, a national Smithsonian exhibit which will travel throughout Maryland from May 2012 to January 2013, through a partnership between the MHC and the Smithsonian’s Museum on Main Street (MOMs) Program.

Curated by William Withuhn, curator of transportation for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, Journey Stories explores tales of how we and our ancestors came to America – a narrative which is a central element of our personal heritage. Maryland partners will add their local stories and programs exploring travel and migration in our State.

MHC Executive Director Phoebe Stein Davis says “We are so proud of Between Fences, our most recent Museum on Main Street exhibit, and happy to continue to partner with communities across the state to bring such high‐quality programs into local venues. Maryland’s Journey Stories are vast and deserve closer exploration.”

American history is filled with stories of people leaving behind everything – families and possessions – to reach a new life in another state, across the continent, or even across an ocean. Transportation history is more than trains, boats, buses, cars, wagons, and trucks. Journey Stories examines the intersection between modes of travel and Americans’ desire to feel free to move. The story is diverse and focused on immigration, migration, innovation, and freedom. It is accounts of immigrants coming in search of promise in a new country; stories of individuals and families relocating in search of fortune, their own homestead, or employment. The exhibit is also dedicated to addressing harrowing journeys of Africans and Native Americans forced to move.

Journey Stories uses engaging images, audio, and artifacts, to tell the individual stories that illustrate the critical roles travel and movement have played in building our diverse American society.

Journey Stories Sites and Schedule
MAY 26, 2012 – JULY 6, 2012
Harford County Public Library, Abingdon
Partner: Harford County Department of Community Services

JULY 13, 2012 – AUGUST 24, 2012
Cecil County Arts Council, Elkton
Partners: Cecil County Public Library, Historical Society of Cecil County

AUGUST 31, 2012 – OCTOBER 12, 2012
Brunswick Railroad Museum, Brunswick
Partner: Frederick County Public Library

OCTOBER 18, 2012 – NOVEMBER 30, 2012
Mosely Gallery UMES, Princess Anne, MD
Partners: Frederick Douglass Library at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and Princess Anne Main Street

DECEMBER 7, 2012 – JANUARY 18, 2013
Prince Georges Arts and Humanities Council, Oxon Hill, MD
Partner: Prince Georges County Memorial Library System

At www.journeystories.org users can view exhibitions created by host states and communities and browse through their collections. Visitors are encouraged to share their journey stories with the Smithsonian, their state humanities councils, local communities, and the world through the “Share Your Story” link. Stories will be added to the site’s archive.

About the Maryland Humanities Council
The Maryland Humanities Council (MHC) is a statewide, educational 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that utilizes the humanities to encourage informed dialogue and increased civic engagement. MHC encourages Marylanders with different backgrounds and viewpoints to see, hear, and learn more about others and themselves because only informed engaged citizens can build healthy, democratic societies. Since 1973, the Maryland Humanities Council has brought humanities programs to communities across the state and provided grant funding for nonprofit organizations to create their own humanities programs. To learn more, visit www.mdhc.org.

Journey Stories: Press Release Quotes from Participating Sites

“The city of Brunswick is defined by its history as a Chesapeake and Ohio Canal town and a Baltimore and Ohio Railroad company town, providing the city with a vibrant population of adventurers, immigrants and entrepreneurs. We are delighted that the exhibit will be housed in the historic Kaplon Building in downtown Brunswick, which was built by one of the first Jewish settlers to the region, and served as the area’s main department store for decades. Brunswick’s roots as a transportation hub are still visible in the C&O Canal’s towpath, the Potomac River, and MARC rail commuter services. We can’t wait for the arrival of ‘Journey Stories’ to help us celebrate Brunswick’s past, present, and future!”
‐‐‐Rebecca O’Leary, Curator, Brunswick Railroad Museum

“With the Smithsonian Institution’s ‘Journey Stories’ exhibition, the Maryland Humanities Council offers us an opportunity to expand our efforts at enhancing ‘town and gown’ relations. It enables us to bring together a diverse group of people with many journey stories to tell and highlights the positive aspects of the historical community that is Princess Anne, Maryland.”
‐‐‐ Anke Van Wagenberg, Mosely Gallery Director, University of Maryland Eastern Shore

“Cecil County Arts Council is thrilled to have been chosen as a host site for the upcoming Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition, ‘Journey Stories.’ Our gallery space, partnered with the Historical Society’s knowledge of local traditions and the Cecil County Library’s vast, theme‐supportive programming creates a unique, first‐time collaboration opportunity for us all.”
‐‐‐ Heather Morrissey, Executive Director, Cecil County Arts Council

“We are honored and thrilled to be selected as one of the sites for ‘Journey Stories’. The opportunity to host a Smithsonian exhibit and collaborate with the Harford County Department of Community Services and other local organizations, in bringing the story of immigration, transportation and migration to our community, is very exciting.”
‐‐‐ Mary Hastler, Director, Harford County Public Library

“The Prince George’s Arts and Humanities Council is honored to join the Prince George’s County Memorial Library System to bring heightened focus to the rich cultural history of our county through the ‘Journey Stories’ traveling exhibition. Our stories are what make us a welcoming place to live, work and play for residents and visitors alike.”
‐‐‐ Lionell Thomas, Executive Director, Prince George’s Arts and Humanities Council

Sacagawea, Thurgood Marshall and Frederick Law Olmstead Visit Easton for Chautauqua 2010 in July

“History teaches everything including the future,” according to French poet and politician Alphonse de Lamartine. Each summer the Maryland Humanities Council (MHC) uses the past to shed light on the future—bringing to life famous historical figures who have something to say to us today. Chautauqua 2010, Beyond Boundaries, brings Sacagawea, Thurgood Marshall and Frederick Law Olmsted to the Avalon Theatre in Easton July 12, 13 and 14 at 7 p.m.

These three characters exemplify the idea of overcoming barriers—physical, psychological and cultural—which constrain individuals. The theme complements Between Fences, an exhibit which will travel across Maryland, including a stop at the Snow Hill Library during July and August 2011, exploring Maryland stories about fences, both physical and metaphysical.

Teenaged Shoshone guide Sacagawea led the soldiers and mountain men of the Lewis & Clark expedition across the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific—the only woman (along with her baby in a papoose) and the only Native American on that epic adventure. Thurgood Marshall, renowned civil rights activist representing the NAACP, fought successfully in courts of law to protect individual rights and promote civil liberties—before being appointed the first African American Supreme Court Justice. Frederick Law Olmsted created the idea of public parks and promoted their use by all citizens, and, along the way, established the profession of landscape architecture.

“The awesome achievement of each of these characters speaks not only to the barriers of the past,” says Phoebe Stein Davis, MHC executive director, “but illuminates issues that continue to make headlines today. In the 21st century we still celebrate young women with adventurous spirits, protest limitations of individual rights and thrill in a magnificent vista in a public park. Chautauqua is about our future, as well as our past.”

At each performance, an actor/scholar will portray the life of each historical figure, followed by lively Q&A sessions with the audience, both in character and as the actor/scholar. Lenneal J. Henderson, Jr. (Thurgood Marshall) is Distinguished Professor of Government and Public Administration and Senior Fellow at the William Donald Schaefer Center for Public Policy and a Senior Fellow in the Hoffberger Center for Professional Ethics at the University of Baltimore. In addition to his portrayal of Thurgood Marshall, Henderson has also appeared as Martin Luther King, Jr.

Selene Phillips (Sacagawea) is a professor in the Communication Department at the University ofLouisville. She is a member of the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe Nation. She has portrayed Sacagawea at Chautauquas, on public television and in other settings. Gerry Wright(Frederick Law Olmsted) works in the areas of human services, environmental advocacy and international relations. Wright is founder and president of the Friends of Jamaica Pond/Olmsted Park Project and has been portraying Frederick Law Olmsted since 2002.

All Chautauqua events are free and open to the public! For more information about Chautauqua or a complete schedule of events go to www.mdhc.org/programs/chautauqua/ .

The Maryland Humanities Council is a statewide, educational, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The purpose of MHC is to stimulate and promote informed dialogue and civic engagement on issues critical to Marylanders. For more information about MHC, please visit www.mdhc.org.

Maryland Humanities Council Calls for Board Member Nominations

The Maryland Humanities Council (MHC) is seeking new Board members to join our dynamic Board. MHC seeks prospective Board members with an impressive record of commitment to the humanities as well as the capacity to advance MHC’s mission.

Candidates must be Maryland residents committed to advancing MHC’s mission of stimulating informed dialogue and civic engagement on issues important to Marylanders. Board nominees should be active in their community, have an interest in the humanities and be able to make a substantial commitment of time and energy.

Demographics of candidates are considered in the selection process including race, gender and region. Some members are humanities scholars; some are representative of the general public. The current Board includes business professionals, attorneys, writers, college and university administrators and professors of classics, ethics and sociology.

Currently, 23 members comprise MHC’s Board of Directors. They are: Barbara A. Hill, Chair, Montgomery County;James T. Brady, Frederick County; Paula Cleggett, Montgomery County; Thomas A. Crain, Vice-Chair, Montgomery County; Cornelius P. Darcy*, Carroll County; Monique Dixon, Baltimore City; Albert Feldstein, Allegany County; Catherine R. Gira, Howard County; Adam Goodheart, Queen Anne’s County; Judith P. Hallett*, Montgomery County; Lenneal J. Henderson, Jr., Howard County; Omari Hughes, Baltimore City; Judi Moore Latta, Montgomery County; Walter J. Leonard, Montgomery County, Martin G. Madden, Howard County; O.F. Makarah, Prince George’s County; Katrina Bell McDonald, Baltimore City; Azar Nafisi, Montgomery County;Adrianne Noe, Montgomery County; David Phillips, Howard County; Darcey Schoeninger*, Queens Anne’s County; Davis Sherman, Baltimore City; Winston Tabb, Baltimore City; and Casper R. Taylor, Jr.*, Allegany County.

Board members’ primary responsibilities include strategic planning, approving and monitoring the organization’s programs and services, ensuring effective fiscal management, selecting and orienting new Board members, allocating grant funds, fundraising and promoting MHC’s activities. They must be available to travel to quarterly Board meetings as well as occasional interim committee meetings. Members serve without pay and are eligible to serve one three-year term, which is renewable.

All nominations must be received by July 1, 2010, to be considered for election beginning October 8, 2010. A copy of the nominee’s resume and a letter of support should be submitted to Phoebe Stein Davis, executive director, either by email to pdavis@mdhc.org or by mail to 108 W. Centre Street, Baltimore 21201.

The Maryland Humanities Council is a statewide, educational, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The purpose of MHC is to stimulate and promote informed dialogue and civic engagement on issues critical to Marylanders. For more information about MHC, please visit www.mdhc.org.

*Gubernatorial appointee

Letters About Literature Contest Winners Announced!

The Maryland Humanities Council (MHC) is pleased to announce the state winners of the 2009/2010 Letters About Literature (LAL) writing contest. Nimai Agarwal fromGermantown is the Level 1 (grades 4 to 6) first place winner. Claire Wang from Frederick is the Level 2 (grades 7 and 8) first place winner, and Carson Wigley from Berlin is the Level 3 (grades 9 to 12) first place winner.

Letters About Literature is a state and national writing contest that inspires young readers to respond to an author through a letter expressing how that author and book changed their worldview and themselves. In Nimai Agarwal’s first place letter, he writes to author Kate DiCamillo of The Tale of Despereaux, “I saw Despereaux in me […] Even though he was so small – small even by mousestandards – he did greater things than even his absolutely ‘normal’ peers. After reading Despereaux, I felt as if a burden has been lifted from my shoulders. I felt I could achieve my dreams and ambition, even though I am short, and make everyone, including myself, happy.”

Claire Wang writes to author Katherine Patterson of Bridge to Terabithia about her best friend. “I will remember how Vicky impacted others through her cheerful, creative spirit and strong leadership. Instead of being timid and shy, I will try to help others with my leadership and smile to pass down the gift that Vicky left me.”

Carson Wigley writes to author Patricia Polocco of Thank You, Mr. Falkner about how she had to overcome obstacles to become a better a student.

On Saturday, April 17, 2010 at 10:30 a.m. MHC will recognize these first place winners along with second place winners Cecilia Hsu from Ellicott City, Alayne Lynch from Bethesda and Sofia Ortiz from Worton as well as 144 Maryland state finalists at the state awards ceremony at the Enoch Pratt Free Library in the Wheeler Auditorium. For a complete listing of Maryland winners, visitwww.mdhc.org/files/238_Maryland%20State%20Winners%20and%20Finalists%202010%20_2_.pdf

“It is inspiring to see how hard our Maryland students work to write letters expressing their thoughts and feelings. Also, it is wonderful to see how this contest encourages students to be better (and more active) readers and writers,” explains Jean Wortman, coordinator of the Maryland Center for the Book at MHC. “We at MHC are so proud of our state winners! And we are particularly excited to offer The Christine D. Sarbanes Teacher of the Year Award this year, a new prize for teachers, in honor of long-time MHC Board member Christine Sarbanes for her life-long commitment to reading and the humanities.”

The 2010 Christine D. Sarbanes Teacher of the Year Award will be presented to Cynthia Malek and Kathleen Mikos, a team of teachers from Patterson Mill Middle and High School in Bel Air.

Just under 70,000 adolescent and young adult readers nationwide participated in this year’s LAL program. This contest not only promotes reading and writing, but it also inspires creativity in young people and encourages them to be life-long readers. It develops critical reading and writing skills that students need to be successful both in their school careers and as adults. Fans of any genre, fiction or nonfiction, contemporary or classic, are invited to participate, with the chance to receive awards and recognition at the state and national level. For information on how students and teachers can enter the LAL contest, including free teaching resources to guide students through the reader response and writing process, visit the national program Web site at www.lettersaboutliterature.org.

Target sponsors LAL as part of its national reading initiative, “Ready. Sit. Read!,” which is aimed at fostering a love of reading among children at an early age. Since opening its first store in 1962, Target has partnered with nonprofit organizations, guests and team members to help meet community needs.

The Center for the Book was established in 1977 as a public-private partnership to use the resources of the Library of Congress to stimulate public interest in books and reading. The Maryland Center for the Book at MHC is the state coordinator for this national contest sponsored by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. For more information about the Maryland LAL contest, please visit the MHC Web site at www.mdhc.org/programs/maryland-center-for-the-book/letters-about-literature/.

For more information on LAL, contact Jean Wortman at jwortman@mdhc.org  or 410-685-4187.

The Maryland Humanities Council is a statewide, educational, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The purpose of MHC is to stimulate and promote informed dialogue and civic engagement on issues critical to Marylanders. For more information about MHC, please visit www.mdhc.org.