Town Hall on Safety Scheduled for February 1

The Brown Center at MICA

Recent events in Bolton Hill have raised concerns about safety. In response, MRIA’s Safety Committee and MICA have organized a Town Hall Meeting on Safety for Wednesday, February 1, 6–8 pm in Falvey Hall (1300 W. Mt. Royal Avenue), the large auditorium on the lower floor of the all-glass Brown Center on the MICA campus. Everyone is invited to this community-wide meeting. 

The meeting will focus on prevention and the specific actions each of us can take to make Bolton Hill safer for all.

Reverend Grey Maggiano (Memorial Episcopal) will moderate. Attendees will hear from Sammy Hoi (President of MICA), Major Kevin Jones (Central District Police Commander, Baltimore Police Department), Marlon Byrd, (Director of Campus Safety, MICA), Eric Costello (City Councilman), Ashe Smith (Liaison the State Attorney’s Office), and Michael Marcus (President, MRIA.)

Police Commissioner Kevin Davis, Mayor Catherine Pugh, State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby, and City Council President Jack Young have been invited but not yet confirmed.

The program will allow time for plenty of questions from the audience. Attendees will be invited to submit questions in writing at the event, as the organizers want to ensure that all of questions are addressed, even if time runs out.

Vendors representing security systems, outdoor camera installers, and safety lighting will be on hand to answer questions, and provide details and discounts on their products. Plus, volunteers will demonstrate how to set up the “Find My Phone” app.


Neighborhood News

Brief updates on news around the neighborhood:

Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monument
Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monument, Mt. Royal Avenue.

Confederate Monuments

In case you haven’t seen them, the City installed interpretive plaques on two Confederate monuments, one of which is in Bolton Hill.

In January 2016, a commission appointed by the Mayor recommended that two of Baltimore’s four statues to the Confederacy be removed, while the remaining two receive additions that provide proper context (See Baltimore Sun article for more.)

The Mayor decided that these changes should be completed before she left office, with the interpretive signs installed on her final day. The text for these signs was written by CHAP staff.

The Confederate Soldiers and Sailors monument on Mount Royal Avenue, between Mosher and Lafayette, received the sign below (click to enlarge.) The other that received a sign, the Confederate Women’s Monument, is on West University Parkway.

New interpretive text for Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monument
New interpretive text for the Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monument.

Rev. Foster Connors Honored

Brown Memorial Presbyterian’s Reverend Andrew Foster Connors received honorable mention in the Baltimore Sun as one of the Marylanders deserving recognition in 2016.

The Sun highlighted Rev. Foster Connors’ collaboration with other clergy activists in BUILD for their successful negotiation of the expansive Community Benefits Agreement with the Sagamore Development on the Port Covington Project. Read the full Baltimore Sun story here.

Madison Park North Demolition CeremonyInnovation Center to Anchor Madison Park North Redevelopment

On Friday, December 9th, Governor Larry Hogan and Mayor Catherine Pugh gathered at the Madison Park North Apartments to announce Project C.O.R.E. funding awards to help eliminate blight in Baltimore City.

The gathering celebrated the beginning of the demolition that will clear the site for a mixed-use community, with a technology and incubator facility, retail including a supermarket, 300-500 apartments and a health care facility, all in proximity to the John Eager Howard School, which is now under construction.

Read more about the plans for the innovation center in this Baltimore article.

The next monthly meeting of the Neighborhood Coalition for MPN Redevelopment will be Monday, January 23, 7 pm, in the St. Francis Neighborhood Center at 2405 Linden Ave. All are welcome to attend.

SATF Potluck with a Purpose and Plans for 2017

On Sunday, December 11, MRIA’s Social Action Task Force (SATF) organized a Potluck Party with a Purpose. In the aftermath of this year’s divisive elections, the SATF thought more neighbors might want to get involved in their community-building efforts.

Over 30 attended the meeting with dishes in hand. SATF reviewed the group’s accomplishments and looked forward to projects planned for 2017.

SATF Potluck, December 2016
People attending the SATF Potluck in December review the group’s accomplishments in 2016.

SATF members explained the group’s establishment by MRIA in the wake of the unrest in spring 2015. Following those events, neighbors wanted to find ways that residents could make a positive impact in the 21217 community.

At that time, they developed the following mission statement: “To encourage, facilitate, and initiate personal engagement between the Bolton Hill neighborhood and the surrounding 21217 community. By highlighting the many great organizations serving our community, we hope that our collective efforts will create a more healthy, vibrant, just, and safe community for everyone.”

The group decided to focus their efforts on supporting existing organizations in the neighborhood, rather than setting their own agenda. They chose three methods for supporting these organizations:

  1. Organizing Parties with a Purpose
  2. Creating and promoting a Community Asset List to facilitate and encourage more neighborhood involvement
  3. Organizing neighborhood efforts to actively support organizations  

Thus far, the SATF has organized five Parties with a Purpose, as well as a book drive for Reading Partners and a Stoop Party group walk to the No Boundaries Block Party last June. They also published the Community Asset List on the Bolton Hill Bulletin website and published a Holiday Volunteer Guide to encourage neighbors to volunteer for local organizations during the holidays.

SATF events have collected approximately $2,000 in donations and have funneled volunteers and other support to twelve non-profit organizations serving the 21217 area. This Powerpoint slideshow provides an overview of the SATF’s impact thus far.

Potluck attendees went on to discuss plans for 2017, coming up with many creative suggestions. The SATF collected these Potluck Wall Responses to a series of questions that were posted around the meeting room.

The SATF encourages everyone to get involved by attending one of their monthly meetings or their next Party with a Purpose. If you’d rather donate money or have volunteer time, review the Community Asset List and Holiday Volunteer Guide for ideas.

The next SATF meeting is scheduled for Sunday, January 8, 5 pm at 1309 Bolton St. (Kellie’s & Rob’s house.) On the agenda: planning the next Party with a Purpose, slated for sometime this winter.

Bake Sale Raises Money for Mt. Royal Elementary

In October, neighbors Powell Perng and Stacy Wells met with Principal Grotsky at Mt. Royal Elementary to discuss fundraising goals.

From that meeting, Stacy saw an opportunity to raise additional funds by selling baked goods at the Bolton Hill Garden Club Greens Sale at Brown Memorial Church. The proceeds from the bake sale would go towards funding a 6th-grade student for the annual NorthBay Adventure Camp trip in May 2017.

The camp is a week-long overnight camp where students learn about leadership, environmental stewardship, and teamwork.

MRIA’s Churches and Schools Committee offered to donate baked goods, and, led by famed holiday bakers Marjorie Forster and Barbara Francis, they supplied a sleigh-full of treats for the sale.  In all, $267 was raised by the sale, enough to subsidize 1 or 2 summer camp attendees.

Thanks, Stacy and Powell, for your organizational efforts!

New Spaces Create Opportunities at Samaritan Community

As busy as she is, Sharon Krieger, Program Director at Samaritan Community, is always thinking about the future. For many years, she has dreamed of expanding the organization’s clothing “shop” and creating a workroom where members can gather, work, and connect.

This past September, she was able to realize both of these visions.

Funded partly through a grant from the Middendorf Foundation, these projects were completed simultaneously. The work commenced this past summer, building custom closets, replacing old flooring, purchasing computers, moving furniture, and setting up internet access.

The new Samaritan Community workroom is now available for members to make phone calls, search online for jobs, complete paperwork for social services, register for school and job training programs, and more.

At the same time, Samaritan Community expanded the clothing shop. It now comfortably provides access to all the clothing and household items available to members and their families.

“Both rooms are safe spaces, warm and welcoming. They also hold important functionality for our members,” says Sharon. “They can tend to personal business, explore new opportunities, and get critical necessities more easily. Plus, these new spaces provide a place for members to talk, help, and support one another. I’m confident they will make our already tight community even closer.”

As is true for most everything at Samaritan Community, the importance of community is behind these renovations. For more information on Samaritan Community, visit their website or call its development office at 443-438-9286.

New Bulletin Feature: Meet Our Sponsors

With the beginning of a new year, we are introducing a new monthly feature, Meet Our Sponsors, to the Bolton Hill Bulletin. 

Each month, we’ll highlight one of the wonderful group of businesses and organizations that provide financial support for the publication of the Bulletin, as well as general funding for MRIA’s many other projects.

Most of our sponsors have been with us for years, and we are very grateful for their loyal support. But the new year brings some new faces, including C&H Restoration and Chainlines, plus our featured sponsor this month, The Brass Tap. We offer all of them a warm welcome and our sincere thanks.

We hope this feature will help all of us know more about our neighborhood, and we encourage you to support our sponsors as they support us.

TIP for readers: Click on a sponsor’s ad to go to their website for additional information (try it). You can also find an alphabetical listing for all our sponsors with their contact information on our Sponsor page (or, from the main menu at the top of each page, click on “Sponsors”).

We still have openings for two additional sponsors this year. If you or someone you know might be interested in becoming a sponsor, please contact the editors at for more information.

Meet The Brass Tap

This month, a hot new craft beer bar will arrive in the neighborhood. Owners Barry and Pauline Lowenthal plan to open the doors of their pub, The Brass Tap, on January 9, with the grand opening celebration scheduled for the January 20–21 weekend.

Brass Tap
Co-owner Barry Lowenthal at the new entrance of The Brass Tap.

Located in the Fitzgerald building between Two Boots Pizza and the Mt. Royal Light Rail stop, this upscale craft beer bar will offer 60 different local and regional beers on tap, plus unique pub food and a large selection of wines & spirits.

Barry grew up in the restaurant business, getting his first restaurant job at 14, and then opening a pizza place at 18. He sold that business when he was 22, but soon realized that restaurant bug had bitten him. Ever since he’s been on the lookout for his next spot. 

It’s been a long wait. After graduating from Cornell University with a degree in Hotel Administration, Barry’s career took a detour, spending the past thirteen years running a carpet cleaning company in the Washington, D.C. area. Meanwhile, his wife Pauline pursued a career in higher education, most recently serving as Dean of Students at Notre Dame of Maryland University.

Meanwhile, Barry kept dreaming. Friends introduced Barry to craft brewing, and he learned how great a beer could be. He picked up the hobby of home brewing as a way to research the special world of hand-crafted suds.

Finally, the time came to take the plunge. With the support of his wife Pauline, Barry convinced his his brother Michael, another restaurant veteran, to move to Georgia to Maryland to help him open The Brass Tap. 

Though The Brass Tap is part of a national franchise, each bar is locally owned and operated. For the Lowenthals, this means a hands-on, family-run operation. Barry explained, “We chose Baltimore because we love the city. We want to be involved in the neighborhood and the greater Baltimore community to make our city an awesome place to live.”

Brass Tap interior
Interior of The Brass Tap during construction.

They plan to have regular live music, happy hours on weekdays from 2–7 pm, and brunch on weekends, plus special parties for festive days, like St. Patrick’s Day and Oktoberfest. The Brass Tap will be the local place to go for Baltimore Beer Week, as well as a welcome watering spot during ArtScape.

Follow them on Facebook here.

March with Memorial Episcopal on MLK Day

The Episcopal Diocese of Maryland, represented by Memorial Episcopal Church and several other congregations, will march in the Martin Luther King Jr. Parade on Monday, January 16. Everyone is invited to join.

The official launch of the parade is at noon, but participants must be in place by 11:30 am at the State Center elevator for the Metro (Preston St. and Eutaw Place.) Look for Monty Howard, who will be easy to spot in a fluorescent orange fedora. To keep updated on the plans, email him at , or check Memorial Episcopal’s Facebook page.

During the one-mile, downhill march, diocesan participants display messages of peace that are appreciated by spectators every year.

“The march is a lot of fun,” says Monty. “It is also generally the coldest day of the year, and although you can take Metro or other rides back, we generally turn around and walk home. So, it’s important to dress warmly.”

Join in to honor the life and philosophy of Dr. King!

News from Corpus Christi: Seniors Group & Souper Bowl

The Corpus Christi Seniors Group holds meetings on the second and fourth Mondays of each month at 10:30 am in the rectory (110 W. Lafayette). The group attends daily mass at 12:10 pm after the meeting.

This member-led group includes worship, Bible study, and creative activities. All are welcome. Coffee and tea are provided.

If you or someone you know is interested in joining, please contact Sarah Bujno for more information at sarah.bujno[at] or 410-523-4161.

The Souper Bowl is coming! 

Faith Formation students at Corpus Christi will be collecting cash donations and cans of soup Saturday, February 4, after the 4 pm service and Sunday, February 5, after the 10:30 am service.  

Souper Bowl of Caring is a national movement of young people working to fight hunger and poverty in their own communities around the time of the Super Bowl football game. In 1990, the Souper Bowl of Caring began with a simple prayer from a single youth group:

“Lord, even as we enjoy the Super Bowl
football game, help us be mindful of
those without a bowl of soup to eat.”

Since that day, more than $100 million have been raised for local charities across the country through Souper Bowl of Caring. This powerful movement is transforming Super Bowl weekend into the nation’s largest celebration of giving and serving.  

Through this mission, students learn what it’s like to make a positive difference in the world as they collect food, raise money and volunteer to work in charities that provide shelter to the homeless, food to the hungry and compassion to those in need.  

All donations will help the lunch program at Corpus Christi. If you have any questions or would like to donate at another time that week, please contact Sarah Bujno at the email address or phone number above.

January Events

Here’s a brief overview of some of the local happenings in January.

Go to the Bulletin Calendar for details and additional events. Just click on an event to see more information.

January 3 – MRIA Board Meeting; everyone is welcome to attend.

January 4 – Start of Sheng Zhen Gong Classes at Memorial Episcopal, every Wednesday 5:30 pm

January 7 – Circles of Voices Conversation on drug policy reforms, with Major Franklin, a 34 year veteran of the MD and Baltimore Police departments.

January 8 – Social Action Task Force meeting

January 16 – March in the MLK Day Parade with Memorial Episcopal and other neighbors

January 20 – Uniting Diverse Artists fund raiser for Midtown Academy, with an art auction and exhibit

February 1 – Town Hall meeting on Safety organized by MRIA and MICA

February 4 & 5 – Souper Bowl at Corpus Christi

And, if you haven’t seen it yet, make sure to check out the Christenberry Exhibit at MICA’s Decker Gallery in the Fox building, on display through March 12.