Share Some Holiday Cheer

Holiday Cheer

Make your December more enjoyable by attending these local events.

But first, start by sharing your good fortune with others and support local organizations in the 21217 zip code. This Holiday Giving and Volunteer Guide from the Social Action Task Force has all the information your need to make this easy. 

December 1-3 and 8-10 – Memorial Players’ production of A Christmas Carol; get tickets for a pre-show reception in advance.

December 7-10 – MICA’s Annual Art Market

December 9 – Garden Club Holiday Greens Sale

December 9 – North Avenue Knowledge Exchange Day

December 10 – Carols and Holiday Party at Linden Park Apartments

December 10 – Tiffany Series Brass and Organ Concert

December 31 – Brown Memorial Church Holiday Open House and Windows Tour

Memorial Players Present A Christmas Carol

Memorial Players' A Christmas Carol
Cast member John Lisch with co-director Darren McGregor

Bah, humbug!” and “God bless us, every one!

Who does not recognize the exclamations made famous by Scrooge and Tiny Tim in Charles Dickens’ beloved A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol tells the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, an old miser who hates Christmas. Scrooge is visited by four ghosts, first his former business partner Jacob Marley, followed by the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come. Their visits transform Scrooge into a kinder, gentler man, with a genuine concern for the business of mankind.

Watch and enjoy his transformation in the Memorial Players’ production of A Christmas Carol, opening in Bolton Hill Friday night, December 1

Responding to the appalling living and working conditions of the urban poor, especially children, Dickens wrote his novella over the course of six weeks in the fall of 1843. Set squarely in the mid-nineteenth century London where it originated, Romulus Linney’s adaptation preserves most of Dickens’ language and text. 

Directed by Darren McGregor and Rina Steinhauer and produced by Kristine Smets, the play, like the novella, is full of wit and satire, both vivid and immediate. Even though the play will transport the audience into the past, they will be reminded that the problems of homelessness, inadequate education, and incarceration are still ours. Nothing in Dickens is out of date.

The cast includes many well-known faces from Memorial Players’ past musicals and dramas. Set design is by John Seeley, costumes by Tita Rutledge, props by Maggie Blanck, light and sound design by Daryl Beard, and poster by Lynne Menefee. 

A Christmas Carol, like all Memorial Episcopal productions, is admission-free, but good-will donations are always welcome. Performances will be presented at Memorial Church, on the corner of Lafayette and Bolton streets.

Performance dates:

  • Friday, December 1, 7:30 pm
  • Saturday, December 2, 7:30 pm
  • Sunday, December 3, 3:30 pm
  • Friday, December 8, 7:30 pm
  • Saturday, December 9, 7:30 pm
  • Sunday, December 10, 3:30 pm
Memorial Players' A Christmas Carol
Producer Kristine Smets and co-director Rina Steinhauer with Lisch at Festival on the Hill.

Pre-show receptions are held in several of Bolton Hill’s beautiful Victorian residences before each show. They’re a great way to donate to Memorial Players and to meet other members of the Memorial Players community. Attendees enjoy food and refreshments and receive a VIP card that guarantees a reserved seat near the front. 

Click on the date to purchase tickets online for one of the receptions held at the following homes:

  • Friday, December 1: home of Paul Seaton and John Seeley, 217 Bolton Place. Co-hosted by Nirina Randrianarivelo. 5:30 to 7 pm (show starts at 7:30 pm).
  • Saturday, December 2: home of David Bielenberg and Greg Trimble, 1406 Bolton Street. Co-hosted by Melanie Alfano. 5:30 to 7 pm (show starts at 7:30 pm).
  • Sunday, December 3: home of Beth Frederick & Don Palmer, 1307 Bolton Street. Sponsored by MRIA’s Social Action Task Force. 1 to 3 pm (show starts at 3:30 pm).
  • Friday, December 8: home of John McLucas, 1314 Bolton Street. Co-host by Lee Bowers. 5:30 to 7 pm (show starts at 7:30 pm).
  • Saturday, December 9: home of Michael Booth & Kristine Smets, 1308 Bolton Street. Co-hosted by Sallye Perrin. 5:30 to 7 pm (show starts at 7:30 pm).
  • No reception for the final matinee on Sunday, December 10, so just come to the 3:30 pm performance.

For more information, visit Memorial Players online here or call Paul Seaton, 410-615-4532. A Christmas Carol is presented by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, In​c., New York. 

Join in the Fun at Festival 2017

Join the fall fun at the 64th Annual Festival on the Hill, Saturday, October 14, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Festival will have its usual mix of music (including Mambo Combo!), food, entertainment, arts and crafts vendors, and a fun, interactive kids’ area. Organized by the Bolton Hill Nursery, everything takes place on the 1300 block of Bolton Street and the 200 block of Lanvale Street.

Last year’s Festival

The Gourmet Gazebo will be back this year, with over 25 savory and sweet treats including Chili Rellenos, mac and cheese, chocolate-covered cherries, bean soup, vegetarian piccadillo, and much more!

As usual, the Bolton Hill Garden Club will have bright, beautiful pansies and ornamental kale for sale at their usual spot on the corner of Bolton and Lafayette streets, starting early at 10 a.m. Not only do the plants beautify the neighborhood, but the Club also uses all the proceeds to support community greening projects.

Festival-on-the-Hill's Pie-in-the-Face contest
2016’s crowned winner and her runners-up

Plus there will be Festival T-shirts (organic cotton, of course) for sale, and the return of the Pie-in-the-Face contest.

Festival goers buy a bag of pompoms and “vote” for the person they would most like to see get a pie in the face. Past choices included our city councilman, a school principal, a rector and our favorite, a co-editor of a neighborhood newsletter. The lucky winner gets to be hit with their pie FIRST, but all the volunteer targets will be able to delight in having cream pie mashed in their face.

Remember, ALL the proceeds from the Festival go to support non-profits that serve the 21217 community. From receipts of the 2016 Festival, the Bolton Hill Nursery distributed grants ranging from $600–$800 to nine organizations: Midtown Academy, Soaring Eagles Learning Camp, Brown Memorial Tutoring Program, Memorial Episcopal Church, John St Park Association, Rutter Mill Park Association, Corpus Christi Church, and Mt. Royal Elementary and Middle School.

Come join the fun. See you there!

Great Pumpkin Party On Its Way October 28

On Saturday October 28 from 1-3 pm, everyone—especially kids from 1 to 92—is invited to The Great Pumpkin Party, organized by MRIA’s Social Task Force (SATF), in collaboration with Kappa Alpha Psi. The service fraternity has generously offered to host the event again at their Youth and Community Center, 1207 Eutaw Place.

There will be face painting, a costume swap, music, hijinks, and of course, pumpkin decorating. Best of all, everything is free, including the pumpkins!

 

Last year’s Pumpkin Party

Donations are needed to make the Party successful. If you’d like to help out, please drop off your supplies at 1500 Bolton Street, on the corner with Mosher. During business hours Monday-Friday, deliver to CPA Joe Palumbo’s office (front door on Bolton St.). Evenings and weekends, bring to Peter & Susan Van Buren’s (side door on Mosher St.), but call first to make sure they are home, 410-383-7820.

Party organizers can use all of the following:

  • gently used Halloween costumes
  • old sheets or clothes that can be used to make costumes
  • pumpkin-decorating supplies, such as stickers, markers, pipe cleaners, and glue (no knives or cutting will be involved)
  • decorations
  • and money for all the things that aren’t donated.

If you are interested in volunteering for the event, please email Jessica Wyatt at jhwyatt@gmail.com.

Sign Up for CERT Emergency Preparedness Training

Emergency PreparednessBy David Bowes

Remember the Derecho of July 2012? That was the windstorm that downed trees and power lines and left much of the mid-Atlantic region in the dark. At the time, I found myself woefully unprepared. 

When the lights went out, I managed to dig up a puny flashlight from the car and a chocolate-scented candle. I don’t know why I had a chocolate-scented candle. Thankfully, our power returned by 10 the next morning, but the experience made me reexamine my level of readiness, or lack thereof. 

In addition to flashlights, a NOAA weather radio, and other supplies, I realized I also needed to know what to actually do in an emergency. It’s one thing to have lots of emergency gadgets; it’s quite another to have the skills you might need when the grid goes down. It’s especially beneficial to have neighbors who can help one another when disaster strikes.

Enter Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training, which in Baltimore is offered by the Office of Emergency Management.

In 1985, the Los Angeles Fire Department developed the first CERT training to provide a better response after earthquakes. They recognized that in the early stages of a disaster, organized responses were often delayed, leaving citizens to fend for themselves. By covering preparedness, basic disaster survival, and rescue skills, their training program improved the ability of residents to safely help themselves, their families, and their neighbors until assistance arrives.

In 1993, CERT training was standardized by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for all hazards. CERT now exists nationwide, and individuals who take the class are better prepared to respond to and cope with disasters. CERT teams can supplement the official response to a disaster by providing immediate assistance to victims in their communities.

Baltimore City’s CERT training is held at the Public Safety Training Academy, 3500 W. Northern Parkway, and led by a team of volunteers from a variety of backgrounds who have completed the CERT Train-the-Trainer program. Participants receive both classroom lectures and practical training.

The training takes an entire weekend, starting Friday evening and continuing all day Saturday and Sunday. From personal experience, I recommend packing your lunch.

Along with classmates from across Baltimore, I completed my training this summer on the first weekend in July. My CERT certificate feels like an insurance policy against a disaster, and I can say with confidence that I sleep a little easier at night.

Two more CERT trainings will be held this year, on the weekends of October 13 and December 8. To sign up for a class, send a registration email to CERT@baltimorecity.gov before the signup deadlines (10/6 and 12/1 respectively). Preference is usually given to those who live or work in Baltimore City. 

Several of us in Bolton Hill are working to establish a neighborhood CERT team. If you’re interested, email me at davidmbowes@gmail.com.

For more information on Emergency Preparedness, visit the Baltimore Office of Emergency Management CERT website, the FEMA CERT site and the Department of Homeland Security site.

Roll on Over to the Samaritan Toilet Paper Drive

Samaritan Community at Festival on the Hill
Samaritan Table at a Past Festival

Let the good times roll with Samaritan Community! Toilet paper rolls, that is.

At Festival on the Hill on Saturday, October 14, Samaritan Community will be holding a toilet paper drive to help clients with one of their greatest necessities.

This bathroom staple is one of the most requested items at Samaritan Community’s food pantry. So please bring a roll or an entire package (pre-packaged, please) to the Samaritan Community table.

Then, stay and get some hot coffee or some delicious baked goods, with the proceeds benefiting Samaritan Community.

A human services 501c(3) non-profit in Bolton Hill, Samaritan Community provides a food pantry, a clothes closet, individual empowerment counseling, group support, emergency financial assistance and much more. For more information, visit the Samaritan Community website or their Facebook page.

Sign Up for Fall Classes at Jubilee Arts

Classes at Jubilee Arts, for everyone age six to seniors, start the week of October 2 and run through December 1. This fall’s offerings include sewing & fashion design, drawing, crafts, clay, fashion, African drumming, and a variety of dance styles, from ballet to step dancing.

All youth classes are $3/class or $24 for the full 8-week session, while adult classes are $6/class or $48 for the full 8-week session.

Through partnerships with area artists, writers, and dancers, including the Maryland Institute College of Art and Baltimore Clayworks, Jubilee Arts has been providing arts classes and more to the residents of the Sandtown-Winchester, Upton and surrounding neighborhoods in the 21217 zip code since 2009. The center is located at 1947 Pennsylvania Avenue, in an area with a rich history of African-American culture. The organization is bringing the arts back to life in this west Baltimore community. 

Space is limited, so reserve your spot by completing a registration form before the class start date. Please note that attendance in each class is required, and more than two unexcused absences will jeopardize your spot in the class.

African Drumming2017 Fall Classes

Classes run from October 2–December 1.

Ages 6-11: $3/class* 3:30–5 p.m.

Ballet – Monday
Ballet (ages 3-5) – Tuesday
Art – Tuesday 
Fashion/Sewing – Wednesday 
Clay ($10 flat fee) – Thursday

Ages 12-18: $3/class, 5:30-7:00 p.m.

Portfolio Drawing – Monday 
Youth In Business – Tuesday-Thursday (interview required)
Middle School Mentor – Wednesdays 4-5:00 p.m.

Adults: $6/class

Line Dance – Monday 6–7:30 p.m.
Sewing – Wednesday 6–8 p.m. 
Hand Dance – Thursday 6–7:30 p.m.

Multi-generational: $6/class

African Drumming – Tuesday 6:30–7:30 p.m.

Seniors: $10 flat fee

Creative Crafts – Tuesday 10 a.m.–1:30 p.m.
Clay – Wednesday 10 a.m.–12 p.m.

Be a Wisdom Warrior in Reservoir Hill

St. Francis Neighborhood Center youths
Some of the St. Francis participants

St. Francis Neighborhood Center in Reservoir Hill is seeking volunteers with a passion for teaching to join the Wisdom Warriors Power Project, their afterschool tutoring program.

For youth ages 5-14, the Power Project program runs Monday through Thursday, 3–6 p.m. Interested volunteers should contact tthompson@stfranciscenter.org.

They also need volunteers and leaders for their monthly cleanups at German Park, a playground and park that surrounds the center on its north and east sides.

In partnership with the Reservoir Hill Improvement Council, they are hosting these cleanups on the last Saturday of every month from 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Leaders should have experience leading volunteers and be comfortable with large groups.

German Park Cleanup
German Park Cleanup

Anyone interested in volunteering should contact tthompson@stfranciscenter.org or mia@reservoirhill.net for more information. 

For those wanting to learn more about St. Francis and our neighbors to the north, put the Reservoir Hill Fall Stoop Night on your calendar: October 13.

Bolton Square Celebrates 50th Anniversary

Bolton Square-interior
Green space and fountain inside the Bolton Square development, built in 1967. Photo by Eli Pousson, Baltimore Heritage.

by William Hamilton

The 50th anniversary celebration of Bolton Square will be held on Saturday, Oct. 7, from 1–6 p.m. Come celebrate our neighborhood and this great example of our neighborhood’s resilience.

Bolton Square’s mid-century modern townhouses and gardens will be open for tours from 1–4 p.m., followed by a ceremony and cocktail party on the common green area that faces West Lafayette Ave. between Eutaw and Bolton streets. Enter at 300 West Lafayette Ave.

Admission is $10; company and organizational sponsorships are available. The nationally recognized architect who designed Bolton Square, Hugh Newell Jacobsen, and the widow of Baltimore developer Stanley Panitz, who constructed the 35 units, will attend. Sponsors include Baltimore Heritage and the Maryland Chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

Bolton Square-ext
Mid-century modern in Bolton Hill. Bolton Square condo fronting Lafayette Ave.

Bolton Square is not just architecturally distinctive. It also plays an important part in our neighborhood’s history. 

In the aftermath of World War II, Bolton Hill was on the skids. Wealthy families who built the 19th-century mansions had given way to absentee landlords who cut them into rooming houses for workers in town to grab jobs in the war economy. Many houses were rundown, and others were abandoned.

The city assumed control of land between West Lafayette Avenue and McMechen Streets, just east of Eutaw Place, and considered knocking down decaying buildings and constructing large-scale public housing. The city hired consultants, including Connie Lieder, an urban economist who still lives in the neighborhood, to do an economic assessment. Her study concluded that there were promising signs of new life as people had begun buying and restoring the old houses. Based in part on that study, the city decided to hold an architectural competition and award a contract for the best design for new housing.

In 1964, Panitz and Jacobsen were awarded a contract to begin construction on the cleared city land, which included closing Linden Avenue to create a common, enclosed green space. The first segment was finished in 1967, and the developer moved his own large family into an end unit. Then came the assassination of Martin Luther King, rioting and white flight. Several Bolton Square units had to be rented because no buyers were interested. The builder persevered, however, and the units all eventually become owner occupied. A year or so later the Linden Green apartments, facing Bolton Square, were constructed, along with what is now the newly renovated Linden Park apartment tower on McMechen and the Sutton Place apartments on Park Ave. Urban renewal funds made it all possible.

Since that time, the neighborhood has regained much of its historic appeal and value. Bolton Square today, like Bolton Hill around it, is home to an intergenerational and interracial mix of professionals, business people and academics. Celebrate it! For further information, contact Monty Howard, Bolton Square Homeowners Association president, at 410-243-2902 or montyhoward@earthlink.net.

MICA and ACLU Host Symposium on Democracy in Trump’s America

The Maryland Institute College of Art and the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland commemorate Constitution Day, September 17, with a 2-day symposium exploring the emerging crisis in democratic institutions and government brought upon by the Trump administration.

“We are living in exceptional political times, where, many argue, the basic and central institutions of our democracy are threatened–by the president himself,” said Constitution Day organizer and MICA Humanistic Studies faculty member Firmin DeBrabander.

“How worrisome are Trump’s perceived attacks? What shall we make of them, and how shall we respond?” he continued. “Is this tyranny, and if so, how will democracy survive?”

Events take place on Tuesday, Sept. 19, and Friday, Sept. 22. All events are free and open to the public, and will take place in MICA’s Falvey Hall, 1301 W. Mount Royal Ave. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Schedule of events

Tuesday, Sept. 19, 7–9 p.m. “Is This What Democracy Looks Like?” Panel discussion with MSNBC’s Joy-Ann Reid, “revolutionary” artist Dread Scott and history professor Kenneth Ledford, Case Western University, moderated by WYPR Maryland Midday host Tom Hall.

Friday, Sept. 22:

  • 12:30 p.m. “Restoring Civic Culture” with Baltimore Youth Arts Founder Gianna Rodriguez and community arts activist and organizer Graham Coreil-Allen, moderated by Kalima Young.
  • 2:30 p.m. “Educating for a Democratic Society” with Baltimore City Councilman Zeke Cohen, Liberty Elementary Principal Joseph Manko, M.A. in Teaching Director Adriane Pereira, and North Avenue Knowledge Exchange Program Coordinator Khadiha Adell, moderated by Marketplace Education Editor Amy Scott.
  • 5:00 p.m. Artist Mel Chin and Lester K. Spence, associate professor of political science and Africana studies at Johns Hopkins University, discuss the role of art in a democratic society and the role citizens play in defining democracy.

Established in 2005, Constitution Day continues the College’s tradition of leadership in raising and exploring important political issues. This year’s Constitution Day officially launches a new College-wide initiative MICA Making Democracy, which advances MICA’s core values in response to changes in the cultural and political landscape.

SATF and NBC Updates: Parties, Cleanups, and Reopening of Fresh at the Avenue

Stoop Party for the Schools

Although May’s Stoop Party with a Purpose organized by MRIA’s Social Action Task Force (SATF) was cancelled due to weather, donations continued to be collected for three neighborhood schools. A total of $732 was donated by many generous neighbors and will be distributed to our neighborhood schools, Eutaw-Marshburn Elementary, Mt. Royal Elementary/Middle, and Midtown Academy.

Along with a check for $244, each school received 5 reams of copier paper. Ms. Elliot at Eutaw-Marshburn summed up the sentiment for all the schools saying, “The SATF is the best!”

This dumpster was empty before the start of the June 3rd Cleanup

My Block My Hood Cleanups

As always, No Boundary Coalition‘s (NBC) 10th annual Boundary Block Party on June 3 was a huge success. Before the party started, NBC’s safety committee kicked off the summer’s My Block My Hood program by partnering with the Nehemiah Homeowners to clean up the 1300 block of N. Stockton St. at Presstman St.

Members of the SATF joined the work crew, and together they rapidly filled a large dumpster with debris, satisfying everyone with the results.

More My Block My Hood cleanups are planned for Saturday, July 22 at Parrish & Riggs Sts., Saturday, August 5 at Druid Hill Ave., and Tuesday, August 8 at Legends Park, located at Laurens and Fremont. All volunteers are welcome. Tools, work gloves, and refreshments are provided.

The SATF plans to join the August 5 cleanup as a group, while the August 8 event will be a focus for Memorial Episcopal Church, as the site is close to a store run by some of their members.

Please consider joining in this effort. Many hands make light work.

Fresh staff and volunteers

Grand Reopening for Fresh at the Avenue

For the past few months, Fresh at The Avenue in the Pennsylvania Ave. marketplace has been closed for renovations, which include new display tables and much more.

NBC announced that the stall will have a soft reopening on Saturday, July 22 with the grand reopening celebration set for Saturday, July 29. The celebration will spill outdoors into the parking lot surrounding the market, with a jazz band, food vendors and more.

The store is open every Saturday from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm, and volunteers are always needed. If interested, contact Rebecca Nagle at freshatnoboundaries@gmail.com.

Meet ArtsCentric

Chicago The MusicalThe Bulletin proudly welcomes our newest sponsor, theater company ArtsCentric. Founded in April 2003 by twelve young Morgan State University graduates, the company has become a great provider of both enlightenment and entertainment for audiences across the city.

They perform at Motor House, the cool art incubator space at 120 W. North Avenue, an easy walk from Bolton Hill.

Upcoming shows include the musical Chicago (July 21–August 6), and Memphis (August 18–September 10), with four performances weekly, Fridays at 7:30 pm, Saturdays at 2 pm and 7:30 pm, and Sundays at 5 pm.

Last year’s revival of the musical Dreamgirls garnered rave reviews, including in the Baltimore Sun.

The company’s talented group of artists, musicians, educators, composers and playwrights bring quality artistic works and creative services to the entire community. They mount a wide array of productions, including traditional, contemporary and original musicals, plays, and concert works. In partnership with schools, churches, and community-based businesses, they provide entertainment and educational shows that enhance many programs and events.

As a color-conscious organization, they are committed to strengthening the community through the power of theater as they re-examine traditional roles in the arts, advance original stories of specific cultures, and foster educational advancement.​

Purchase tickets online and find out more on their website, ArtsCentric.net, and follow them on Facebook.

Boltonstock 2017

Boltonstock 2017
Concept & Design by John Hathaway; illustrated by Peter Fox

After the Boundary Block Party, come on over to Sumpter Park for the official after-party, Boltonstock 2017, from 5 to 10 pm. This annual summer festival celebrates its third year, with an expanded lineup of music and fun for the whole family.

Grilled food will be available for purchase, including burgers and hotdogs, plus a nice selection of wine & craft beers, and the famous Memorial Episcopal Bake Sale. Find many more details in this related article.

Save the date, spread the word, and bring lots of friends. RSVP and follow the event on Facebook to show your support.

Boundary Block Party

Boundary Block Party
Lively entertainment guaranteed

Celebrate the community that unites us, rather than the boundaries that separate us, by joining the fun at the 10th Annual Boundary Block Party, Saturday June 3, from 1 to 4 pm at the Upton Triangle, the corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and Presstman Street.

There will be music to dance to, grilled food to eat, fresh produce to purchase, a community resource fair, and art activities for families. See more details in this related article.

Organized by the No Boundaries Coalition and Jubilee Arts, please follow the event and RSVP on Facebook to show your support. Plan to make a whole day of it as Boltonstock 2017 starts afterward at 5 pm – the official After Party.

Boltonstock 2017 Arrives on June 3

Merdalf opens the evening

After the Boundary Block Party, come on over to Sumpter Park for the official after-party, Boltonstock 2017, Saturday, June 3, 5–10 pm. This annual summer festival celebrates its third year, thanks to organizers Chas Phillips and Jessica Wyatt.

The musical lineup opens with street musician Merdalf, who has delighted the crowds at the Waverly and JFX farmers’ markets. He’s promised to bring his balloons!

Things will kick up a notch with Baltimore blues band The Cleanse, featuring the distinctive growling vocals and wailing guitar work of Quinton Randall. “I want audiences to feel a sense of hope, clarity, and freedom,” says Quinton of his music.

The evening wraps up with DJ Uncle Quincy, whose grooves will have everyone dancing in the park.

The Cleanse
The Cleanse headlines Boltonstock

During the break in the music, representatives from the Holistic Life Foundation will help recenter the crowd by introducing their mindfulness techniques, providing a moment of calm for festival-goers.

Grilled food will be available for purchase, including burgers and hotdogs, plus—back by popular demand—Catoctin Mountain Farm bratwurst. Quench your party thirst with a nice selection of wine and craft beers. And the famous Memorial Episcopal Bake Sale will be back, with proceeds going to the church.

Plenty of kids’ activities will be available, including some game-ready sports equipment. As with last year’s event, local non-profit organizations will have tables surrounding the park to explain their work and how folks can get involved.

Help spread the word, and bring lots of friends. RSVP and follow the event on Facebook to show your support.

Real Food Farm Comes to Bolton Hill

Mobile Framers Market
Real Food Farm on Bolton Street.

With little fanfare, Bolton Hill’s Mobile Farmers Market quietly appeared on Bolton Street on May 2, in front of Memorial Episcopal Church. What a delightful surprise!

Operated by Civic Works’ Real Food Farm, the stand will set up every Tuesday from 12:30–1:30 pm during the growing season.

The farm itself is located in Clifton Park, and it provides much of the produce offered at the mobile market. However, as their Mobile Farmer Market program has expanded, RFF alone can’t satisfy all the demand for fresh local vegetables. But fortunately, the number of city-based farms has grown to meet that demand.

By partnering with the Farm Alliance of Baltimore and their twelve member farms, almost everything the Mobile Market offers is Baltimore-grown. Now that’s buying local! And the prices are great too.

Recent offerings included, eggs for $3 a dozen, head lettuce for $1-$2 a head, strawberries for $4 per quart, arugula and spinach at $4 a 1/2 pound, and kale or collards for $2 a bunch.

The seeds for Real Food Farm were planted in 2008 by a volunteer group called the Urban Agriculture Task Force, that included Civic Works. A determined group of visionaries, they set out to create a fully operational demonstration farm in Baltimore City.

After a great deal of research, they developed a business plan focusing on high tunnel “hoophouses”—basically, low-cost, easy-to-build greenhouses. Then they already had the perfect managing organization in Civic Works, a well-established non-profit with access to six acres in Clifton Park. Civic Works also had strong community relationships in city neighborhoods that needed increased food access, and a long history of training youth in job skills and establishing community gardens.

With help from many agencies, organizations and individuals, the partnership constructed seven hoophouses in 2009, and then harvested the first produce at Real Food Farm in December of 2010. They’ve been growing ever since—and their proven success has spurred many new farmers to start similar operations in the city.

This is exactly what the Urban Agriculture Task Force hoped for. If you grow it, they will come.

Real Food Farm uses their Mobile Farmers Market as the primary tool for bringing food into city neighborhoods that lack easy access to fresh, healthy produce. During the market season from May through December, their Mobile Farmers Market team hosts neighborhood markets and makes home deliveries of fresh, local, seasonal fruits and vegetables throughout the city.

This online schedule lists all 21 stops serviced each week by the Mobile Framers Market.

Whitelock Farm Stand opening day
Whitelock Farm Stand on opening day in mid-May.

If you can’t make Real Food Farm’s Tuesday market in Bolton Hill, here’s a list of the other nearby farmers markets open every week during the growing season.

Tenth Annual Boundary Block Party on June 3

2016's Boundary Block PartyCelebrate the community that unites us, rather than the boundaries that separate us, by joining the fun at the 10th Annual Boundary Block Party, Saturday June 3, from 1 to 4 pm at the Upton Triangle, the corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and Presstman Street.

Organized by No Boundaries Coalition and Jubilee Arts, you can follow the event and RSVP on Facebook to show your support.

The Boundary Block Party brings together residents of Central West Baltimore as one community, including the neighborhoods of Bolton Hill, Marble Hill, Reservoir Hill, Upton, Sandtown, and Madison Park, and Druid Heights.

Started in 2008, the first Block Party was held on the Eutaw St. median south of McMechen, the unofficial but generally accepted boundary separating Bolton Hill from Madison Park and Marble Hill. From the start, the block party set out to encourage more open involvement between the whole 21217 community.

Boundary Block Party
Lively entertainment is guaranteed

Over the years, it has grown bigger and moved just a few blocks west to the Upton Triangle at the boundary of the Upton, Druid Heights and Sandtown-Winchester neighborhoods.

And the fun has grown too, with live entertainment, music to dance to, grilled food to eat, a community resource fair, and art activities for families. The live entertainment will include Twilighters Marching Band, Brown Memorial Choir, Soulful Sisters, and Dynamic Force, along with others.

Fresh on the Avenue will even be moving their store’s stalls to the park to setup a full outdoor produce market with a large selection of locally grown and organic items.

As they did last year, MRIA’s Social Action Task Force will be organizing a group walk from Bolton Hill over to the Party. This year, they’re meeting at Linden Gazebo at 9:45 am for a morning walk to join the clean up of Upton Park in preparation for the Block Party. Kids and adults welcome – just bring work gloves if you have them.

Plan to make a whole day of it, as Boltonstock 2017 starts afterward at 5 pm—the official after party.

SATF June Activities

MRIA’s Social Action Task Force encourage you to join them at several events in June.

On Friday, June 2 from 4–7 pm, a Stop Gun Violence Rally will be held at the Mondawmin Mall parking lot . This is part of the National Gun Violence Awareness Day, and organizers encourage everyone to show their support by wearing orange.

Then on Saturday morning, June 3, join the SATF for a park cleanup and a party.

They’ll be meeting at 9:45 am near the Linden gazebo (1700 block of Linden Ave.) and will make the 10-block stroll to Upton Triangle Park at Presstman St. and Pennsylvania Ave. There, they’ll join other volunteers for the first My Block My Hood cleanup of the summer in preparation for the Boundary Block Party. See the Facebook event for more information and to RSVP.

After the cleanup, stay for the fun at the Boundary Block Party from 1–4 pm, and then walk back to Bolton Hill’s Sumpter Park for Boltonstock from 5–10 pm.

At Boltonstock, remember to stop by the SATF table to donate money and/or copier paper for distribution to three neighborhood schools, Eutaw-Marshburn, Midtown Academy and Mt. Royal. This is the makeup for May’s Stoop Party, which was cancelled due to bad weather. Cash, credit card and check donations can be accepted at the booth. Please make checks payable to MRIA and put “SATF School Fund” in the memo.

Fall Play Auditions for A Christmas Carol

A Christmas CarolMemorial Players is pleased to announce auditions for the Christmas classic, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, adapted for the stage by Romulus Linney, co-directed by Rina Steinhauer and Darren McGregor and produced by Kristine Smets.

Auditions will be held on the following dates:

  • Friday, June 9th, 6–9 pm
  • Saturday, June 10th, 10 am–1 pm
  • Sunday, June 11, 1–4 pm

Where: Memorial Episcopal Church, 1407 Bolton St, Baltimore, in the second-floor Parish Hall (entrance on W. Lafayette Street).

Callbacks (if needed) will be announced by email.

Who: We are looking to cast 25 to 30 people. All roles are open and unpaid. Actors of all ethnic and racial backgrounds are encouraged to audition. A list of characters is available here.

Specifics: 

  • Actors will be auditioned in half-hour blocks. 
  • Please sign up for an audition slot at SignUpGenius.Com. Please indicate if you have an interest in a specific role.
  • Walk-ins are welcome, but come early.
  • Actors interested in the role of Scrooge, Cratchit, Fred, Marley, Fezziwig, or one of the three Spirits should come prepared with a one- to two-minute monologue. 
  • Those auditioning for other roles are welcome to prepare a monologue, but it is not required.
  • Auditions will consist of cold readings from the script.
  • You will be given a projected rehearsal schedule to review. 

Rehearsals will be held three times per week (Wednesday evening, Saturday morning, and Sunday afternoon) and will begin on September 6th. Please be prepared with dates of major conflicts during the rehearsal period.

Show dates are December 1–3 and 9–11 at Memorial Episcopal Church. Friday and Saturday performances are at 7:30 pm and Sunday performances at 3:30 pm.

Questions? Email falldrama1407@gmail.com.

Single Carrot’s Promenade: Baltimore Stops in Bolton Hill

Grab your bus pass and get ready to ride!

During the month of June, Single Carrot Theatre and STEREO Akt present Promenade: Baltimore, a boundary-breaking production that invites its audience to board a bus and traverse the city, passing through neighborhoods both familiar and unknown. Including Bolton Hill!

Promenade BaltimoreAudience members watch through the windows as actors on the street present poetic expressions of everyday life in Baltimore, complemented by a live-mixed soundscape of music, narration, and stories based on and told by neighborhood residents. 

Promenade: Baltimore celebrates and explores all that is Baltimore: highlighting its complexity, struggles, treasures, and, ultimately, its undeniable beauty.

So get on the bus, because you don’t want to miss the show as it passes though Bolton Hill this June.

Performances will be held June 2–June 25, Thursdays and Fridays at 6:30 pm and Saturdays and Sundays at 2:00 pm and 6:30 pm. Purchase tickets and find more information online. For best selection and best price, book early.