Member Sponsored Briefing: Maryland State Arts Council's Folk and Traditional Arts Organizations

Member Sponsored Briefing: Maryland State Arts Council's Folk and Traditional Arts Organizations

Monday, March 16, 2020, 2:00 - 4:00 PM

Join the Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC) for a member-sponsored briefing to learn from, and build relationships with, three Folk & Traditional Arts Organizations in Maryland selected from an RFP process by MSAC in November. These organizations have budgets under $50,000 and are looking to build their capacity, audience, and reach in their geographic area of service. Attendance will be limited to 6 funder attendees to provide the space and time to build strong partnerships with these smaller organizations while learning about the successes, challenges, and needs of bolstering their funding portfolio.

Funders who attend this will provide one-on-one consultation to the attending arts organizations and help provide them information about funding opportunities suited to their traditional arts activities and a clear next step on how to apply for funding from philanthropic organizations. For information on these organizations, read below.

This program is for Maryland Philanthropy Network members and invited guests only. 


Arch Social Community Network

The vision of the Arch Social Community Network (ASCN) desires to become a Cultural Hub within the neighborhoods of West Baltimore and beyond while building on the history and legacy of the Historic Arch Social Club. The Mission is to revitalize the neighborhoods of Old West Baltimore through cultural engagement, economic cultivation, and youth development by and through the integrations of the Arts. The ASCN values the African American Culture and the landscape of West Baltimore. The Historic Arch Social Club, a 106-year-old organization and for 106 years has worked and practiced to preserve the history and culture of African Americans through live entertainment, dance, and intellectual dialogue.

A networking event such as this can support ASCN in carrying out its mission, vision, and values. The ASCN can benefit from additional assistance to continue our current programming, ideally, ASCN would like to grow the programming and move towards becoming a Cultural Hub in West Baltimore.

Cultura Plenera

Cultura Plenera is a 501c3 non-profit organization that since 2012 has been dedicated to community building in Maryland, Washington D.C., and Virginia through the Puerto Rican cultural expressions of Bomba and Plena, two Puerto Rican musical genres from centuries ago, have heavy African influences, express the sentiments of Puerto Ricans and their culture and are central to life in Puerto Rican communities. Cultura Plenera is also home to Los Hijo e’ Plena, a Bomba and Plena performance ensemble that offers educational and musical programming intended to nurture community residents with both small and informal performances, and main stage productions. Our mission has been to strengthen our communities by promoting awareness of Puerto Rico’s contribution to the universal musical tapestry through quality educational presentations and authentic Bomba and Plena performances.

Cultura Plenera has been self-funded their efforts with the funds that we generate from Los Hijo 'e Plena performances and earned revenue from sales of CDs, T-shirts, etc. during the events that we plan for the community.  Most of the events are either free of charge or have a low cost to ensure that they are accessible to all/most.  This past year the organization requested and got several grants that have helped support our mission.  Some of the challenges that the organization encounters are that being a small organization our budget has to be very carefully crafted, thus, when awarded a grant and then the funds do not reach us for months after the expected/promised date, this creates great financial stress on the organization.  Cultural Plenera really believes in our mission and that what the organization is creating for the community is of great value, thus with the opportunity to share it with funders they will understand and would want to be involved in this amazing journey.

The Little Italy Madonnari Festival

The Little Italy Madonnari Festival is a yearly event held in Little Italy in Baltimore, MD. The festival and organization support and promote the ancient tradition of Madonnari. Madonnari artists create spectacular chalk drawings on the pavement made with soft pastels, pigments, and tempera paints. These beautiful works of art are ephemeral and will only last days until the coming rains wash them away. The Little Italy Madonnari Festival works with Master Madonnari from all over the world to create the festival and hold numerous workshops for novices and experts. The festival includes lectures on the history of the Madonnari, slide shows, and hands-on experience in creating 3D chalk drawings, magic, theater, and a children’s Madonnari Chalk Center. 

The Little Italy Madonnari Festival would like to speak with funders about the history of the tradition in the world and Maryland and discuss how the organization plans and grows this art form throughout the state of Maryland and incorporates other art forms such as Opera, Theater, Music and more.

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