Eubie Blake National Jazz Institute and Cultural Center

Behind the Scenes

December 13, 1998|By Karin Remesch

Mission: To provide instruction in the visual and performing arts, including dance, voice, piano, theater, and arts and crafts; to provide space for local and traveling exhibits that are of interest to the community; to serve as the home of the Eubie Blake Museum - a repository of memorabilia of the ragtime and musical theater composer and other jazz greats born in Baltimore, including Billie Holiday, Cab Calloway, Chick Webb and Avon Long; and to preserve and perpetuate jazz as an unique American art form.

Latest accomplishments: The acquisition of a four-story, 21,000-square-foot building on Antique Row at 847 N. Howard St. to replace the center's headquarters on North Charles Street, which were severely damaged by fire several years ago. The center expects to relocate to the new facility from its temporary home in the Brokerage next spring. Since Nov. 1, it has displayed "The Living Jewels of Africa," a mixed-media exhibition of paintings by Peggy Seeny Caranda. To create her work, the artist used ancient African sand-painting techniques in combination with modern acrylic and applique.

On the horizon: Open-mike poetry readings take place from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. the last Sunday of each month in the center's gallery. The annual Kwanzaa celebration is scheduled from 3 pTC p.m. to 7 p.m. Dec. 31 in the Brokerage, 34 Market Place. Festivities include dancers, storytellers, musicians, food, vendors and a Kwanzaa ceremony. Jan. 3 through Jan. 30, there will be an exhibition of photographs on black music by Jah Hendrix. And at 3:30 p.m. on Feb. 14, there will be an Intergenerational Jazz Lovefest, featuring drummer Max Roach, at Coppin State College.

About the center: Membership: 50 and growing during a current membershipdrive. Attendance: 10,000 annually. Operating budget: $300,000.

Where and when: 34 Market Place, Suite 323. 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday, Thursday-Friday, and noon to 5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. Call 410-625-3113.

Camay Calloway Murphy, board president: "We are re-establishing ourselves as a major attraction in the city that not only keeps musical culture alive, but also serves as an educational training facility in the arts. Our aim is ... to provide creative activity in after-school programs for students who otherwise might not have a chance to study the arts. ... We consider ourselves an African-American type of venue, servicing the African-American community as well as the greater Baltimore area."

Members of the board

Delores Baden

Rebecca Brown

Arthur Bugg

Dr. Calvin Burnett

Joan Cohen

James Crockett

Elva Edwards

Tony Fulton

Frances Lucas

Richard Micherdzinski

Janette Mitchell

Mr. and Mrs. James Meyers

Kenneth Montague

Ronald Owens

Stephanie C. Rawlings

William Russ

Jeffrey Sands

Carl Stokes

Otis Warren

Pub date 12/13/98

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