Abuzz with opener preparations

Goal: The Chesapeake Center for the Creative Arts is focused on early next year

April 06, 2000|By Mary Johnson | Mary Johnson,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Judging by the amount of activity going on at Chesapeake Center for the Creative Arts, you might think the grand opening was next month rather than the beginning of next year.

The center office in the 7400 block of Baltimore-Annapolis Blvd. in Glen Burnie reflects multilevel planning for a wide range of activities. Volunteer Charlene Servey of Linthicum keeps things moving, tracking dates for a variety of activities on giant calendars that nearly cover two walls.

The calendars reflect the planning for fund raising, community outreach, cooperative ventures, and large and small performing arts activities to benefit the center and keep its name alive during the final phase of construction.

This week, the center continued its outreach program in the schools by holding film and audition seminars conducted by Actors Company Theatre members Gary Wheeler and John Strawbridge at North County High School. These seminars are made possible through a Cultural Arts Foundation grant to the center.

Sunday is the rescheduled date of the snowed-out January film, "American Hollow," at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, 801 Chase St. in Annapolis. Chesapeake Center obtained Rory Kennedy's award-winning documentary film and asked Maryland Hall to hold the showing.

The 90-minute film portrays the Bowlings of Kentucky, a clan struggling to maintain traditions in a rapidly changing world. At the showing at 3: 15 p.m. Saturday, first lady Frances Hughes Glendening will introduce Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, who will introduce her youngest sister -- filmmaker Kennedy.

Fund raising continues to help attain the goal of making the center 80 percent self-supporting. Four Actors Company Theatre performances of "Love Letters," directed by John Strawbridge with actors Gary Wheeler and Susan Allenback, have raised money at Granny's Cafe in Pasadena.

Two more performances of "Love Letters" are scheduled for 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. May 20 at the Woman's Club of Linthicum. Tickets are $22 with all proceeds going to Chesapeake Center.

Tickets: 410-859-4433.

The membership drive continues. About 400 people have joined as charter members.

In addition to overseeing aspects of the construction of an 850-seat theater in Brooklyn Park, Acting Executive Director Wayne L. Shipley conducts at least one tour each week for performing groups and dignitaries. He also is recruiting talent for Baltimore-Washington International Airport's 50th anniversary celebration May 2.

The BWI event will follow Chesapeake Center's "Celebration Two" scheduled April 29 at Glen Burnie High School.

Local performing groups often inquire about becoming part of Chesapeake Center for the Creative Arts. Plans include featuring all-resident groups at a weeklong opening celebration set for mid-January.

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