Howard County Arts Groups And Facilities

Howard Culture

March 19, 2006

Arts center

Howard County Center for the Arts -- 8510 High Ridge Road, Ellicott City. Information: 410-313-2787, Howard County Center for the Arts is home to 14 visual artists in residence, a 114-seat black-box theater, meeting space for affiliated arts organizations and space for resident art groups in the 30,000-square-foot facility.

HCCA offers year-round classes in the visual, performing and literary arts for all ages.

It is home to the Columbia Orchestra and provides weekly rehearsal space for the Howard County Regional Youth Orchestra.

HCCA is home of the Fabulous 50+ Players, a musical theater program open to anyone 50 or older that puts on at least six productions a year.

It also houses the No Boundaries Musical Theatre Company, a partnership between the Howard County Arts Council and Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks. The organization, for young adults with disabilities, rehearses in the theater and holds a performance in the spring.

The center showcases about 500 artists each year in its galleries in six to 12 exhibits of local, regional, national and sometimes international artists. Shows range from single-artist exhibits to partnerships with the Howard County Department of Education, which juries a show of student work from kindergarten through 12th grade.


Howard County Poetry and Literature Society (HoCoPoLitSo) -- ILB 239, 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia. Information: 410-772-4568, For more than 30 years, the Howard County Poetry and Literature Society has offered the community the opportunity to hear the works of distinguished poets and writers.

With its snappy acronym - HoCoPoLitSo - and commitment to poetry and prose, the nonprofit arts organization presents readings and other literary events to the public, bringing in three to four writers and poets each year.

Founded in 1974, HoCoPoLitSo has been called "a model for community literature programs" by the National Endowment for the Arts and is frequently noted for excellence by the Maryland State Arts Council.

Artists who have visited include Isaac Bashevis Singer, Allen Ginsberg, Saul Bellow, Stanley Kunitz, Seamus Heaney, Michael Dirda, Lucille Clifton, Edna O'Brien, Edward Albee, Taylor Branch, Germaine Bree, Frank Conroy, Garrison Keillor, W.S. Merwin, Mark Strand, Swedish poet Thomas Transtromer and Iranian poet and author Reza Baraheni.

HoCoPoLitSo also sponsors a poet-in-residence at 11 Howard County public schools and produces The Writing Life, a local cable television series from Howard Community College's HCCTV.

Arts grants

The Columbia Foundation -- 10227 Wincopin Circle, Suite G15, Columbia. Information: 410-730-7840, or www.columbia

Founded in 1969 by James W. Rouse, the Columbia Foundation is a community organization that supports new and existing services and programs, including human services, educational programs, community affairs and nonprofit arts and cultural organizations.

Grants are awarded in two cycles. In the fall, operating grants are allocated for such expenses as rent and telephone service. Project funding is set in the spring.

Howard County Arts Council -- 8510 High Ridge Road, Ellicott City. Information: 410-313-2787; or

The council was established in 1981 by grass-roots activists and local artists to foster the arts and arts organizations.

The council was designated as the fiscal agent for county government funds for the arts in 1984. It manages four grant programs and in fiscal year 2006, it gave more than $320,000 in matching grants to 35 arts and cultural organizations.

The deadline to receive funding in 2007 for the community arts development grant program is May 3, and the deadline for the Artists-in-Education program, which gives money to local PTAs to bring artists to schools, is June 7.

Visual arts

Artists' Gallery -- 10227 Wincopin Circle, Columbia. Information: 410-740-8249.

Artists' Gallery is a cooperative that showcases the work of its members. Instead of open monthly shows, artists are chosen by a jury and become members. They are allowed to bring in one to two pieces each month that are guaranteed to be displayed. Typically, one or two members are featured each month, with works from the other members also on display. Sometimes an invited guest is featured.

The show changes every month with a reception to launch the exhibit. Because the members run the gallery, they take turns staffing the facility. Most member artists live in Columbia, but they come from as far away as Anne Arundel County. Their works include paintings, photographs, fire-brushed and embossed copper, watercolors, acrylics, oils and pastels, stained glass and painted furniture.

Slayton House Gallery -- Wilde Lake Village Green, Columbia. Information: 410-730-3987.

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