June 13, 2012
Happy Sailabration! In commemoration of the Bicentennial of the War of 1812 and the writing of the Star-Spangled Banner, the city of Baltimore is having a party.
A really big party.
A 6-day celebration, to be exact, that starts today and will take place with 40 seafaring ships at the Inner Harbor, Fells Point and Fort McHenry.
But don’t worry when you see them, we’re not being invaded! 18 tall ships, 10 U.S. naval vessels, and ships from Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Ecuador, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Norway and the United Kingdom will be on hand to pay respect to the events that happened here 200 years ago.
“Sailabration is a salute to our sailors and marines who fought so gallantly, and the men & women who are keeping our seas safe for the past 230 years,” said Rear Admiral Mosel at the event press conference.
These ships will be open for tours to the general public, and you can talk to the sailors and learn about their cultures.
You can also step back in time and talk with War of 1812 actors in period costume for a glimpse of what life was like back then.
Old meets new at the Inner Harbor
On June 16 and 17th, the Blue Angels stunt pilots will make an appearance in what is being called the First Airshow in Baltimore’s History. A group of Navy parachuters will jump into Camden Yards right before the Orioles game, and at the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, there will be the world-premiere performance of “Overture for 2012,” composed by Philip Glass.
Our friends at The Baltimore National Heritage Area are sponsoring a Bicentennial Passport program during the event. You can collect stamps at the visiting ships, 1812 sites and attractions around the city. It’s a great memento of the Sailabration, and it’s free! The passports will be available at the Sailabration villages at the Inner Harbor, Fell’s Point and Martin State Airport. Visit www.facebook.com/baltimoreheritagearea for all the details.
“The eyes of the world will be on Baltimore,” said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. And she’s right – several hundred thousand people are expected to attend the festivities! You can click here for all of the Sailabration event details.
And if you want to know what’s going on right here on Charles Street…
How We’re Celebrating Sailabration!
At The Prime Rib, stop by anytime during Sailabration week and mention the “Sailabration Promotion” to the maitre d’. You’ll receive a glass of their “Featured Wine and an order of Potato Skins” for free! Patriotism never tasted so good. The Prime Rib is located at 1101 N. Calvert Street. Phone 410-539-1804. www.theprimerib.com/
According to The Beef Brothers, there’s another festival that needs celebrating this week: ginger ale-abration. Purchase any one of their delicious deli sandwiches or hot dogs, and enjoy a Free ginger ale! I’ll raise my glass to that. The Beef Brothers is located in the Eats Food Court at 222 N. Charles Street and open Monday-Friday for breakfast and lunch. http://www.thebeefbrothers.com/
And finally, our friends at PMS Parking invite you to park in one of their spotless garages and hitch a Circulator ride to the Sailabration festivities. Weekend and evening rates at their St. Paul Garage are just $5! The Franklin St. Garage is just $4! You won’t find a better deal than that. The Franklin Street Garage is located right next to the Pope Prayer Garden and the St. Paul Garage is located at 1012 N. Saint Paul St. http://www.pmsparking.com/
An Exhibit ‘By the People’ and ‘For the People’
Running Jaguar, by Antoine-Louis Barye, mid-nineteenth century, watercolor
Picked by the people
Now this is really cool – The Walters Art Museum is opening an exhibit that’s curated by you, the viewer!
The exhibit is called Public Property and it truly lives up to museum founder’s Henry Walters’ mission: to create a core collection “for the benefit of the public.”
Last December, exhibit curators asked museum-goers and art lovers to decide what should be the title and theme of this exhibit. The public chose four themes:
From those themes, they voted and selected “Creatures” as the winner.
Then the Walters staff went on a safari through their collections, searching through thousands of pieces for objects and artworks with creatures. They asked the public to pick out which pieces they’d like to see on display. More than 53,000 votes were cast!
Part of the selection process utilized a technology developed by Princeton University, called photocracy. It’s short for “photo” and “democracy.”
|Dylan Kinnett demonstrating the photocracy machine|
Participants were shown a ‘rapid-fire’ assortment of creature objects, arranged two at a time on screen. They simply picked which object they prefer. This sort of selection process appeals to a person’s innate senses; there were other selection methods, such as analytical, social and emotional methods, that were employed as well.
People could vote through Social Media channels like Facebook, at the museum’s website and in person. Even the exhibit’s title, “Public Property,” came from a viewer submission.
“We asked people to think about grouping patterns; how to form a collection,” said co-curator Dylan Kinnett, “There were word association games people could play in the gallery, or works they could tag online.”
The main goal of the exhibit is to show people that Art is not passive. “We value participation,” added co-curator Emily Blumenthal. “Your presence in the exhibit space has a role in the exhibition. It’s very interactive.”
You’re part of the exhibit!
In fact, while you’re at the exhibit, you can vote on your favorite pieces and the ‘top slots’ on the photocracy board will actually change!
You can also play games that help you understand what kind of tools you use to form your own decisions, and interact with other museum visitors on a community board.
“At a time of increasing concern about equity and democracy within society, from the Occupy Wall Street movement to the Arab Spring, I’ve been thinking more about the role of museums not only to act as expert but also to encourage civic participation in our exhibition process,” said Walters Director Gary Vikan.
What a fantastic way to do it. Public Property runs from Sunday, June 17, through Sunday, August 19. The opening event, a free, interactive game show, will be on Saturday June 23 at 7:30pm. You’ve got to check it out.
The Walters Art Museum is located at 600 N. Charles Street. It’s open Wednesday-Sunday from 10 am-5 pm. Call 410-547-9000 for more information or visit thewalters.org/
Fun Things Happening the Rest of This Week
Did I mention Sailabration is going on all weekend long? :p
But in case you’re looking for something additional to do…
On Thursday, June 14, at 2pm: celebrate Flag Day at The Flag House! Threads from the original Star-Spangled Banner Flag that flew above Fort McHenry in the War of 1812 will be sewn into a special patch and attached to the Maryland patch of The National 9/11 Flag – thereby completing the historic restoration of this national treasure and forever connecting the original and modern day versions of the Star-Spangled Banner. 844 E. Pratt Street. Call 410-837-1793 for details. http://www.flaghouse.org/index.php/flag/info/calendar/
Also on Thursday, from 5:30-7:30pm – join Mick O’Sheas as they host a beer garden along with Downtown Partnership in Preston Gardens! There will be several kinds of ice cold beer on hand with tasty appetizer treats, live music and plenty of outdoor seating. At the intersection of Saratoga & St. Paul streets. Call 410-244-1030 or visit their website for more details.
On Friday, June 15th at 8pm: enjoy the smooth sounds of the jazz trumpet Nick Sarbanes Quintet at An Die Musik! 18-year old Baltimore native, Nico Sarbanes is currently enrolled in the Schulich School of Music at McGill University in Montreal, where he is a Jazz Trumpet Performance major. In his senior year he was one of five trumpeters selected to participate in the All-Eastern Honors Jazz Ensemble, a group representing more than eleven states in the northeastern U.S. In addition to his experience on the horn, Nico is a talented jazz vocalist, performing standards out of the Great American Songbook around the Baltimore/DC area. Tickets $10. Call 410-385-2638 to order by phone or visit their website. An Die Musik is located at 409 N. Charles Street.
On Sunday, June 17th from 2-5pm: make a Caterpillar Stitch bracelet at Beadazzled! Would you like something fun, easy, and unusual to create with your seed beads? Are you tired of conventional jewelry techniques? It’s time to spice up your creativity with the caterpillar stitch. In this class, you will create a caterpillar stitch bracelet in your choice of two colors. The instructor will teach the stitch in detail, explain how to hide knots, emphasize durability when finishing the bracelet, and provide samples of bracelets, necklaces, and anklets using the caterpillar stitch or variations of the caterpillar stitch. Once you have learned to make a caterpillar stitch bracelet, the possibilities are endless. $35. Call 410-837-2323 to register or visit their website. Beadazzled is located at 501 N. Charles Street.
“We loved with a love that was more than love,” Edgar Allan Poe once wrote.
Well, there’s only one monument to our beloved literary son in Baltimore, and it’s in front of the old UB Law Center. Congrats to everyone who got that right.
And thanks to our dear friend Marie for sending that question in – all the way from California!
This week, all eyes are on Fort McHenry. In fact, I’m wondering – just what geometric form is our lovely Fort shaped in?
Email me your answer, and you, too, could win a prize.
Until next week,
Executive Director, The Historic Charles Street Association
The Historic Charles Street Association (HCSA) is a non-profit organization, 501 (c)(3),whose mission is to support and promote the businesses, cultural attractions, entertainment venues, restaurants and retail establishments along the Charles Street corridor. HCSA serves as a problem solving and information resource for its members, as well as provides a forum for networking, communication and collaboration.