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Poetry in Baltimore, Spring 2018

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Poetry Events in Baltimore This Semester

*for bios, below
3/4 Artivism Day
5pm, Impact Hub
3/8 ART Rising open mic, with featured performer TBA (Brought by Slammageddon Baltimore)
7:30pm, GLCCB, $5
3/29 Jenny Johnson* and francine j. Harris*
7pm, Batza Room in the Athenaeum, Goucher College
4/4 ART Rising open mic, with featured performer TBA (Brought by Slammageddon Baltimore)
7:30pm, GLCCB, $5
4/10 Terrance Hayes*
6pm, Mudd 26, Johns Hopkins University
4/11 Rigoberto Gonzales
5pm, Skylight Room in the Commons, UMBC
4/12 ART Rising open mic, with featured performer TBA (Brought by Slammageddon Baltimore)
7:30pm, GLCCB, $5
4/12 Black Ladies Brunch Collective*
7pm, Batza Room in the Athenaeum, Goucher College
4/19-21 DewMore Baltimore Youth Poetry Festival
4/21 Rudy Francisco,* featured performance
5/10 ART Rising open mic, with featured performer TBA (Brought by Slammageddon Baltimore)
7:30pm, GLCCB, $5

Chris August is a teacher and writer based out of Baltimore. He travels the world performing his work and has authored the collection Loving Instruments (Sargent Press, 2013). His poetry has been featured in Hyperlexia and the anthology From Page to Stage and Back Again. For over ten years, Chris August worked as a special educator in and around Baltimore city. During this time, he spent all of his free moments writing poetry and traveling the country to perform it. Over that time, he became involved in the national slam poetry community, which challenges writers to take their poetic works to the stage, competing with performance-ready versions of their best work. He has represented Baltimore, Washington, DC and Philadelphia at the National Poetry Slam and the Individual World Poetry slam, which he was lucky enough to win in 2011, after which he represented the United States at the Poetry World Cup in Paris, France.

Airea D. Matthews​’s first collection of poems, Simulacra, recipient of the 2016 Yale Series of Younger Poets Award, has received praise from outlets including The New Yorker and The Washington Post. Her work has appeared in The Rumpus, Best American Poets 2015, American Poet, and elsewhere. She received the 2016 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award and was awarded the Louis Untermeyer Scholarship in 2016 from Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. Ms. Matthews is working on her second poetry collection, under/class, which explores poverty. She is an assistant professor at Bryn Mawr College.

Somali-born poet and essayist Ladan Osman​ is the author of The Kitchen-Dweller’s Testimony, winner of
the Sillerman First Book Prize, and the chapbook Ordinary Heaven. Her next collection Exiles of Eden, a
work of poetry, photos, and experimental text, is forthcoming in 2019. Osman’s writing is a lyric and
exegetic response to problems of race, gender, displacement, and colonialism. Throughout her writing,
Osman is concerned with the question of testimony. Whose testimony is valid? Whose testimony is worth recording? Osman has received fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center, Cave Canem, and Luminarts Foundation, Michener Center for Writers Fellowship, among numerous other nominations. Osman’s writing and photographs have appeared in Columbia Poetry Review, Prairie Schooner, Roar, Rumpus, Transition, and Washington Square Review. She is a contributing culture editor for The Blueshift Journal. Osman currently lives in Brooklyn.

Jenny Johnson​ is the author of In Full Velvet, published by Sarabande Books in 2017. Her honors include a 2015 Whiting Award and a 2016-17 Hodder Fellowship at Princeton University. She has also received awards and scholarships from the Blue Mountain Center, Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, Virginia
Center for the Creative Arts, and Yaddo. Her poems have appeared in The New York Times, New England
Review, Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics, and elsewhere. After earning a
BA/MT in English Education from the University of Virginia, she taught public school for several years in
San Francisco, and she spent ten summers on the staff of the UVA Young Writer’s Workshop. She earned
an MFA in Poetry from Warren Wilson College. She is a Contributing Editor at Waxwing Literary Journal. She teaches at the University of Pittsburgh and at the Rainier Writing Workshop, Pacific Lutheran University’s low-residency MFA program.

francine j. harris​ is originally from Detroit, Michigan, where she grew up in one of many neighborhoods
operating in economic limbo in the aftermath of the motor industry collapse. After high school, harris moved to Arizona and attended several community colleges part-time before earning scholarship to attend Arizona State University, where she earned a BA in English. harris spent the next several years working with grassroots organizing projects for community radio, social justice, and queer performing arts, while facilitating poetry workshops for young people and practicing visual art. harris moved back to Detroit in 2002. In 2011, she earned an MFA in Poetry from University of Michigan, where she was awarded a Zell Fellowship. harris is the author of allegiance (2012), a finalist for both the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and the PEN Open Book Award; and play dead (2016). Her poetry has appeared in many journals, including McSweeney’s, Ploughshares, Poetry, Meridian, Indiana Review, Callaloo, and Boston Review. A 2008 Cave Canem fellow, she has also won the 2014 Boston Review Annual Poetry Contest and was awarded a 2015 NEA fellowship. harris has taught creative writing at University of Michigan and Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, and she is currently writer in residence at Washington University in St. Louis.

Terrance Hayes​ is the author of Lighthead (Penguin 2010), winner of the 2010 National Book Award and finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. His other books are Wind In a Box (Penguin 2006), Hip Logic (Penguin 2002), and Muscular Music (Tia Chucha Press, 1999). His honors include a Whiting Writers Award, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a United States Artists Zell Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a MacArthur Fellowship. How To Be Drawn (Penguin 2015), his most recent collection of poems, was a finalist for the 2015 National Book Award, the 2016 National Book Critics Circle Award, and received the 2016 NAACP Image Award for Poetry. He is the current poetry editor at New York Times Magazine and has two forthcoming manuscripts: American Sonnets for My Past And Future Assassin (Penguin, 2018), and To Float In The Space Between: Drawings and Essays in Conversation with Etheridge Knight (Wave, 2018).

Rigoberto González​ is the author of 17 books of poetry and prose, most recently Unpeopled Eden, winner of the Lambda Literary Award and the Lenore Marshall Prize from the Academy of American Poets. Recipient of the Guggenheim, NEA, NYFA, and USA Rolón fellowships, he is currently professor of creative writing at the MFA program at Rutgers-Newark and on the board of trustees of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP). His book of criticism Pivotal Voices, Era of Transition: Toward a 21st Century Poetics is forthcoming from the University of Michigan Press Poets on Poetry Series.

Black Ladies Brunch Collective​:
Katy Richey​’s work has appeared in Rattle, Cincinnati Review, RHINO, The Offing and other journals. She
received an honorable mention for the Cave Canem Poetry Prize and was a finalist for Tupelo Press Snowbound Chapbook Poetry Award. She is a Cave Canem fellow and hosts the Sunday Kind of Love reading series open mic at Busboys and Poets in Washington D.C. Tafisha A. Edwards​ ​is the author of THE BLOODLET, winner of Phantom Books’ 2016 Breitling Chapbook Prize. Her work has appeared in The Offing, PHANTOM, Bodega Magazine, The Atlas Review, The Little Patuxent Review, and other print and online publications. She is a Cave Canem Graduate fellow and a graduate of UMD College Park’s Journalism school. Saida Agostini​ ​is a Cave Canem fellow, and lover of Prince. A queer Afro-Guyanese poet and social worker, Saida’s work has been featured in several publications. Anya Creightney​, a Cave Canem fellow, is originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico with roots in Kingston and Copenhagen. A poet, editor and coordinator, she is a Programs Specialist at the Poetry & Literature Center in the Library of Congress. Teri Ellen Cross Davis​ is a Cave Canem fellow and has received scholarships to attend the Virginia Center for Creative Arts and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. Her first collection HAINT was published in June, 2016 by Gival Press. Poet and journalist celeste doaks​ i​s the author of Cornrows and Cornfields,  (Wrecking Ball Press, UK) March 2015. Cornrows was listed as one of the Ten Best Books of 2015 by Beltway Quarterly Poetry. Her journalism has appeared in the Huffington Post, Village Voice, Time Out New York. Currently, she is the Visiting Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at University of Delaware.

Rudy Francisco’s​ spoken word art is an amalgamation of social critique, introspection, honesty and humor, using personal narratives to discuss the politics of race, class, gender and religion while simultaneously pinpointing and reinforcing the interconnected nature of human existence. He has conducted guest lectures and performances at countless colleges and universities across the nation. Francisco has shared stages with prominent artists such as Gladys Knight, Jordin Sparks, Musiq Soul Child, and Jill Scott. He is also the co-host of the largest poetry venue in San Diego, competes in domestic and international poetry slam competitions and had the honor of being nominated for an NAACP Image Award. Ultimately, Rudy’s goal is to continue to assist others in harnessing their creativity while cultivating his own. Rudy Francisco is the 2009 National Underground Poetry Slam Champion, 2010 Individual World Poetry Slam Champion and appeared on TV One’s “Verses and Flow”

A Sweet Treat

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The Scoop on an Ice Cream Stall in Baltimore Where Six Alumae/i and Students Happen to Work

Rae Walker, ‘17, and Hannah Speigelman, ‘15, at the Little Baby’s Ice Cream Stall. Photo Credit: Sophia Hancock

The bustling upscale “food hall” R. House is home to a surprising subset of the Goucher community. Tucked into a corner of the marketplace, Little Baby’s Ice Cream sells handmade, small batch ice cream with unique flavors, like Earl Gray Sriracha. The slim, brightly lit stall also happens to be the workplace of six former and current Goucher students.
Perhaps you’ve seen the ad. Sitting in front of a black backdrop, a person who appears to be made of a thick white substance stares outward, wide-eyed. He reaches up, scoops at the top of his head with a large spoon, brings the spoon to his mouth, and licks it. A faint lullaby plays as a slow voiceover begins his hypnotic monologue by saying, “there’s good reason for my glistening skin.” The camera zooms out. At the end of the clip, a cheerful logo for Little Baby’s Ice Cream appears—a smiling ice cream cone holding a spoon and an ice cream scooper. While perhaps it is not the most immediately appetizing, the popular youtube ad certainly gets your attention.
My knowledge of this ad campaign, however, did not lessen my surprise when Goucher alum Rae Walker (’17) informed me, somewhat offhandedly, that in addition to teaching full-time and getting a Master’s degree in education, he also scooped ice cream at a place called Little Baby’s.
Little Baby’s Ice Cream (LBIC) was founded in Philadelphia in 2011 and has expanded over the years to offer catering services in Southeastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Baltimore, and Washington, DC., with stalls located in D.C. and at Baltimore’s R. House. The founders believed that that ice cream could “bring people together.” Classic. It gets a little weirder, however, in the next part of their mission statement, which states that they see ice cream as “a unique opportunity to subvert people’s expectations,” a goal which they achieve in their ads, flavors, and business model.
“Little Baby’s is known for its weirdness,” said Hannah Spiegelman, ’15, the current manager of the Baltimore branch. Spiegelman worked in ice cream shops during the summers. At Goucher, she studied history, with a minor in art history. After graduating, she was determined to go down a path that involved museum work. However, after working in Special Collections at Goucher, she realized that it wasn’t the right path for right for her. In December 2016, when she saw on Instagram that the Little Baby’s Ice Cream (LBIC) stall at R. House was hiring, she applied. Within a year, she would become the manager herself.
“I realized that food is my greater passion,” said Spiegelman. “When I graduated…I thought that whatever I decided to do now [immediately after graduation] would be my life, but the more I talk to people, I see people who’ve completely changed what it is they’re doing. It’s okay not to know. People say ‘you’ve had four years to figure it out,’ when actually, no, I’ve had four years to become a completely different person and now I need to take time to process it.”

LBIC has kooky initiatives like a Pay It Forward Board through which you might pay for ice cream for a cancer survivor or a single dad, or for someone to do ten push-ups in the shop. Their biggest competitor in the area is The Charmery, probably due to the fact that, in addition to selling small-batch high-quality ice cream, both the Charmery and LBIC cater to eccentric tastes, with flavors like the Charmery’s Old Bay Seasoning and LBIC’s Pizza flavor.
When the photographer and I arrived at Little Baby’s for the interview with Spiegelman, Walker, who was manning the stall, handed us samples of every flavor that they had in stock. Earl Gray Sriracha was unexpectedly delicious and had a nice kick to it. After the interview, we walked away with scoops of Lychee Lemonade, which was very lemony and similar to sorbet, and Chocolate Mint Cookie, which was like eating Girl Scout Thin Mints in ice-cream form. Both were vegan flavors but certainly did not taste “vegan.”
LBIC’s unusual offerings attracted Spiegelman. “I hate boring ice cream flavors,” she said.

During Spiegelman’s time at LBIC, the number of Goucher-affiliated employs has steadily increased. Many of them work at LBIC in addition to having other positions and/or applying for or saving money for graduate school.
For example, Yael Ben Chaim, ‘16, started at LBIC in April 2017, while she had an AmeriCorps position working at the Maryland Farmers Market Association at a nearby location. She appreciated the combination of the office-based AmeriCorps job and the customer-service. Currently she works at MOMs Organic Market and she plans to go to graduate school for social work within the next two years. Yael’s favorite flavor is Plain. “It is simple, sweet and easy to enjoy,” she says. “It also mixes well with any other flavor on the menu!”
Rae works at LBIC at night and on the weekends. During the week, he is a Special Education teacher in a Baltimore public school, and is getting his master’s in education through Teach for America. Rae is also a fan of LBIC’s plain ice cream, but will willingly try any of the more unusual options.
Emily Abramson, ‘18, self-described avid tea drinker, started at LBIC in July 2017. She’s currently at Goucher in her final year for a Masters in Management. She also works part-time as a graduate assistant for the Office of Community-Based Learning (CBL) and is an intern for AARP Maryland’s state office, working to coordinate a statewide food drive in April. Other than all of that, she’s a freelance artist.
Emily’s favorite LBIC flavor would either be “Pumpkin Curry for the sweet/savory combo [and] the currants and cream because it reminds me of picking currants from my backyard when I was a little kid” or the “Cherry Hibiscus because the strong bitter flavor of the hibiscus counters the sweetness of the candied cherries perfectly.”
After she was hired at LBIC, Abramson encouraged Sophie Anger, ‘17, who was still a student and was looking for a weekend job, to apply. Anger started in September, while she was student teaching second grade at Roland Park Elementary/Middle School. Her favorite flavor is Coffee Toffee, because “I just love coffee ice cream, but I also loved our seasonal crushed candy cane, and chocolate ginger.”
Goucher student David Hernandez, ‘18, also works at LBIC. A history major, he is currently working on an archeological dig on campus, called the Epsom Project. His favorite flavors are a tie between Cherry Hibiscus because he’s “never tasted anything like it,” and Vegan Thai Iced Tea, which is made with delicious coconut cream.
This little ice cream stall has turned into a mini-Goucher community outside of Goucher. They work hard together and enthuse about their coworkers’ positivity, passion, and inspiring desires to make positive change in the world.

Rae Walker, ‘17 scoops ice cream at Little Baby’s Ice Cream when he’s not working as a Special Education teacher at Dr Carter G Woodson Elementary Middle School. Credit: Sophia Hancock

Spiegelman’s job as a manager, however, is not without its difficulties.
“R. House oozes that white men built it,” said Spiegelman. At the time that Spiegelman started at the newly-opened Baltimore branch, LBIC was partnered with Blk//Sugar, a bakery owned by Krystal Mack, who was the only woman and only black person working as a manager at R. House.
“I love the people that work here,” said Spiegelman. “It’s just the people upstairs…When I go to meetings with them, I’m the youngest, I’m the only woman…Everyone else is a white male.” Spiegelman laughed, drawing connections between her awareness of her management situation and her experiences at Goucher. “You don’t realize everything you’ve learned until you’re put into a situation, and then you’re like oh, that was very Goucher of me.”
A Goucher education can be taken in many directions. In addition to reflecting on how Goucher had opened her to a certain way of thinking, Spiegelman also emphasized how proud she was of all of her co-workers. “When you hear about alums, you just hear about alums in law firms, but the majority of graduated students are working in food service or something like that…[they are] working five jobs…and it’s all valid and awesome,” said Spiegelman. “There’s a lot of pressure to get salary jobs right out of school, and it would be great to have a salary job right now but there’s nothing wrong with working just because you love it. People should be celebrated for making it in this crazy world.”

In addition to managing Little Baby’s, Spiegelman works part-time in Goucher’s Special Collections. And on the side, she makes her own ice cream, based on historical art, events, and people, etc.! (Follow her on Instagram: @asweethistory). Her favorite LBIC flavor is Maryland BBQ because “it is unexpectedly delicious” and she hopes to go to graduate school for food studies in the fall.

A Little Extra
As part of the interviews, I asked alums to write what they appreciated about their co-workers. They all had many lovely things to say. Emily Abramson’s comments were so sweet and individualized, however, that it was impossible to resist publishing them all.

From Emily, on her co-workers:
Hannah: A sweet boss and always someone that is there for me. Both of us have this unique quality in which it can take one of us upwards of half an hour to tell a story, so there’s never a quiet moment when we’re working together.
Yael: An angel, and one of the sweetest people in the world. She brings out the goofy side in me, and we’ve heard reports from other R House staff that they can sometimes hear us laughing from across the building.
Efehi: I love Efehi for many many reasons, one of which being that she’s the only one that can keep up with me when I’m dancing in the stall.
Rae: Rae and I always manage to make each other laugh so hard we wheeze when we work together.
David: David’s smile always charms the older gay men into giving us lots of tips, which I appreciate. He’s so so sweet, and incredibly understanding.
Sophie: Through thick and thin, Sophie is a dear friend and a great person to work with. We spend slow days at work experimenting with weird flavor combinations and laughing at ridiculous college stories.
Zac: An impeccable fashion sense and such a down to earth dude.

Spiegelman also happily made it clear in her interview that Goucher students who visit Little Baby’s (while she is the manager, at least) will receive a discount.

Events in Baltimore (February 16th-March 2nd)

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February 16

  • 4 Hours of Funk** at The Windup Space
  • BEYONCE VS RIHANNA DANCE PARTY at Ottobar
  • IT’S UNVALENTINE’S DAY! DANCE PARTY* at Metro Gallery
  • Caz Gardiner w/ The Flying Faders, Suburban Hi Fi at Sidebar
  • Shellshag w/ Bigmouth, the Guests, Faunas, Pearl at Joe Squared
  • The Future in the West** at The Crown
  • REACHES//PWM//TarikEvolve//SeanKing** at The Crown
  • LITZ 2 Day Run (Live Album Release): Funk You* at The 8×10
  • Frozen Harbor Music Festival: Day One at Baltimore Soundstage
  • Frozen Harbor Music Festival: Day One at Rams Head Live!
  • Monster Jam: Triple Threat Series at Royal Farms Arena
  • “Pictures at an Exhibition” at Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Center
  • Steve Martin and Martin Short: An Evening You Will Forget For The Rest of Your Life at The Lyric
  • Ladies Night at Grand Central Nightclub
  • “Along with the Gods: the Two Worlds (신과함께-죄와 벌)” at The SNF Parkway

February 17

  • Baltimore Into Comics Issue #17 at The Windup Space
  • STACKED LIKE PANCAKES w/ THE STOLEN, MORE TBA at Ottobar
  • SURF ROCK NIGHT! OTTOBAR’S SHRUNKEN HEAD w/ KILLERS FROM SPACE, THE TSUNAMI EXPERIMENT at Ottobar
  • JOSEPH & THE BEASTS w/ Manners Manners, Santa Librada, DJ Pancakes* at Metro Gallery
  • Rats In The Wall w/ All Torn Up, Pearl, Syringe at Sidebar
  • Elegant Filth: Live Burlesque** at The Crown
  • LITZ 2 Day Run (Live Album Release): Box Era* at The 8×10
  • Frozen Harbor Music Festival: Day Two at Baltimore Soundstage
  • Frozen Harbor Music Festival: Day Two at Rams Head Live!
  • Monster Jam: Triple Threat Series at Royal Farms Arena
  • “Pictures at an Exhibition” at Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Center
  • Charles Revival Series: “Night and the City” at The Charles Theatre

February 18

  • ROAD TO SXSW at Ottobar
  • HONEY RADAR w/ Margins, Homosuperior, Birth (Defects), Henry Owings* at Metro Gallery
  • GLOOP, Jim Shorts, Middle Kid, Too Soon Jokes at New America
  • INTERVALS “THE WAY FORWARD TOUR” w/ JASON RICHARDSON, NICK JOHNSTON, NIGHT VERSES at Baltimore Soundstage
  • Monster Jam: Triple Threat Series at Royal Farms Arena
  • “Pictures at an Exhibition” at Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Center
  • Cinema Sunday at The Charles Theatre

February 19

  • Hortio Dark at The Windup Space
  • Charles Revival Series: “Night and the City” at The Charles Theatre
  • “Chisholm ’72 – Unbought and Unbossed”: President’s Day Screening! At The SNF Parkway

February 20

  • Black Mass w/ Led To The Grave, Narrow Grave at Sidebar
  • SILVERSTEIN & TONIGHT ALIVE w/ BROADSIDE, PICTURESQUE at Baltimore Soundstage
  • STRFKR w/ Reptaliens at Rams Head Live!
  • Louis Malle’s “God’s Country” presented by Colette Shade at The SNF Parkway

February 21

  • Drink and Draw!** at The Windup Space
  • TRONG-PONG: Black Light Table Tennis at The Windup Space
  • I SET MY FRIENDS ON FIRE w/ KISSING CANDICE, AWAKEN I AM, AT THIS POINT, SPERMASAURUS REX at Ottobar
  • YNDI HALDA w/ Staghorn, Time Columns at Metro Gallery
  • Pow Pow Family Band/ $100 Girlfriend/ James and the Giant Peach** at The Crown
  • ELM February Residency: lespecial* at The 8×10

February 22

  • Beat Barrage featuring Ashley Sierra and Ullnevano and MORE! at The Windup Space
  • FULL OF HELL w/ PRISONER, NEOLITHIC, R-COMPLEX at Ottobar
  • DJ DIAMOND DUSTIN SPINS PUNK & METAL!** at Ottobar
  • IAN BROWN MEMORIAL w/ Alms, Cemetery Piss, Pearl* at Metro Gallery
  • No Zodiac w/ Strengthen What Remains, Iron Price, Dahmed., Cancer Priest at Sidebar
  • UFO VOL 11** at The Crown
  • A Night Of Japanese New Wave & Obscure** at The Crown
  • Roots of Creation Grateful Dub Tour ft. Kash’d out, The Elovaers* at The 8×10
  • “Rite of Spring” at Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Center
  • Justin Moore: Hell on a Highway Tour at The Lyric
  • Charles Revival Series: “Get Out” at The Charles Theatre

February 23

  • Surf Harp (Record release) w/ Operator Music Band, Zula, Chiffon, Jacober at The Windup Space
  • TIM BARRY w/ JOSH SMALL, ROGER HARVEY at Ottobar
  • MATT TALLEY (EP RELEASE) w/ Locus Sound, Thunder Club, Flying Jacob, TM Lockemy* at Metro Gallery
  • Street 45’s w/ E. Joseph and the Phantom Heart, 3rd Grade Friends, Subtastics at Sidebar
  • Depth Perception Presents: The Pleasure Tour ft. Exmag + Bass Physics, DeltaNine, Image.Nation* at The 8×10
  • ELI YOUNG BAND w/ MELODIME at Baltimore Soundstage
  • Katt Williams at Royal Farms Arena
  • “Off the Cuff: Rite of Spring” at Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Center
  • Baltimore Craft Show at Baltimore Convention Center
  • “Golden Exits” with director Alex Ross Perry! at The SNF Parkway

February 24

  • LET THERE BE HOUSE! at The Windup Space
  • BLACK MASALA at Ottobar
  • BUTTER::
  • OLD-SCHOOL CHILL HOUSE VIBES W/ DJ DAN G & MORE!** at Ottobar
  • PIANOS BECOME THE TEETH w/ Praise, Unholy Sights* at Metro Gallery
  • Bad Time w/ No Parking at Sidebar
  • June Star with Stars and the Sea w/ Leland Sundries, Saddle of Centaur at Downsquares
  • Night Gruuvs** at The Crown
  • Splintered Sunlight* at The 8×10
  • THE PRINCE EXPERIENCE at Baltimore Soundstage
  • “Off the Cuff: Rite of Spring” at Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Center
  • Charles Revival Series: “Boudu Saved From Drowning” at The Charles Theatre
  • MET Opera: “La Bohème” at The Charles Theatre
  • Atomic Comics Klatch (ACK!) at Atomic Books

February 25

  • Baltimore Record Bazaar Winter Show! at The Windup Space
  • “Expert of Nothing” comedy game show at The Windup Space
  • “MORE LAUGHS” THE ANNUAL BIG FRED BIRTHDAY COMEDY SHOW at Baltimore Soundstage
  • “Rite of Spring” at Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Center
  • Revival Series: “Warner Brothers Cartoon Show” at The Senator

February 26

  • VÉRITÉ w/ Roses And Revolutions, Pale Spring at Metro Gallery
  • Runaway Brother w/ The Neckbeards, Clairvoyant, Pinkwench, 96 Olympics at Sidebar
  • Charles Revival Series: “Boudu Saved From Drowning” at The Charles Theatre

February 27

  • Brews and Board Games** at The Windup Space
  • Gutter Demons w/ Meteor King, Skapparoneday at Sidebar
  • The Beanie Bros Tour 2018* at The Crown
  • Oak House / Drone Theory / Stars and The Sea* at The Crown
  • Atomic Reading Club: Less Than Zero at Atomic Books

February 28

  • TRONG-PONG: Black Light Table Tennis at The Windup Space
  • ADULT. w/ HIDE, Extended Release* at Metro Gallery
  • ELM February Residency: DJ Williams Shots Fired w/ All Star Cast* at The 8×10
  • Revival Series: “Once Upon A Time In America (Extended Director’s Cut)” at The Senator
  • Gunky’s Basement Presents: “American Psycho” on 35mm! At The SNF Parkway

March 1

  • Foxhole Atheists at Sidebar
  • MONDO BALTIMORE: Trash Flicks and Cult Epics!
  • Ed Schrader’s Music Beat w/ Wume, Smoke Bellow* at Metro Gallery
  • CHEFS: The Sizzling Kitchen Showdown
  • Revival Series: “Belladonna of Sadness” at The Charles Theatre

March 2

  • Tomason (record release) w/ Sea Lilies (record release), Flying Faders, Yanni II at The Windup Space
  • Pressing Strings w/ Skribe* at Metro Gallery
  • Lost in Society w/ Rooney’s Show, The Stifled, Old Bay Thrashers at Sidebar
  • SOOHAN w/ Anna Morgan – Christian Dope at The 8×10
  • “KÉKSZAKÁLLÚ” at The SNF Parkway
  • “Western” at The SNF Parkway

The Shape of Water (2017): A Review

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Sally Hawkins and Doug Jones in The Shape of Water. Photo Credit: The Atlantic

Yes, I am aware that this is a review of a movie that is over a month old. Yes, I am aware that I have missed the zeitgeist of this movie by many weeks. And yes, I am aware that the initial hype that built through the limited release schedule over the course of December has long passed, having culminated in a wide theatrical release in early January. However, I was unable to see the film until recently and, considering how long it has been since it came out, I’ve decided to forgo a regular review in favor of a conversation about the craft of this movie and the commentaries it provides through its set design and character choices.
The Shape of Water, Guillermo Del Toro’s newest film, is nothing short of a modern monster masterpiece. A spiritual sequel to Creature from the Black Lagoon, the film that directly inspired it, the movie takes all the tropes of a classic monster film and filters them for a modern audience. However, this is not a monster movie at heart. There is nothing horrific about this film, save for the small wounds that powerful humans inflict upon those who lack that power. There is no dark reflection of our fears contained within the monster. There is no cautionary tale about the dangers of science or nuclear war. There are only lonely people, trying to find comfort in a world that hates them for the things it perceives they lack. But perhaps that is the horror of the film.
Regardless, there is a theme to the film that is found in these thoughts: the theme of completion. The protagonist, Elisa, feels incomplete; she has been told all her life that because she cannot speak, there is something wrong with her. Her neighbor, and one of her only two friends, Giles, desires love but cannot have it – no man will give it to him in an age of repression. They both require companionship, and while they have each other, it is an incomplete match. They are two halves of a whole but, as the set design reflects, there is always a wall between them.
The Shape of Water also works within its setting to create a world that asks us to examine our fascination with the idealized time that was the ‘50s. Creature from the Black Lagoon came out in 1954, and the aesthetic of this film is a direct commentary on the setting of the original as well as the constructed version of the 50s we have bought into ever since. Our villain, Colonel Strickland, played by Michael Shannon, lives in a perfect 50s home with a perfect 50s wife and two perfect 50s children. It even has the pop art clock that looks like the sun exploding and bright, garish orange walls. He is representative of all the horrible things that mid-20th century (and present day) American cinema has swept under the rug – sexual harassment, toxic masculinity, racism, ableism, sexism, etc. The film does not shy away from the harsh realities of the past but also does not revel in them.
We focus instead on the characters who would have been marginalized and trivialized in Creature from the Black Lagoon instead of the traditional sci-fi “hero” embodied by Strickland. Yes, Strickland is more villainous than traditional Hollywood monster movie heroes, but he reflects the worst aspects of those “heroes.” He is also couched in the “best” of the ‘50s, juxtaposing that which the American consciousness has deemed as “a simpler, better time” with the horrors those pastels mask.
In contrast to Strickland’s “beautiful past” aesthetic, the rest of the film is steeped in dark, art deco architecture and design. Yet, these are the moments and locations that provide the most warmth and humanity. In the dark corners and hidden locations, we find ourselves. We find our humanity; we find out where we stand. These locations are, however, still dirty, still imperfect. And there is no better example of this reflection than in Giles’ obsession with old Hollywood musicals. He needs them to bring meaning to his life, to bring companionship and to distract him from the world he lives in. He cannot handle the reality of the civil rights rallies, preferring to live in a world that is blissfully unaware of the socials ostracization he faces as a gay man. He wants to live within the perfect fabrication he creates with each Jell-O ad he draws. He is a fallible character, willfully complicit in a system that marginalizes others as well as himself because he does not want to see the harshness of the world. He wants, much like we often do, to see the world as an old Hollywood musical: “perfect,” simple, uncomplicated, and filled with problems that have simple solutions.
At its core, The Shape of Water is a romantic drama that just so happens to feature an amphibious man as the love interest. It is a beautifully constructed movie, unapologetic in its inspirations and one of the most fulfilling films I have seen in a long time. If you can, see this film in theaters. It has much to love and much love to give.

December Events

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KEY: 

*​ ​18+ 

**​ ​21+

December 8

  • Comedy Night at Goucher College
  • Emo Night Baltimore at Ottobar
  • Thrushes w/ Rouge Conjurer, Thee Lexington Arrows* at Metro Gallery
  • Illenium w/ Said the Sky, Dabin at Rams Head Live
  • 808: The Sadboi Series (vol. 7)** at The Crown
  • Cecil Frena + Faith Healer w/ Raindeer, Wipeout* at The Crown
  • Australia’s Thunder From Down Under* at Baltimore Soundstage
  • Jazz is PHSH* at The 8×10
  • Blacksage w/ Humanmania, Serquet, Mala Fides at Sidebar
  • Anime Night: Sailor Moon S The Movie: Hearts in Ice at The Charles Theatre

December 9

  • Baltimore Ballet’s 17th Anniversary “The Nutcracker” at Goucher College
  • The Second Saturday S#!t Show – Free Stand-up Comedy* at Ottobar
  • Dehd w/ Post Pink, Baklavaa, Joe Biden* at Joe Squared
  • The CTRL Tour: SZA w/ Smino, Ravyn Lenae at Rams Head Live
  • Version with Trillnatured ft. DK The Punisher* at The Crown
  • The BPM Experience: The Baltimore Edition at The Windup Space
  • Graffiti Warehouse Fantasy Meet n’ Greet Party! At Graffiti Warehouse
  • 1st Annual Mind on Fire Snowball ft. DJ Dan Deacon, DJ Dirty Face at EMP Collective
  • 2018 Harlem Globetrotters World Tour at Royal Farms Arena
  • Dollar Days at Maryland Science Center

December 10

  • Digitour w/ Nathan Triska, Simon Britton + more TBA at Ottobar
  • Miracle on 34th Street at W 34th St, Baltimore, MD 21211
  • The Dear Hunter w/ The Family Crest, Vava at Baltimore Soundstage
  • TSOL, the Goons, Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb at Sidebar
  • Fantasia at The Lyric
  • Revival Series: Babe at The Senator Theatre
  • Mega Flea Market at Maryland State Fairgrounds
  • Dollar Days at Maryland Science Center

December 11

  • Silent of Fifth Street w/ Filth, The Machinist, Kriminals, Louder Than Quiet, Voids at Ottobar
  • Sports w/ Softglas, The Slim Jimmies at Metro Gallery
  • Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School: Baltimore at The Windup Space
  • Converge w/ Pile, Give at Baltimore Soundstage
  • Scrooged/Bad Santa Double Feature at The SNF Parkway/Maryland Film Festival

December 12

  • Bachelor Boys Showcase at The Windup Space
  • Breaking with Tradition: Stories about Unconventional Holidays at The Senator Theatre

December 13

  • The Stolen w/ Jett Bailey, Big Infinite, more TBA at Ottobar
  • McCafferty w/ Heart Attack Man, Chris Swartz at Metro Gallery
  • 93.1 WPOC Acoustic Christmas ft. Lee Brice & Friends at Rams Head Live
  • Height Keech w/ Ami Dang, Frenemies Get Shredded vol.2* at The Crown
  • MICA SoundBox at The Windup Space
  • Anime Night: Spirited Away at The Charles Theatre
  • POW Feminist Comic Book Club at Atomic Books
  • Melanin Records Winter Showcase at Motor House
  • Black Business Bazaar at American Brewery

December 14

  • The Number 12 Looks Like You w/ Rolo Tomassi, Cryptodira at Ottobar
  • Black Marble w/ YOU., The Holy Circle* at Metro Gallery
  • Sentient Planet 4* at The Crown
  • Party Pack ICE w/ Chris Pumphrey’s MONDAWMEN  at The Windup Space
  • Liberata w/ Jeanette Lynne, Emily Henry at Joe Squared
  • Eighteen Visions w/ Knocked Loose, Old Wounds, Tourniquet at Baltimore Soundstage
  • DEADcember ft. Steal Your Peach* at The 8×10
  • Star Wars: Episode VIII at The Senator

December 15

  • Super Art Fight UNLEASHED!* at Ottobar
  • Quattracenta Record Release Show w/ Snakes, Margins* at Metro Gallery
  • The Legwarmers: Ultimate 80’s Experience** at Rams Head Live
  • Friday Night Magic: Dance Party* at The Crown
  • DAI Burger w/ Kotic Couture, Black Salem** at The Crown
  • 4 Hours of Funk** at The Windup Space
  • Infinity Knives w/ Tigerlily Jones, Blueberry, Albert Bagman at EMP Collective
  • Da Kid Emm w/ DJ Havok, Donnie Breeze, King Forrest at Baltimore Soundstage
  • The Mostly Dead, The Dissociated, + more TBA at Sidebar
  • Marc Rizzo of Soulfly and Sledgehouse Reunion Show at Reverb
  • Eyelet w/ R-Dent, Forges, My Sweet Anchor at TheDepot
  • MAH Presents: Going Hard! ft. Scott Brown & M-Project* at The 8×10
  • Star Wars: Episode VIII at The Senator

December 16

  • 15 Years of Arbouretum w/ Television Hill, Stephen Strohmeier at Ottobar
  • Highly Suspect at Rams Head Live
  • Roots/Raices** at The Crown
  • Skin Tight Soul Party** at The Crown
  • Flash Gordon Night! at The Windup Space
  • Baltimore Into Comics Issue #16 at The Windup Space
  • Point Break Live! at Baltimore Soundstage
  • A Very Batz Xmas Party Goth + Industrial DJ’s CB & Hemlock at TheDepot
  • Navasha Daya: A Soulful Rock & Roll Tribute to Jimi Hendrix at Creative Alliance
  • The United States Army Field Band at The Lyric
  • Compactor w/ Bastet, ThetaFlux, Extended Release, Immanent Voiceless at Graffiti Warehouse
  • Star Wars: Episode VIII at The Senator
  • Revival Series: Beat the Devil at The Charles Theatre
  • Anime Night: Spirited Away at The Charles Theatre
  • Mistletoe Mayhem** at Power Plant Live

December 17

  • Expert of Nothing at The Windup Space
  • Tactical Cinema at Baltimore Free Farm
  • The United States Army Field Band at The Lyric

Baltimore Happenings (Nov. 27th – Dec. 8th)

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KEY:
*​ ​18+
**​ ​21+


November​ ​27
Scarface​ ​w/​ ​MC​ ​Bravado,​ ​III​ ​Conscious,​ ​Icon​ ​Tha​ ​God,​ ​Hi$to​ ​at Baltimore​ ​Soundstage
Dream​ ​Theatre:​ ​In​ ​Concert​ ​at The​ ​Lyric
Metal​ ​Monday*​ ​at Ottobar
Christmas​ ​Village​ ​in​ ​Baltimore​ ​at West​ ​Shore​ ​Park


November​ ​28
Seltzer​ ​Open​ ​Mic​ ​at Charmington’s
The​ ​Worst​ ​Of​ ​Us​ ​w/​ ​Infinite​ ​Solutions,​ ​Deity,​ ​Burdened​ ​Hearts*​ ​at TheDepot
dRAW​ ​December​ ​Edition*​ ​-​ ​LIFE​ ​MODEL​ ​PROVIDED​ ​at Gallery​ ​788
Songwriters​ ​Round​ ​Robin:​ ​50​ ​Foot​ ​Woman,​ ​Joseph​ ​Mulhollen*​ ​at Joe​ ​Squared
Slow​ ​Jams​ ​at Mobtown​ ​Ballroom
Vic​ ​Mensa​ ​with​ ​Bugus​ ​at Rams​ ​Head​ ​Live
Brews​ ​and​ ​Board​ ​Games**​ ​at The​ ​Windup​ ​Space


November​ ​29
The​ ​Mezingers​ ​w/​ ​Tigers​ ​Jaw,​ ​The​ ​Flatliners,​ ​Worriers​ ​at Baltimore​ ​Soundstage
Anime​ ​Night:​ ​Jin​ ​Roh:​ ​The​ ​Wolf​ ​Brigade​ ​at The​ ​Charles​ ​Theatre
Revival​ ​Series:​ ​Heat​ ​at The​ ​Senator​ ​Theatre
Back​ ​II​ ​Life​ ​with​ ​DJ​ ​Pancakes​ ​at The​ ​Sidebar


November​ ​30
Devin​ ​Townsend​ ​Project​ ​w/​ ​Dark​ ​Water​ ​Transit,​ ​Bridge​ ​to​ ​Divide​ ​at Baltimore​ ​Soundstage
CD​ ​Release​ ​Show​ ​of​ ​Snark​ ​&​ ​Despair​ ​at Creative​ ​Alliance
Blush​ ​+​ ​Brews**​ at The​ ​Crown
A​ ​Night​ ​of​ ​Japanese​ ​New​ ​Wave​ ​&​ ​Obscure*​ ​at The​ ​Crown
SARU’s​ ​Night​ ​Out​ ​at Joe​ ​Squared
Mozart’s​ ​Requiem​ ​at Joseph​ ​Meyerhoff​ ​Symphony​ ​Hall
Us​ ​and​ ​Us​ ​Only​ ​with​ ​Pocket​ ​Bells​ ​at Ottobar
The​ ​Two​ ​Youths​ ​w/​ ​O​ ​Paradiso,​ ​Manners​ ​Manners​ ​at The​ ​Windup​ ​Space


December​ ​1
Mayhem​ ​w/​ ​Immolation,​ ​Black​ ​Anvil​ ​at Baltimore​ ​Soundstage
Karaoke​ ​Forever​ ​-​ ​First​ ​Friday​ ​Edition*​ at The​ ​Crown
DJ​ ​Amsies​ ​presents:​ ​PUMP*​ ​at The​ ​Crown
First​ ​Friday​ ​LGBTQIA+​ ​Happy​ ​Hour**​ ​at Grand​ ​Central
Ride​ ​For​ ​The​ ​Feast​ ​Kick-Off​ ​Party:​ ​Orchester​ ​Prazevica,​ ​Sac​ ​Au​ ​Lait,​ ​Barrage​ ​Band Orchestra​ ​at Metro​ ​Gallery
Juice​ ​Bruns​ at Ottobar
Descendents​ ​at Rams​ ​Head​ ​Live
Hodera​ ​w/​ ​Small​ ​Talks,​ ​Face​ ​Value​ at The​ ​Sidebar
Holiday​ ​Bowling​ ​Night​ at Towson​ ​AMF​ ​Bowling​ ​Lanes


December​ ​2
Super​ ​Moon​ ​Hike​ ​&​ ​Campfire​ ​at Benjamin​ ​Banneker​ ​Historical​ ​Park​ ​&​ ​Museum
Revival​ ​Series:​ ​Paths​ ​of​ ​Glory​ ​at The​ ​Charles​ ​Theatre
Laughs​ ​for​ ​BAF​ ​at The​ ​Crown
Vague​ ​Saturday​ ​with​ ​Graham​ ​Hatke​ ​&​ ​BWO*​ atThe​ ​Crown
Fells​ ​Point​ ​Wicked​ ​History​ ​Pub​ ​Tour**​ at Fells​ ​Point​ ​Ghost​ ​Tours
Olde​ ​Tyme​ ​Christmas​ ​at Fell’s​ ​Point​ ​Main​ ​Street
Pockets​ ​40th​ ​Anniversary​ ​w/​ ​IN​ ​GRATITUDE,​ ​Come​ ​Go​ ​w/​ ​Me​ ​at Gordon​ ​Center​ ​for​ ​the Performing​ ​Arts
Matt​ ​Ellin​ ​w/​ ​Sea​ ​Offs,​ ​june​ ​pastel,​ ​Nina​ ​Gala*​ at Joe​ ​Squared
24th​ ​Night​ ​of​ ​100​ ​ELVISes​ ​at Lord​ ​Baltimore​ ​Hotel
2017​ ​Kwanzaa​ ​Cultural​ ​Festival​ ​at Morgan​ ​State​ ​University
Blasphemy​ ​Tour​ ​ft.​ ​Borgore​ ​at Rams​ ​Head​ ​Live!
BAR​ ​FIGHT!​ ​a​ ​HEMA​ ​event**​ ​at The​ ​Windup​ ​Space


December​ ​3
Racial​ ​Equity​ ​Workshop​ ​for​ ​White​ ​People​ at Baltimore​ ​Racial​ ​Justice​ ​Action​ ​Office
The​ ​Sweet​ ​Spot​ ​Baltimore:​ ​Fetish​ ​Edition**​ at Baltimore​ ​Soundstage
Merry​ ​Mart​ ​2017:​ ​Holiday​ ​Craft​ ​Show​ at Creative​ ​Alliance
Jackie​ ​Evancho​ ​at The​ ​Lyric
Revival​ ​Series:​ ​The​ ​Simpsons​ ​Movie​ ​at The​ ​Senator​ ​Theatre
Write​ ​More,​ ​Write​ ​Often​ ​at Towson​ ​Library
BRB​ ​Holiday​ ​Show​ ​at The​ ​Windup​ ​Space


December​ ​4
Rapsody​ ​”Wisdom​ ​is​ ​Power”​ ​Tour​ ​w/​ ​GQ,​ ​Don​ ​Flamingo,​ ​Deante​ ​Hitchcock​ ​at Baltimore Soundstage
Morning​ ​Teleportation​ ​w/​ ​Us​ ​and​ ​Us​ ​Only,​ ​Polar​ ​Oak​ at Metro​ ​Gallery
Metal​ ​Monday*​ at Ottobar


December​ ​5
Wage​ ​War​ ​w/​ ​Oceans​ ​Ate​ ​Alaska,​ ​Gideon,​ ​Varials,​ ​Loathe​ ​at Baltimore​ ​Soundstage
Slow​ ​Jams​ ​at Mobtown​ ​Ballroom
The​ ​Second​ ​After​ ​w/​ ​Misery​ ​Loves​ ​Company​ ​at The​ ​Sidebar
Hybrid​ ​Cinema:​ ​Films,​ ​Videos,​ ​and​ ​Expanded​ ​Cinema​ ​by​ ​Michael​ ​Al​ ​at The​ ​SNF Parkway/Maryland​ ​Film​ ​Festival
Baltimore​ ​Design​ ​Conversation​ ​at The​ ​Windup​ ​Space
Stand-up​ ​Comedy:​ ​Benefit​ ​for​ ​Homeless​ ​in​ ​Baltimore​ ​at The​ ​Windup​ ​Space


December​ ​6
Shooter​ ​Jennings​ ​and​ ​Jason​ ​Boland​ ​w/​ ​Julie​ ​Roberts​ ​at Baltimore​ ​Soundstage
Anime​ ​Night:​ ​Sailor​ ​Moon​ ​S​ ​The​ ​Movie:​ ​The​ ​Hearts​ ​in​ ​Ice​ ​at The​ ​Charles​ ​Theatre
Revival​ ​Series:​ ​The​ ​Godfather​ ​at The​ ​Senator​ ​Theatre
The​ ​Grievance​ ​Club​ ​w/​ ​Forest​ ​Green,​ ​Moonflower​ ​at The​ ​Sidebar
Gunky’s​ ​Basement​ ​Presents:​ ​The​ ​Running​ ​Man​ ​on​ ​35mm​ ​at Maryland Film​ ​Festival
Drink​ ​and​ ​Draw**​ ​at The​ ​Windup​ ​Space
Baltimore​ ​Boom​ ​Bap​ ​Society​ ​at The​ ​Windup​ ​Space


December​ ​7
Suicide​ ​Silence​ ​10​ ​Year​ ​Anniversary​ ​Tour:​ ​Upon​ ​a​ ​Burning​ ​Body,​ ​Slaughter​ ​to​ ​Prevail, Prison,​ ​Dead​ ​Atlantic​ ​at Baltimore​ ​Soundstage
Elizabeth​ ​&​ ​The​ ​Catapult​ ​w/​ ​Airpark,​ ​Faceless​ ​Ones​ ​at Metro​ ​Gallery
Morta​ ​Skuld​ ​w/​ ​Embalmer,​ ​Scorched​ ​at The​ ​Sidebar
Ryan​ ​Kinder​ ​Live​ ​at Tin​ ​Roof
MONDO​ ​BALTIMORE:​ ​Trash​ ​Flicks​ ​and​ ​Cult​ ​Epics!​ ​at The​ ​Windup​ ​Space


December​ ​8
First​ ​Friday​ ​at​ ​AsanaRoots:​ ​Everything​ ​at AsanaRoots
Australia’s​ ​Thunder​ ​from​ ​Down​ ​Under*​ ​at Baltimore​ ​Soundstage
Anime​ ​Night:​ ​Sailor​ ​Moon​ ​S​ ​The​ ​Movie:​ ​The​ ​Hearts​ ​in​ ​Ice​ ​at The​ ​Charles​ ​Theatre
The​ ​Disaster​ ​Artist​ ​at The​ ​Charles​ ​Theatre
Goucher​ ​Comedy​ ​Night​ ​at Goucher​ ​College
Thrushes​ ​w/​ ​Rogue​ ​Conjurer,​ ​Three​ ​Lexington​ ​Arrows*​ ​at Metro​ ​Gallery
Illenium​ ​at Rams​ ​Head​ ​Live
Blacksage​ ​w/​ ​Humanmania,​ ​Serquet,​ ​Mala​ ​Fides​ ​at The​ ​Sidebar

 

KATYA CASTRO

Chick-fil-A Delivers Curbside

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As a fast food chain it’s not surprising that Chick-fil-A is constantly looking for ways to reach new customers by improving speed and convenience. Unfortunately, in Maryland, Chick-fil-A is not on every other block as they are in other regions. The nearest drive-thru locations are in Hunt Valley and Parkville, making getting to Chick-fil-A time consuming or impossible without a car. Luckily for Goucher students who love Chick-fil-A, there is a location in Towson Town Center’s food court that has just announced it is offering curbside delivery and shortening the wait time for your chicken nuggets.

Curbside delivery offers the convenience of a drive-thru a minute’s drive from Goucher’s campus. This means no more fighting for parking at the mall or driving fifteen to twenty minutes for a chicken sandwich.  The delivery system works a bit differently than a drive-thru. Customers are able to place their orders by downloading the Chick-fil-A One app, selecting what they want from the menu, and selecting the curbside delivery option.
“We have always wanted to find a way to reach out to more guests and meet the demand for a drive thru service in Towson. Many times, we hear people choose to not dine with us because of the wait or the hassle of parking at the mall. This new service offers a way to skip the line and wait comfortably in your car while we prepare and deliver your food,” says owner and Maryland native Natalie Martz of the new delivery service.

Luckily for Goucher students who love Chick-fil-A, there is a location in Towson Town Center’s food court that has just announced it is offering curbside delivery and shortening the wait time for your chicken nuggets.

Need catering for a club or other Goucher event? The delivery parking spots can also be used to pick up catering orders if they are placed ahead of time, making last minute event planning a bit easier.
After ordering via the app, just park in one of the two designated parking spots for Chick-fil-A curbside delivery. The curbside delivery includes Chick-fil-A’s full menu, including new features such as mac-and-cheese and brownies.

Black Lindy Matters

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Katie Van Note, Staff Writer

February 25th, 2017

“There is something going on in our culture today; it’s being lost.” This is what Breai Mason-Campbell said in a recent phone conversation. Breai is an African American activist in Baltimore, MD who has dedicated her life to preserving and restoring African American cultural and heritage through dance. She is the founder and director of Guardian dance, a company that, for the past nine years, has taught the history and styles of African American dances like Lindy Hop, Breaking, Locking, Popping, Baltimore Club, and Hand Dance. Guardian has implemented a curriculum teaching these dances to grades Pre-K through 8th at a 100% African American School: New Song Academy in Sandtown, MD. The company is comprised of a team of dancers, including Mason-Campbell, who teach weekly and perform at various events like at the opening celebration of the Smithsonian African American History Museum last October.

What drove Mason-Campbell to create Guardian and more recently, Black Lindy Matters, was a culmination of experiences.

One such experience was at a latino party with her family as a young adult. At this party, salsa music was playing and all generations of people were dancing. Mason-Campbell noticed something special about this community, that the grandparents were putting their grandchildren on their feet and teaching them traditional hispanic dance styles: salsa, merengue, and bachata.

At the time, Mason-Campbell couldn’t put words to why this was so important to see. She wondered why their culture was so well preserved and furthermore, “what is our [African American’s] historical legacy?”

It was through Mason-Campbell’s dance background that she continued to question the cultural forces at play. She had grown up taking dance classes: ballet and modern dance. Although she was grateful for this training, she noted that “it didn’t have deep cultural value.” Ballet was the “aesthetic benchmark for beauty and grace… it was a right of passage.” For many young girls in America, these are the styles of dance they are taught. But why? Why is a European-born dance style so prominent in American culture? “America was built by Africans, it should be more a part of our general consciousness, as should Native-American culture.”

It was interesting to Mason-Campbell that the one visible aspect of African American culture today was the idea of the black entertainer. “When people are trying to get out of poverty, their only access is through a record company, through break dancing, singing, rapping; it becomes so commercial we don’t own it anymore.” And this applies directly to the jazz and  swing dancing of the 1930s.

As a historical dance, Lindy Hop emerged in Harlem, New York during the swing era. The Savoy Ballroom (which has since been demolished) was not only a place to listen and dance to swingin’ jazz music, but it was the only integrated venues of its kind. It broke down racial barriers. Yet swing dancing for African Americans during this time wasn’t just an activity: it was a livelihood, a necessity, a liberation. For most black dancers and musicians, it was an escape from poverty.

Today, Lindy Hop is danced all over the world. Almost every major city in America has a Lindy Hop scene, as well as cities in the UK, Europe, Japan, Korea, China, and Australia. This traditional African American dance was rooted in the United States, it was a necessity, and yet, now it is an activity for a predominantly white dance scene.

When asked what Mason-Campbell would change about the current Lindy Hop dance scene, she didn’t express any negativity towards the majority of it’s often misinformed, unaware, white members. Her goal is to preserve these traditional African American dances through Guardian dance company and the Black Lindy Matter initiative in schools, performances, and dance venues like Mobtown Ballroom.Mason-Campbell hopes to create a deeper cultural appreciation and continuity of identity amongst her students, “I want to put these kids on my feet, share our culture with them, and show them who they are.”

“Picturing Frederick Douglass”: A lecture

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Photo credit: Erika DiPasquale

Madeline St. John, News Editor

February 15th, 2017

At a recent Black History Month event, Donald Trump stated, amidst other comments, “Frederick Douglass is an example of somebody who’s done an amazing job and is getting recognized more and more, I notice.” Trump’s use of present tense suggests a possible ignorance of who Douglass was, and of the fact that he has been deceased for many years. A presenter at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum in Baltimore pointed this out in her introduction to the lecture Picturing Frederick Douglass. The lecture, on Saturday February 4th, was attended by about a classroom-full of Goucher students, and focused on the intertwining histories of Frederick Douglass and photography.  The presenter, John Stauffer, Ph.D., Harvard University used a powerpoint of photos of Douglass to punctuate his points.

“Douglass was in love with photography,” said Stauffer. “There were more photos of him than any other American of the 19th century. He was the public face of America.”

Stauffer began his lecture with a bit of historical background on photography in the 19th century, describing the different types of prints and how they were taken. He passed around examples. During that time period, Stauffer explained, it was believed that photo portraits were a “likeness” of someone and contained a part of their “body and soul.”

Douglass was a strong believer in the power of photography. He saw it as crucial in the fight against slavery and for civil rights. Anyone could be photographed and anyone could be a photographer–all it required was “a manual, some chemicals, and about 3-6 months of experimentation,” said Stauffer. Photography was incredibly democratizing and equalizing, and there were hundreds of female and African-American photographers. The photo gallery, where folks came to have their photo taken or look at others, was, in Stauffer’s words, a “model interracial space.”

For Douglass, photography was also a way of showing the humanity of African Americans. “’We cannot trust white artists,’” he said, because he believed that somewhere between reality and the strokes on the canvas, their work became a lie. Photography, on the other hand, held the truth. As well as truth, photography also captured its subjects’ “fundamental humanity,” and their human desire to create liknesses of themselves in their world.

In his own portraits, several patterns emerge. Douglass used a “signature pose,” in which he stared at the viewer with a “defiant” gaze. He was always “immaculately dressed” and, although they were common at the time, he used few props, wishing to keep the emphasis on himself, the subject. In a number of portraits, he clenches his hands, like a boxer, and Stauffer described his appearance as “majestic in his wrath.”

Stauffer highlighted Douglass’ relationship with Abraham Lincoln, pointing out his presence in a photograph of Lincoln’s second inauguration.

At the end of his presentation, Stauffer showed photographs of modern representations of Douglass, highlighting how influential he continues to be today. Perhaps President Trump was not so far from the truth, he suggested, in using the present tense to describe Douglass’ influence in the present day.

After the presentation, an audience member stood up, as if to ask a question. “I just want to make a comment,” he said, “that the next time you show that picture of [Lincoln’s] inauguration, you should point out that there was a much bigger crowd then, than there was a week ago [at Trump’s inauguration].” The audience responded positively to this comment, as they had to comments made by Stauffer throughout the lecture that connected Douglass’ fight for rights with the current political situation and modern struggles, like the Black Lives Matter movement.

This event was promoted by History Professor Matthew Hale, and a bus transported students between Goucher and the event.

Future Black History Month events at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum in Baltimore include a Black Memorobelia and Fine Arts and Craft Show, on Sat., Feb. 11th, and an open house on Sat., Feb. 25th. For more information about upcoming events, visit http://www.lewismuseum.org/main-calendar.

Other participating Baltimore Black History Month museums and organizations include the National Great Blacks in Wax Museum, the Enoch Pratt Free Library, the Baltimore Museum of Art, and the Baltimore Visitor’s Center. For more details on Black History Month events in the Baltimore area, check out http://baltimore.org/article/black-history-month-events-baltimore or http://www.baltimoremagazine.net/2017/1/30/black-history-month-events.

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