A Glimpse of Baltimore and Its Cultural Centers

Baltimore-1Is culture like beauty, in the eyes of the beholder? Some say yes to this. And those some would surely include the inhabitants of Baltimore, especially the denizens of the Mount Vernon district of Baltimore, an area considered the cultural hub of that city. It centers around an 1815-1829, 178-foot-tall monument and statue of George Washington by the designer of the Washington Monument in Washington, DC. Close by are the Peabody Institute, the George Peabody Library, the Maryland Historical Society, the Baltimore School for the Arts and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, to name a few cultural attractions.

Rainbow Colors in the Alleys of Baltimore

In Station North, a neighborhood full of what is termed Street Art, you will find outdoor murals on buildings and walls and anything else that will hold paint. Station North, near 24 Hour Translation Services office, hosts an eclectic variety of street art by renowned artists. In no way considered graffiti, this is bona fide art for which the neighborhood association, as well as the city’s art community, holds forums to determine what goes up and what does not. Just a walk through the outdoor area is impressive enough, but this area also is home to many galleries and studios. If you venture indoors, you may find a work of art to purchase and carry home with you.

Emerson Bromo-Seltzer Tower

And When It Comes to Sightseeing…

After this art stroll, you may want to amble over to what is known as the Tower A & E District, the Tower being a fifteen-story edifice, known as the Bromo Tower. It was built by Capt. Isaac E. Emerson, inventor of none other than that cure for heartburn, Bromo-Seltzer.

Inspired by Italy’s Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, the Tower hosts studio space for visual and literary artists.
Within the shadow of the tower, and still considered part of the Tower A&E district, is the France-Merrick Performing Arts Center. This is a great venue for your tired feet after all the walking you have done so far. You can end your journey here for the day and take in a live play while you sit in comfort. However, if standard symphonic delight is your cup of tea, Baltimore is not to be outdone, as it is home to the Baltimore Symphony under the baton of conductor Marin Alsop.

As you stroll around Baltimore, you may also notice that this city considers its architecture an art, as much as anything else. The artistic minded are likely to see and appreciate the varied architecture of the city. In the downtown area, the traveler who steps inside large old churches can also see more Tiffany windows concentrated within a few blocks than perhaps anywhere else in the United States.

For Theatre Lovers and Others

Recently opened, after many years of neglect and decay, Everyman’s Theatre Troop has revived its historic venue, first known as The Empire, which hosted vaudeville. Later it became infamously known as The Palace, where one could take in a controversial burlesque show. Finally, it was known as Town Theatre, where Jimmy Stewart and Frank Capra held a screening of It’s a Wonderful Life. Now at Everyman’s Theatre, you will find live acting echoing from those historic walls once again.

This is only the tip of the iceberg of culture the city of Baltimore—and we haven’t even mentioned the Walters Museum of Art or the old cemetery where Edgar Allan Poe is buried or the bountiful historic repositories of Baltimore’s trove of historic churches or the Inner Harbor with its ships and sports arenas. In terms of cultural events, the city has more to offer than we can name or describe.

Edgar Allan Poe

Cultural Events and Ethnic Festivals

When it comes to the preservation of other cultures, Baltimore’s residents do their best to revive them by organizing cultural festivals and celebrations.

Every year, the African American Heritage Festival is held in Baltimore. As the name suggests, the festival celebrates the culture, traditions, arts and heritage of Black Americans. A three-day event organized at the Bank Stadium in June, this is a super opportunity to experience the flair of African American culture and the various languages spoken in Africa including French, Portuguese and Spanish.

FestAfrica celebrates and promotes the African culture in its true spirit. If you want to hear African music, sample the cuisine of the African continent and appreciate its art and culture, this is probably the event to attend!

Greek Folk Festival is organized at the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church every year. This festival promotes and preserves the Hellenic culture through dance, music, food and crafts specific to the country.

Other cultural festivals in Baltimore include the Korean Festival, the annual LatinoFest and the annual Polish Festival held in June, the Russian Festival held in October yearly and the Ukrainian Festival, famous for its pierogi eating contest. These celebrations make Baltimore a lively city and an attraction for tourists.

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