Harford County Cultural Arts Board Invests in the Arts

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Current Year Investments Exceed $99,000 in Harford County, Maryland

Harford County Cultural Arts Board announces investments totaling more than $99,000 in Harford County, Maryland, through the Community Arts Development Grants program during the twelve-month period ending June 30, 2020. 

This year, Community Arts Development funds will support day-to-day activities of eight Harford County arts organizations including Deer Creek Chorale, Harford Artists’ Association, Ballet Chesapeake (also known as Harford Ballet Company), Harford Choral Society, Bay Country Gentlemen (also known as Harford County Maryland Chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society), Havre de Grace Arts Collective, Theatreworks Live, and the Upper Chesapeake Chorus of Sweet Adelines International. 

Harford County Cultural Arts Advisory Board members and staff pictured:  Top row – Kelley Dilworth, Erin Whipple, Wendy Roberts, Christina McLoughlin, Pamela Burton, Marcia Bailey.  Bottom row – Peter McCallum (Secretary), Jessica Cleaver (Coordinator), Heidi Neff Chuffo, Karen Heppen, Paul (Chuck) Bowden (Chair).  Not pictured: Emily Fagden, Renee Johnson, Jared Noe, Angie Sokolov (Vice Chair), Laura Ward-Moran

In addition, Community Arts Development funds support in-county arts programming presented by fifteen nonprofit, religious, and government entities, including the Aberdeen in Watercolor by Richard Morton       exhibit at The Aberdeen Room Archives and Museum; Bach Concert Series concert at Avondell Retirement Community; Bel Air Recreation Committee’s Bel Air Community Chorus; 2020 Summer Concert Series presented by Friends of Jerusalem Mill; special events at Chesapeake Theater, Amoss Center, APG Federal Credit Union Arena, Harford Dance Theatre, and Phoenix Festival Theatre at Harford Community College; two Special Choral Concerts for the grand opening of the new Underground Railroad Exhibit at Havre de Grace Maritime Museum; performers for Joppatowne Arts Festival presented by Joppatowne Recreation Council; Celebration of Cultures 2020 presented by Linking All So Others Succeed (LASOS); 2019 Harford Plein Air Festival presented by Maryland Center for the Visual and Performing Arts; 2019 Sprout Film and Art Festival presented by The Arc Northern Chesapeake Region; Music in the Mansion series presented by The Liriodendron Foundation, Inc.; Youth Leadership Achievement Program—Art Education, part of The SUCCESS Project; 2020 Garden Glow presented by The Trustees of Ladew Topiary Gardens; 2019-2020 Concert Series for Deer Creek Coffeehouse at The Vestry of Deer Creek Parish; and the 2019 Fall Fling Big Band Dance, 2019 Town of Bel Air Film Festival, 2019 Authors and Artists Event, and 2020 Spring Fling Big Band Dance presented by the Town of Bel Air.

Excerpt from Maryland State Arts Council Fiscal Year 2019 Annual Report: data from Economic Impact of the Arts in Maryland FY2018, Maryland Department of Commerce

An economic impact study released earlier this year by the Maryland Department of Commerce showed the nonprofit arts industry is a $1.3 billion industry in the state.  For each dollar invested, there is an average return to the economy of over $4.16.  Jessica Cleaver, Harford County Cultural Arts Board Coordinator, points out that beyond an economic impact, “We have always known, and now we have compelling data from a recent study done by Americans for the Arts to prove, the arts affect and improve every aspect of our lives.  The arts increase property values by up to 20% and spark growth and innovation, causing people to love where they live and feel 1.6 times closer to their neighbors!”

About Harford County Cultural Arts Board:

The mission of the Cultural Arts Board is to “Preserve, Enhance, and Promote the Culture of Harford County, Maryland.”  As the government-appointed local arts agency, Harford County Cultural Arts Board is the premier local resource for arts organizations, independent artists, and the residents of Harford County, Maryland. The Board provides advocacy and administrative support, sponsors workshops, events, and promotional opportunities to the community, and distributes grants to local nonprofit organizations and schools.  

According to Chapter 9, Part 2, Article XVIB of the Harford County Code, “The Cultural Arts Advisory Board shall consist of 15 citizen representatives and a member of the County Council, who is an exofficio, non-voting member.  The members shall be appointed by the County Executive and confirmed by the County Council pursuant to Section 223 of the Harford County Charter. The Board members shall be residents of the County; and insofar as possible, be representative of the County’s population with respect to race, gender, political affiliation and geography.  The terms of the members are coterminous with that of the County Executive.”

The powers and duties of the Cultural Arts Board include but are not limited to the following: Promote and support the overall development of arts and culture in Harford County; Encourage local government and citizen interest in the arts and culture; Act as the official Arts Council for Harford County in order to accept and disburse funds from the Maryland State Arts Council. The Harford County Cultural Arts Board, its grants, operations, and programs are administered by staff employed by Harford County Public Library.