News Archive

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The 11th Annual Poetry Festival – April 29, 2018

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Kent County Arts Council Elects Four New Members to its Board of Directors

The KCAC is delighted to announce the unanimous election of four new members to our Board of Trustees. Their diverse array of areas of expertise- from music performance to entrepreneurship to media relations – reaffirm the notion that a love for the arts can be carried across careers, age, and educational background.

These newly elected members join the Arts Council’s existing board members; Clarke Bjorke,
Meredith Davies Hadaway, Carol DeGennaro, Marc Dykeman, Irene Moore, Robert Earl Price,
Marilee Schumann, and Director Emeritus, Leslie Prince Raimond. The Arts Council is proud to
introduce you to our new board members.

Jason E. Claire

Jason E. Claire – A native of the New York City suburbs, Jason fostered his interests in art, design, and gastronomy by graduating from Duke University with a triple major in art history, design, and pre-medicine. After receiving his MBA from Georgetown University, he co-founded a luxury furniture retailer and local gallery called Vastu in Washington D.C, which secured contracts for internationally recognized brands in addition to sponsoring six annual art exhibitions. While managing the development of interior design projects, Jason also supervised marketing, sales, training, and accounting at Vastu. Having recently returned from nearly five years in Switzerland with his husband Mark, where he worked in management consultancy for a company called FoundersCard, Jason is eager to establish firm roots in the Chestertown arts community and Kent County as a whole.

Stephanie King

Stephanie King – After graduating from San Jose State University in California with a degree in Piano Performance, Stephanie earned her Master of Arts in Teaching and went on to direct band, choir, and orchestra in Oregon public schools. She later served as the Creative Arts Director for a metropolitan church in Portland, and for 12 years held the position of Music Director and Organist at a church in Sisters, Oregon. Her passion for music has taken her across many borders, as she has led five international choir tours and visits Italy every summer as faculty for the International Lyric Academy and Tuscia Opera Festival. Stephanie currently works here in Chestertown as the Music Director and Choirmaster at Emmanuel Church, and hopes to continue to support and encourage the arts in Kent County while also enjoying kayaking, yoga, cooking, and the company of her four grandchildren.

Kate McGraw

Kate McGraw – Kate is currently the Deputy Director of the Psychological Health Center of Excellence at the Department of Defense, where she focuses on meeting the mental health needs of female service members and veterans, as well as male and female service members who have experienced sexual assault and harassment. She is also the lead for the DoD Sexual Assault Advisory Group and the current chair for the Peace Corps Sexual Assault Advisory Council. Kate is also an accomplished musician and self-taught artist with an undergraduate degree in piano from the Hartt School of Music, where she also worked professionally as a vocal coach and music director. She has received numerous accolades for her solo piano performances, and in her spare time offers her services to local musical theatre companies and art galleries. Also a skilled writer, both professional and creative, Kate has penned an award-winning column on mental health published in the Wilmington Delaware News Journal in addition to various professional articles in scientific books and journals.

Charles Taylor

Charles Taylor – Charles graduated from St. Paul’s College with a degree in Organizational Management and later studied Urban Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. An early job as a radio announcer followed by a brief stint as a newspaper reporter launched Charles on a 37-year communications and media relations career encompassing the nonprofit, public, and private sectors. Charles has served as a senior corporate communications representative for Pepco and Dominion Virginia Power, a government media relations manager for Arlington County, VA, and a writer at the National Association of Counties in Washington, D.C. Since retiring in Chestertown last year, Charles has immersed himself in the community and fostered his love for music by serving on the county’s Social Action Committee, the Marketing Committee of the National Music Festival, and by singing with the Chester River Chorale.

“It is critical, when entrusted with public funds, that the board and staff of the Kent County Arts
Council not only be fully engaged and fully transparent about our grant making activities, but
that we hold our grantees to the highest of standards of community engagement,” said Arts
Council Director John Schratwieser, “Our board of directors plays a critical role in ensuring that
each application for funding is thoroughly reviewed, and is done so objectively holding the
benefit to the community in the highest regard.” Our new members live and/or work in our
community and are committed to measuring the impact of the public dollars that we award. In
addition, each is fully committed to the Kent County Arts Council’s mission to “invest, infuse,
and inspire, the arts for all in Kent County.”

The new members begin their work immediately, and will be a part of the FY 2019 grant award
process which will begin in May 2018 for the coming fiscal year.

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Kent County Arts Council Presents “Heroin & Healing”

The Kent County Arts Council Presents a new Exhibition: Heroin & Healing: How the Opioid Epidemic and Hurting Go Together

March 2 – March 31, 2018 at the Vincent & Leslie Prince Raimond Arts Building
101 Spring Avenue, Chestertown, Maryland

Join us on Friday, March 2, 2018 – during Downtown Chestertown First Friday – for the opening of the Kent County Arts Council’s (KCAC) next exhibition: “Heroin & Healing”, a New Day Campaign program curated by Peter Bruun of Bruun Studios. (Made possible by a grant from The Hedgelawn Foundation, and with support from the Maryland State Arts Council)

Across the country stories of heroin and other opioid overdoses are leading the evening news. Young and old, black and white, rich and poor, the disease is an equal-opportunity killer. Peter Bruun created the New Day Campaign =around the concept of using the arts to help erase the stigma of addiction and helping families and communities begin to heal.

Prior to founding the New Day Campaign in 2015, Bruun served as founding Exhibitions Educator for The Park School of Baltimore from 2000-2005, pioneering a gallery program that put side-by-side works by local and national artists with art and objects from and by Park student and faculty. In 2005, seeking to expand his artistic, curatorial and social engagement reach to all of Baltimore, Bruun founded the non-profit organization Art on Purpose, dedicated to using art to bring people together around issues and ideas. In June 2010, Bruun stepped down as founding director of Art on Purpose to pursue full time his own social engagement studio practice under the aegis of Bruun Studios. Bruun founded the New Day Campaign in early 2015, following the death of his daughter Elisif from heroin addiction in 2014.

KCAC Director John Schratwieser met Bruun in Baltimore and attended a few New Day Campaign shows in 2015. He invited Bruun to come to Kent County and work with local practitioners, nonprofit and government service agencies, and Washington College to create an exhibition and program of related events to engage the community in a broader, more open conversation about addiction and healing through art.

The exhibition brings to Kent County works of art by seven artists whose art illuminate themes of the exhibition related to heroin and healing:

Elisif Bruun, daughter of Peter Bruun, died of a heroin overdose on February 11, 2014, leaving behind a precociously strong body of diverse artwork. The exhibition includes her last drawing: a self-portrait completed just 20 days before her passing.

Peter Bruun, exhibition curator and father of Elisif Bruun, is a long-time artist whose figurative abstract art carries layered narratives. The exhibition features a watercolor drawing inspired by his daughter’s journey that invokes the tension between desiring grounded wellness and an unsteady mind’s impulse toward self-destructive behaviors.

Phylicia Ghee is a photographer and healing artist who presents and documents ritualistic performances rich in spiritual expression and sensory experience. Phylicia, who was the Resident Healing Artist in the New Day Campaign’s 2015 inaugural season, will exhibit a video in the exhibition.

Michelle Labonte is a Baltimore-based artist whose work documents her feelings, observations, and perspectives from living with debilitating depression and other related disorders. The artist’s works in the exhibition offer an illuminating look inside the heart of someone hurting.

Mark V. Lord is a photographer whose 2016 photographs of individuals who saved lives by administering Naloxone to opioid overdose victims where featured in a 2017 Maryland statewide public awareness campaign. A selection of photographs from that project will be included in the exhibition.

Anthony Ness, who lives near Washington DC, is a person in recovery whose colorful hyper-realist art expresses his emotional journey through using and sobriety. Several of his works will be included in the exhibition.

Sharon Strouse is an artist and art therapist. Since the passing of her daughter, Kristin Rita Strouse, from suicide in 2001, Sharon has immersed herself in healing from grief. The author of Artful Grief and a nationally known presenter in art therapy and recovery from grief, Sharon will share some of her own collages created in her own therapeutic journey after Kristin’s death.

The Month-long show will feature five special events:

OPENING – First Friday, March 2, from 4 – 7 p.m. Raimond Arts Building

GALLERY TALK – Saturday, March 3, from 2 – 4 p.m. Join Peter Bruun and other artists featured in the show for a conversation about their works. Raimond Arts Building.

TRAUMA, ART & HEALING – Sunday, March 4, from 2 – 4:30 p.m.(2 sessions)
Led by healing artists Phylicia Ghee and Peter Bruun, a community conversation followed by a healing experience workshop.

Trauma, Art, & Healing Part 1: Community Conversation
Hynson Lounge, Washington College
March 4, 2018, 2:00 – 3:30pm

Trauma, Art, & Healing Part 2: Healing Experience
Hynson Lounge, Washington College
March 4, 2018, 3:30 – 4:30pm

Healing Workshop is FREE, but space is limited. Please reserve your seat via the reservation site.

FILM & DISCUSSION – Friday, March 30, 7 p.m., A screening of a 36-minute long video version of an art installation created by Peter Bruun about the life and passing of his daughter, followed by a public discussion with the artist and curator about his piece and the founding of the New Day Campaign. Norman James Theater, Washington College

OPEN MIC & CLOSING RECEPTION – Saturday, March 31. Open Mic – 3 – 5 p.m. Sharing/Informing/Healing: An Open-Mic Experience is a community-oriented event sharing a wide ranging spectrum of experiences and feelings related to the opioid epidemic specifically and addiction generally. Rich in fellowship and hope, the event features music, stories, open mic opportunities, resource information, and a special slideshow highlighting remembrances of those we have lost, expressions of gratitude for those who have been there for us, well-wishes for those who are hurting, and art of all kinds related to recovery, wellness, and hurting. Featuring Sombarkin’. Garfield Center for the Arts.

CALL FOR PARTICIPATION — Click for More Info

CALL FOR ART  — Click for More Info
The deadline for submitting art for consideration is end of day March 11, 2018.

CLOSING RECEPTION Saturday, March 31. 5 – 7 p.m. Raimond Building.

The Kent County Arts Council and the New Day Campaign are proud to be working with multiple local partners/sponsors. They include: REACH: Prevention, Education, Advocacy Center at Washington College; Maryland Coalition of Families; Kent County Behavioral Health & the Opioid Intervention Team; Eastern Shore Psychological Services; Chester River Wellness Alliance; and Herbal Alchemy.

New Day Campaign www.newdaycampaign.org

Kent County Arts Council www.kentcountyartscouncil.org

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