In this week of expressing our deepest love for friends, fans, and supporters, this post is devoted to our love of Maryland! There are so so many reasons that would be hard to contain to a single post, so I’m going to focus a few of the folks that we love and had the privilege of being in their midsts last week at Maryland Arts Day.
Last week, Ellen and I travelled to Annapolis to spend the day in the Maryland’s Capitol Building for Maryland Arts Day. Arts advocates, administrators, organizers and enthusiasts not just from our strong Montgomery County, but from all over Maryland came together for this event.
The morning was filled with greetings and words of encouragement from a range of state officials, including State Delegate Heather Mizeur.
We at Dance Exchange love Heather for many reasons. She’s a Takoma Park resident. She is a passionate advocate for the environment, for gay rights, and for the arts. She’s approachable and engaging. And she’s been a Dance Exchange supporter for many years. For example, Heather was on our host committee for the Liz Lerman Celebration last June and co-hosted a rockin’ after party at Jackie’s Sidebar in Silver Spring with State Senator Jamie Raskin. This January, Heather’s legislative aide, Moira Moynahan, came to speak at the Dance Exchange about Heather’s environmental platform (see Sarah’s post about the event here). We’re supporters of Heather and hope to continue to find ways to work with her in our future projects. Another District 20 Delegate Sheila Hixon (and another Liz Lerman Celebration host committee member) visited our group during the legislative visit portion of the day. And while we didn’t get to see Delegate Tom Hucker, we send our thanks to him as well for his support of DX and the arts.
Jose Dominguez, another neighborhood all-star and Dance Exchange pal, served as the Maryland Arts Day co-chair. As executive director of Pyramid Atlantic and as an all around arts advocate, Jose has been a supporter during our transition and a symbol of how a non-profit can be efficient, sustainable, and successful in this daunting economic climate. Pyramid Atlantic Artistic Director Gretchen Schermerhorn was also in attendance, and it’s always great to chat with her about how their powerful team functions.
Two women who I admire, Suzan Jenkins, CEO of the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County, and Sharon Blake, Program Director at Maryland State Arts Council, were there as well. Suzan was the guide for the Montgomery County advocates to meet with our delegates and watching her in action with those officials was amazing. Oh, and speaking of AHCMC, Megan Pagoda is a rockstar. She’s their digital communication and outreach coordinator, and a model maven of social media! If you aren’t following them on twitter yet, do it! They’re @creativemoco. It was great to see Sharon from MSAC, who has been incredibly helpful and I know I can always call on her with questions.
At Dance Exchange we’re proud to be Marylanders. We feel lucky to make our home in a county and state that so robustly supports the arts. It’s an inspiring place to work as a burgeoning arts advocate and administrator, and I love it so much that I’m moving to Montgomery County at the end of March– Silver Spring, here I come!