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Keyword: arts & sciences commission

The new edition of smARTS, the Baltimore County arts and culture television show, discusses connections between art, learning, philosophy and psychology. The program airs on Baltimore County cable channel 25.  Featured segments include: 

  • Host Carolyn Black-Sotir speaks with Lori Snyder of AEMS, the Arts Education in Maryland Schools Alliance, about the vital role of arts in preparing students for an ever changing world.
  • How does art help express an artist’s values and way of looking at the world? A perspective from Richard Wilson, Towson University philosophy instructor, artist, and member of the Towson Arts Collective.
  • Artist and psychologist Alice Dvoskin talks about the relationship between art and mental health.
  • The Hunt Valley Symphony Orchestra is community music from community people. Co-founder Greg Lauer shares how to become part of the orchestra and where to hear their concerts.
  • Get to know the French horn, from its beginnings as a call to hunters to the brass section of modern orchestras.  

smARTS airs Thursdays and Fridays, 7:00-7:30 p.m. and Tuesdays 11:30 a.m.- noon on Baltimore County cable channel 25. SmARTS segments can be viewed on the Baltimore County Government YouTube channel.

smARTS is a production of the Baltimore County Commission on Arts & Sciences in partnership with the Baltimore County Public Schools and BCPS-TV. 

Arts are all around you.” Yes, this brazenly borrows a theme from Love Actually’s signature song.  But look around.

Paintings by Baltimore County artists hang on restaurant walls, in community galleries and performing arts center lobbies. Kids watch their first play, young men discover ballet, and fifth graders swirl to ballroom dancing. Jazz fills senior centers, chamber music comes to chapels and choral choirs sing at colleges. A modern barn mural and land art surprise us at the Baltimore County Agricultural center. 

At a time when the arts could feel like a luxury, their value is greater than ever.

Bottom-line economic impact

More than 5,900 people work in 1,853 arts-related creative businesses in Baltimore County, according to Dunn & Bradstreet. So whether you are an artist at a game development studio, photographer, theater director, musician, advertising writer, designer, television producer or on the film crew, you’re in good company in Baltimore County.

The arts help us learn, and there’s data to prove it.

Low-income Baltimore City Public Schools students who participated in a 2016 arts-related summer academic program from Young Audiences avoided summer learning loss and, in many cases, gained ground on their national peers in standardized testing, according to evaluations. 

Regardless of socioeconomic status or school district, 3rd graders who participate in high-quality music programs score higher on reading and spelling tests, according to a study published in Advanced Cognitive Psychology.

Students who study art are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement and three times more likely to be awarded for school attendance, according to The President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities.

The arts enrich our lives. 

As part of an exhibition at the Asian Arts & Culture Center at Towson University, visitors were asked to share their thoughts around this idea:  “People around the world create art in order to _____.” Here are just a few of the more than 200 responses.

Have fun. Be creative. Maintain sanity.

Express their deepest struggles and greatest joys for others to see.

Set themselves free. Be heard.

Teach. Believe. Inspire.

Open minds to new ideas. Make the world more beautiful. Encourage happiness. Speak one soul to another. Unite communities. See the world in a different way. Deliver a message that can’t be said otherwise.

Share life stories and testimonies. Express universal truth.

Relax. Live fully. Connect.  

At a time when having a good connection means having good Wi-Fi, the arts make the case for human connections. Today is an especially good day to love the arts. 

By Fronda Cohen, Director, Baltimore County Arts & Sciences Commission

Revised September 26, 2016