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Posts Tagged ‘Maryland’

The Best Outlet For Creative Expression in Baltimore

In strictlybaltimore on December 12, 2012 at 10:37 am

Pencils

Creative Alliance

If you’re a known artist or up-and-coming you already know about the Creative Alliance. The Creative Alliance is a non-profit organization who presents and promotes all genres of art in Baltimore.

Located in Fells Point at the corner of Patterson Park, on 3134 Eastern Avenue, their building can be seen by their flashing lights and marquis.

Since 1995, they have been a positive force of creative and cultural expression in the city. If you have a voice, they want to hear it. If you have an instrument, they want you to play it. If you have a work of art, they want to help you showcase it. If you have a dance, they want to groove to it. If there’s a poem, they want to snap to it.

Creative Alliance hosts hundreds of programs, performances, screenings, and workshops for people to attend. Most are open to the public but some are exclusive to members.

Becoming a member costs as little as $40, but $25 if you’re a student with valid ID.

Creative Alliance hosts hundreds of events a year that are always looking for volunteers for support. If you want to help elevate the creativity of this city, you may want to consider joining.

As well as hosting, the Creative Alliance also hubs a number of group meetings in their space as well. For instance, the Baltimore Songwriter’s Association meets up in the Creative Alliance building during their bi-weekly meetings. If you’re looking for a high traffic and high quality site to rent for an event, you can book your next event at the Creative Alliance building.

Also you can rent their premium quality media equipment to make your next movie into a blockbuster.

If you want to get involved, you can start small by attending a few of their programs and then work your way up to being a full-fledged member. You can always support the arts by donating to the organization as well. Creative Alliance also offers a residency program for artists looking to cultivate their talent.

Where do you express your creativity?

Let us know!

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Missing Lyrics and Melodies – A Community Helping to Cure Your Writer’s Block

In strictlybaltimore on December 10, 2012 at 10:40 am

lyrics

The Cure For the Writer’s Block?

Do you have writer’s block or constructed a great instrumental but no lyrics to compliment them? The Baltimore Songwriter’s Association is here to offer ideas on how to create the song you envisioned.

The way the group has structured the event, it is a safe environment to share your piece. Each person comes in with the mindset of asking questions to understand your thought process then create feedback to help with conveying your message properly. Not only do they offer in-depth critiques of your work but also gives people creative exercises and activities to help people from writer’s block. They only ask that you come in with an open mind and with an understanding that everyone is there to help each other.

Songwriter’s of all levels meet up on the 2nd and 4th Monday of the month to get together to go over each other’s work and offer support. They meet at 3134 Eastern Avenuethe Creative Alliance Building @ 7:30 PM. The meetings are free and open to the public but must be a member to offer a song. To become a member costs $25 and can be paid online.

If you are looking to make that next step in becoming a better songwriter, come to their bi-event. The next one is tonight. If you are free come down and check it out.

How do you get over your writer’s block?

Let us know!

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Miracle at 34th St – 5 Reasons Why You Should Go to Hampden

In strictlybaltimore on December 7, 2012 at 9:08 am
English: Photo of the Christmas lights on 34th...

English: Photo of the Christmas lights on 34th Street in Hampden (Baltimore, Maryland). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Looking for the Christmas Spirit?

If you think that the Holiday Spirit is all gone then go to Hampden to prove you wrong. You may not be in the Christmas mood and no one can blame you. Cards to send, gifts to buy, every year it becomes easier to lose sight of what Christmas and the holiday season is all about.
But down in Hampden that is not the case.
On one block in Baltimore, the meaning of the holiday season is not lost. Come down to the 700 block of 34th St, between Chestnut St. and Keswick Rd. to see a glimpse of Santa’s North Pole. For the past few weeks until the end of the year, this block will be filled with lights and spirit for all to see.
Why you should see the Miracle in 34th St?
  • Gets you in the Christmas spirit. For some people it takes the weather to get into the spirit of Christmas, particularly snow. But since that hasn’t happened yet and with the weather being as unpredictable as it has been, the lights and decor should get your spirits up to last you until the rest of the holiday season.
  • It’s a local tradition. Baltimore’s Miracle at 34th St. has been ongoing since 1947. Now in their 65th year anniversary, it is truly a Baltimore gem and treasure.
  • Cheap date. Grab some hot chocolate or coffee from the cafe up the street and walk over to the lights show. With a block full of exhibits and conversation starters you can keep the date flow going effortlessly. Have you eve seen a hubcap Christmas tree?
  • Supporting local businesses. Have a drink or check out their trendy thrift shops while your there. Hampden is known for their local shops. Any store door you walk into will help the community out.
  • It’s free. While you may be strapped for cash after you bought all your gifts for your friends and family, you can go to this event free of charge and you can bring as many people as you want.

City sidewalks dressed in holiday style, get the feeling of Christmas time in Hampden.

How do you get into the Holiday Spirit?

Let us know!

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Santa’s Tugboat Arrival

In strictlybaltimore on November 30, 2012 at 9:29 am

Santa Claus

Santa‘s Toot-Toot in Fells Point

Looking for something to do this weekend?

Want to get into the Christmas spirit?

Then come down to Fell’s Point for their 9th Annual Olde Tyme Christmas for a whole weekend of festivities.

This weekend marks the holiday season in Fells Point and marks the start of the Christmas Market, the one stop shop for all your holiday arts, crafts, and favors.

Some key events happening tonight are horse sleigh rides, Christmas music by Mix 106.5, holiday beer and wine tastings, and an address from Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

And what better way to celebrate the 1st of December than with Santa’s arrival on a tugboat! Saturday is also sung with live Christmas Caroling and music with Santa’s arrival, gingerbread house making, Christmas Tree lighting, pub crawls, and more.Sunday ends with pet costume contests, wine and beer tastings, and studio dance and art.

The event is free and proceeds from the Olde Tyme Christmas will go to the Baltimore City Police Explorers Program, a police youth mentor program. The program exposes thousands of Baltimore youth to anti-crime and pro-education messages.

Check out Olde Tyme Christmas for details of each event. Also look at Santa’s entrance last year.

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Support Your Community Today – #GivingTuesday

In strictlybaltimore on November 27, 2012 at 9:35 am
#GivingTuesday

11/27 – #GivingTuesday. Day to donate online to support the local United Way of Central Maryland. All proceeds stay local.

Help Your Community Shine

On November 27, United Way of Central Maryland and many of its local funded partners will join #Giving Tuesday™–a national effort that will launch the giving season and that is transforming philanthropy into something easy, achievable and trendy.

We all know about Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and how those two days continue to grow every year. For the first time this year, more than 400 nonprofits across the nation are committed to making #Giving Tuesday as big for charitable organizations as its older siblings–Black Friday and Cyber Monday–are for retail.

For years, shoppers have crowded stores on Black Friday, the first day of the holiday shopping season. More recently, Cyber Monday became the nation’s biggest online shopping day.

This year, for the first time, charities have put their stake in the ground to create a new tradition that celebrates giving back with #Giving Tuesday™— the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, when organizations, families, businesses and individuals come together to support the causes they care about most.

Locally, United Way of Central Maryland (UWCM) will serve as the giving portal for its own programs, which include the Access to Healthy Food and Family Stability initiatives as well as 2-1-1 Maryland at UWCM, and for its local funded partners—health and human service organizations serving people living at or near the federal poverty level in central Maryland.

“While no one person acting alone can solve tough social issues like homelessness and hunger, United Way consistently demonstrates that, acting together, people can make a real difference in the lives of the less fortunate,” said Mark Furst, president and CEO of UWCM. “Individuals giving to United Way of Central Maryland on #Giving Tuesday™ can rely on the money being directed to help those facing poverty locally get and stay out of crisis and move to self-sufficiency.”

#Giving Tuesday™ is becoming a digital phenomenon, and is an indication of how charitable giving is changing in the world of new media. Giving transactions will occur primarily online, and promotion of the effort has come to life mostly via social media. Giving among young people, many of whom are new to the world of philanthropy, is also expected to be high on #Giving Tuesday™.

“The days following Thanksgiving historically have centered on buying gifts for family or friends—or shopping for yourself,” said Elise Lee, UWCM’s chief development officer. “#Giving Tuesday™ is a national celebration of generosity to kick off the holiday giving season. There is nothing more powerful for our neighbors in need than the impact of the collective.”

It’s not only an easy way for local individuals to support the causes they care most about in their community, but it is an interesting case study as to how technology is shaping the future of philanthropy and giving back, making it more accessible to more people.

It’s not only timely, but will help promote the effort to support our most vulnerable neighbors, thereby supporting our whole community during this holiday season.

See all the organizations that your donations will support. Every little bit helps and will affect the city we live in.

Participating Central Maryland Organizations (As of November 16, 2012)

You may support these following organizations on #GivingTuesday at uwcm.org/giving-tuesday

▪  American Heart Association
▪  Anne Arundel County CASA
▪  Arundel House of Hope
▪  Associated Black Charities
▪  Baltimore City Health Department
▪  Boys & Girls Clubs of Harford County
▪  Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Baltimore
▪  Bridges to Housing Stability
▪  Caroline Friess Center
▪  Carroll Food Sunday
▪  Civic Works
▪  Community Action Council of Howard County, Maryland
▪  Domestic Violence Center of Howard County
▪  Food Link
▪  Good Shepherd Center
▪  Govans Ecumenical Development Corporation
▪  Habitat for Humanity Susquehanna
▪  Habitat of the Chesapeake
▪  Harford Community Action
▪  Harford Family House
▪  HealthCare Access Maryland
▪  House of Ruth Maryland
▪  Legal Aid Bureau
▪  Light House
▪  Living Classrooms Foundation
▪  Marian House
▪  Maryland Center for Veterans Education and Training
▪  Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault
▪  Maryland Food Bank
▪  Maryland Society for Sight
▪  Mason-Dixon Community Services
▪  Meals on Wheels of Central Maryland
▪  Middle Grades Partnership
▪  Neighbor Ride
▪  Night of Peace Family Shelter
▪  Partners in Care
▪  Project PLASE
▪  Prologue, Inc.
▪  Salvation Army, Greater Baltimore Area
▪  St. Vincent de Paul of Baltimore
▪  The Arc of The Central Chesapeake Region
▪  The Samaritan Women
▪  The Sexual Assault/Spouse Abuse Resource Center (SARC)
▪  The Women’s Law Center of Maryland
▪  TurnAround
▪  Urban Alliance
▪  Women’s Housing Coalition
▪  YWCA of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County

Be One of The Many Who Will Support on #GivingTuesday. 

The following was from the press release of the United Way of Central Maryland. Strictly Baltimore supports their efforts for #GivingTuesday and wish to aid in their efforts for this day. 

Resources
Giving Tuesday

Strictly Baltimore
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Turkey Trot 5K For The Y

In strictlybaltimore on November 21, 2012 at 10:38 am
Turkey Trot

The Thanksgiving 5K Walk/Run for the Y

Run. Fundraise. Donate.

Every year thousands from across Central Maryland join their neighbors for the Ys annual Turkey Trot 5K, a fun Thanksgiving tradition that appeals to families, individuals, runners, and leisurely strollers! Proceeds from these events go to support children and families in need.

This Thanksgiving we need your help more than ever before!

We have suddenly experienced a 200% increase in requests for assistance from families who can’t otherwise afford to send their young children to a Y Journeys early childhood preschool program. Young children who are left out of quality preschool programs like the Y’s, are almost destined to be academically and socially left behind.

Please help raise urgently needed funds for children of struggling families in our Y community!

 

WHERE: Towson Family Center Y – 600 W. Chesapeake Ave., Towson
WHEN: 
Thanksgiving, Thursday, November 22 @ 7 AM
WHAT: Towson 5K Turkey Trot for the Y Centers of Central Maryland – In Center Rate: $30 – Race Day Rate: $35  – For more information about the Towson Turkey Trot, please contact Beverly Landis @ 410-823-8870 or beverlylandis@ymaryland.org.

~ Taken from the Turkey Trot Website.


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Support Your Community On #GivingTuesday

In strictlybaltimore on November 20, 2012 at 1:21 pm
#GivingTuesday

11/27 – #GivingTuesday. Day to donate online to support the local United Way of Central Maryland. All proceeds stay local.

Help Your Community Shine

On November 27, United Way of Central Maryland and many of its local funded partners will join #Giving Tuesday™–a national effort that will launch the giving season and that is transforming philanthropy into something easy, achievable and trendy.

We all know about Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and how those two days continue to grow every year. For the first time this year, more than 400 nonprofits across the nation are committed to making #Giving Tuesday as big for charitable organizations as its older siblings–Black Friday and Cyber Monday–are for retail.

For years, shoppers have crowded stores on Black Friday, the first day of the holiday shopping season. More recently, Cyber Monday became the nation’s biggest online shopping day.

This year, for the first time, charities have put their stake in the ground to create a new tradition that celebrates giving back with #Giving Tuesday™— the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, when organizations, families, businesses and individuals come together to support the causes they care about most.

Locally, United Way of Central Maryland (UWCM) will serve as the giving portal for its own programs, which include the Access to Healthy Food and Family Stability initiatives as well as 2-1-1 Maryland at UWCM, and for its local funded partners—health and human service organizations serving people living at or near the federal poverty level in central Maryland.

“While no one person acting alone can solve tough social issues like homelessness and hunger, United Way consistently demonstrates that, acting together, people can make a real difference in the lives of the less fortunate,” said Mark Furst, president and CEO of UWCM. “Individuals giving to United Way of Central Maryland on #Giving Tuesday™ can rely on the money being directed to help those facing poverty locally get and stay out of crisis and move to self-sufficiency.”

#Giving Tuesday™ is becoming a digital phenomenon, and is an indication of how charitable giving is changing in the world of new media. Giving transactions will occur primarily online, and promotion of the effort has come to life mostly via social media. Giving among young people, many of whom are new to the world of philanthropy, is also expected to be high on #Giving Tuesday™.

“The days following Thanksgiving historically have centered on buying gifts for family or friends—or shopping for yourself,” said Elise Lee, UWCM’s chief development officer. “#Giving Tuesday™ is a national celebration of generosity to kick off the holiday giving season. There is nothing more powerful for our neighbors in need than the impact of the collective.”

It’s not only an easy way for local individuals to support the causes they care most about in their community, but it is an interesting case study as to how technology is shaping the future of philanthropy and giving back, making it more accessible to more people.

It’s not only timely, but will help promote the effort to support our most vulnerable neighbors, thereby supporting our whole community during this holiday season.

See all the organizations that your donations will support. Every little bit helps and will affect the city we live in.

Participating Central Maryland Organizations (As of November 16, 2012)

You may support these following organizations on #GivingTuesday at uwcm.org/giving-tuesday

American Heart Association
Arundel House of Hope
Associated Black Charities
Boys & Girls Club of Harford County
Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Baltimore
Bridges to Housing Stability
Caroline Center
Carroll County Food Sunday
Civic Works
Food Link
Govans Ecumenical Development Corporation
Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center
Harford Community Action Council
Harford Family House
House of Ruth Maryland
Legal Aid Bureau
Living Classrooms Foundation
Marian House
Maryland Center for Veterans Education & Training
Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault
Maryland Food Bank
Maryland Society for Sight
PACT: Helping Children with Special Needs
Partners in Care
St. Vincent de Paul
The Arc of The Central Chesapeake Region
The Samaritan Women
The Sexual Assault/Spouse Abuse Resource Center
Urban Alliance
YWCA of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County

Be One of The Many Who Will Support on #GivingTuesday. 

The following was from the press release of the United Way of Central Maryland. Strictly Baltimore supports their efforts for #GivingTuesday and wish to aid in their efforts for this day. 

Resources
Giving Tuesday

Strictly Baltimore
Like us on Facebook
Follow Us on Twitter

Also don’t forget to check out our website to see what is going on in Baltimore

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Early Known Santa Sightings in Baltimore

In strictlybaltimore on November 16, 2012 at 10:00 am

English: Santa Claus with a little girl Espera...

Where is Santa?

Next week is Thanksgiving which marks the start of the holiday season. But if you’re in the holiday spirit already, then you’ll want to find the person that embodies the season of giving, Santa Claus.

So, where can you find that holly jolly St. Nick around Baltimore? 

So to get everyone in the mood for the holiday season. We tweeted Santa and he told us where he’s going to be this season. Here’s where he and his little elves will be around our charmed city this weekend.

Inner Harbor
Watch his arrival tomorrow, Saturday, from 5-7 as he brings his merry workers down to his downtown workshop. Right in the heart of the Inner Harbor, Santa’s put his workshop for all to see. While people are touring the city they can stop by and talk to good ol’ St. Nick.

While your there check out the light show spectacular at the Power Plant. The iconic Power Plant has been transformed to give a Holiday Light Show to get anyone in the holiday mood. Check out the times the lights will come to life.

Towson Town Center
While your checking off your grown up Christmas list and check it twice, stop and drop it off to Santa personally at Towson.

Arundel Mills
Take a break from gambling, movie watching, and spend some time with Santa right near the food court.

Also if you’re looking for more Holiday events around the city check out It’s a Waterfront Life. It lists a lot of holiday events around the city.

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A Baltimore Gem in The City That Reads

In strictlybaltimore on November 15, 2012 at 11:21 am

The Village Learning Place

The Village Learning Place

This blog and our website is dedicated to help you find a way to dedicate your free time to something you can be passionate about. While we gear mainly to sports and activities that are social and make you sweat, we also want to give resources and ways on how you can be a better person. With that in mind we are starting a new series for Strictly Baltimore showcasing volunteer opportunities and helpful ways to give back to Baltimore. It’s called “Give Back Baltimore.”

If you have lived here long enough, you used to remember when Baltimore City used to be called “The City That Reads.” While that may or may not be the case one thing is for sure. This organization can believe it.

The Village Learning Center is an independent non-profit library. But take one look at what they do and you see more than that. Located in Charles Village, they focus on the personal and professional growth by hosting programs and resources for the community.

True to their name, the VLP provides monthly activities and programs for all ages to participate and learn.

Every second Wednesday the VLP offers a free lecture, concert, or special arts event. For instance, yesterday they had a Holiday Artisan Market, a great collection of handcrafted products that make the perfect holiday gift. Don’t miss their next and last installment of this year, Wednesday, Deecmber 12, where there will be a performance by Camerata Musica, singers of Renaissance Madrigal music.

They also team up with LINK (Let’s Invest In Neighborhood Kids) to offer after school and summer programs for kids in the city. The Village Learning Place also offers one-on-one tutoring for people looking to pass their GED‘s.

They are always looking for people to get involved and be a part of the Village Learning Place. Donations, volunteering, tweets, anything and everything would help their cause of community enrichment and lifelong learning.

Give Back to Baltimore. 

When was the last time you volunteered? 
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Finding Strength to Take the Leap

In strictlybaltimore on November 14, 2012 at 11:35 am

The Leap

Take Your Leap

Taking That Leap

Since this site and blog is talking about following your passion. It may mean that you may have to conquer some of your fears and personal anxieties at some point and what I want to share is one of the stories where I did that. 

I have acrophobiaI am afraid of heights. Looking down a spiral staircase 3 floors up makes my stomach churn. I get scared when I wait by the stairs in line on a water ride and a breeze comes by.

So being afraid of heights, the thought of a rope and a knot is the difference between me and a 50-foot drop is frightening to say the least. Yet for some reason I let my fears go and let the instructor tie my harness. Body shaking, shortness of breath, and anxiety kicked in moments after she told me that I was ready to climb.

Here I am, this medium-built, six-foot tall, 200-pound guy about to climb this wall and I have a little petite freshman half my size harnessed to the ground to prevent my imminent doom. Still I decided that if I didn’t face my fear of heights that day, I would find another excuse later down the road and never do this. Despite her size, I still pressed on.

As I placed my hand on the first feature on the wall, I started to see the trajectory I needed to get to the top and I was intently focused on following it. Not taking a second to look down I would just feel where my feet and its placement would go and just keep my eyes on going up. I felt as though if I stopped or focused at the bottom, my adrenaline would drop and my eminent fear of heights would kick back in.

So I just kept going higher and higher. 

Finally, as I reached the top I realized that I have finally conquered my fears and rock climbed. But as I realize that I know that, thanks to gravity, what goes up must come down. Which means I would eventually have to take my grip away from the wall and trust my life on this rope and this girl who I don’t think can support my weight.

As she gives me the okay to let go, with all of her hands on the rope and feet grounded to slowly let me go, I catch a glimpse of just how far I have climbed.

It was a feeling of accomplishment and terror all at once. 

My arms were tiring from the climb. My adrenaline was beginning to drop and the anxiety was beginning to set. At that moment of exhaustion and anxiety, I decided that I needed to take another leap and just trust the rope and this little lady.

So I let go.

But as I let go and hung on the rope, she gently started lowering me down the wall. As my fear passed and touched the land that I wish I hadn’t left, I realized what I had accomplished.

Now even after that moment I still have a slight fear of heights. The stairs still scare me a little. But when I am faced with an obstacle where I am afraid to do something, I think about this moment and how I felt. I have conquered my fears, this feeling, before and I can do whatever I put my mind to.  (I still rock climb with some friends when we get the chance and urge.)

So with that said:

Where do you find your strength to overcome your fears?

Resources

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