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MSAC launches Maryland Traditions in schools
Montgomery County first to host the folk arts program for schools
MSAC launches Maryland Traditions in Schools
Baltimore (May 24, 2012)— The Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC) announces the launch of Maryland Traditions in Schools, a new county-based program that brings local folk arts masters into Maryland classrooms.
“Folklife traditions thrive at the local level where master artists mentor younger generations. Through Maryland Traditions in Schools, we’re supporting an age-old practice that enriches the heritage of our state,” says MSAC Executive Director, Theresa Colvin.
The exciting new program taps into Maryland’s wealth of master traditional artists, matching them with local schools in which they perform and teach student workshops. Through a joint initiative between MSAC’s Arts-in-Education and Maryland Traditions programs, and a partnership with the National Council for the Traditional Arts (NCTA) and Class Acts Arts, participating schools will a fraction of the costs regularly associated with extra-curricular programs.
The program launches on May 30 at Montgomery County’s Martin Luther King Middle School, where Phil Wiggins—arguably America’s foremost blues harmonica virtuoso—will share his decades of Piedmont Blues mastery with students. Wiggins will teach students the history and fundamentals of his instrument and (through funding from MSAC, the NCTA, Class Acts Arts, plus Wiggins himself) will give free harmonicas to participating students, allowing each to continue practicing their very own tool of the trade.
“It’s empowering for kids to discover that artists as extraordinary as Phil Wiggins are local, accessible, and approachable—and involved with their community through the arts,” says NCTA Executive Director Julia Olin.
Other world-class performing artists of Maryland Traditions in Schools: Montgomery Masters include Samia Ahmad (South Asian classical music), Junious “House” Brickhouse (urban dance) and Daryl Davis (barrelhouse piano/American roots music). More information on each artist is on the Class Acts Arts website, www.classactsarts.org.
The Maryland Traditions in Schools program covers two-thirds of the artists’ regular fee, and is open to public and private schools in Montgomery County, with plans to soon expand to Prince George’s County and the Eastern Shore. Schools interested in participating in Maryland Traditions in Schools should contact Class Acts Arts at email@example.com or 301-588-7525.
About the Maryland State Arts Council
About Maryland Traditions