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Annual Achievement in Living Tradition & Arts Award Recognizes Key Contributors to Maryland’s Living Traditions Maryland Traditions, the folklife program of the Maryland State Arts Council, announced the winners of its annual ALTA (Achievement in Living Traditions and Arts) Awards, recognizing living traditions in the State of Maryland.

June 14, 2010Press Release

Named for folklorist and community leader Dr. Alta Schrock, the award was presented to three recipients for their ongoing efforts to preserve and maintain the state’s living heritage.

Each year, awards honor the people, places and traditions that best epitomize Maryland’s cultural heritage. People are selected based on their demonstration of the highest standards of excellence in such areas as research, documentation, presentation, entrepreneurship, artistry, stewardship and community impact; places honored are those that specially serve to keep traditions alive and are meaningful and effective gathering places or sites for carrying on living or endangered traditions; and traditions recognized are those that connect communities to cultural heritage in authentic and appropriate ways that exemplify the unique spirit of our state and may include events, occupations, knowledge, cultural scenes, and organizations.

“The State of Maryland has a rich cultural history that is carried on every day through our people, places and traditions,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “The ALTA Awards are a way for all of us to honor the important work that is being done to maintain our great heritage and pass it along through the generations.”

The 2010 winners, who received their awards tonight at the Maryland Traditions Showcase at Creative Alliance at The Patterson on June 10, 2010, are:
PEOPLE: The descendents of Nathaniel “Uncle Nace” Hopkins have held annual Emancipation Day celebrations in Trappe (Talbot County) every year since 1867. Nathaniel Hopkins – known to his friends and family as “Uncle Nace” – was born into slavery, served in the Union Army during the Civil War, and founded the Emancipation Day parade. Hopkins’ descendents renamed the celebration “Nace’s Day” in his honor when he passed away in 1900. It has been held every year at Scotts United Methodist Church. Eunice Roberts (a descendent of Hopkins) will accept the award.

PLACE: Globe Poster opened its doors in Baltimore City in 1927 to produce show posters for vaudeville acts, carnivals, burlesque shows, and movie theaters. Poster production at Globe – distinctive in color and style – has rested in the hands of the Cicero family since 1935. Their output has defined the regional and international visual aesthetic of Rhythm & Blues, Soul, and Funk for over 60 years, as well as electoral campaigns, carnivals, and festivals across Maryland. Cicero brothers Bob and Frank will receive the award.

TRADITION: Jousting (Talbot County, Charles County, and statewide). One of the oldest rural traditions of the mid-Atlantic region, jousting was named Maryland’s official state sport in 1962. Accepting the award will be representatives of the state’s two longest-running jousting tournaments – the Calvert County Jousting Tournament at Christ Episcopal Church in Port Republic (held annually since 1866) and St. Joseph’s (Church) Jousting Tournament & Horse Show in Cordova (Talbot County, held annually since 1868), – as well as representatives from the Maryland Jousting Tournament Association.

The ALTA Award was created in 2007 to honor the work of Dr. Schrock, who passed away in 2001. Dr. Schrock, a native of Garrett County, taught biology at Frostburg State University, and also founded publications, events and lasting institutions designed to share and preserve her region’s traditional art forms. She was the force behind The Spruce Forest Artisan Village, Penn Alps, The Journal of the Alleghenies and the Springs Festival, to name a few of her achievements in cultural conservation.

For more information about the ALTA Awards and Presentation, contact Maryland Traditions co-directors Clifford Murphy at 410-767-6450 ( or Elaine Eff at 410-767-6570 (