Baltimore’s Beating Art
Don’t let the grittiness of The Wire put you off, the US east coast city has a thriving DIY arts scene and some great dive bars
by Becky Barnicoat, The Guardian, 9/18/2010
Baltimore comes with a question mark. As in: “I’ve just been to Baltimore.” “Baltimore?” Or, “I’m writing about the arts scene in Baltimore.” “Baltimore?”
We get questioned by locals, too; as soon as they hear our English accents they ask, almost incredulously, “What brings you to Baltimore?”
The city, situated at the inner tip of the Chesapeake Bay in the state of Maryland, is just 30 minutes from Washington DC by train but has yet to establish itself on the tourist trail. The city began as a colonial trading outpost, became an industrial boom town, and finally collateral damage following the demise of home-grown American industry. Now east and west Baltimore, as seen in The Wire, are virtually no-go areas for those who don’t live there, and poverty has battered the city’s confidence. But the hard times haven’t knocked the spirit out of the place. The arts scene in Baltimore is thriving: as well as a host of museums and galleries, there’s a vibrant grassroots movement.
Continue reading “Baltimore’s Beating Art” at The Guardian.