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UMBC Charlesmead Initiative for Arts Education

The Charlesmead Initiative for Arts Education knows that these unprecedented times have called for flexibility. You all have been asked to adapt to new circumstances, so we are adapting, too! Funding is still available to support future arts experiences for K-8 Baltimore City Title I students. For the remainder of the semester, we will continue to accept and review submissions on a rolling basis for projects up to $1,000, and for projects over $1,000. We will accept proposals as early as April 15 (the original deadline for this round of funding) and as late as May 15 (extended deadline). Reviewers will make decisions as soon as possible for each submission. If your proposed activity is awarded, but new announcements from Baltimore City Public Schools require changes in your proposed activity, rest assured that we can work with you to accommodate those changes as much as possible. As always, please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions (email If you have an idea but need connections to a Baltimore City Public School and/or local arts organization, let us know. We are here to help.

The Charlesmead Foundation has provided UMBC with a gift of $500,000 over five years, Fall 2018 through Spring 2023, aimed at strengthening arts engagement opportunities for K-8 students in Title I schools in the Baltimore City Public School System (BCPSS). We are seeking proposals to fund new, or expand existing, partnerships between UMBC faculty/staff/graduate students and these schools.

Past Projects

Lakeland students tour the IRC.

In February 2019, 75 eighth graders and 5 teachers from Lakeland Elementary/Middle came to the UMBC campus for an arts field trip. Due to bureaucratic processes, the students had not been able to join their fellow classmates on their original field trip, but the Charlesmead gift gave them the chance to attend this alternative field trip. Led by graduate student Rachel Wallace, the students all had the chance to: view an art show in our Center for Art Design and Visual Culture (CADVC), create their own collaborative sculptures, explore the technology in the Imaging Resource Center (IRC), tour the UMBC campus, eat lunch in the UMBC dining hall, and play basketball in the gym.


A student who is part of Alan Kreizenbeck’s partnership with WombWorks runs the soundboard during their production.

In May 2019, Alan Kreizenbeck of the Theatre Department partnered with WombWorks to produce two plays by African American playwrights. The Charlesmead gift funded stipends for high school students from Frederick Douglass and ConneXions, who trained as technical theatre interns during the productions. The gift also allowed for 120 high school students to view two matinee performances, meet the playwright, and discuss the significance of the plays.

Inspired by the “fringe” activities that occur during the International Edinburgh Festival, this summer (2019) Brian Kaufman of the Music Department researched the possibility of a Maryland Music Education Fringe Festival.

Current Projects

Also during the summer of 2019, Sandra Abbott of the CADVC began to lay the groundwork for a collaboration with a select curriculum writer and three Baltimore City middle school teachers to develop arts lesson plans that incorporate the Joseph Beuys Sculpture Park (located on UMBC’s campus), adhere to state educational standards, and fit appropriately within the school year curriculum. Field trips to UMBC and the Sculpture Park will commence during the 2019-2020 academic year.

In August 2019, the UMBC Shriver Center Peaceworker Fellows program began a collaborative project with Wide Angle Youth Media, a local non-profit serving Baltimore City youth, to provide quality media arts education and academic and workforce readiness workshops for 80 Title I Baltimore City students.

Upcoming Projects

In Spring 2020, the Music Department will host visiting violinist Dr. Daniel Bernard Roumain. Dr. Roumain will lead workshops for 50+ 4th-12th graders in the OrchKids program, as well as the UMBC Wind Ensemble. The partnership will result in a joint performance at UMBC.

Also slated for Spring 2020, Stephen Bradley of the Visual Arts Department will join forces with Young Audiences of Maryland to offer a course on Teaching Artistry. Students who enroll in the class will learn what it means to be a teaching artist, and will work with K-8 youth in the Anne Arundel County Public School System.