March 19, 2015

Dorchester Center for the Arts
Cambridge, MD
March 17, 2015

DCA is pleased to present Dr. Elaine Eff, Author, on Sunday, March 29 at 2;00 p.m. Eff will share the story of Baltimore’s screens and 300 years of painted screens around the world as presented in her book The Painted Screens of Baltimore: An Urban Folk Art Revealed.

The 256-page book featuring 300 color photographs represents the life’s work of this
folklorist and scholar, who began researching the uber-provincial custom of screen-painting as a
graduate student in 1974. In 1985, Dr. Eff founded the Painted Screen Society. Rooted in the vibrant neighborhoods of early 20th century East Baltimore, where they provided a decorative means of ensuring privacy in the row homes, the screens’ painted exteriors “trapped” the vision of onlookers, preventing them from seeing inside. This clever invention is credited to William Oktavec in 1913, a storeowner on the East side from the Czech Republic (as it is known now). Maryland Traditions, the Folklife Program of the Maryland State Arts Council, has announced the ALTA (Achievement in Living Traditions and Arts) Award recipients for 2014.

Under the category of TRADITION, The Painted Screens of Baltimore is the winner.

On Sunday, April 12 at 2:00 p.m. Poet Sue Ellen Thompson will discuss and read selections from her published poetry. Known for her elegant control of form, Thompson’s poetry has been praised for its metaphorical heft and sinuous syntax. Her poems have been read on National Public Radio by Garrison Keillor, featured in U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser’s nationally-syndicated newspaper column, and received numerous awards, including the 1986 Samuel French Morse Prize, the 2003 Pablo Neruda Prize, and two Individual Artist’s Grants from the State of Connecticut. She is the author of five books, including most recently They (Turning Point Books, 2014). Previous books The Golden Hour (Autumn House, 2006) and The Leaving: New & Selected Poems (2001) were both nominated for the Pulitzer Prize.

Ms. Thompson has given readings throughout the U.S., including the National Arts Club in New York, the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, D.C., and the Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh, as well as internationally, including Galway University in Ireland. She is also the editor of The Autumn House Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry (2005), a selection of work from 94 American poets that is now being used in college classrooms across the country.

Refreshments and reception with the authors will follow the presentations. The events are free and all are welcome. Reservations are advised and can be made by calling 410-228-7782.

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