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Baltimore Art News: Black History and Museums, Artscape, Two New Film Festivals

Baltimore, (Qnnflash) – Terri Lee Freeman and the Reginald F. Lewis Museum, Artscape Consider July Return, New/Next and Honey Chile Debut Film Festivals in Baltimore

Amidst the escalating challenges faced by Black history due to misinformation in educational systems, literature, and political realms, Terri Lee Freeman acknowledges the increasing importance of her role. Serving as the president of the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture, Freeman understands that the accurate portrayal of history is paramount in today’s society.

The Reginald F. Lewis Museum stands as Maryland’s largest institution dedicated to African American history. Freeman’s leadership, commencing in December 2020, arrives at a pivotal juncture when the preservation and presentation of historical truths have become crucial. Freeman emphasizes that in an era where factual information is becoming scarce, museums and organizations that safeguard history and culture are essential. By offering first-source materials, interpretive exhibits, and oral histories, these establishments equip both children and adults with accurate knowledge, especially when false narratives concerning African American history are propagated.

Meanwhile, the annual Artscape festival in Baltimore contemplates a potential shift back to its traditional July schedule for its 2024 edition. Todd Yuhanick, the interim CEO of the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts (BOPA), indicated openness to the idea during a City Council meeting. The decision, he explained, is aligned with community preferences. The discussions encompass various dates, with consideration ranging from September to the traditional July timeframe.

In a related context, Hampdenfest, a distinctive street festival, has regrettably been canceled this year due to a permit denial from city officials. Benn Ray, one of the organizers, attributed this decision to the confusion stemming from the planning of the Artscape festival and its impact on smaller events like Hampdenfest.

Shifting the spotlight to cinematic endeavors, the first-ever Honey Chile Fest emerges as a testament to Nia Hampton’s efforts to provide a platform for queer, Black, and femme filmmakers. Hampton, behind the Black Femme Supremacy Film Fest (BFSFilmFest), has partnered with Felicia Pride, founder of Honey Chile, to launch a festival celebrating the work of Black femmes and Black women over 40. This event acknowledges and champions these creators in the film industry.

Simultaneously, the New/Next Film Festival unfolds with a focus on the future. Eric Allen Hatch, the director of programming for the festival, highlights the event’s unique approach, which prioritizes recognizing up-and-coming directors rather than established celebrities. This endeavor aims to identify the future wave of filmmakers, offering audiences a glimpse into Hollywood’s potential rising stars. Co-founded by Hatch and Sam Sessa, the New/Next Film Festival plays a pivotal role in filling the void left by the cancellation of this year’s Maryland Film Festival. The event provides a platform for local movie enthusiasts to engage with emerging talents and anticipate the future of the industry.

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