Last year as part of its 15th anniversary celebration, the Baltimore Arts & Music Project launched its first-ever Earth Day Festival in Dundalk.
This year’s Earth Day Festival, scheduled for April 16, marks a second chance for local residents to celebrate the connection between art, music, food and the environment with live performances by Aaron Walker & the Spiritual Rhythms and The Planet Uptune Band.
“It’s a chance to expose the community to quality music, and we’ll have a number of vendors offering education about the environment," said Carla Crisp, the founder of the Baltimore Arts & Music Project. “The main goal, though, is to pull the community together around Earth Day—that’s our goal.”
Partners for Earth Day Festival 2011 include Ports America Chesapeake and the Baltimore County Commission on Arts & Sciences.
The will be providing food. Vegan offerings last year were provided by Dish and Design, but Crisp said Wednesday she doesn’t know if they will be able to cater again as of this time.
Crisp, 58, started Baltimore AMP 16 years ago as a means of providing venues for local young musicians. Her own children, she said, budding musicians at the time, had little in the way of venues to play locally. Developing an “underground” series shows in church basements and other places, Baltimore AMP has now put on a total of 205 shows to date.
Crisp herself is a visual artist—when she can find the time.
“My parents were blue collar and didn’t really have the money to pay for art school,” Crisp said. “Now what I like doing is providing that opportunity for young people.”
Baltimore Art & Music has three part-time staff and four work-study students through a partnership with the . Crisp said she recruits young people to the project by encouraging them to continue their education through the CCBC work-study program. Over the years, 40 students have interned at the Baltimore Art & Music Project.
“When I look to develop a program, I’m looking at the culture locally and seeing what the needs are,” Crisp said. “And I count on the young people working with us to help do that. I depend on them.”
Crisp added that 90 percent of the website work—the photos, videos and graphics—is done by her work-study students. Student Jimmy Smutek, for example, designed the Earth Day Festival 2011 flyer.
Environmental issues, Crisp said, inspire her students more than anything else to be active in the community.
“A lot has changed in the last 16 years, with all the computer technology, e-mail, and things, and there is a certain disconnection from that,” Crisp said. “The environmental issues bring them back to that.”