As I was tying my skinny, navy and white polka dotted tie on Saturday evening (a feat that still takes me nearly fifteen minutes) I couldn’t help but feel anxious jubilation for the annual Marquee Ball. The event, which is hosted at Creative Alliance in Highlandtown, is an art celebration, an award ceremony, a live auction, a silent auction, and a dance party all wrapped into six hours of 1940s, Kiss Me Deadly themed shenanigans. As a new member of The Deutsch Foundation, my girlfriend and I were generously given two tickets as our CEO and COO, Jane Brown and Neil Didriksen were awarded The Golden Formstone Award for the foundation’s support of the arts. As Neil modestly proclaimed during the acceptance speech, “we’re only coming in during the last 5 minutes” of the deep rooted art tradition in Baltimore. The evening was a refresh course on what Baltimore is capable of – the city’s vibrant participants in the arts community filled the theatre and art space – all eager to meet and learn from their peers from all over the city.
The incredibly talented Ethel Ennis, a Baltimore jazz icon, was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award, for her long career in music and her profound dedication to the city that raised her. “I’m proof that you can flower where you are planted,” Ennis said. If you haven’t had the opportunity to listen to Ennis, check out the song below. If there ever was a “Mount Rushmore of Baltimore”, her beautiful smile would be featured next to the likes of Edgar Allan Poe and John Waters.
Cheers to Baltimore and all the wonderful people and organizations that work tirelessly day and night to support such a vibrant arts community.
photo courtesy of Creative Alliance