Springtime rolls in

Sister Euphonia Oblivion of the Microscopic Sisters of the Burning Calves

[AVAMKinetic Sculpture Race 2010 – photo by Nick Prevas]

What a busy couple of months it’s been! I’ve been working hard at my no-longer-new job with the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts, where I am facility manager for two of Baltimore’s architectural and artistic treasures, the Bromo Seltzer Arts Tower and the School 33 Art Center. After three years of planning, grant-writing, engineering, and other detail work (much of which was done expertly before my tenure at the Tower, thanks to Kristin Grey, the brilliant staff at BOPA, and Azola and Associates), we restored the South face of the tower clock to full operation last month! Click here to watch a brief film of the project via Youtube (and please forgive my unusual state of awkward tongue-tiedness, as I was working with a bad cold that day, had been up since 3am, and wasn’t expecting to be on camera).

I’m happy to have been able to have the rents reduced at the Tower, so that our working studio spaces for artists now start at $320 (compare with studio spaces throughout the region—you’ll be pleasantly surprised). It’s a great place to work, and an honor for me, being able to be a part of such a cornerstone of the city. I also formalized the small performance space we have on the 11th floor of the tower, with the gracious and tireless work of our own Barbara Bryan, and the Studio11 Theater is heading into its sixth month now, hosting our resident troupe, Unexpected Theater, as well as a wonderful bi-monthly reading series by the Upward Spiral group. It’s just a room, right now, seating thirty in the city skyline, but we’re working on adding lighting, blackout curtains, and a screen for films to make a real little theater on the West Side, so we can host musicians, poets, storytellers, actors, filmmakers, and other performance-based artists.

Outside of the working world, I’ve been getting back to my music, writing, and performances after a bit of a break. I debuted my new nitro-glycerine Nun character at the Kinetic Sculpture Race at my alma mater, the American Visionary Art Museum, on May 1st, 2010, kicking off the race with my usual inspirational message and disco-dancing celebration of the joys of being on the outside of everyday life. This was my 12th year as the spiritual advisor to the race, and it’s been such a great ride, writing these little hit-and-run routines over the years. Besides, dressing as a nun and  riding a bicycle through the crowded city streets when you’re a husky fella with a mustache is just fun, and makes everyone smile. I could get used to this, but I don’t want to get in a rut, necessarily.

I’ll be performing a short set of spoken word/ambient electronic music from 6:30-7pm on Saturday, June 26th, 2010 at the Hexagon in Baltimore, as a part of the Baltimore Electronic Music Summerfest 2010 (admission $6 for the entire event). I’m working on some additional performances for the rest of the year and will post them here (and on a calendar page I’m building for this website). The manuscript for my essay collection, Scaggsville, is coming along nicely, after a stretch of frustrating inactivity, and I’m hoping to have a micropress edition available by the autumn.

Only three podcasts left in my ambient podcast, 12 Minute Travelogues, so sign up and enjoy! When I finish 12MT, I’m planning to create a remastered collection of the podcast, available on iTunes, Emusic, etc, and resume my older storytelling podcast.

Watch the skies, as they say!