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The Art of Living

Posted 10/13/1999

I want to thank you for the excellent article on artists' housing in Baltimore ("Artists in Residence").

There is one source of housing for artists that was left out of your article: Patterson Park Community Development Corp. (PPCDC). Jim Shetler and other members of PPCDC have gone out of their way to provide low-cost housing to artists in the Patterson Park area. I have rented with the option to buy a home/studio from them for two years. Even though I am renting, the house was designed to my specifications. We tore out walls and ceilings to make two small bedrooms into a large studio. I know of several other artists who have purchased homes from PPCDC. They were also able to design the layout before the rehabilitation of the property started.

I hope this information will be of help to other artists looking for housing in Baltimore.

Wayne Bien

We continue to be impressed with Eileen Murphy's development as a dedicated arts writer for Baltimore. "Artists in Residence" was a significant piece detailing the obvious need for more progressive, pro-artist zoning in Baltimore. Quoting me, Eileen was (as usual) accurate. But after discussions with the Fells Point Creative Alliance staff, I realize my depiction of the artists we'd be housing at the Patterson Cultural Center was incomplete. We indeed will welcome painters and digital artists (as stated in the article), but the Patterson studios are also open to writers, performance artists, actors, sculptors, and others able to work within the few limitations necessary in a building housing residences, a theater, and a gallery. We appreciate your coverage of the Patterson Cultural Center and look forward to more solid arts writing from City Paper.

Megan Hamilton

Program Director, Fells Point Creative Alliance

PSINet Coliseum Let me get this straight: Millions of children and working poor live without adequate health care; homeless shelters are bursting at the seams with people in need; our rivers, streams, and wetlands face relentless degradation; seeming random violence stalks our streets; job security is a thing of the past; and Congress dances a never-ending two-step around campaign-finance reform. And yet grown men and women cry over the relocation of football teams ("The Blame Game")?

The Roman Empire may have invented bread and circuses as a diversionary tactic, but America and professional sports have certainly perfected it.

Lori Doyle

Jurisprudent? How cynical can you get? Instead of being thankful that a white jury delivered a verdict he agrees with, Wiley Hall complains that an African-American jury would have been called "simpleminded" or subject to "jury nullification" if it rendered the same verdict (Urban Rhythms). While that's certainly possible, I think it's unfair to write as if it would be a certainty. (Doesn't doing the right thing count for anything?) At the very least it reveals a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" view of society.

David Plunkert

Voting-Booth BLues Andy Markowitz's "White Like Me" was so true. Historically it has been white people who have been obsessed with color in politics. Blacks have faced many electoral obstacles: There was the poll tax, a voting tax that most blacks were too poor to pay. There was the property test that few blacks could meet, and the literacy test, wherein blacks had to know how to read and write (but white election registrars decided who passed the test). There was a grandfather clause, allowing blacks to vote only if their grandfathers were eligible to vote before the Civil War (a test that no black could meet). White-only primary elections were once held because primary elections were not covered by the 15th Amendment, which gave blacks the right to vote.

Where in American can you find a majority white city with a black mayor?

Leo Williams

Bull's-Eye Bob In the otherwise journalistically responsible article "Sideshow Bob", the unnamed author referred to me as a "sock-and-sandal-footed loose cannon." I have no problem with the not-a-slave-to-fashion comment on my footwear or the "cannon" description. A cannon is just a large pistol, so I take that part as a well-deserved compliment. It's the "loose" part that I take exception to.

My political "cannon" has taken well-anchored shots at the controlling big shots for many a decade. Its aim has consistently focused on issues and solutions.

It matters no more to me if a candidate for City Council president (Tony Campbell, in this case) is a Democrat or a Republican than it would if he were black or white, Muslim or atheist, gay or straight, sober or addicted. I shared a press conference with Campbell because I share with him an issue: democratizing the school board. Had his Democratic opponent (what's her name?) invited me to a press conference to promote any idea we might share, I would have just as gratefully attended.

I see this as being nonsectarian, focused, principled, dedicated to a solution, consistent, and demonstrating integrity. No one can shift the aim of my political cannon.

A. Robert Kaufman

Correction: Lucinda Williams is performing at Towson's Recher Theater Nov. 23, not Oct. 23 as reported in last week's In the Wings.

Editor's note: Join City Paper and our 1999 fiction- and poetry-contest honorees for a reading of the winning work at 7 P.M. Oct 13 at City Café, Cathedral and Eager streets in Mount Vernon. The event is free. Call (410) 523-2300, ext. 226, for more information.

Also, this week is your last chance to line up a spot in our big Holiday Guide calendars. If you are holding a holiday-related event between Nov. 17 and Jan. 2, send us information about it. (Photos and slides are welcome, but they can't be returned.) The deadline is Oct. 20. Mail to Ronald Hube, Holiday Guide, City Paper, 812 Park Ave., Baltimore, MD 21201, or fax to (410) 523-8437.

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