The past two weeks saw big announcements from both the Sondheim Artscape Prize and the Baker Artist Awards. The Sondheim Prize released a list of 39 semifinalists, from which a handful of finalists will be selected mid-March to exhibit their work at the BMA starting June 22 (all semifinalists will show their work at MICA during Artscape), until one winner is awarded the $25,000 fellowship. Another 39 artists have been named finalists for the Baker Artist Awards, which gives a total of $85,000 (the highest individual prize is a whopping $50,000) in May. Check out the lists: both include many names that will be familiar to City Paper readers.
↑ Carla Hayden
Last week, President Obama nominated Carla Hayden—the current CEO of our own Enoch Pratt Free Library—to become the next Librarian of Congress. Hayden has promoted libraries as community meeting places, and she's worked throughout her tenure at Enoch Pratt to modernize the libraries with e-readers and better WiFi. This is key, as the Library of Congress looks to get with the times and digitize its collection. Speaking of things that are overdue, if confirmed by the Senate, Hayden will be not only the first woman to hold the title, but also the first African-American person to do so.
As they were ironing out the details of a contract with starting pitcher Yovani Gallardo, the Orioles reportedly added the cherry on top of their big-spending offseason, agreeing to terms with outfielder Dexter Fowler to play right field and bat lead-off. Center fielder Adam Jones told The Sun he spoke with Fowler. "He's excited," he said. "He should be on his way now." Not so fast. In a surprise move, Fowler returned to this old team, the Chicago Cubs, on Thursday and announced he'd signed a one-year deal with an option. Oddly, he apparently turned down more money from the Orioles to stay put. The Fowler switcheroo was a bit of a gut punch, leaving the team searching for a hitter to get on base at the top of the lineup, but hey, at least the Gallardo deal worked out.
As the trial for Keith Davis Jr., a man shot by police in June wrapped up, a new police brutality claim surfaced: Activists and the family of Aaron Winston claim the 24-year-old was beaten by police during an altercation at the Mosaic nightclub on Feb. 21, resulting in a broken arm. At the very moment that the Mayor and Police Commissioner are talking about transparency, the Keith Davis trial revealed that Baltimore Police officers involved in that shooting went more than 180 days before giving any kind of statement. Last week, the police made some high-profile arrests—and residents thank them for broadcasting the the good news. But "transparency" cuts both ways. Give it to us straight and swift, BPD.
↓ Commisioner Kevin Davis
Last Wednesday evening, Police Commissioner Kevin Davis spoke at Anne Arundel Community College as a guest lecturer and discussed April's unrest. Specifically, he discussed the initial burst of violence at Camden Yards on April 25 and highlighted a "veteran police officer" who was "very upset about the protests" and as a result, "acted very, very emotionally." By the next day however, this moment of candor was pretty much retracted with Davis apologizing in a letter to the department and stressing that he does not think that "any" BPD officer "caused or created [Camden Yards'] violence and property destruction." It seems like more evidence of the Fraternal Order of Police's power—Davis kiss ed the ring—and it also begs the question: What did the aforementioned emotional officer do?