Archive for January, 2008

Current Gallery

photo by: alyssa

Started in November 2004, Current Gallery is an artist-run cooperative, with about 1500 square feet of gallery space and about four times that for artist studios. The gallery was the first of its kind to develop out of a project courtesy of DPB and the city of Baltimore for artists to occupy an otherwise abandoned building rent-free between the time it takes the city to hand it over to the slated 25-story redevelopment plan of luxury apartments called CityScape . That’s right, Current won’t be forever so hustle on down there and get a dose of a much-needed yet ephemeral cultural music and arts venue.

Represented in the photo above is the galleries submission for Artscape 2006 called the "Dilapidated Reanimated Expo," which examines ways to reuse the city’s plethora of neglected property.

Second Chance Inc.

photo by: alyssa

Working with local and regional architects, builders, and contractors, Second Chance rescues wood, metal, marble, plaster, stone, and other architectural elements from buildings which are entering the demolition phase. They then give those elements new lives, in new homes, in new ways, with new uses, giving modern homes a touch of history. Through public and private funds, they continue to train low-income Baltimore residents on how to safely deconstruct a building without damaging its historic elements, while also equipping them with a variety of skills, from carpentry to craftsmanship. Visit their website for more information on the company, its events, and training opportunities. Find more salvage centers in the surrounding area here.

Baltimore Landmark Homes

photo by: Joe Stewart

Baltimore Landmark Homes is an integrated development and homebuilding firm “committed to building high quality homes that protect the environment, honor local history, and respect the surrounding community.” A leader in the field of high efficiency, environmentally friendly development, the firm’s designs incorporate urban amenities with an environmentally conscious lifestyle.

Parks and People Foundation

photo by: Joe StewartThe Parks and People Foundation works to improve the quality of life in Baltimore’s neighborhoods by enhancing the health and beauty of its communities and parks. Through community networks, greening activities, and enriching youth programs, the foundation helps to improve the physical, social, and environmental quality of neighborhoods.
courtesy of: Parks and People Foundation

Maryland: From Fifth to First in Green?

photo by: Alyssa

As a long-time member of the green building community here in Maryland, I am joyous to read articles like this one in today’s Baltimore Sun. Timothy Wheeler writes about proposed legislation that would require state buildings to be energy- and resource-efficient. While recent years have been challenging at best for green building legislation, the support of Governor O’Malley will help tremendously. Even though the state is facing fiscal woes, the long-term financial savings of energy efficiency alone should be attractive to most lawmakers. I recently participated in the Maryland Green Building Task Force, which recommended policy initiatives to encourage private green development. The Green Building Council is responsible for policy related to state-owned properties.

Alliance for Community Trees

courtesy of: HRWA

Headquartered in College Park, Maryland, the Alliance for Community Trees has planted more than 7.8 million trees in urban landscapes nationwide, with assistance from 450,000 volunteers, since its inception in 1993. The group, which is composed of more than 100 sub-organizations, strives to support local grassroots organizations dedicated to tree-planting and tree-conservation. In Maryland, they work with the Center for Chesapeake Communities, Tree-Mendous Maryland, Herring Run Watershed Association, Parks & People Foundation, and the Beltsville-based Communities Committee.

Community Conferencing Center: Transforming Conflict into Cooperation

courtesy CCCOne evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, “My son, the battle is between 2 wolves.” One is Evil. It is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf wins?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed”.

Community Conferencing relies on the brilliantly simple idea of shifting the focus from who did what and how can they be punished, to who has been affected and how to repair the harm. When people come together in a conference, they don’t even have to agree on what happened. The conversation draws out ways to work together to make it better. The facilitator is something of a magician, subtly guiding the process and creating the setting for the group’s compassion and wisdom to blossom.

I love the stories. Continued