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New York Times profiles growing Baltimore beauty company

A New York Times article puts the spotlight on Towson-based Mally Beauty, which is one of QVC's top five beauty vendors.

Founder and makeup artist Mally Roncal recently appeared on the shop-from-home network to tell the story behind her line of beauty of products, including a mascara made from an Italian formula, Japanese pigments and a French lash comb, the Times writes.
 
According to the New York Times, Roncal surged ahead in the beauty business after creating Beyonce's look for her performance at President Barack Obama's inauguration. Mally Beauty has sold seven million units in the U.S.  since premiering on QVC eight years ago, the Times writes. 
 
Read the full story here.

USA Today video highlights Baltimore refugees planting urban gardens

Some Baltimore refugees have managed to recreate some of their beloved memories from home through urban gardening, according to a video posted by USA Today.
 
One refugee from South Sudan, Joyce Kedan, explains through a translator “when I come here and grow things, I feel very happy and positive, and I think of home.”

In order to farm, Kedan turned to Baltimore nonprofit New Roots, which provides refugees with their own plot of fertile soil and uses community garden specialists to help refugees grow rural and exotic crops in urban soil.
 
See the video here.

Writers Guild names 'The Wire' one of the best-written shows of all time

The Writers Guild of America has named “The Wire” one of the 101 best-written shows of all time.

The critically acclaimed HBO drama broke the top 10, coming in at No. 9. The show ranked above classics like “The West Wing,” “I Love Lucy,” and “Friends.” Critics consistently praised the show for its engaging portrayal of urban life in Baltimore during its five-year run.

Another Baltimore-set show made the list. “Homicide: Life on the Streets” was ranked at No. 46 on the list in a tie with the 1980’s drama  “St. Elsewhere.” “Homicide” won the Television Critics Association Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Drama for three consecutive years during its run. The show ran for seven seasons on NBC in the 1990s.

The top three shows are “The Twlight Zone,” “Seinfeld,” and, at No. 1, “The Sopranos.” Check out the rest of the list here at E! Online.

Baltimore Pride festival to feature mass wedding

The Baltimore Pride festival will host a mass same-sex wedding with Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake presiding over the ceremony, writes the AP in a story that ran in the Washington Post. The June 16 event will take place in Druid Hill Park.

The mayor has officiated other same-sex marriages since gay marriage became legal Jan. 1. Event planners and marketers in the wedding industry said last year that legalizing gay marriage would boost business

 





 

New York Times profiles Centerstage Artistic Director Kwame Kwei-Armah

The New York Times chats with Centerstage Artistic Director Kwame Kwei-Armah just before his new play begins its run at the Mount Vernon theater. 

Over a meal at an Afghan restaurant in Mount Vernon (gee, could it be the Helmand?), Kwei-Armah talks about "Beneatha's Place." Written by Kwei-Armah, the play is part of the theater company's so-called "Raisin Cycle," which included productions of Kwei-Armah's "Beneatha's Place" and Bruce Norris's "Clybourne Park." 

Both "Clybourne Park" and Kwei-Armah's plays are contemporary reactions to Lorraine Hansberry's seminal 1959 work, "A Raisin in the Sun."

"Clybourne" is currently running at Centerstage now through June 16 while "Beneatha's Place" runs May 8-June 16. 

"Mr. Kwei-Armah has put his reputation on the line with an ambitious new work that, although it doesn’t take on “Clybourne” directly, will invite inevitable comparisons," the Times writes. 

Kwei-Armah also says in the interview that Norris's play, which won a Pulitzer Prize in 2011, unwittingly gives the message that " 'whites build and blacks destroy.'"

Read the entire story here. And see Kwei-Armah's interview with BmoreMedia



New York Times features a tour of Jewish Baltimore

"I grew up on stories about the glory days of Jewish Baltimore, when, in my father’s telling, Jews were really Jews," writes Jennifer Moses in the New York Times. 

Moses says Jewish Baltimore is on the rebound, in both the city and the suburbs. She points to the Jewish Museum of Maryland, Attman's Deli and Eutaw Place Synagogue. 

"Happily, Jewish Baltimore is on the rebound, and not just in the suburbs. On a cold day in February when I went in search of the settings of my father’s stories, I landed in a place where perseverance, preservation and memory have conspired to keep that vanished world available," Moses writes. 

You can read the entire story here
 

USA Today highlights Reginald F. Lewis Museum's Harriet Tubman exhibit

Museums and tourism officials are honoring abolitionist Harriet Tubman, 100 years after her death. 

USA Today features some of these homages, including a contemporary art exhibit "Homage to Harriet" at Baltimore's Reginald F. Lewis Museum of African American History & Culture. It starts March 23 and runs through June 23.

The USA Today also features three other Maryland honors to Harriet Tubman. Earlier this month, officials celebrated the groundbreaking of the 17-acre Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park, just south of Cambridge. 

"The same day, the state designated a 125-mile driving tour, dubbed the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway, that cuts through her home turf on Maryland's Eastern Shore," USA Today writes.

Maryland also passed a bill to establish the 5,700-acre Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park on  Maryland's Eastern Shore.


Centerstage to produce plays inspired by the Civil War

Baltimore's Centerstage is one of four performing arts organizations that are producing several theatrical works commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, writes the New York Times

The National Civil War Project partners the theater troupes with the arts department of an academic institution. In the case of Centerstage, the Mount Vernon theater is teaming up with the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of Maryland, College Park.  The duo has commissioned “At War With Ourselves,” by the Kronos Quartet that promises to feature a "legendary composer."

Theaters and universities in Atlanta, Boston and Washington, D.C., are also taking part. 



Michigan professor teaches a class on 'The Wire'

Who knew McNulty and Omar had so much to teach us.

University of Michigan professor David Harding is using storylines from "The Wire" to teach his students about public policy, USA Today writes. The HBO crime drama is set in Baltimore. 

Titled "Urban Public Policy Through the Lens of HBO's The Wire," the class connects storylines in the HBO with real-life city challenges, such as housing, labor, health care, substance abuse and urban decay.

"It's a growing trend across the nation -- take some piece of pop culture, tie it to an academic subject and hope it grabs students' attention more than a standard academic class," USA Today writes. 

You can read the entire story here
 

Oscar-winning 'Searching for Sugarman' writer lived in Baltimore

If you were watching the Oscars Feb. 24, you know that "Searching for Sugarman" won Craig Strydom the Oscar for best documentary.

If you were searching for the movie's writer Craig Strydom, look no further than Charm City, the Baltimore Sun writes. Strydom lived in Baltimore for 13 years and worked for marketing firm IMRE.  

The movie tells the story of a music fan searching for the enigmatic 1970s singer Sixto Rodriguez whose music was used in South Africa's struggle against apartheid.




SNL spoofs Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis

Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis is known for getting teary-eyed after a winning game and doing his famous squirrel dance. 

His antics have caught the attention of Saturday Night Live actors who lampooned Lewis in the Jan. 26 show, eight days before the Ravens square off against the San Francisco 49ers at the Super Bowl. 

In the skit, "Lewis" says if his team wins the Super Bowl, he'll kneel down and "ascend into heaven." And then Thompson does the squirrel dance.

You can see the video here

Meanwhile, Chris Tucker and other Hollywood actors attempted their own version of the dance. 

Forbes reviews Baltimore's Digital Harbor Tech Center

The South Baltimore Recreation Center has officially reopened as a neigborhood technology center, thanks to the efforts of the Riverside community and Digital Harbor High School supporters.

Forbes takes a look at the new venue, where Balitmore City school students can learn about web design, mobile app development and digital media production. 

"The center’s grand opening was a packed house, where excited participants got to show equally excited visitors the fruits of some of their early work, providing a taste of what’s to come from the space," the magazine writes. "Shelly Blake-Plock, the executive co-director of the Digital Harbor Foundation, delivered such an impassioned welcome speech that you could almost see where all this excitement was coming from."

You can read the rest of the story here

Ray Lewis boosts Baltimore Ravens brand by $125M

What a year for Ray Lewis to retire. In his last year as No. 52, the Baltimore Ravens' linebacker is squaring off against the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII.

Just how valuable has Lewis been to the Ravens?

Forbes estimates that Lewis helped boost the value of the Ravens franchise by as much as $125 million during his 17 years of play by helping to make the brand more appealing. 

"The historic brand appeal of the franchise has helped keep the Ravens franchise value among the NFL’s top third," Forbes writes. 

Baltimore's Same-Sex Wedding Website Featured in USA Today

The day after Maryland voters approved same-sex marriage, Baltimore's tourism bureau launched its website that helps gay couples who are planning a wedding.

"Celebrate your wedding day in Baltimore!" Visit Baltimore's site says. 

And USA Today took note of the quick response.

"Visit Baltimore is helping with venues, lodging, group rates and vendor suggestions," the paper writes. "It also has the fine print on how to wed there."

Same-sex couples can wed in Maryland starting Jan. 1. 

You can read the rest of the story here

Jewish Leaders Hold Convention in Baltimore

The Jewish Federations of North America is holding its 2012 convention in Baltimore this week for the first time in 30 years, writes WBAL TV in a story that was picked up by MSNBC.com.

The meeting takes place Nov. 11-13, bringing thousands of Jews who represent 155 Jewish federations and 300 networks that "raise and distribute more than $1 billion each year for social welfare and education," the story says. 

The annual convention is a once a year chance for Jewish leaders to get together and talk about the positives and the challenges, Bruce Sholk, a past chairman of the Associated, tells WBAL.

You can read the rest of the story here
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