Expanding Horizons: The ARTClusive Series Community Arts Initiative

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Barbara J. Samuel: Sharing Stories, Inspiring Lives

Barbara J. Samuel, a retired Baltimore City resident and crochet artist has joined the ranks of the ARTclusive Series: Community Arts Initiative, igniting a new wave of creativity and inspiration within the community. As one of several additions funded by arts patrons, the Community Arts Initiative beginning this January 2024 welcomes Ms. Samuel with her wealth of experience and passion for advocacy through art.

Representing the senior sector but also individuals with disabilities, Ms. Samuel embodies the transformative power of the arts. Her journey, marked by resilience and creativity, serves as a beacon of hope for many.

Darrin Keith Bastfield, fondly recalls his mother's pivotal role in fostering his own artistic talents. "It was my mother who first recognized the potential within me," he reflects. "Her love for crocheting and playing the piano has been transformative, especially in the face of her health challenges. Now, I have the privilege of enabling her to continue pursuing her passion and purpose."

This direction to reach the broader community was decided last year after the success of the ARTClusive Series: Beats Per Minute Speaker Series, which toured major arts and cultural institutions such as Center Stage, Reginald F. Lewis Museum, Eubie Blake Center, and the Baltimore Museum of Art. Building upon this momentum, the ARTclusive Series: Community Arts Initiative aims to amplify diverse voices and experiences, enriching the cultural landscape of our city. Donna D. Brown, Program Manager says, “Inclusiveness of the broader community is imperative.”

Ms. Samuel's appearance at The Patrons’ Room during Flower Mart Weekend 2024, May 4, 2024, brought light to a rainy day with the sharing of her life stories and crochet works on display. A sneak peek of her creations were available on May 3, 2024, offering a glimpse into her artistic vision and the profound impact of her artistry.


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Beats per Minute: The 50th Anniversary of Hip-Hop; Baltimore’s (untold) Contributions to the Culture
This powerful program, part of the University of Baltimore’s ARTclusive Series, demonstrates the influence Baltimore City has had on hip hop. Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, hip hop has inspired countless artists, musicians, and writers to express themselves through this vibrant and dynamic art form.

Beats per Minute: the 50th Anniversary of Hip Hop; Baltimore’s (untold) contributions to the Culture is curated and developed by Angela Koukoui, the Outreach Engagement Librarian for the University of Baltimore’s Robert L. Bogomolny Library (RLB).

The evening includes: music by DJ Rod Lee; artist talks and presentations on the history of local hip-hop and Bmore Club Music; an exclusive look at an excerpt of Born Busy, a documentary film on Tupac Shakur’s teenage years in Baltimore before his fame.


The "Cinematic Soundscape Initiative" is a transformative film-based program engaging middle to high school students. Focused on music exploration, participants evolve from a film crew, mastering interview and filming techniques, to producers and content creators. The initiative unfolds in Baltimore, anchored in a vibrant arts district, aiming to bridge cultural divides and nurture a sense of community through intimate exposure to musicians. The workshops, occurring after school and on weekends, span three eight-week sessions, immersing students in filmmaking, music appreciation, and community connectivity. The tangible outcomes include media campaign videos showcased on various platforms, fostering a sense of purpose and accomplishment.


The Gallery Installation & Etiquette Program is designed to educate participants on the intricacies of art gallery installations and proper etiquette when engaging with artistic exhibitions. Through hands-on experiences and informative sessions, attendees will gain insights into the art curation process, exhibition design, and the etiquette expected in gallery spaces. This program aims to enhance appreciation for art while fostering a respectful and enriching gallery experience.