UpStART Annapolis Summer 2019

Page 1






Jeni Parris Brady


nnapolis is mourning the passing of Jeni Parris Brady. She moved on from this earth on April 28, 2019. As the founder and operator of NaptownMusic, Jeni chronicled an ocean of local musical happenings, turning herself into a one-woman public relations mogul. She wouldn’t go to just one show and record it; she would go to all of them in one evening, every night of the week that she could. She was much like a mountain, ever present, ever protective, and always grounded, as she worked tirelessly to find, support, and promote musical performances. All of us were convinced that she had a body double or had cloned herself. If you ever saw her at a show, snapping photographs, videotaping, and recording audio, then you saw her in her element. She was always up front—near the stage, by the wings, or wherever the best visual vantage point was—standing with or holding her equipment, enjoying the music. She always had a smile and a hug to share, no matter how exhausted she was from immortalizing the performances of our musical lives. NaptownMusic wasn’t merely her passion, it was her truest and deepest love. And our gratitude is as boundless and enduring as her commitment was to all of us. There is no way we can fill her shoes, but we can occasionally try them on for size. We can be her legacy. If you are at a show, snap a couple pictures of the band and post them. Record a tune by the musician in the corner and share it with friends. Promote each other’s events. Get the word out to support your local musicians and artists, in her honor. Jeni made every musician she encountered feel like a star, but she was the real star. We love you, Jeni. – Jimi Davies

2 | Summer 2019

Photo by Dan Gillespie.

get to


4 1 0 . 5 4 4 . 5 4 4 8 | t h e p o i n tc r a b h o u s e . c o m | 7 0 0 M i l l C r e e k R oa d A r n o l d , M a r y l a n d 2 1 0 1 2


Volume 6



Issue 2


2 Jeni Parris Brady


By JImi Davies


14 Fugue State •JEFF NICKLASON

By Brenda Wintrode


24 Musically Unified •UNIFIED JAZZ ENSEMBLE

By Leah Weiss

FORM a 32 Raise Handcrafted Mug


• T H E A N N A P O L I S P O T T E RY


By Desiree Smith-Daughety

SPACE Art 40 Contemporary in Historic Annapolis


Untitled by Jeff Nicklason. Oil on Canvas.


By Desiree Smith-Daughety

SUP Gotta Risk It 46 You for the Biscuit


64 Words to Live By



By Brenda Wintrode

WUNDERKIND Fearless Girls: Courage Behind the Lens

6 | Summer 2019


By Theresa C. Sanchez



By Andrea Stuart

72 Local Transmissions • W N AV

By Leah Weiss



The I.W.S.A.(Inner West Street Association) & the Annapolis Arts District Calendar

Editor’s Inkwell


t the risk of sounding clichéd (just using that word sounds threadbare), I feel compelled to discuss how in magazine publishing, as in life, “It takes a village.” In many cultures, it is customary for children to be cared for by an entire community. Wet nurses may feed the babies, elders may tell stories and share wisdoms to help youth understand the importance of ritual and responsibility, medicine men and women care for the children’s health, and other men and women in the tribe may teach valuable skills that each child will hone as they mature. The wealth of knowledge, skills, and nurturing that children gain from such community participation in child rearing is invaluable to the tribe’s survival. In this way, they build strong community members. It’s not that different in magazine publishing. The publisher ensures that the footings stay in place so that the foundation is supported; he remains aware of “earthquakes” and other anomalies to prevent cracks from forming. The editors and art director, along with the editorial and creative teams, build trusses, a roof, and begin filling in the structure. But none of this would be possible without building materials. That’s where you come in. Up.St.ART Annapolis depends upon the community—readers, supporters, and creative cats—to share with us what they love most about the area. While we have our own penchants, the magazine would quickly become one-dimensional if we were to include content that represented only our interests. If you know of an artist, innovator, effort, cause, or otherwise unique individual, organization, or place in the greater Annapolis area that imbues the community with positivity in a creative way, please email your story idea to with the subject line “Story Solicitation.” In your email, please include a synopsis of the subject and its relevance or relationship to Annapolis, contact information for both yourself and the subject, and indicate whether or not the story is time sensitive (if the latter, then provide the ideal issue: winter, spring, summer, fall). Also indicate whether you know or have contact with the person or entity.

Publisher’s Note From Self

Jimi Davies

We look forward to your participation! | 7




EYE OF THE BEHOLDER June 20 - July 20 MIDSUMMER MADNESS July 24 - Aug 15


WWW.MDFEDART.ORG Artwork: Lon Brauer, The Water Men, oil Paint Annapolis 2018Â

Nancy Hammond Editions

Tall Lacecap Hydrangeas

Tall Day Lillies on Green


Nancy Hammond Editions features original art, prints and custom designed gifts by Nancy Hammond

The Lookout

192 West Street, Annapolis MD 21401 Open Daily 410-295-6612



Publisher & Creative Director Jimi Davies Editorial Director Andrea Stuart Copy Editor Leah Weiss Associate Editors Michele Callaghan Jenny Igoe MacDuff Perkins

Art Director Cory Deere Contributing Photographers Gregg Patrick Boersma Alison Harbaugh Sarah Jane Holden Emily Karcher Schmitt Advertising Jimi Davies

Contributing Editors Desiree Smith-Daughety Theresa C. Sanchez Leah Weiss Brenda Wintrode

SUBMISSIONS: For article submissions, email proposal to Up.St.Art Annapolis Magazine is published quarterly. Subscription rate: $40, payable in advance. Single copies $10. Back issues, if available, $15 (includes shipping and handling). For subscriptions and all other inquires, send an email to or call 410-212-4242. Entire contents Š 2019 by Up.St.Art Annapolis MagazineTM unless otherwise noted on specific articles. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part is strictly prohibited without Publisher permission.

10 | Summer 2019

Desiree Smith-Daughety

Brenda Wintrode

Leah Weiss

Theresa C. Sanchez


Gregg Patrick Boersma

Emily Karcher Schmitt

Alison Harbaugh

Sarah Jane Holden | 11

Get Some. a nna p oli sc anoeandk ayak . c om Annapolis Canoe & Kayak | 311 Third St. Annapolis, MD 21403 | 410.263.2303


14 | Summer 2019

Fugue S







bstractionist Jeff Nicklason holds up the dog comb he uses to drag parallel lines across a canvas. He lifts up a selection of his other tools one at a time: a trowel, a steel wire brush, a baking spatula, brushes, and a pizza cutter, but his favorite—a small squeegee from The Home Depot—he says he can no longer find. The tools are caked with the same rainbow of dried oil paint colors as the canvases stacked against his living room walls. They belong to each other. Smears, swipes, strokes, and streaks compose a thought, a

feeling, a story on a canvas, or sometimes a green board, depending on what his budget allows. The tactile and physical exercise of Nicklason’s painting process has replaced his first love: developing his own photographs, a craft he learned at age 14. When high-quality photography materials became more expensive and harder to find, and the alternative, digital photography, didn’t give him that tactile experience he sought, he changed mediums. Now, he manipulates oils of magenta, yellow, and turquoise to

Untitled by Jeff Nicklason. Oil on canvas. | 15

Untitled by Jeff Nicklason. Oil on canvas.

16 | Summer 2019

Untitled by Jeff Nicklason. Oil on canvas. | 17

manifest contrast, depth, light, and focus. One piece shows a black-blue night sky illuminated by city lights and skyscrapers spilling into a body of water. The edges, sides, and tines of his tools reinforce structure and texture, adding another dimension to the contrast in color choices. “I “One day I don’t go into any painting with woke up and I a preconceived of what said, ‘I'm going notion it’s going to look to be happy . . .’ like. The painting evolves,” says it was amazing, Nicklason. He often just making a experiences declaration of a fugue-like escape happy.” therapeutic while creating. “It’s like yoga mixed with meditation, mixed with running at the same time, you know? The flow doesn’t come all the time, but when it comes, it’s like magic.” Nicklason’s choice of palette can range from soft and muted to bold and bursting, yet appears cohesive and harmonious within a single composition. “He’s fearless in the way he attacks a canvas,” says his girlfriend, Susan Moynihan. The self-taught Nicklason encourages friends who ask him for painting and photography lessons to just start in. “If you’re worried about screwing up, then you’re already done,” he says. Although the Annapolis High School graduate has lived in Taos, New Mexico; Yonkers, New York; and Norfolk, Virginia; Annapolis feels like home to him. While

18 | Summer 2019

studying political science at The George Washington University in the late 1980s and for some years after, Nicklason sang in a high-energy progressive rock band called Culture Shock and sometimes played rhythm guitar, although not as well as he would have liked. “It was one hell of a lot of fun,” he says, recalling the good times, touring from Virginia to New York and playing locally in College Park and Baltimore clubs and at D.C.’s historic nightclub, The Bayou. He sells boats to pay his bills and says his four-years-young relationship with painting keeps him sane. He answers what he describes as an urge to paint, completing some paintings in hours, like the piece of mostly negative space with patches of blue, green, and orange, accented with thin pizza-cutter lines of black. Other pieces remain on hold or receive touch-ups over months or years. Local businesses display his work for sale. Sheehy Infinity of Annapolis showscases seven of Nicklason’s large pieces. Thick red, yellow, and fiery-orange troweled rectangles warm the dealership’s entrance. Elaine Ebensen, president of Custom Stitch Designs for Windows, Inc., displays many Nicklason pieces in her location in the Design District, but her favorite hangs in her office. Jewel tones, pastels, warm yellows, pinks, and greens weave and swirl inside the borders of the rectangular canvas’s boundary, yet there is balance, always balance. “You always want to sort it out,” says Ebensen.

Untitled by Jeff Nicklason. Oil on canvas.

Untitled by Jeff Nicklason. Oil on canvas. | 19

Untitled by Jeff Nicklason. Oil on canvas.

20 | Summer 2019

Self-portrait by Jeff Nicklason.

You know, it sounds like such a bad cliché, but it was amazing, just making a declaration of happy,” says Nicklason. His salubrious efforts hang on the walls, physical creations of invisible emotions. Some already painted canvases, he admits, still need work, like the multi-layered, rust-red piece above his couch. He’s been working on it on and off for two and a half years, and it feels to him as though it’s still unfinished. █


Nicklason quite possibly sorts out a range of intense emotions on his canvases. The 51-yearold reports a recent episode of depression. Both he and Moynihan began noticing in him an increased irritability, fear-based thoughts, and frequent insomnia, which pressed him to seek out a talk therapist and eventually medication. “He is self-aware enough to know something wasn’t right,” says Moynihan. Nicklason wants to talk about his experience in hopes it will benefit others. He says the episode strengthened his relationship with Moynihan. “One of the things I respect about him so much is that he’s learning from it and dealing with it. He’s a survivor, for sure,” she says. Divorced in 2014, Nicklason, who is the father of three teenagers, settled into his current Annapolis home last spring. He calls the creative incubator atop a steep hill lined with gravitydefying deciduous trees “the tree house.” The deck protrudes from the back of the house as though suspended in air. When it’s nice out, he paints there, and on this blustery, bright March day, he says he looks forward to setting the thick cushions onto his vintage wicker deck furniture. He has filled the nonpainting space of his living room with mid-century furniture and a few lamps from Annapolis consignment stores. Two Fender amplifiers sit on the floor next to his Fender guitar, which he sometimes plays. “After the divorce, it was a tough time. But one day I woke up and I said, ‘I’m going to be happy.’ | 21

22 | Summer 2019



In deep gratitude to Heather, Paisley, and Meeko | 23


24 | Summer 2019

Musically Unified “T


hose guys are world class,” says musician and recording engineer Noel White. “They are very fluid, they know each other so well. Jazz is supposed to breathe and be a conversation—they are four guys having a beautiful conversation that complements each other.” Since New Year’s Day 1997, Unified Jazz Ensemble (UJE) has been playing in the back room of 49 West Coffeehouse, Winebar & Gallery once a week. Though the night has moved from Wednesday to Tuesday and personnel have shifted, the basics remain: extraordinary musicianship, compellingly rendered tunes, and playful patter. “They are as good as anybody I’ve seen anywhere in the world, on any given stage,” says White, who worked as stage manager and band technician for jazz luminary Herbie Hancock. “UJE is always a joy to see,” says Andy Bienstock, jazz host at WYPR. “They’ve played together so long that

they can read each other’s minds—but there’s no coasting, every performance is fresh.” The group delivers with clarity, intensity, and understatement. Dynamics are graceful while solos are seamlessly passed around, each member supporting the other as if knowing firsthand where the lead will go. The band never follows a predetermined set list. “That kinda gets in the way, it boxes us in,” says vibraphonist Mike Noonan. “Instead, we read the room and assess what song should follow.” Bass violinist John Pineda explains that the set has an arc, and they want the audience to be able to differentiate what happens on every piece. Band members take turns calling the tunes, each composition presenting varying textures, rhythms, and cadences, creating different ambiances. In 1992, while finishing a graduate program in music at University of North Texas, Noonan was asked if he’d like to put together a band to serve a 10-month residency

Unified Jazz Ensemble's trumpeter, Tim Stanley. | 25

in Decorah, Iowa. The tiny Midwestern city had been accepted into the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Chamber Music Rural Residencies Program and requested a jazz ensemble, as it was devoid of jazz. NEA was happy to expand its program, and Noonan jumped on the assignment, pulling together a quintet of colleagues, some from North Texas and others from his undergraduate days at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. Noonan’s choice of band name was purposeful. “It says what we try to do, as a collective,” he says. “We all bring in originals, we create arrangements. I follow these guys just as much as they follow me, musically. We’re truly an ensemble.” NEA’s program had them teaching and mentoring in the public schools, writing compositions, and performing in the community. “We felt the impact we had, Decorah really embraced us,” says Noonan. The residency was extended for another year, and today the city still hosts local jazz performances. When the group moved to Blytheville, Arkansas, in 1994 for another NEA residency, Pineda became its bassist. Born into a musical family—his father performed and his grandfather opened a conservatory— Pineda met and played with Noonan during his undergraduate days at North Texas. The two have a palpable connection: on stage, Pineda will almost imperceptibly wander alongside Noonan’s solo for a few beats, moving back into foundational lines within seconds. Both are quick-witted, bantering with those around them, playing off each other verbally in rapid succession. After the Blytheville residency concluded in 1996, UJE moved en masse to Annapolis to continue working together. Noonan, who serves as the band’s booking agent and factotum, walked the city’s streets, looking for venues. When he came upon 49 West’s empty back room, he saw its potential.

“We’ve all grown up learning the same language, listening to the same masters of that language.”

26 | Summer 2019

Unified Jazz Ensemble performing at its weekly gig at 49 West Coffeehouse, Winebar & Gallery. (L–R): Tim Stanley, Frank Russo, Mike Noonan, and John Pineda. | 27

49 West co-owner and jazz aficionado Brian Cahalan knew that UJE would be a perfect fit. Having such a quality group playing weekly also put a spotlight on his newly opened café as a performance space. “They helped legitimize us so that other serious musicians and artists would want to come here, perform, and be part of the 49 West family,” he says. Initially, UJE went on 30-day tours yearly but pared its road time after becoming established. Several musicians active in Annapolis’ music

scene have been band members over the years, including Jeff Antoniuk, Marty Morrison, Dominic Smith, Tim Leahy, Mike Pavone, Tedd Baker, and Paul Pieper. Tim Stanley, UJE’s trumpeter, initially came to Annapolis from Rhode Island in 2001 for a position in the Naval Academy Band and then joined the prestigious Navy Band Commodores, playing big band jazz. In 2008, he became a part of UJE on top of his full-time Navy gig. He once managed to juggle

Tim Stanley (foreground) with bassist John Pineda.

28 | Summer 2019

an 11-day UJE tour into his schedule. “Sometimes it feels busy, and sometimes a month goes by and is super busy but doesn’t feel crazy,” says Stanley, smiling. Drummer Frank Russo joined UJE three years ago. Another seasoned musician with an impressive resume, including teaching at Towson University, he plays with other ensembles around Annapolis. “When I joined this band, I couldn’t believe how large the repertoire is,” he says. “They have a wide variety. It’s a deep book and mostly memorized.”

Mike Noonan performing on vibraphone.

“They have so many musical connections, friends who play all over the world,” says Cahalan. “It’s always fun when their friends stop by, feeling that excitement and exuberance through the music.” Once, after legendary trumpeter Freddie Hubbard played at Rams Head On Stage, Hubbard’s baritone saxophonist, who went to school with Noonan, brought Hubbard and members of his band over to UJE’s Tuesday night gig. “There was a cutting contest,” says Cahalan, referring to when musicians spar with each other on improvisational solos. “It was Tim Leahy versus Hubbard’s trumpeter, and Leahy just cut him out! It was all in good fun. That’s what you live for, those kind of nights.” █


Says Pineda about the band after Russo joined, “It just seems like it all clicks. He has the same musical background.” Stanley elucidates: “I’ve always thought of jazz and improvisation as kind of a language, and we’ve all grown up learning the same language, listening to the same masters of that language. Each of us has developed our own voice, but you can talk to anybody anywhere that speaks your language, and we can play together in that way.” UJE just released its eleventh album, Standards . . . basically, recorded at White’s studio, Hudson Street Sound. “They work super fast,” says White. “They know their material, so they come in, and it’s like capturing lightning in a bottle—I’ve got to be ready for them, and it’s got to work because it’s gonna be one of the first two [live] takes.” The new recording features jazz standards, a departure from previous recordings. “We put a lot of thought into how we’re going to take a standard that’s been played a million times and tailor it to the sound of our group and the sound of the members of our group,” says Noonan. To make a living as musicians, they work constantly, sometimes gigging twice a day, five to seven days a week. They play in various combinations, with each other and with other groups, something Pineda says helps keep UJE’s music fresh and broadens repertoire. “It affects what we bring back in on Tuesday nights—somebody might bring a new tune, an arrangement of something we already know, or a rhythmic idea that they just happened to play at a gig with somebody.” Tuesdays at 49 West is UJE’s priority gig. Says Noonan, “We all try to protect this night so that we can all be there.”

Learn more about Unif ied Jazz Ensemble, its recordings, and its upcoming shows at www.unif | 29


32 | Summer 2019


Handcrafted MUG




tep through the door of The Annapolis Pottery into a profusion of exuberant colors. Your eyes aren’t sure where to focus, but your brain assesses the scene and directs them. The choice will be as individual as you are. Melanie Murphy, who has coowned the business for over a decade with her husband, Patrick, explains that the eye is first drawn to color, then shape. Located on State Circle, across from the Maryland State House, the store is laid out in a systematic way to create moments of serenity amongst the riotous palette. This is accomplished by grouping together artists’ works as well as the types of pieces that people tend to seek out. Casserole

dishes and chowder bowls, for example, are classed together for ease. Though they may have widely different glazes, they share a function. The experience is a visual whirl, which—with Murphy’s gentle prompting—turns tactile. She urges customers who want a mug, for example, to slip their hands around at least six to see what feels right: the heft, how the handle feels, how comfortable it is to slip your hand around it to hug the base. Not every piece will feel the same, as each has been handmade. In addition to carrying wares from 70 to 90 artisans and vendors, the store also has artisans on staff who ply their craft in a workshop tucked into a corner

The mug wall at The Annapolis Pottery in downtown Annapolis. | 33

A local pooch looks over his shoulder as if to invite visitors into The Annapolis Pottery.

34 | Summer 2019

The Annapolis Pottery storefront.

Lydia Fewerda forms a mug on the pottery wheel.

A close-up of Lydia Fewerda as she makes progress forming a mug.

of the building. Salmontoned pieces, newly formed, are stacked on shelves; once dried, they take on a light sienna color, ready for shaping, etching, and other finishing touches before being glazed. Some works have become signature pieces, a tradition linking the store’s three successive sets of owners. This year marks the store’s fiftieth anniversary, and local inspiration is apparent. Imprints, clay medallions, and whimsical, hand-painted crabs are abundant. One design, molded to resemble an open crab shell, has been created and sold for 25 years. Chowder bowls feature images such as the Liberty Tree or a sailboat, and glazes evoke the area’s waters. There are nods to the store's hometown, with Annapolis and 1694, the town's date of establishment, etched onto mugs. Schematics are carefully drawn and, along with production instructions, added to a file that has been maintained throughout the store’s history. “We’ve kept some of the items the same, but we’re not afraid to embrace change and try new ideas,” says Murphy. For example, in preparing for the semicentennial, a new collection inspired by the earth and water tones of the Severn River has been created. The Murphys have helmed the business through retail’s rocky disruptions. When they experienced a drop-off

“We provide something different, a mind switch to the ordinary.” of customers who had moved online and weren’t visiting downtown as much, they expanded the business by opening another storefront in Westfield Annapolis Mall—a bold move considering the retail environment. They eventually closed that location, maintaining the State Circle store and starting an online presence. Murphy says, “We have become different consumers because of all the choices available to us, but still, many retailers carry items that all end up looking the same. We provide something different, a mind switch to the ordinary.” Murphy’s guiding philosophy is a meld of functionality and the endearing qualities inherent in handcrafted pieces. “While making a piece of pottery, the thoughts and actions of the artist’s life go into the interpretation of how the bowl is made,” she says. “Every piece has a story and personal touch.” Recognizing that customers often shop for a piece to serve a particular function, a key | 35

ABOVE: Employees Chris Costello and Chris Langello work in the back of the shop in the pottery studio at The Annapolis Pottery.

design driver is that tactile experience while interacting with the piece. Take a baking dish, for example. How will a person hold it? How will the person feel, pulling it out of the oven—will he or she feel safe? Next, personal aesthetics are added, making a unique ware. A missed step in the glazing process led to one notable change for the business. There was never a plan to offer a plain white glaze. The pieces they offered were meant to serve

36 | Summer 2019

OPPOSITE PAGE: A selection of new pots cools in the kiln at The Annapolis Pottery. These pots are glazed with a new color scheme called "Tidal."

as a counterpoint to ubiquitous commercial white or augment the white wares a customer may already have. Murphy relates how iron oxide, a component needed in making a finish to apply, was once inadvertently left out in the process. They decided to proceed without it—and liked the result so much they added white pieces to their offerings. According to Murphy, “We have a lot of happy accidents!”

The store boasts lifetime customers, some of whom were originally tourists in downtown Annapolis who discovered the shop while walking around. Pottery pieces are now shipped internationally, to Japan, Russia, Turkey, and Poland, around South America, and beyond. People will call and say they were in the store and saw a piece they didn’t buy— staff oblige customers struggling to describe those missed opportunities

by sending pictures via text and email or providing a virtual tour using Skype. The business also has a very loyal local following that either brings in out-of-town friends or gives pieces as gifts, thereby creating new customers. Mugs are often the entrée into collecting, and individuals return to add a bowl and eventually more pieces. The Murphys plan to expand the retail space, carving out additional area within the historic

building. Murphy shares other plans to celebrate the store’s semicentennial—she’s braiding in a piece of her own personal history. Her grandfather, Percy Crosby, was a cartoonist and fine artist known for creating a cartoon strip featuring the character Skippy. Murphy plans to transfer decals of her grandfather’s fine line drawings onto plates, and their schematics will be added to the file that captures the artistic essence of this iconic store’s long history.

Murphy, who initially had reservations about buying a business involving retail, exudes the passion shaped by her hands-on experience in the business. For example, she will visualize something and relate her vision to the artisans in the workshop, who then immediately bring it into existence. Says Murphy, “There’s that reward you don’t get from working for others.” █


Current owners and staff of The Annapolis Pottery (L–R): Lydia Ferwerda, Pat Murphy, Chris Langello, Melanie Murphy, and Chris Costello at The Annapolis Pottery. | 37 1 park place | annapolis 410.626.0069

. . .. . . . . . .


crazy for you songs for a new world

MAY 23



mamma mia!


AUG. 1




THROUGH 410/268-9212 For tickets and information, visit


40 | Summer 2019





o Fleming Contemporary Art is a study in paradoxes. Two- and three-dimensional avant-garde pieces are displayed in a historic building located on historic Maryland Avenue in the Annapolis Boutique District. The cobblestone street runs alongside a brick and concrete sidewalk. In the gallery’s front picture window, a whimsical whirligig suspended from the ceiling twirls. It’s a playful nod to the subject of the recent exhibit, “Concentric Circles.” The studio gallery is airy, all clean lines and bright space. Cozy and inviting, it’s as thoughtfully designed as the living room of your most elegant, artsy friend. The exhibition’s pieces are arranged to

complement one another, enticing the eye to stay and explore further. The current two-artist exhibition evokes time and space, their symbiosis crackling with energy. On a wall, tucked into a side alcove, are one artist’s kinetic sculptural pieces. A flick of a finger creates interactive movement that contrasts with the other artist’s static display. The sculpture’s circles, resembling a clock’s innards or a bicycle’s gears, are a mimicry of the shimmering, circular-design pieces hanging along the two longest walls, where they capture and reflect the light. Standalone and interconnected circles in bas-relief, adorned with glitter, present a sophisticated and sleek rendering as precision-defined as its sculptured metal counterpoints.

Jo Fleming Contemporary Art at 37 Maryland Avenue. Works by Gail Higginbotham, Eric Roberge, Sigrid Trumpy, and Jo Fleming hang on the wall and are displayed in the window. | 41

Stand back, zoom out, and again take in the whole effect. There’s a sense of familiarity— these pieces conjure our shared stardust genesis. The number of exhibition pieces doesn’t overwhelm, but engages. As does Jo Fleming, the gallery’s owner, who turns off the overhead light to demonstrate the works’ brilliance in natural light. Next, she points out the quilted effect one piece has at close proximity, wanting the observer to come close. Fleming’s desk is nestled just behind a wall partition in a back alcove—the work area of a person in motion. One of the exhibit’s pieces, a stylized imagining of the sun, hangs nearby. This piece has competition—Fleming’s exuberant, sunny disposition. An artist herself, Fleming creates works that are artistic overlays, fresh and cerebrally provocative, with inspiration drawn from the contrast between

42 | Summer 2019

and intersection of urban spaces and nature. With a background in fine art—she graduated from Baltimore’s Maryland Institute of Art—and work experience with large architectural firms in Washington, DC, she provides art consulting and design for commercial interior projects in addition to her work as a gallery owner. Like the outer bands of a rotating galaxy, Fleming sweeps artists into her orbit. She works with Annapolis-based and other Maryland artists. Every two months, she curates a new show. Since opening the gallery, in August 2017, she has had eight shows, each featuring one to three artists whose works span a variety of mediums, such as collage, pastel, or three-dimensional installation, and include mixed media, sculpture, and photography. The shows often include her own paintings. When multiple artists are featured, each one uses different materials to create their

works. Fleming notes, “One type can elevate another.” Fleming also consults with artists to produce works and often includes them in her commercial projects, creating a professional ripple effect. She gets to know the artists she represents at her gallery professionally and personally to provide an informative presentation of their work and to foster those additional opportunities for working relationships. For example, to one artist who loves bicycles, Fleming suggested he create works around them. Placing a print image on the table next to her desk, she shows how it displays the fruit of his creative envisioning. The image is of two bikes positioned on what appears to be a meeting of sky and water, and Fleming is enthusiastic to have a potential theme for a future show. The gallery’s furniture also pays homage to artistic expression. A small table against a wall appears to have been hewn from a log, engendering a vibrant interaction

UPPER LEFT: A full house at

Jo Fleming Contemporary Art during a show featuring Jordann Wine and Larry Fransen. Photo by Alisa Hoodikoff.

UPPER RIGHT: Gallery owner Jo

Fleming sits in her Maryland Avenue gallery surrounded by works from a show featuring Jordann Wine's mixed media pieces and Larry Fransen's kinetic sculptures.

RIGHT: A mixed media piece

made of glitter by DC artist Jordann Wine accompanied by a handcrafted wooden bench by local artist Gary Stiewing of Rising Sun Woodworks.


of primitive and modern—a sophisticated tongue-incheek that reflects Fleming’s personality. Her ideas electrify the air as she talks and guides among the works, discussing her business ventures. Her creative antennae are always up, open to ideas, and she trusts that the universe will deliver. She once rented her gallery an art curator who wanted to host a private birthday party there; her willingness to oblige displays her enterprising mindset. One of Fleming’s recent exhibits, in late spring, featured abstract landscape paintings and water views to coincide with a maritime-themed celebration in Annapolis. Sigrid Trumpy, one of the featured artists, is a painter with deep ties to the area’s maritime culture through her family connection to the historic yacht building company John Trumpy & Sons. Fleming believes in speaking to an area’s community and neighborhoods using art, an approach she applies in her work with commercial clients as well as her gallery’s exhibits. She’s trying to show something not typically seen while addressing the community. “I’m inventing an exciting way of life for myself through the gallery and the interactions with the artists and work,” says Fleming. “Working with each artist to develop their strongest work and method of presentation has become my creative endeavor.” One could think of Fleming as a gravitational force that facilitates solidarity between an artist, the artist's work, and the environment in which the art lives. █ | 43

Opening Night Celebration | September 27 & 28

February 28 & 29 | Anne Akiko Meyers

Overture Party | 6:00-7:30 PM

Beethoven Adam Schoenberg Bartรณk

Meet The Musicians | 10:00-11:00 PM (Tickets required for these events)

Leonore Overture No. 3 Violin Concerto, Orchard in Fog Concerto for Orchestra

September 27 & 28 | Stewart Goodyear

March 20 & 21 | Robert DiLutis

Beethoven Gershwin Rachmaninov

Haydn Copland Beethoven

Egmont Overture Piano Concerto Symphony No. 3

November 8 & 9 | Lisa Pegher Barber Richard Danielpour Chadwick Beethoven

Overture to The School for Scandal Percussion Concerto, The Wounded Healer Hobgoblin from Symphonic Sketches Symphony No. 4

Symphony No. 104, London Clarinet Concerto Symphony No. 8

May 1 & 2 | Awadagin Pratt Garrop Beethoven Boyer

Pandora Undone Piano Concerto No. 1 Ellis Island: The Dream of America

SUBSCRIPTIONS ON SALE JUNE 3 | SINGLE TICKETS ON SALE AUGUST 5 For tickets, call the box office: 410.263.0907 | Purchase online at Holiday Pops: December 13 | 8 PM Presented by RBC Wealth Management The Broadway Tenors

Family Concert: May 9 | 11 AM The Life & Times of Beethoven


46 | Summer 2019




’m terrified to quit my job,” says Diane Gatdula, who co-owns Glazey Days Donuts with her husband of 27 years, Tracey Gatdula. She gave her employer ample notice, and in May, she left her full-time job to work six days a week for the couple’s mobile catering business, selling warm mini cake doughnuts topped with gooey, sticky, madefrom-scratch glazes and compotes. Seven years ago, these parents of two grown children found themselves in the opposite situation, when an unexpected layoff for Tracey resulted in an exhausting, fruitless job search. Diane remembers the urgency for the two-income family to do something. Then, the doughnut idea struck them. At his previous job, Tracey had created a successful revenue stream by making and selling doughnuts at the business’

annual fall festival. “We’ll make doughnuts,” they said—what did they have to lose? “We were managing businesses for other people for years, so it was just natural we started managing one for ourselves,” says Tracey, who will keep his full-time job managing K&B True Value in Annapolis. Borrowing $10,000 from Diane’s parents, they spent every penny on a mini-doughnut machine, food supplies, and a bright yellow popup tent. They started at a Pasadena flea market, and two years later were able to buy a pull trailer on their own. As of this past March, Glazey Days has 25 weddings scheduled for 2019. Entrepreneurship and selfreliance also came naturally to Truck of Deliciousness owner Chris Robertson. “My family has a heating and air conditioning business, but I wanted to have my own success. I didn’t want anyone to tell me

I’ve had something handed to me,” he says. In 2014, the 29-year-old Broadneck High School graduate bought his truck with his own savings and by liquidating stocks his grandfather bought for him. The start-up months were not without tough lessons. “The first time I had to order food from Sysco, I ordered way too much. I had to throw a lot of it away,” says Robertson. He narrowed the menu choices, focusing on his best sellers, one of which was a grilled cheese sandwich with an herbed butter spread inspired by TV chef Alton Brown’s recipe. “I thought [Brown] needed a few more ingredients in there,” says Robertson, who learned to cook from watching his mother and Food Network. Diane Gatdula similarly garners and changes recipes for the dozens of doughnut toppings she makes fresh for Glazey Days. “I’m not a great inventor but a great tweaker,” she says.

Tracey and Diane Gatdula of Glazey Days Donuts. | 47

Chris Robertson of Truck of Deliciousness.

Talman inspects every dish before it is passed through his truck window to the customers.

48 | Summer 2019

Food truck owner John J. Talman IV started CrabTownCurbs Cuisine in 2014 on a foundation of food service experience and a bit of entrepreneurship in his DNA. The former Middleton Tavern sous chef started in his teens working in the kitchens of many Annapolis restaurants, such as O’Brien’s (back when it was called Fran O’Brien’s), Chart House, McGarvey’s Saloon and Oyster Bar, and Main Ingredient (now Main & Market). Business ownership runs in the

family: his father, John J. Talman III, now deceased, owned Talman’s Office Supplies and Equipment on Church Circle, and his brother owns Post Haste Mailing on Russell Street. The 53-year-old Annapolitan’s cooking career flourished when, in his early 20s, Middleton Tavern chef Arthur Gross mentored him in the culinary arts. Says Talman, “[Gross] taught me patience, process, leadership, and how to make sure the team is together.”

Talman inspects every dish before it is passed through his truck window to the customers. His biggest sellers are crab dip and crab cakes. “People eat with their eyes. It has to look good,” he says. Talman feels the same way about his truck. The crisp white silhouette of a skipjack and the Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse against an aqua background were taken from a photograph his father took during his time as Anne Arundel County photographer from the late 1960s through the early 1980s. All of the food truck owners are acquainted. They work the same county food truck rallies and corporate events for the seven warmer months of the year, feed each other from their trucks, and give each other referrals. All three boast word-of-mouth marketing plans complemented by social media sites. Festivals, weddings, concerts, and corporate events financially anchor the businesses of the three businesses. A large standing order from the US Naval Academy sustains Truck of Deliciousness through the winter months; Robertson delivers 800 grilled cheese sandwiches weekly for the midshipmen’s lunches. The Towson University marketing and e-business major fitted a 26-foot trailer with a five-foot grill and two deep fryers to meet the demand. “I was planning on making a bigger trailer for bigger events, but this pushed me to do it,” says Robertson.

The Gatdulas are considering future expansions, a franchise, or perhaps a seasonal pop-up on a beach boardwalk. Plans remain on hold until the pair can ensure their high-quality food standards can be replicated. This year, Talman will offer a take-and-make option for his customers. He will sell the base of his popular crab dip for customers to assemble at home—just add crab. His eyes widen when he discusses the product’s potential retail marketability. The trending food truck business model comes with challenges. All owners were initially surprised by the amount of physical | 49

John J. Talman of CrabTownCurbs Cuisine.

“Everybody has to risk it for the biscuit to be successful.”

50 | Summer 2019

work involved in pre-event food prep and post-event equipment degreasing. “The work is hard,” says Diane Gatdula. They have all experienced many of the same joys and the humbling trials of building something from nothing. “I’ll never stop learning,” says Talman. Robertson accepts the hurdles of the food truck business that come with the successes. Customers have responded positively to his scrumptious delicacies, and he sees

many repeat customers for his bacon cheeseburgers. “I’ve been fortunate enough to make good food and stand behind a good product,” he says. The sandwich slinger knows that someday he will inherit W. Robertson Heating & Air Conditioning, an Annapolis business co-owned by his grandmother and father. Robertson works there during the busy summer season. In the meantime, he’s proud of the fact he has invested in


himself. “Everybody has to risk it for the biscuit to be successful,” he says. “You just gotta believe in yourself.” Tracey Gatdula looks back on Glazey Days’ business growth during the past seven years and finds it pleasantly shocking. “We’re lucky. We’re very lucky. We know how blessed we are because our food truck is so popular,” he says. The food truckers pass on the same hard-earned advice to newcomers. Keep the menu simple. Make everything fresh. Take risks, and be prepared to work very hard. █ | 51


54 | Summer 2019


Courage Behind the Lens by ANDREA STUART photography courtesy of FEARLESS GIRLS PHOTOGRAPHY


wo teenage girls walk up to a bronze statue encircled by fuchsia tulips. They carefully position themselves with their backs to the figure, looking back to check their placement among the flora. One arm stretches out from the duo holding a phone. Then, leaning in toward one another, the girls peer up at the device, tilt their heads, and smile. After a few clicks, they hunch over the phone, swiping left and right, eventually holding the phone up for one more take. Then they leave.

The popularity of photography has grown since the advent of the camera phone. When photographer Chase Jarvis published his book, The Best Camera Is the One That’s with You, in 2009, the world ran with the idea. Now, people of all ages and backgrounds find themselves behind the lens on an almost daily basis. One might argue, however, that the art of creating arresting imagery is a skill best honed outside of the selfie. In 2013, Alison Harbaugh, coowner of ArtFarm, created the Fearless Photography Program, a photography summer camp and

One day during camp at ArtFarm, the entire room was transformed into a camera obscura. After that, the girls experimented with slow shutter speed photography and flashlights. Photo courtesy of Fearless Girls Photography. | 55

mentorship program that strives to teach young girls how to “own their image”—that is, to take pride in their work and see that they are just as important as the work they are doing. Harbaugh understands the benefits of using whatever camera a person has available, but she also understands the power behind learning to use a variety

Dogs are a favorite subject while exploring downtown Annapolis, looking for interesting subjects during summer photo camp.

56 | Summer 2019

of photographic equipment and finding the pulse of a narrative. “I created Fearless Girls to encourage girls to take the camera, turn it around, and tell stories,” she says. Fearless Photography provides a way to encourage girls to become more confident, move away from selfies, and become better photographers through storytelling. In Harbaugh’s estimation, DSLR (digital single-lens reflex) cameras, which use a mirror to reflect light to the viewfinder, and mirrorless cameras, which have no optical viewfinder and expose the viewfinder to light at all times, give the photographer more creative control and inspire a higher level of attentiveness. The program encourages the girls to tell stories by trying different lenses and focal lengths and learning how to use aperture and shutter speed creatively. They learn how to develop a story by immersing themselves in the environment so that they can see from different perspectives. “It’s not just snapping photos,” says Harbaugh. Beyond the basics of learning about composition, lighting, and how the cameras work, students learn what goes into different types of photography, from portraits to photojournalism. They go into the community and are asked to observe. Through this mindful act, the students become aware of topics that need to be communicated. They begin seeing things they didn’t notice before. The environment becomes richer, and the textures begin to reveal themselves. For many students, this one act alone—observing— can become a catalyst for changing how they relate to the world around

them. “Since becoming so into photography, I can see things I wouldn’t normally notice,” says 13-year-old Fearless Photography graduate Elia Alewine. “I didn’t just learn how to take photos. I learned how to tell a story through a series of photos.” Alewine plans to become a professional photographer. Harbaugh has created a curriculum that builds mental, emotional, and intellectual muscles. “We encourage the students to do something each day that scares them, such as asking a stranger if they can take their picture,” she explains. “They groan when we assign it, then when they get back, they say it was fun and they’d like to do it again. Girls break out of their shells.” While Harbaugh is the primary teacher, she has a rotating roster of mentors that includes female photographers from various backgrounds, including a National Geographic photographer, wedding photographers, fashion photographers, and former graduates of the program. The mentors of Fearless Photography take great pride in teaching girls how to harness their confidence and take chances. Learning from a variety of specialists allows the girls to explore their interests and find the areas of photography that makes them tick. Fearless Photography is recognized as a program that instills students with life skills, such as communication, listening, observation, respect, and accountability. Caitlyn Stachura, a program graduate, had an interest in photography when her father mentioned the program. But she didn’t feel mature or

A field trip to the Graffiti Warehouse in Baltimore, Maryland taught the girls how to creatively take portraits of each other using a variety of light sources. | 57

Fearless Photography Girls in downtown Annapolis during a recent summer camp. Fearless Girls summer camp end-of-summer photo exhibit at ArtFarm, where the young off photographers get to show their best work from camp at ArtFarm.

58 | Summer 2019

the e their best fearless pose on Fearless Photography Girls strik lis. apo Ann n ntow dow of ets stre

A rainy day at camp means experimenting with crazy lighting! The photographers play with light by using a projector. Lear ning how to shoot indoor portraits with available light, Fearless Photography students lis, practice at ArtFarm in Annapo p. cam mer sum a ng duri d ylan Mar | 59

experienced enough to identify as a photographer. She’s now compiling portraits for her first photography book, chronicling her high school and college years. “I’ll be attending a women’s college this fall, and I feel [that] being a part of Fearless as a student and as a mentor played a part in my decision to do so,” she says. She also believes that serving as a mentor helps her reflect on her own photographic habits and encourages her to ask herself why

she makes the kind of work she makes. “I learned how important it is to cultivate a supportive community of women in the arts, where the voices of women and girls are sometimes delegitimized.” At the end of each summer camp, the girls participate in a final project. They break up into small groups and work together to tell the story of local businesses and artists. The resulting photographs are then exhibited at ArtFarm.

Fearless summer camps have the girls walking all around downtown Annapolis, photographing locals on the street, business owners in their shops, and whatever else grabs their attention.

60 | Summer 2019

Now in its sixth year, Fearless Photography is growing. In addition to the annual camp, it offers quarterly workshops and has launched a media mentorship program with Up.St.ART Annapolis. Harbaugh also hopes to take the program on the road. “A lot of girls in middle school aren’t getting the art education they need and aren’t able to express themselves, so this would be great for smaller communities,” she says, encouragingly. “Everywhere I go, there is interest. We just need support and time to make it happen.”

While some students may go on to develop careers in photography, others may not. Yet, each graduate leaves the program with a fuller sense of self and the courage to face more of life’s challenges. Their eyes have been opened to vast world full of possibilities and untold stories. █ To learn more about Fearless Photography, visit


Artist Neil Harpe became one of the subjects for the girls to interview and photograph during summer camps. | 61


al¡tru¡ism noun the belief in or practice of disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others. "some may choose to work with vulnerable elderly people out of altruism" synonyms: unselfishness, selflessness, self-sacrifice, self-denial. antonyms: selfishness

64 | Summer 2019

Words TO




n today’s busy world of work in progress, with a long way to fractured attention spans and go.” The 63-year-old Iowa native has seemingly never-ending to-do spent nearly a lifetime working to lists, it’s easy to lose sight of personify those nine words. what’s really important. While Storm owns Storm Bros. Ice most people consult virtual Cream Factory and operates Mission and human assistants, perpetual To Morazán, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit planners, and piles of Post-It® organization providing humanitarian Notes, Annapolis businessman aid to at-risk communities in Sveinn Storm, in an effort to Morazán, El Salvador. He never prioritize and recall life’s myriad planned on working for anyone else. details, needs to look no further His parents led by example, than his left forearm. instilled a strong work ethic, and There, you will find the Bible encouraged his entrepreneurial verse “Act justly, love mercy, and aspirations while he was an walk humbly with your God” adolescent living in Mesquite, Texas. (Micah 6:8) tattooed in black serif By age 15, Storm had secured a font on his weathered tan skin. driver’s license, launched a lucrative “I wish I lived them more curb painting venture, and co-owned consistently. [They’re] good goals a miniature golf course in Dallas for all of us, whether you believe with his brother Thomas. Storm’s in God or not,” says Storm, who early real-world exposure benefited took a year to decide to ink the his wallet and his mind, affording permanent reminder. “Every day him extra spending money and presents opportunities for me to challenging him to critically think serve others everywhere. I’m a about the world around him. This child lived with her mother and little sister in one of the homes that Sveinn Storm and his group repaired after a mudslide. Photo by Sveinn Storm. | 65

He lay awake nightly, worrying about each child’s welfare.

In 1971, his family moved to Annapolis. A year later, Storm graduated from Annapolis High School and went on to study business at Anne Arundel Community College, enhancing his course load with practical experience co-managing the Baskin-Robbins franchise on Forest Drive with his brother. It wasn’t long before Storm developed a mentor relationship with many of the young clientele who came through the door. After scooping their creamy confections of choice, he’d give them a task to do before leaving, such as coloring or finishing their homework. He soon discovered the children’s challenges were as diverse as the store’s “31® Flavors.” Although he realized many lived in poverty, he was unaware of the extent. He

lay awake nightly, worrying about each child’s welfare. This was not the first time the topic of life’s injustices stimulated Socratic dialogue within himself and with others, particularly his parents. Their perennial response, “What are you going to do about it?” compelled Storm to make the conscious decision to volunteer his free time facilitating weekend activities such as intramural sports, trips to Navy football events, and game nights for the children. “I wanted them to know they had value,” he says. “I was in a position to help, and to not do so would have been wrong.” The brothers attempted to secure a lessee option to purchase the ice-cream store, but apparently, their “youth and long hair did not look the part

of businessmen,” says Storm. Unfazed, the two men established their own string of eponymously named dessert destinations and employed many of the patrons he once guided. Currently, the downtown Annapolis storefront on Dock Street is the only one still operating. Storm spent the next 14 years also operating two private companies specializing in residential construction and flooring. The relationships he cultivated within the carpentry industry eased a transition into custom furniture and cabinetry manufacturing. As if his plate wasn’t already full, he also took up animal husbandry. Five years ago, he downsized Shore Nuff Farm and now raises Dexter cattle. Some say that success is when preparation meets opportunity.

A day's end in beautiful Morazán. Photo by Sveinn Storm.

66 | Summer 2019

While Storm didn’t know it at the time, each of the skills he had acquired along his unconventional career path would serve a greater purpose. Youth pastor Christian Graham of Safe Harbor Presbyterian Church in Stevensville helped him arrive at this newfound realization in 2010. Graham, who has known Storm for over 45 years, thought that his unique skill sets would be useful for a stove installation project in Morazán. Graham has traveled with his church to the impoverished El Salvadoran province 42 times since a 7.6-magnitude earthquake devastated its infrastructure in 2001. The initial call to action came from a local Salvadoran man who befriended one of Graham’s colleagues. According to the American Immigration Council, as of 2017, El Salvador was the top country of origin for emigrants arriving in Maryland, with Salvadorans accounting for 13.2 percent of the state’s nearly 912,000 immigrants. “My goal really is twofold. I bring people with me to raise money for the Salvadorans as well as work with and encourage them,” says Graham. “But it’s partly for the [volunteers] we bring with us. The experience really changes their perspective on life. We hope they fall in love with El Salvador, just like Sveinn has.” To say Storm fell hard is an understatement. He resolved to return to El Salvador, and did so the following year with his daughter, Sophie. His wife, Leslie, and son, George, joined

The home of one of the families in Mission To Morazán’s food delivery program. Photo by Sveinn Storm.

Don Rodrigo is 101 years old. He is still sharp of mind, and every minute spent talking with him is enjoyable, according to Storm. Photo by Isaac Reyes.

Don Pedro, 90, is blind and lives in a simple one-room house. He is dependent on Mission To Morazán for his food and medical care. Visits are joyous occasions, as can be seen in this image of Isaac Reyes and Don. Photo by Sveinn Storm. | 67

him on subsequent sojourns. “You start asking yourself, when, at what point in time do you decide whether or not you’re going to do something a little more permanent to make a difference,” says Storm, who makes it a point to spend up to three weeks every other month in El Salvador. “You develop a heart for the people there. I can’t change the world, but I can make a change there.” In 2015, Storm and his wife founded Mission To Morazán (the Mission) with the intention of ensuring the poorest of the poor wouldn’t have to worry about meeting their most basic needs. Initially, the Mission focused on installing safer, more fuel-efficient Ecocina stoves in Salvadoran homes. The cleaner cookers decrease the incidences of physical burns and respiratory infections, reduce air pollution, and minimize deforestation. Over half of the Mission’s budget goes directly to providing people with potable water and food security. Storm determined that the most efficient way to deliver clean drinking water was to install in-home filtration systems. The purification process results in water that is 99.9 percent uncontaminated. Each filter unit costs $16 (including installation) and lasts for about one year. The Mission currently feeds 35 families at a cost of about $15 per person a month. “We don’t drop off food, medication, and vitamins and run. We spend time with the families and check on everyone’s wellbeing,” says Storm. “Sometimes as hungry as they are for food, they are equally starving for

68 | Summer 2019

These two men work tirelessly, looking after the poor in their community. Mission To Morazán provides them with water filtration systems, which they distribute. Photo by Sveinn Storm.

Storm’s daughter, Sophie, with a resident of Morazán. Photo by Sveinn Storm.

Children of Morazán. Photo by Sveinn Storm.

“I don’t know that there is any greater joy than being able to make a difference.” companionship.” The Mission also believes that education is a vital pathway out of poverty. It established a scholarship program for qualifying students, making it possible for 44 teenagers to attend high school, at the cost of $50 to $60 per pupil. His hair is shorter and a bit grayer these days, but Storm’s altruistic attitude and motivation haven’t changed. “We live such comfortable lives here, and we read about things in the paper or see things on television that might briefly affect us, but seldom does it upset us enough to do anything,” he says. “I don’t know that there is any greater joy than being able to make a difference.” █


Mission To Morazán works hard to ensure a bright future for this little girl and her sister, both of whom were orphaned. Photo by Isaac Reyes.

While delivering food to a family, Storm was asked to hold a crying baby. Noticing a couple of health concerns, they took the young mother and her infant for medical care. The baby recovered quickly. Photo by Isaac Reyes. | 69





small item on the front page of the April 20, 1949 edition of the Evening Capital, titled “To Dedicate Station WNAV,” announced the upcoming first broadcast of Annapolis’ third radio station. Seventy years later, WNAV is still transmitting from the same tower on Admiral Drive, using some of the same technology from its early days. “Talk about rare,” says Steve Hopp, WNAV’s general manager, musing over the station’s longevity. “It’s moved around just slightly within the music genres, but being the local station, providing local news and public affairs and sports . . . doing that since it’s conception, and with the same call letters—that’s really rare, these days.” “Some things have changed over the years,” he admits. “We once carried Baltimore Colts

football. Well, that certainly went away. Then we went to the Redskins for a while, and now it’s the Ravens.” Unlike WANN and WYRE, AM stations that had to sign off at sundown, the new station, located in Carvel Hall (now the Paca House), aired first as an FM station, at 99.1—initially intended to play music to special receivers in grocery stores— and then, a couple of months later, was granted a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) license allowing nighttime AM broadcasting at 1430. “Our current FM signal [at 99.9] is a low-power translator like the FCC has allowed a number of AM stations to utilize,” explains Hopp. At night, WNAV reconfigures its AM signal so as not to interfere with other stations in New Jersey and Ohio that share that same frequency.

Award-winning WNAV News Director Jane Schlegel plays a critical role in the station's news operations.

72 | Summer 2019 | 73

Donna Cole, multimedia reporter and host of 1430 Connection, interviews kayaker Steve Chard, who stopped in Annapolis during his 6,000-mile paddle for charity.

The station on Admiral Drive was built circa 1951, starting with the transmitter room. It was added onto as needed, the latest “new wing” built in 1974, and has a cozy, retro feel. The decades-old, peacock blue RCA transmitters are a sight to behold. Vast open space surrounds the small rectangular brick building, lending a pastoral quality. “We have to have the ground for AM—that’s why there is typically acreage around AM stations,” says Hopp, referring

74 | Summer 2019

to the buried ground radials placed every five degrees around the tower, each measuring half the tower’s height in length. “Back in the day, you had to have a First Class license to operate a directional station,” he says. “Now they’ve relaxed the rules, as long as you have an engineer on call. I think we lost something, when the operators don’t have to worry what’s on the meter out in the transmitter room.”

Hopp went to broadcasting school and the Radio Engineering Institute, and has always been in broadcasting. He joined the WNAV staff in 1971, first as a part-time announcer. Over time, he moved through the ranks, working in sales and serving as program director, operations manager, and general manager, the latter position under two station owners.

Television personality and Severna Park resident Pat Sajak, who began his broadcast career in radio, currently owns the station. “I’ve Been Thinking About,” a minutes-long weekly commentary, is his sole on-air presence. “He’s the perfect owner,” says Hopp. “He helps us when we need help, and has been extremely supportive over these 20 years. The whole reason he bought the station was that he knew what it was, and he liked what it did and wanted to keep it that way.” Under its FCC license, the station is required to service the needs and interests of its community, something Hopp says is easy to fulfill. “It’s gotten very compartmentalized in our industry, now,” he says. Many stations are single format, airing primarily sports, news, or music. WNAV, whose tagline is “Your Hometown Station,” is full service, writing and reporting local

news, producing public affairs programs, airing public service announcements for community organizations, broadcasting local and regional sports events, and playing music mapped out by program director Bill Lusby and augmented by listener requests. “We trust our on-air people. We’re not that prescriptive,” says Hopp, explaining how WNAV announcers have freedom in their presentations. Such practices are becoming less common because of the associated costs: “It’s a lot easier to bring in music over the satellite and put it in the automation system,” he says. WNAV ascertains which social issues are most important to its listening audience through semiannual reports issued by Anne Arundel Community College’s Center for the Study of Local Issues. “It’s wonderful,” says Hopp, “because they’re talking to 500 or more people.

“ The whole reason [Pat Sajak] bought the station was that he knew what it was, and he liked what it did and wanted to keep it that way.” We can use that to direct our talk shows.” While the major topics of concern don’t vary much from year to year, they tend to shift positions in terms of priority. One of the station’s public affairs programs, “Talk With,” originated as “Talk with the Mayor.” Over time, it evolved, branching out into conversations with other officials such as the Annapolis police chief and heads of other agencies and organizations. Recently, WNAV has been focusing on the opioid crisis and suicides, which have increased in the area. “I feel that our job is to get the word out,” says Hopp. “If we can help organizations get their messages to the public, then I feel that’s what we need to do. We try to keep all the doors and windows open, so that when the ideas come in, we can grab them and work with them.”

WNAV transmits from the same tower on Admiral Drive that was first erected 70 years ago. | 75

Sports fill much of the evening programming, with broadcasts of Orioles and Ravens games and Navy football, basketball, and lacrosse. Bowie Baysox games are either streamed online or on the air, depending on the Orioles’ schedule. Local high school sports are also covered. “We’re the only station still doing that,” exclaims Hopp. “This year was great, because we had a girls team and a boys team that went to the finals from Anne Arundel County. It was wonderful.” Wiley Baker’s coverage includes stories about team participants, coaches, and athletic directors. Hopp admits that the 24-hour news cycle is painfully fast. “It’s nice to be first with a news story, but I’d rather be correct,” he says. “We always say that our news pyramid is upside down, because typically it’s international, national, regional, local. We General Manager Steve Hopp in his office at the station on Admiral Drive. Hopp is a 48-year veteran of WNAV.

Hopp stands in WNAV's transmitter room, where the station's long history comes to life.

76 | Summer 2019

turn that right around and make local most important.” Most time spent is talking to local newsmakers and first responders. “In turn, when they want to get the word out about something, they contact us.” Over the years, the news staff has received Chesapeake Associated Press Broadcasters Association awards, something that brings recognition to the news staff as individuals as well as to the station. WNAV’s staff is relatively small, with 12 full-time and roughly two dozen part-time employees—some have been with the station for 20 years. The iconic WNAV van is often seen around the city, at local parades, fairs, and fundraisers, at election night parties, at Navy pre-game tailgates, and more. Once, the van was stolen from the parking lot. “Unfortunately, we had

kept some equipment in it, so I guess they were interested in that. But I’m thinking, it’s got the call letters on the side,” says Hopp, smiling, questioning the practicality of the robber’s acquisition. “There are days when we wish we could clone ourselves and our van!” As for the station’s future, Hopp hopes that WNAV continues to be relevant. While many media outlets are downsizing and relying more on corporate support, WNAV receives funding primarily from local advertisers, aligning with its local focus. Businesswise, it’s challenging. “But we keep trying to do the right thing,” says Hopp. “People find value in what we do, and we just want to keep doing it.” █


WNAV Sports Reporter Wiley Baker broadcasts from a local high school all-star basketball game at Arundel High School.

Program Director and Weekday Morning Host Bill Lusby has been with WNAV for more than two decades (and he's still smiling). | 77

one week. one community. one mission. Our mission is to create a platform for the arts and celebrate how it contributes to the make-up of Annapolis.

celebrating annapolis’ diverse arts scene

JUNE 1 -8, 2019 Join us for a week-long celebration of the arts. Along with the 17th annual Paint Annapolis plein air competition, the week features festivals, gallery exhibits, performing arts, block parties


and live music for an unforgettable week of art and culture. Get more information at:


WE’VE MOVED and ArtFarm Studios is a 3,200 square foot creative space, located in the Design District of Annapolis, Maryland.

came with us! Equipped with open space, large gallery wall, a classroom, and a stage, ArtFarm is the perfect place to explore arts education, engage with creative groups, or host an event. With its spacious floor plan, ArtFarm also caters to working creatives with its’ Open Studio Residency. Together with Charles Lawrance of FinArt and Malcolm McFadden of Studio Six Fifteen and The Conglomerate, ArtFarm has created a space that caters to a broad spectrum of the arts.


We’re the


Arts District

! t u o s u k c e

ch JU NE – S E P T 2 0 1 9

First Sunday Arts Festival: June 2 Dinner Under the Stars Wed. nights: June 5, 12, 19, 26 Art Week: June 2-8 Annapolis Pride Inaugural Parade and Festival: June 29 Dinner Under the Stars Wed. nights: July 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 Fourth of July Parade: July 4 First Sunday Arts Festival: July 6 First Sunday Arts Festival: Aug 4 Dinner Under the Stars Wed. nights: Aug 7, 14, 21, 28 Corvettes on West: Aug 10 Art Walk: Thursday, August 15 Labor Day Parade: Sept 1

WE’RE YOUR DIVERSE ARTS & E N T E R TA I N M E N T D E S T I N AT I O N T h e I n n e r We s t S t r e e t A s s o c i a t i o n i s a 5 0 1 ( c ) 6 n o n p r o f i t o r g a n i z a t i o n The Annapolis Arts & Entertainment District is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization

First Sunday Arts Festival: Sept 1 Dinner Under the Stars Wed. nights: Sept 4, 11, 18

El Distrito de las Artes de Annapolis está compuesto por lugares únicos, bares y restaurantes con artistas locales experimentados en una gran variedad de medios. ¡Experimente Annapolis desde la otra cara del espejo, desde Westgate Circle hasta Church Circle, con algunos lugares intermedios! Le quartier des arts d’Annapolis est composé de lieux uniques, de bars et de restaurants avec des artistes locaux expérimentés dans divers médias. Découvrez Annapolis de l ’autre côté du miroir - de Westgate Circle à Church Circle, avec quelques endroits entre les deux! Il distretto artistico di Annapolis è composto da luoghi unici, bar e ristoranti con artisti locali con esperienza in una vasta gamma di media. Scopri Annapolis dal lato opposto dello specchio: da Westgate Circle a Church Circle, con alcuni punti intermedi! The Annapolis Arts District is comprised of unique venues, bars, and restaurants with local artists experienced in an array of media. Experience Annapolis from the flip side of the looking glass – from Westgate Circle to Church Circle, with a few spots in between! Ons is jou diverse kuns en vermaak ANNAPOLISARTSDISTRICT.ORG bestemming Som la vostra destinació d’art i diversió


Seek Serve Sparkle

Untitled by Jeff Nicklason. Oil on canvas.

Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.