Maryland Hall’s ArtReach program welcomes the Hood2Good Movement as an official part of Maryland Hall’s outreach programming. The ArtReach program offers ongoing outreach initiatives to make the arts accessible to all members of the community, particularly those who are at-risk and underserved in the greater Annapolis and Anne Arundel County area. Hood2Good, led by Kenneth Starkes, was formed by Annapolis High School students in 2018 in response to their friend’s death. Growing the ArtReach/Hood2Good partnership will bring even more arts mentorship experiences to area middle schoolers, high schoolers and young adults.
Under the leadership of Maryland Hall Outreach Coordinator Laura Brino, ArtReach uses arts concepts to provide meaningful hands-on opportunities that increase self-expression and creativity in a safe, collaborative setting. ArtReach is the umbrella for several Outreach programs at Maryland Hall including Jovenes Artistas, an after school program for youth ages 16-23. Brino says, “Bringing Hood2Good and Kenneth Starkes, a respected community mentor, on board directly aligns with our Jovenes Artistas Empower program and gives both initiatives a greater pool of resources, support and partnerships to continue the critical work of using the power of the arts to heal and empower the youth in our communities.”
Since its founding in 2018, Hood2Good has collaborated with the City of Annapolis in service missions and has grown into a three prong organization: community service events, community engagement and youth showcases. Recent initiatives have included organizing coat drives, school supply distributions, and hosting round table discussions between youth and City officials and leaders. Youth showcases, hosted in Maryland Hall’s Bowen Theatre, give students a place to express themselves through dance, music and visual arts.
When schools transitioned to distance learning in mid-March, much of Maryland Hall’s Outreach work transitioned to virtual formats. Through weekly virtual art classes, regular check-ins with students and ArtReach Challenge of the week videos -- also shared with the public via social media – Jovenes Artistas and Hood2Good students have been able to continue their work empowering themselves and, ultimately their communities. This Summer, the students shared their artistic skills and compassion by participating in Future History Now’s Breonna Taylor mural project in Chambers Park.
As Maryland Hall moves through a safe and gradual reopening process, look out for more intimate and impactful experiences – like ArtReach initiatives – as the organization finds new and collaborative ways to strengthen community without convening large in-person audiences.