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Arts and Humanities

Contact
Arts and Humanities
Phone Fax Email
Address

Arts & Humanities
City of Takoma Park
7500 Maple Avenue
Takoma Park, MD 20912

Hours & Location

8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday - Friday
Community Center
3rd Floor

Contact
Arts and Humanities
Phone Fax Email
Address

Arts & Humanities
City of Takoma Park
7500 Maple Avenue
Takoma Park, MD 20912

Hours & Location

8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday - Friday
Community Center
3rd Floor

Arts Events Returning to the Community Center

We're happy to announce that our arts events will be returning to the Community Center at 7500 Maple Avenue in September, including film screenings, art exhibitions, plays, concerts, and more. Sign up for our weekly e-newsletter for updates on all of our programs. We hope to see you soon! 

Watch Takoma Park Arts Events Online

You can watch many of our former events on Youtube using the links below or on our YouTube channel at artsevents.takomaparkmd.gov.

Vintage Movie Night: Immigrants and Refugees

Vintage Movie Night host Richard Hall shares his curated screening of short vintage films exploring America's history with immigrants and refugees, including early silent films encouraging assimilation, Charlie Chaplin's take on the Atlantic crossing, post-WWII classroom films, and activist films. See how our views about immigrants have evolved, and how they haven't.

This Is What America Looks Like Poetry Reading 

Seven poets read their work from This Is What America Looks Like, a new anthology of poetry and fiction from the Washington Writers' Publishing House. Their poetry addresses contemporary issues, such as racial justice, the COVID pandemic, and other forces shaping society. The poets include Fran Abrams, Jessica Garratt, Christopher Goodrich, Nubia Kai, Danuta Kosk-Kosicka, Goddonny Normil, and Takoma Park Poet Laureate Kathleen O'Toole.

Black History Music and Art Vintage Film Screening

The amazing talents of Black musicians and artists are featured in vintage short films spanning half a century. You’ll see 1940s newsreels, musical scenes starring Duke Ellington and Bessie Smith, a history of jazz, profiles of famous Black artists, and much more. Don’t miss this chance to see and hear how Black musicians and artists have shaped American history.

Vintage Movie Night "Back to the Future" Films

Vintage Movie Night host Richard Hall opens the archival vaults to take us back to the future with short films from the 1930s to 1960s which tried to predict the future with hilarious or eye-opening results. See "the world of tomorrow" in a 1967 vision of the "home of the future," a cigarette-smoking robot, and some very weird ideas about futuristic kitchens.

Vintage Movie Night Halloween of Horror Films! 

Join us for a terrifying trip through time to the early days of horror films! Vintage Movie Night host Richard Hall and guest scholar Karina Wilson lead a spooky journey through nine short horror films dating from 1896 to 1912, including Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and the first film version of Frankenstein.

Voices of Woodlawn Poetry Reading

Three Black poets and a white poet share their moving poetry about Woodlawn, a former 2,000-acre plantation in Alexandria owned by George Washington where more than 90 enslaved people were forced to work. The poets include Diane Wilbon Parks, Patrick Washington, Sylvia Dianne “Ladi Di” Beverly and Hiram Larew, accompanied by harmonica player Cliff Bernier.

Black Voices in Verse Poetry Reading

This timely poetry reading features three local Black poets whose powerful work challenges white privilege and pervasive racism in the United States. The poets include Saida Agostini, Kyle Dargan, and Emily Kombe. Open your heart, your ears, and your mind.

Latin Guitar Concert with John W. Warren 

Performing from the rich musical traditions of Latin America, local guitarist John W. Warren will play classical, folk, and popular music from Brazil, Cuba, Paraguay, and Argentina, as well as his own original compositions.

Virtual Vintage Movie Night: Travelogue Films

Take a time-traveling trip around the world without leaving home! Film historian Richard Hall has curated a fun collection of vintage travelogue films dating from 1902 to the 1950s. Join us on planes, trains, ships, and automobiles to experience exotic locales and different cultures.

Confronting Difficult Truths Poetry Reading

In a live poetry reading, four local poets shared their timely work which challenges our preconceptions about immigrants, the marginalized, and our conflicted history as a nation. The poets include Randy Bridgeman, Christine Higgins, Bonnie Naradzay, and Maggie Rosen.

Virtual Vintage Movie Night: Propaganda Cartoons

Vintage Movie Night host Richard Hall has organized an online film screening of propaganda cartoons filmed over the past century with political, social, or commercial messages. Kick back, relax, and enjoy the cartoons!

Speaking Our Truths Online Poetry Reading 

Our first online poetry reading features four local female poets whose work addresses themes of identity, place, and community. The poets include Marti Pates, Sosha Pinson, Tatiana Figueroa Ramirez, and Susan Scheid.

Takoma Park Arts and Humanities Commission

The Takoma Park Arts and Humanities Commission is a volunteer body that advises the City Council on all matters relating to the arts and humanities. The commission's 2020-21 annual report includes details about the Takoma Park Arts series and many of our public art projects.

Public Art

The Arts and Humanities Division has organized a wide range of public art projects located across Takoma Park, including a kid-friendly makeover of B.Y. Morrison Park, a sidewalk poetry contest, and even a 17-foot-tall crocheted octopus that lived atop the downtown clock tower until it was donated to a local preschool.  Visit our Public Art page to learn more about our public art program and see a map of City-funded public art projects.

Cultural Plan

Takoma Park's Cultural Plan, EMPOWERING A CREATIVE COMMUNITY:  A Vision for 2018-2023, was developed by the Takoma Part Arts and Humanities Commission and unanimously approved by the City Council. The Cultural Plan offers guidance on the City's role in providing arts programs and supporting the local artist community which helps knit Takoma Park's community together.   More history about the development of the Cultural Plan can be found on the Cultural Plan Project page.

TAKOMA PARK ARTS SERIES

Art Exhibitions

Bimonthly exhibitions feature work by a diverse range of artists in the galleries at the Takoma Park Community Center. There is more info on the Art Exhibitions page. We are not seeking submissions from artists at this time.

Performing Arts

Performances usually occur on Friday or Saturday evenings, including concerts, theater, dance, and even puppet slams.  All performances are free with a $10 suggested donation with all proceeds benefiting the performers. Past performances have featured a Balkan folk music ensemble, African music, singer-songwriters, a one-man Spanish-language play, and Appalachian storytelling. You can find more info here.

Lectures

Experts share their insights on local history, politics, world cultures, and many other topical subjects.  Lectures are held on the first Thursday of most months at 7:30 pm in the Takoma Park Community Center Auditorium.

Film Screenings

Documentaries and other films on a wide range of topics are shown in the Takoma Park Community Center Auditorium at 7:30 pm on the second Thursday of most months. Film directors often are available for a Q&A with the audience or to seek feedback about a rough-cut documentary.

Poetry Readings

The monthly Third Thursday poetry reading series features three or four selected poets from across the region and the occasional open reading. The readings are held in the Takoma Park Community Center Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. on the third Thursday of most months. A light reception and opportunity to meet the featured poets usually follows the readings.

2019-2020 Poetry Reading Schedule  

ADA Statement

The City of Takoma Park is committed to ensuring that individuals with disabilities are able to fully participate in our programs. Anyone planning to attend an event who wishes to receive auxiliary aids, services, or reasonable accommodations may contact Arts Coordinator Brendan Smith at least 72 hours in advance at (301) 891-7266 or through the Maryland Relay Service (1-800-725-2258 TTY/Voice) or by email at brendans@takomaparkmd.gov.

Takoma Park Holiday Art Sale

The Takoma Park Holiday Art Sale is held each year in December at the Takoma Park Community Center. The sale features original art and crafts from dozens of local artists, including fine art, photography, jewelry, clothing, and pottery. Plans for the 2021 Holiday Art Sale haven’t been finalized yet. You can see a sampling of work from former art sales here.

Poet Laureate Program

The Takoma Park Poet Laureate program honors the achievements of a local poet who provides literary leadership in the community. Our goal is to not only support and promote Takoma Park’s poets but also to stimulate interest in poetry among city residents and encourage their own expressions of poetry and literature. You can learn more about the program here.

Takoma Park’s current Poet Laureate is Kathleen O’Toole. Click here to read her poem Starlings.

Takoma Park Poet Laureate Kathleen O’Toole

Arts and Humanities Sections