Maryland Traditions is the folklife program of the Maryland State Arts Council. Since 1974, state-employed folklorists have worked to identify, document, support, and present Maryland folklife through grants, awards, festivals, and other programming. Over the years UMBC faculty and the New Media Studio have worked with Maryland Traditions to produce short films documenting Maryland’s intangible heritage.
The Violin Whisperer
David Ludwik Rapkievian is a master instrument maker, musician, and folk dancer, who works in the Russian, Polish and Armenian traditions. As an instrument maker, David crafts violins in his Washington Grove, MD workshop (http://fineviolinsbydavid.com). While growing up in Detroit, David discovered a love of music through his Polish grandfather who repaired musical instruments. Through Detroit’s immigrant community he became exposed to Russian folk music and built his first balalaika based on photos. Over time he perfected his technique as a builder and a musician, eventually becoming on of the most accomplished balalaika players in the United States. Eventually, David led his own ensemble at the famous Russian Tea Room in New York. He also played with Russian Carnival at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. He also had a brief career as a dancer with the New York City Ballet. This film is supported in part by the Maryland State Arts Council (msac.org).
"Sauce is Very Peaceful": Curtis' Coney Island Famous Weiners
Curtis' Coney Island Famous Weiners has been a fixture in downtown Cumberland, Maryland for more than a century. This video features owner Gino Giatras and celebrates the unique place Curtis' holds in the fabric of this transitioning rural community. In 2018, Curtis’ was recognized with a Maryland Traditions heritage award in the category of Place. This video has been selected for screening at the 2019 Ethnografilm Festival in Paris.
A Century of Fellowship: The Arch Social Club
Generational supporter of African American community and culture, the Arch Social Club of Baltimore City received a Maryland Heritage Award in the category of place in 2019.
Talk Together: The Baltimore American Indian Center
The BAIC has stood the test of time in Upper Fells Point. Originally founded in 1968 as the American Indian Study Center, it once primarily served as a resettlement resource for Indians who had migrated to the city seeking employment. The BAIC now functions as a cultural magnet that draws this dispersed community back in. Offering weekly culture classes, annual pow wows, a full-fledged community museum, a multipurpose meeting space and more, the BAIC continuously sustains the living cultural traditions of American Indians and Alaskan Natives of the Baltimore region. This video was produced for the 2017 Maryland Traditions Heritage awards at which the Baltimore American Indian Center (BAIC) received the award in the category of place.
Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church
Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church (Baltimore City) is an important hub for the Greek community of the Baltimore region through its religious services, the Greek Independence Day Parade, and its Greek Folk Festival, the largest in Maryland. In 2015, Saint Nicholas received the Maryland Traditions ALTA Award in the category of Place.
J. Gruber's Hagers-Town Town and Country Almanack
J. Gruber's Hagerstown Town and Country Almanack , or The Almanack, is the oldest almanac in the United States that is still produced by heirs of the original founder, John Gruber. Established in Hagerstown (Washington County), it has been providing agricultural, meteorological and astrological information for the Mid-Atlantic region since 1797. At its core is the tradition of forecasting next year's weather, down to the very day, by using centuries-old astrological calculations. This film was produced by Maryland Traditions, the folklife program of On December 1st, 2012, Maryland Traditions honored the J. Gruber's Hagers-town Town and Country Almanack with an Achievement in Living Traditions and Arts (ALTA) Award in the category of Tradition.
Bending Water Park and Indian Water Trails of the Accohannock Indian Tribe
The Accohannock Indian Tribe is one of the oldest historical tribes in Maryland. Maryland State Art Council's Maryland Traditions 2014 ALTA AWARED winner for Achievement in Living Traditions and Arts of Outstanding Places, Peoples, and Traditions.
Wallace M. Yater, Master Blacksmith
Wallace M. Yater of Boonsboro, Maryland, is a master blacksmith and founder of the Blacksmith Guild of Western Maryland. Wallace was awarded the 2013 Maryland Traditions Achievement in Living Traditions and Arts Award for his outstanding contributions to the living tradition of blacksmithing. The film was produced by Maryland Traditions, the folklife program of the Maryland State Arts Council, and the New Media Studio at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. For more information, please visit: http://www.msac.org or http://nms.umbc.edu/
Trimper's Rides and Amusements, Ocean City, Maryland
Trimper's Rides and Amusements was honored by Maryland Traditions, the folklife program of the Maryland State Arts Council, through its 2016 Maryland Traditions Heritage Awards (in the category of Place). The film was co-produced by Maryland Traditions and the New Media Studio at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. For more information, see: http://www.msac.org/programs/folk-traditional-arts
Dario's Barber Shop
In the Dominican Republic, barbers create living works of art through their cuts and stylings. Many Dominican barbers have set up shop in Baltimore, including Dario Corona of Dario's Barber Shop on Eastern Avenue. To help preserve this artform, Dario and his nephew Oliver received a 2019 Maryland Traditions Apprenticeship Award.
Meki's Tamure Polynesian Dance Group
Meki's Tamure Polynesian Dance Group is based in Baltimore and has provided live Polynesian entertainment since 1969. the group is lead by Meki Toalepai. In 2018 Meki Sr. and Jr. were recipients of a 2019 Maryland Traditions Apprenticeship Award for Tahitian drumming. This video shows the group in performance and includes interviews with three generations of the Meki Toalepai family.
Prem Raja Mahat
Nepalese Sarangi master Prem Raja Mahat performs at UMBC TV.
Ahmad Borhani: Iranian Santur, Tar and Setar
A Maryland Traditions profile produced by UMBC MLL 495/695
Bing Xia: Chinese Guzheng
A Maryland Traditions profile produced by UMBC MLL 495/695
Patterson Bowling Center
Opened its 1927, the Patterson Bowling Center is one of the oldest duckpin alleys in existence. Maryland State Art Council's Maryland Traditions 2011 ALTA Award winner for Achievement in Living Traditions and Arts of Outstanding Places, Peoples, and Traditions.