A lot defined 2022—both locally and nationally. The nation felt the sting of a Russian attack on Ukraine. We all saw the highest resolution images yet from the James Webb Space Telescope. The Orioles achieved a 30-game improvement over their 2021 season. And on Nov. 8, Maryland voted to join the 19 states and three territories that have legalized recreational cannabis.
What can we expect in 2023? What we start today could define Baltimore for years to come. Here’s what’s on the horizon.
Maryland Italian Festival
In September 2023, the Society of Italian American Businessmen (SIAB) will debut the Maryland Italian Festival, which will become the largest annual Italian Festival in Maryland. Significant in its timing, the inaugural festival—expected to draw 10,000-15,000 attendees in its first year—also coincides with the 10th anniversary of the SIAB organization and Harford County’s Sestercentennial (250th anniversary). The event will be held at the Harford County Equestrian Center in Bel Air Sept. 30 to Oct. 1, also kicking off National Italian-American Heritage Month in October. And there will be lots of ways to celebrate. The family-friendly weekend will include live entertainment from nationally recognized Italian-American performers, a linguine and crab pavilion and SIAB’s popular annual Bocce Tournament, which will include teams from the Special Olympics. The effort supports SIAB’s core mission—to help the community via education, family and child services, mental health and addiction. marylanditalianfestival.com
Welcome, BSO Music Director Jonathan Heyward!
The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s new music director Jonathan Heyward officially begins his 5-year tenure in the 2023-2024 season. (Audiences can get a sneak peek of the charismatic conductor in May 2023, when he leads the Orchestra in Tchaikovsky’s passionate Symphony No. 6, “Pathétique.”) Maestro Heyward has big shoes to fill, as he follows the remarkable 14-year tenure of pioneering and inspired leadership of Marin Alsop, who also founded the BSO’s OrchKids program. That’s a program the BSO search committee finds Heyward well suited for. “As a former student of the public school system in Charleston, South Carolina, Jonathon’s passion for nurturing inclusive educational experiences, such as the BSO OrchKids program, will help define not only the future of the BSO’s community impact, but also Maryland’s cultural footprint,” notes committee chair and Johns Hopkins University provost Sunil Kumar, in a news release.
First Call Paranormal and Oddities Museum
The year 2023 will be a little weirder for Havre DeGrace. Opening this year is your not-so-typical museum—with Guinness World Record attractions, magical and spooky events, and displays of unique and awe-inspiring items and relics (think a preserved woolly mammoth, a lock of John Wilkes Booth’s hair, and the rare Amorphophallus Titanium flower, better known as the “Corpse Flower.”) If 2022 has been a bit mild for you, consider making the trek to make your own discoveries. odditiesmuseum.com
A Reimagined CFG Bank Arena
Baltimore’s biggest arena once again has a new name—and a new look. Its latest iteration as Royal Farms Arena will come to an end in February, when it will open as the CFG Bank Arena after more than $200 million in renovations. Fans and artists alike will appreciate the extensive upgrades that include modernized, state-of-the-art acoustics, superior suites and exclusive club levels, premium contemporary seating, reimagined concourses, and upscale culinary experiences in food and beverage selections, all housed in a building that now boasts a new façade and updated landscaping. The 2023 season will be one to watch. cfgbankarena.com
Coming Attractions: The John Waters Collection
The “Pope of Trash” has a pretty nice art collection, and now you can see it, too. The Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA)’s curated selection of works from famed Baltimore filmmaker John Waters’ private collection premiered in late November but will be on display through April 16, 2023. Guest curated by photographer Catherine Opie and artist Jack Pierson, both longtime friends of Waters, the exhibit is perhaps a more rate an intimate look at the local icon. Its 90 works drawn from 372 objects Waters also donated to the museum give viewers a snapshot of what defines Waters’ taste in fine art. The lasting impact that Waters has had on Baltimore’s culture makes this a tantalizing spectacle for fans and curious observers alike. His infamous playfulness, irreverence and penchant for the unusual are on full display in an exhibit as unique and special as its owner. artbma.org
Kennedy Krieger Helps us Understand the Neuroscience of Social Injustice
Working toward a more equitable future is a great New Year’s resolution. Kennedy Krieger Institute received a $2.5 million grant from the state of Maryland to begin the necessary renovations to a building on its Broadway campus, as well as make way for a brand new Center for the Neuroscience of Social Injustice. At this new research center, scientists will study how adverse childhood experiences, such as poverty or housing instability, affect the brain’s development. Together, we can resolve to do better for all in 2023.
Living Classrooms “Climate Changemakers” Improve the Environment
The next generation is learning how to help our cities stay cool. Living Classrooms will begin a new “Climate Changemakers” project—a Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience (MWEE)—that plans to teach 300 third grade students in Baltimore City about what environmental factors contribute to warming temperatures and the designation of their neighborhoods as “Urban Heat Islands.” The program will feature bi-monthly community programs that will engage residents of all ages in environmental literacy activities, hands-on stewardship and action projects designed to increase climate resiliency related to rising temperatures. As our nation and world look to climate intervention, the next generation will be equipped with the tools to makes a difference.
Take Your Business to the Next Level with StarTUp
Working from home is so 2022. In the new year, you can boost your business by choosing your desk at the Armory’s StarTUp —Towson University’s premier business engagement center for start-ups and small businesses, as well as the region’s largest corporations. No fee or reservation required. Those interested need just schlep their laptops to the state-of-the art, 26,000-square-foot innovation hub that boasts plenty of free co-working space and meeting rooms, and take advantage of its highspeed internet and onsite Starbucks. For everyone who has a big idea to grow in 2023, this could be your ticket to doing so right at home in Baltimore County. towson.edu/startup