Artists Tackle Immigration Horrors at Brookletts Building in October

An artists’ reception Saturday, October 7th, 2-6 pm, will highlight THE MEDITERRANEAN, a benefit exhibition for migrant relief at the old industrial Brookletts Building in Easton, Maryland.  Painters Amare Selfu and Carol Minarick join forces to focus on the humanitarian crisis occurring in the Mediterranean.  This year alone more than 132,000 migrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle East have crossed the sea from North Africa to Europe.

All works sold at the exhibit will benefit Doctors Without Borders and the International Rescue Committee as they continue to help the thousands of refugees in this ongoing emergency.

More than 3,200 have drowned in the harrowing exodus as overloaded boats capsize, and international rescue efforts are overwhelmed.  Even before they reach the sea Sub-Saharan migrants are the most vulnerable simply because of their skin color. They face exploitation, confinement and rape by smugglers and traffickers.

Both artists have personal connections with the region. Amare Selfu, on the faculties of the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) and Goucher College, is an immigrant from Africa.  He has exhibited extensively in his native Ethiopia and observes that many lost in the Mediterranean are fleeing conditions in East Africa.  Amare’s work is concerned with the “physicality and non-physicality of borders,” a theme of his recent exhibition at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts.  

Carol Minarick is reprising the benefit exhibit for refugee relief she shared with local artists two years ago at her studio.  She studied at the American University of Beirut and continues to support that vital institution in the Middle East.  Her paintings are about peril at sea, including the plight of those fleeing Syria.  A resident of Easton, she has had more than 30 solo exhibitions, in the United States and Canada, including a 2015 installation at the Academy Art Museum.

The Artists’ Reception is 2 – 6 pm Saturday, October 7th.  Exhibition hours are:  Friday – Sunday, 2 – 6 pm, October 6-8, and by appointment.  For further information please call 443-803-6433.

The Brookletts Building, Studio 204
404 Brookletts Avenue
Easton, MD  21601

Avalon’s Weekend Marquee Update

The Talbot Spy sharing with our readers each week the MCTV produced Weekend Marquee with Tim Weigand as host. We hope you enjoy this short two minute preview of what’s coming up over the next few days

Book Launch for “Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power”

This Saturday, Sept 23 from 11 A.M. to 1 P.M., Roger B. Burt will be signing books at the NewsCenter in Easton. He will be available to discuss his new book Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power. Dr. Burt says,”In this time of worldwide crises it was irresistible to mesh the movement to empower women with mythology in a novel.”

The first of a trilogy, Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power, opens in a contemporary reality with an undersea culture of people who have been reserved by our Earth Mother, Gaia, to guard the future of humankind and our precious blue planet. Some, called mermaids, live in the sea, where they are seen from time to time. But some have adopted fully human form, live on land and build families. Among these people are the warrior women of the Andromeda. In the first book their central adversaries are the greedy and power hungry Overlords. But as the trilogy develops the conflict broadens and it is clear that the spirit world is involved. There may be a transformational future for humankind.

“I first became interested in the women’s movement in the 1960s and we are now experiencing a further development of the movement. We are seeing benefits not just for women themselves but also for their families, communities and countries. Featuring this movement in my novel was irresistible. It also felt natural to include women warriors. I was amazed to learn that the Amazon Warrior Women were not mythological figures at all, but real women living and fighting in the ancient world.”

In discussing his book Dr. Burt notes that his interest in mythology started in college. He believes that mythological stories are not just interesting tales but bring us revelations about ourselves. In short they can be teaching devices.

He notes we are entering a period of considerable risk. He compares it to the period just before World War I. At the time no one was expecting worldwide conflict but it erupted and in turn led to a prolonged period of instability culminating in another world war. The terrible wars were followed by refreshing stability with Europe integrating and the United States experiencing sustained growth. As we enter the information technology age, with all that entails, the magnitude of world conflict is increasing and it comes at the time we enter increasing environmental crises.

“It is interesting to discuss what is happening in our world just now but I find it even more intriguing to explore the future in a fictional world where I could highlight movements and themes. I look forward to being able to discuss these issues with visitors at the NewsCenter on Saturday September 23 rd. from 11 A.M. to 1 P.M.”


“Doubt, A Parable” Final Weekend at Church Hill Theatre

“This production of Doubt is a must-see for anyone who enjoys serious, thought-provoking drama.” says local reviewer, Peter Heck.  Doubt, A Parable, the Tony and Pulitzer prize-winning drama by John Patrick Shanley, has one final weekend at Church Hill Theatre.

Sister Aloysius (Kathy Jones) listens as Sister James (Kendall Davis) voices concerns about the students in their school.

Since the play runs without an intermission, the director, Michael Whitehill, offers audiences the unusual opportunity to linger after each performance in order to discuss the production with the cast and crew. These sessions have been lively and well attended so far, with at least half the audience remaining at each performance.  Dramaturges Christopher Wallace and Patrick Fee have assembled a great deal of information that can be viewed at before the performance.

At its core, Doubt asks audiences to ponder the many meanings of truth: factual, moral, situational, cultural and generational. The immediate question is whether a Catholic priest acted inappropriately toward a child in his care, but the drama digs deeper, investigating issues of race and class and asking how far a person may go to achieve justice.

Barbi Bedell plays Mrs. Muller in Church Hill Theatre’s production of Doubt, A Parable.

The story takes place in a Bronx parochial school in the 1960s. John Haas plays Father Brendan Flynn, a progressive parish priest who favors racial integration and more liberal social attitudes. The school’s principal, Sister Aloysius (Kathy Jones) is rigid, conservative and deeply mistrustful of her colleagues, her students and the whole of modern society. A young nun, Sister James (Kendall Davis) is caught in the middle when she observes – or misinterprets – an interaction between Father Flynn and the school’s first African-American student. While the boy’s mother, Mrs. Muller (Barbi Bedell) sees nothing wrong with the alleged contact, Sister Aloysius confronts the priest and escalates the conflict. The audience is left swinging from argument to argument, debating each character’s motivation, searching for the truth, but encountering only more doubt. Heck noted that director Michael Whitehill, “has assembled a strong cast, and they make the most of the challenging script.”

Doubt, A Parable will run through September 24th, 2017 with performances at 8 pm on Friday and Saturday, and 2 pm on Sunday. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for students, with special prices for groups of ten or more. Reservations can be made by calling the box office at 410-556-6003 or online at

Concert Organist to Perform at Christ Church Easton

Christ Church Easton opens its 2017-18 concert series on Friday, September 22 at 7:00 pm.  Inaugurating the new season is a superb, young organist recognized by Diapason magazine as one of America’s top twenty organists under thirty, Weston Jennings.

Having first encountered the pipe organ at the Interlochen Summer Arts Camp in Michigan at the age of sixteen, Mr. Jennings later graduated from the Interlochen Arts Academy.  He then entered the Eastman School of Music earning a Bachelor of Music Degree and also the prestigious Performer’s Certificate.

Later, he completed two years in England as the Organ Scholar of Canterbury Cathedral and Chelmsford Cathedral. During that time, he was also appointed the first Organ Scholar to the Royal Festival Hall in London.

In the spring of this year, Weston Jennings graduated with a Master’s degree in organ performance from the Yale School of Music and the Yale Institute of Sacred Music where he studied under Thomas Murray. Previous organ teachers include Michel Bouvard, Hans Davidson, David Higgs and Thomas Bara.

Following his recital debut at The Kennedy Center  in 2009, Mr. Jennings performed across the United States and Europe, including Westminster Abbey, Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue, The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels (Los Angeles), The Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception (Denver), the Chapel of the Queen’s College (Oxford), Royaumont Abbey (France), and the Berliner Dom (Germany).  Additionally, he has performed with The Philharmonia Orchestra of Yale, The Yale Concert Band, the Yale Symphony Orchestra and has collaborated with the Apollo Baroque Consort in a concert of Handel organ concertos from Mayfair’s Grosvenor Chapel as part of the London Handel Festival.  Forthcoming recital engagements include St. Paul’s Cathedral (London), St. George’s Chapel of Windsor Castle, the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (Moscow), Hildesheim Cathedral (Germany), Kelvingrove Art Gallery (Glasgow), and Christ Church, Easton.

An enthusiastic advocate for new music, Weston Jennings has premiered compositions by Molly Joyce, Soosan Lolavar, Mark Carroll, and Allison Willis. His performances and interviews have been broadcast live on BBC Radio 3.  Also committed to the education of new organists, Mr. Jennings presently serves as Instructor of undergraduate and secondary organ at Yale College. He has served on the faculty of the Interlochen Summer Arts Camp, the Department of Music at The King’s School, Canterbury, and taught and performed at several Pipe Organ Encounters across America.

While there is no charge for the Weston Jennings performance, a freewill offering will be received.  Doors open at 6:30 pm, and the performance begins at 7:00 p.m.  The Christ Church concert series is supported in part by a grant from the Talbot County and Maryland State Arts Councils.  The church is located at 111 S. Harrison Street in downtown Easton.  For more information call 410-822-2677.

Crashbox Theatre Company Announce Upcoming Fundraisers

The Crashbox Theatre Company of Easton, Md announce two upcoming fundraisers. The first will be a Spaghetti Dinner held at the Easton Volunteer Fire Department on Thursday, September 7, from 5pm to 7:30pm. The dinner includes spaghetti with meat or marinara sauce, salad, bread, and your choice of dessert and beverage. Adults are $10, Kids 10 and under are $6, Kids 2 and under eat free (dine in only). Carryouts are available; dinners can also be donated to First Responders. Tickets can be bought at the door or by contacting Jen Wagner at 443-521-4084 or at

On Sunday, September 17, the Crashbox Theatre Company will be hosting a Purse Plus Bingo at the Elk’s Lodge in Easton. The doors open at 1pm and the Bingo kicks off at 2pm. Designer Purses with brands like Vera Bradley, Calvin Klein, Kate Spade and Betsy Johnson will be Bingo prizes plus baskets with gift certificates for restaurants and dining and adventure experiences. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased in advance or at the door. For more information contact Jen Wagner at 443-521-4084 or at

Crashbox Theatre Company is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization based in Easton, MD.  We are dedicated to the production of quality theatre, the continuing education of performing arts for youth, teens and adults, to provide opportunities for children, teens and adults in the performing arts, and to support the theatre programs at Easton Middle and Easton High School. Founder and executive director, Richard A. Vitanovec teaches theatre full time at Easton Middle School.

SMAL Children’s Art Day September 16

It’s that time once again for your budding Picassos to join the St. Michaels Art League in their annual Children’s Art Day. This year the event is on Saturday, September 16th from 9am to Noon on the lawn of St. Lukes Methodist Church, 304 S.Talbot St., St. Michaels, MD.  This event is free and open to all children from Kindergarten to the 8th grade. The materials, including acrylic paints, art panels, brushes and easels, will be provided by the Art League and our members will offer assistance.  It is recommended that your children wear old clothes.

Please come and join us for a fun morning of painting in beautiful St. Michaels, sponsored by the SMAL, the Talbot Arts Council, and the Maryland State Arts Council.  Any questions call Joan Cranor, Chairperson of Children’s Art Day for St. Michaels Art League, at 410-310-8382 or email

SMAL is supported in part by the Talbot Arts Council with revenue from the Maryland State Council of the Arts.

Christ Church Choral Scholars Announcing Auditions

Christ Church Easton announces auditions for its 2017-2018 Choral Scholars program.  Now in its eighth year, the program offers gifted high school and college students the opportunity to sing a diverse body of musical literature spanning multiple centuries and musical styles.  The program is designed to provide excellence in training and reward deserving students with opportunities to expand their background in music while earning a monthly stipend intended to make possible additional cultural opportunities.

As part of the experience, students enrolled as Christ Church Choral Scholars are exposed to singing on an advanced level in both small and large group settings.  They also participate in a cappella singing to music accompanied by small ensembles and orchestra.  Additionally, scholars are entitled to professional vocal lessons as a benefit of their admission to the program.  In recent years, scholars have had the opportunity to participate in a variety of cultural opportunities as well, including performing at Bruton Parish in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia and choral festivals in Ocean Grove, New Jersey and regionally.

Auditions are now ongoing, and the deadline to apply is September 14.  For more information or to schedule an audition, contact music director Wes Lockfaw at 410-822-2677 or email

SMAL Exhibit “Endless Summer” Reception on September 9

Garden Nymph by Kathy Kopec

The St. Michaels Art League exhibit, “Endless Summer,” at the A.M. Gravely Gallery continues through Sunday, October 1. The members’ best works have been selected for exhibit and sale. A special award has been given to the work of art chosen by votes from visitors to the gallery. The David Grafton People’s Choice Award is in honor of David Grafton, a well known local landscape artist and owner of the Grafton Gallery in Easton who recently passed away, and will be greatly missed by many.

The gallery is located at 408 South Talbot Street in St. Michaels. It is open Friday to Monday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. There will be a reception at the gallery open to the public during Second Saturday Art Walk, on September 9, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The St. Michaels Art League welcomes all those in the greater Talbot County and beyond who share an interest in the fine arts. Their monthly meetings are held at 9:30 a.m. on the third Monday of the month, September through May at Christ Church Parish Hall on Willow Street in St. Michaels. For more information visit

If you haven’t yet seen this wonderful exhibit by these talented local artists, now is your opportunity to see, and perhaps own, an original painting for your home to enjoy for years to come.

Cinema Society Announces 2017-2018 Slate

The Talbot Cinema Society will lead off its 2017-2018 season with the Master of Suspense.

At its Sept. 11 meeting, TCS will screen The Lady Vanishes, directed by Alfred Hitchcock and released in 1938.  Travelers on a trans-European train are delayed for a night due to bad weather in an unidentified country. The passengers cram into the small village hotel, where socialite Iris Henderson (Margaret Lockwood) meets an old governess, Miss Froy (Dame May Whitty). Shortly after the journey restarts, Miss Froy is nowhere to be found.  Also starring Michael Redgrave.  Critic Leonard Maltin gave The Lady Vanishes 4 out of a possible 4 stars, and Rotten Tomatoes rated it 98% Fresh.

Tension mounts among her fellow passengers following the mysterious disappearance of Miss Froy in Alfred Hitchcock’s The Lady Vanishes.

As in years past, the season’s first meeting is the Cinema Society’s gift to the community. Everyone is invited to attend free of charge.

If Alfred Hitchcock is our most famous director, Steven Spielberg runs a close second. On Oct. 1, TCS will screen his Munich (2005), an historical crime drama starring Daniel Craig, Geoffrey Rush and Eric Bana. It is based on the true story of the Black September aftermath, about the five men chosen to eliminate the terrorists who murdered 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympics. Munich was nominated for five Academy Awards and two Golden Globes. This meeting, and this meeting only, will begin at 3:30 p.m., and the doors will open at 3. All other TCS meetings will begin at 4 p.m., and the doors will open at 3:30.

On Nov. 5, the parade of silver screen icons continues with Daniel Day-Lewis, starring in My Beautiful Laundrette, directed by Stephen Frears, who also helmed The Queen and Dangerous Liaisons.  Released in 1985, this is the movie that put Day-Lewis on the map and started him on the road to four British Academy of Film & Television Arts (BAFTA) Awards, three Academy Awards and two Golden Globes.  Hanif Kureishi’s screenplay was nominated for both an Oscar and a BAFTA Award.

Director Irvin Kershner mixes comedy, drama and romance into a delightful confection in A Fine Madness (1966), showing Dec. 3. In between Thunderball and You Only Live Twice, Sean Connery mesmerized as Samson Shillitoe, a mad genius of a poet irresistible to – and unable to resist –women. When plagued by writer’s block, he agrees to see a psychiatrist… and his beautiful wife.  Connery’s performance made it clear that there was life – and plenty of it –after James Bond.

Ring in the New Year with a film by three-time Oscar nominee Christopher Nolan, the man behind the Dark Knight trilogy and the current World War II spectacular Dunkirk. Memento, the story of an ex-insurance investigator searching for his wife’s murderer as he wrestles with short-term memory loss,is on tap for Jan. 7, 2018.  You’ll need to be on your toes to keep up with this neo-noir psychological thriller. As a result of a past trauma, Leonard (Guy Pearce) suffers from both anterograde amnesia, the inability to form new memories; and short-term memory loss that strikes approximately every five minutes. Memento tells two separate stories from Leonard’s recent past. One moves forward in time while the other tells the story backwards, revealing more each time Leonard revisits it. Nominated for two Academy Awards and a Golden Globe.  Carrie-Anne Moss and Joe Pantoliano co-star.

Be sure to wear your salsa dancing shoes on Feb. 11, when the Talbot Cinema Society presents Calle 54, a documentary featuring performances by 13 stars of the Latin Jazz music scene. Filmed in Mexico and all over Europe by Fernando Trueba, and released in 2000, Calle 54 chronicles his love affair with Latin Jazz as he follows a baker’s dozen musical giants into the studio. Winner of the Patron’s Award for Best Feature Film at the San Diego International Film Festival.

On March 4, TCS will take you back to the Golden Age of British Comedy, when the Boulting Brothers ruled the comic roost at England’s Shepperton Studios. Directed by John Boulting, this gleeful 1959 glimpse of class warfare, I’m All Right, Jack, stars Ian Carmichael, Peter Sellers, Richard Attenborough, Margaret Rutherford and the inimitable Terry-Thomas. Stanley Windrush (Carmichael), anaive aristocrat, returns from World War II, his mind set on a career in business and a corner office. Much to his dismay, he soon finds he has to start from the bottom and work his way up. Before long, he becomes an unwitting pawn in a power struggle between management (his uncle) and the labor union. Winner of two BAFTA Awards, and in America, it made the National Board of Review’s list of Top Foreign Films.

The season finale, Casino Jack and the United States of Money, is a seven-year-old documentary by Academy Award winner Alex Gibney. In government and politics in America, seven years is, if not a lifetime, at least a generation. But Gibney’s documentary tells a story that has been oft repeated before and since. For it chronicles the avarice and audacity of super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff, the high-rolling influence peddler who skated too close to the edge. He not only took down House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, an Ohio congressman and two White House officials, but also wound up doing time.  This movie was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival.

As in years past, the Talbot Cinema Society will meet monthly in one of the small theaters with the plush seats at Easton Premier Cinemas. To enhance your enjoyment, each movie will be introduced by one of TCS’s famous talking heads.If you’re hungry and thirsty, a mere $2 will buy you a small popcorn and a small soft drink. But wait!  There’s more! Cinema Society members will receive discount admission to Easton Premier Cinemas’ Encore Cinema movies on Thursdays. Meetings will be held on the first Sunday of each month, with the following exceptions:  Sept. 11 and Feb. 11, to avoid conflicts with Labor Day Weekend and the Super Bowl. Membership for the entire season costs $45 per person. To join, send your check to Talbot Cinema Society, P.O. Box 222, Easton, MD 21601. Or bring it to the Sept. 11 meeting.