Since 2016, our Traditions Series focuses on Baltimore Institutions that have experienced all the changes our city has gone through over the decades first-hand. Experience Baltimore’s hidden history with this series of micro-documentaries.
Our Most Recent Episode
Traditions: The Baltimore Salt Box
The Salt Box: an unusual thing in an unusual city. What are they, who makes them, and why do some of them have artwork? We decided to find out by talking to Robert "Saltbox Bob" Atkinson, writer of the Saltbox Concern Volume 1, Carpenter Godfrey Brown and Carpenter II Charles "Pete" Peterson of the Baltimore Department of Transportation, and Juliet Ames, a local artist who decided to make the Salt Box on her street a little more unusual.
This episode of Traditions was filmed by Greg Bowen and Julia Golonka, and edited by Julia Golonka.
Traditions: Baltimore Graffiti
Mike Sachse started photographing graffiti as a way to capture the creativity and variety of a changing art form. This practice led to a book, Baltimore Graffiti: The Definitive Charm City Style Collection, and a broad perspective on what makes Baltimore's graffiti unique.
This episode follows the author around the city around the city to see some of the hidden spaces where artists work.
Traditions: The Great Halloween Lantern Parade
Baltimore's Great Halloween Lantern Parade celebrated its 20th Anniversary in 2019. Presented by the Creative Alliance, this festival started as a simple way to bring light into Patterson Park and has grown into a city-wide convergence of artists, families, marching bands, step teams, and much more.
This episode of Traditions was filmed and edited by Greg, with direction from Julia and Shannon.
Traditions: Rawlings Conservatory
The Howard Peters Rawlings Conservatory and Botanic Gardens of Baltimore was completed in 1888 and to a monument to exploration and preservation. Visiting a conservatory can quite literally be like a trip around the world, and for Director Ann Green, there is no greater joy than providing city residents an opportunity to get close to nature and inspire others to preserve natural spaces.
This episode of Traditions was directed and edited by Julia.
Traditions: Fluid Movement
"There's magic in public performance art. It helps us to share this one ephemeral moment, this little snippet in time where we're all together in the same place, seeing something magic that will never be repeated."
For this episode of Traditions we talked to Valarie Perez-Schere, President and Artistic Director of Fluid Movement, a wonderfully weird performance group that uses a swimming pool as their stage. "Communitas, Choreographitas, Glitterus Maximus."
Traditions: The American Visionary Art Museum
"Most museums, urban museums, are like fortresses. They say 'stay out, we have valuable things inside.' We wanted to be an extension of Federal Hill Park, right behind us, and be more like a wonderland."
In 1984 Rebecca Alban Hoffberger had the idea for a new museum and education center that would emphasize intuitive creative invention, and five years later the American Visionary Art Museum (AVAM) was born.
For this episode of Traditions we spoke with Rebecca Hoffberger, Founder and Director of the American Visionary Arts Museum in Baltimore, Maryland.
Traditions: The National Great Blacks In Wax Museum
"We moved into this community in 1988, and we moved here deliberately so. Conventional wisdom all over this nation is that you hide your poverty areas. And once you succeed in hiding them you succeed in neglecting them. But we were going to create a museum, right in a challenged community, that would show that cultural tourism can be a catalyst for jobs and opportunity and for legacy."
For this episode of Traditions we spoke with Dr. Joanne Martin, Founder and President of the National Great Blacks in Wax Museum in Baltimore, Maryland.
Traditions: Curtis Creek Ship Graveyard
Right around the corner from the Baltimore Inner Harbor is a graveyard – but it's not on land. Unused and unwanted vessels from World War I and beyond were left to quietly decompose in the brackish waters of Curtis Creek. We walked with Dr. Susan Langley of the Maryland Historical Trust as she documented the ships and discussed their future.
Traditions: The Loading Dock
This month we visited the Loading Dock – a building materials facility in Baltimore that provides affordable building materials for housing and community improvement by redirecting landfill-bound, reusable materials. The Loading Dock is the nation's first successful, self-sufficient, nonprofit building materials reuse center, stocked with both new and used items and architectural salvage.
This month we visited Sugar, a lesbian owned, multi-gender operated, for profit, mission driven sex toy store in Hampden. They strive to provide education and toys in a shame free, sex positive, fun environment to help people of all genders and orientations experience their own unique sexuality with shameless joy and passion.
Traditions: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Parade
Every year the city of Baltimore celebrates and commemorates the life of civil rights leader and icon Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. More than 70 local groups participate in the parade – including high school and community bands, honor/color guards, equestrian units, fraternities & sororities, dance squads and civic organizations.
Traditions: Highlandtown Train Garden
On this month's episode of Traditions we went on down to BCFD Engine 41 station to see the Highlandtown Train Garden. If you haven't been yet, we highly recommend heading down and taking a look!
Traditions: Moveable Feast
On this month's episode of Traditions we visited with the dedicated staff and volunteers of Moveable Feast, an incredibly impactful non profit located in East Baltimore.
"The mission of Moveable Feast is to foster a community that cares for men, women and children living with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other life-threatening illnesses by preparing and delivering nutritious meals and groceries and providing nutritional counseling and other services."
Traditions: Tugboats on the Harbor
Drinking a beer at Ó Flynn’s on Hanover Street is where we met Captain Mark Stephen Rooney of McAllister Towing of Baltimore. There, he started to tell us all about his life growing up near the Port of Baltimore and the path that led him to becoming a Baltimore Tugboat Captain.
Traditions: The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum - Part 2
For over 50 years The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum has been preserving the the rich heritage of the Bay. In our second part of this two part series, we take a look at how the community surrounding the museum decided to take on the monumental task of preserving the numerous artifacts found within.
Traditions: The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum - Part 1
For over 50 years The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum has been preserving the the rich heritage of the Bay. In our first part of a two part series, we take a look at how the museum preserves the unique boat building techniques developed over the centuries by local watermen.
Traditions: The Afro-American
Afro, originally published as the Afro-American, celebrates its 125th anniversary this year. In this episode of Traditions, CEO and publisher Jake Oliver looks back on the newspaper's history, and the narrative found in over a century of archives. The paper's articles reveal a community growing through massive changes, and discovering their own power.
Traditions: The National Museum of Dentistry
This is the idea that started the Traditions series. We knew this place existed, but had no idea what was inside. Curator Scott Swank told us why it's there, and what it's like to run the place.