Why Cultural Arts?

Norman Ross

“I consider the Cultural Arts Project one of the most exciting programs ever to be initiated in the City of Baltimore. I don't say this because I happen to be the project director, but because it is a program that has been long desired by many people and it has opened vistas of opportunities for people to acquire training and display a talent which, heretofore, they have not been able to acquire. The arts, previously, have been looked upon as a frill, a needless entity. Unfortunately, the public schools treat the arts as a once-a-week subject with little or no effect on a child's daily education. Gradually, it is being realized that the arts do have a great deal of worthwhile benefits.​

All children can't excel in reading, writing and arithmetic, but many times, a child can be reached if he is allowed to express himself through an art medium. Then too, many so-called criminals and delinquents have become worthwhile contributing members of the community because they have developed a skill or talent in being able to work in their area of interest. The participant level of the Cultural Arts Project averages about 700 persons per month with over 1,000 people actually enrolled in the program. This should say something and have some meaning as to the demand for training and skill development in the arts.

The Cultural Arts Program has continuously attempted to fulfill the requests and desires of the immediate neighborhoods of each of its centers. There are two centers which offer advanced training in dance, art, and stage band music. Other courses include photography, piano, drama, African dance, guitar, video-workshop and other courses relating to the arts. During the past two summers, the project has offered special summer programs in intensive training for high school students. This program has been highly successful and it is supported in part, by the National Endowment for the Arts. Other summer programs include, the Cultural Arts Recreational Support Program and a special experimental program in violin training with the Peabody Institute. Our future plans include an art gallery and a performing arts center, hopefully to be opened soon, and a resident theatre. The Cultural Arts Project is grateful for the support it has continuously received from the Model Cities Agency, the concerned Model Neighborhood Residents and the City of Baltimore.​"

Norman Ross
Founder and Director 
Cultural Arts Program
1973