My vision for Annapolis, Maryland is big… and it’s something I’ve been working on for nearly 5 years. I would like to see this charming city become an entertainment destination, much like Austin, Texas or Branson, Missouri. Both of these cities were small towns that increased their visibility and tourism by showcasing talent and the existing charm of the location.
Annapolis definitely has these elements and so much more — the Chesapeake Bay, Naval Academy, colonial history, and sailing. I know for certain we have what it takes; I have done my homework, which includes an informational interview with the folks in the know in both these locations.
For years, I’ve watched the arts and entertainment here ebb and flow.
We have experienced the coming and goings of some wonderful venues, festivals and related resources that really celebrated locals — The Whiskey, Summers at City Dock, Sharky’s/Wild Willy’s, Annapalooza, Chesapeake Music Guide, and now the Chesapeake Bay Blues Festival. We’ve seen a downturn and we’re about to experience an upturn.
From the months of March through early November, Annapolis hosts some sort of festival or event; there is certainly no lack for something to do.
Many aren’t even aware of some of these events: The Annapolis Irish Festival, Annapolis Film Festival, and Kegs and Corks to name a few. Some aren’t aware that the Metropolitan showcases local talent on their second floor; the Annual Battle of the Bands is a wonderful way to see rising talent; and much of the community has no clue about the Blackstone Amphitheater and Conference Center that has been in the works for the past six years.
This is where our tide is about to turn
We have a long-standing foundation for the arts and entertainment with Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts and Ramshead on Stage. Both are intimate venues that present tremendous talent, from the acclaimed Annapolis Symphony and Chorale to 7 Bridges (a fantastic Eagles tribute band), Dr. John, and our own blues virtuoso, Andy Poxon. Both have been instrumental in providing the building blocks on which the Arts and Entertainment district was created. However, this hasn’t been instituted to its fullest. There is so much more we can do… and be.
Now, we will be fortunate to have our own performing arts center right in our backyard. While not in the City proper or Arts and Entertainment district, it doesn’t matter.
The Blackstone complex will serve as the anchor to Annapolis being an entertainment destination.
Graciela Blackstone and I have shared our visions with each other, and we are on the same page; we both think big for our hometown. I feel so fortunate to be a part of this project and seeing both our visions realized. I also look forward to continuing the tradition of The Whiskey, Annapalooza, and CMG by celebrating and including our local talent, for that is how Annapolis will be fully realized as the next entertainment destination.