09-17-2023 Fall Arts Guide - Flipbook - Page 1
THE BALTIMORE SUN
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 2023
FALL ARTS PREVIEW
Will Baltimore’s 2023-24 arts season
be on fire — or fizzle out?
By Mary Carole McCauley
d was named
h t ’
new music director in 2022. At 31, he is the youngest music
director of one of the two-dozen biggest-budget symphony
orchestras in the U.S. KENNETH K. LAM/THE BALTIMORE SUN
ometimes what goes on behind the scenes is as interesting as what gets lit up by the
spotlights. The 2023-24 arts season is brimming with enticing plays and concerts and
author talks and art exhibits. For a couple of hours, the best productions and exhibitions
become a haven and shelter for audience members by creating miniature, self-enclosed
worlds. That is the implicit promise of art.
But outside those protected spaces, the arts world is grappli
with the same forces buffeting the rest of American society, from the
economic realities of a post-pandemic world to the racial reckoning that
erupted after the murder of George Floyd. How well the disciplines
navigate the issues will help determine their success.
The stakes are high. In 2022, the arts accounted for 80,000 jobs
statewide and had an estimated economic impact of $11.7 billion,
according to the Maryland State Arts Council’s annual report. And
Baltimore is the heart of the state’s arts programs.
We take a look at some of the questions that arts observers will be askin
about Baltimore’s season, as the dramas unfold in real time. The fascinatin
part is that it’s the members of the audience — people like you — who are
will start his new job
holding the pen and who will determine how the endings are written.
as Baltimore Center
Talk about cliffhangers.
Stage’s artistic director
on Oct. 2. J FANNON
Turn to Burning, Page 6