Performances by the Baltimore Afrobeat Society are both intense and deeply cathartic experiences as well as important cultural gatherings that have become a ritual for many of us. As the dates for their most recent performances approached, fans of the ensemble spoke of the impending celebrations with reverence knowing that these happenings aren’t your typical live shows. They are rites of affirmation.

With seemingly little mentoring, or outside direction, at 24 years old, Glenford has broken into the New York agency scene through shear determination. In fact, the agencies send ir models to his studio here in Baltimore. Granted, Glenford’s work has yet to grace the pages of any major magazines, what’s impressive is that he’s going after his vision and accomplishing his goals in what seems like record time.

On Saturday July 9th, I hatched a plan to surprise the love of my life with a party to commemorate her birthday and to surprise her with the ring I should have given her long ago. It was a dynamic plan with many moving parts and key players, to whom, we are forever indebted.

Baltimore Rock Opera Society (BROS) is playing now - Fri, Sat and Sun until June12th. Check out how they put on a Double Feature and renovated an abandoned Showtime Theatre on 25th St simultaneously.

This Friday is opening night for the Baltimore Rock Opera Society’s run of a double feature consisting of two original productions, Amphion and The Terrible Secret of Lunastas. The show will run at the Autograph Playhouse (formerly the showtime) at 9 West 25th Street. The two shows will run until June 12th.

The attempt to homogenize American society into easily categorized markets in which those who assimilate are rewarded has left us lacking authentic traditions that bind local cultures into strong communities. It's these traditions that are the lasting foundations for a society, not the ones legislated by congress and condoned by corporate America due to their potential for catchy slogans and convenient merchandising. Somewhere there are men and women wearing uncomfortable suits, sitting around a conference table debating the marketability of a holiday commemorating Osama bin Laden's death and whether or not a video game would be considered in poor taste and if so, would that hurt the sales of said video game.

Conjuration, my friends. That's the word for the day. Whether or not you believe in the supernatural, I'm here to tell you that everyone has experienced an occasion in which they were moved by an unknown spirit of sorts. It's the energy in a room that pervades when we completely forget ourselves and submit to the moment. It's when we are surrounded by like-minded comrades and engaged in some semblance of ritual that these experiences have the potential to be transformative, transcendent, and at times, magical.

I’ve come to the realization that dance is probably the most life affirming art form of all. It lives within the cadence of one’s breath in relation to a heartbeat; the movements executed represent the core actions that epitomize existence. Dance provides an opportunity to flirt with primal urges while sizing up a potential mate, which reminds me that I need to take my girl dancing on the regular.

You would be hard pressed to spend any amount of time in Baltimore without coming across a striking example of Michael Owen’s art. His images range from the largest mural in the city to pieces that would complement any personal collection. His work could be described as minimalist and often seeks out an intimate connection with its viewer. There’s a subtle, dreamlike deja vu in his paintings that resonates.

On Friday night we witnessed a man reach an important milestone in his life and career. While validation comes in many forms there are only a few moments in a person's life that pay dividends quite the way this one did for Shodekeh. Once an usher at The Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, he returned to astound those in the audience who had yet to experience his talent. For those of us who have watched him progress over the years, the moment conjured a sense of pride and inspiration. Shodekeh stood on that stage with many of the most respected musicians in the city because he made the necessary sacrifices to do so. The fact that he did it on his own terms was as impressive as the performance.