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The Culture of Baltimore


It was the initial intent of this article to discuss various ‘cultural’ galleries and exhibits found throughout the Baltimore Metropolitan area.  However, upon reflection of the true definition of culture, especially ‘Baltimore culture’, I was faced with a certain dilemma, mainly that many larger, better known galleries don’t focus on Baltimore culture, rather world culture.  Despite the importance of learning about and understanding other cultures, I feel there is an equal if not greater importance of learning who ‘we’ , as Baltimoreans, are.  As a result, the cultural section of this newsletter is dedicated to Baltimore Culture.


What is Baltimore Culture?


Most non-Marylanders relegate Baltimore to a crab-crazy city with grammatically incorrect residents who greet each other, “Hey, hon!”  Most Marylanders who are non-Baltimoreans view the city as a culture of crime, where graffiti is art and carjacking is a common form of ‘performance art’.  This is an inaccurate and unfortunate view of Baltimore, as this city is culturally diverse, with a rich history, both from a civil and a military perspective, and over 700,000 residents from all over the world telling an amazingly complex tale of culture.


Seeing Beyond the Stereotypes


The ability to see beyond stereotypes is, in my mind, the definition of true culture.  When something becomes a part of “how things are” as opposed to “how those people do it,” it becomes part of culture.  It is important, then, that we Baltimoreans see everything contained within our city as “how WE do it,” not “how THEY do it.”  Only through this larger perspective can we begin to understand the culture of our Baltimore.


Our Culture


Where does our culture begin, and where is it today?  The beginning is the easy part... 



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