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News & Press > Baltimore Mayor Kicks-Off Heritage Area’s City Hall Lecture Series

February 7, 2014

Baltimore, MD
United States

With a packed audience in the city hall’s Board of Estimates Room, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake opened the heritage area’s fourth annual city hall lecture series. The “It’s More than History” lecture series brings noted historians, living history presenters, and professional storytellers to city hall to showcase Baltimore’s history and its personalities.

“Every year we kick off the program during Black History Month to recognize those African Americans with heritage rooted in Baltimore,” said Rawlings-Blake. “Their lives and stories, successes and contributions, are the threads woven into our national history. It is a history we can all be proud to acknowledge, embrace, and sustain for future generations.”

The lecture series runs from February through April with two presentations each month. The February lectures honors Baltimore’s African American community and its contributions to the arts. Acclaimed opera singer Bridgette “Bri” Cooper combined formal lecture and her dramatic voice to bring life to the story of Anne Brown, a Baltimore-born opera singer who originated the role of Bess in George Gershwin’s 1935 Broadway production of Porgy and Bess.

On February 21, local jazz musician and historian Bob Jacobson will explore the life of Ellis Larkins, the first African American student officially admitted to Peabody Conservatory. Widely known by age 10 as Baltimore’s piano prodigy, Larkins later studied at New York’s Juilliard and was the pianist for some of the best-known sax players of the Swing Era.

The lectures are held from February through April on specific Fridays at noon in Baltimore City Hall’s Board of Estimates Room (second floor). The lectures are open to the public; a valid photo ID is necessary for entry. Attendees are invited to bring a brown bag lunch. Visit for the complete lecture schedule.

The mission of the Baltimore National Heritage Area is to promote, preserve, and enhance Baltimore’s historic and cultural legacy and natural resources for current and future generations. Visit for more information about the Baltimore National Heritage Area.

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