By Jannette J. Witmyer, Special to the Afro
Among Baltimore City’s greatest resources are the neighbors who assume the roles of community leaders by working tirelessly to uplift and improve the lives of residents and correct negative conditions within its 250 neighborhoods. At times, the work is carried out with little or no recognition, but “The Guardians: Reshaping History,” a recently opened exhibition at The Peale Center at Carroll Mansion (800 E Lombard St.), is ensuring that 13 Black female leaders get their just due.
“We know that in so many of our neighborhoods, it is the women, specifically the Black women who have held our communities together,” said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. “It is about time we recognized their work and commitment to our city. They have been the Guardians of our traditions and our history, but also the heralds of a better and brighter future for our city.”
The backgrounds of the 13 women featured in the exhibition: Antionette Mugar, Harlem Park West; Audrey Carter, East Oliver; Cherring Spence, Park Lane; Dorothy Cunningham, Irvington; Gwen Brown, Govans; Joy Ross, Harlem Park West; Pauline Charles, Darley Park; Samiriah Franklin, West Baltimore; Sharon Snow, Cylburn; Sheree Briscoe, Deputy Commissioner, Mt. Washington; Tayler Mugar, Harlem Park West; Terrye Moore, Park Heights (NW); and Yeshiyah Israel, Pimlico/Park Heights, are as diverse as the neighborhoods that they represent, but the common thread of community commitment is present in the fabric of their work. They give freely of their time, energy, expertise, and love to create an improved environment in their neighborhoods.
“The Guardians: Reshaping History” represents the culmination of a photojournalism documentary project, led by creative director Whitney Frazier and photographer Kirby Griffin, and includes photo portraits of the honorees, large-scale banners, and digital archives that recognize the women’s contributions to their individual communities and the whole of Baltimore City. The exhibition will feature photographic banners on Baltimore’s City Hall, the War Memorial and other historical buildings. Currently, five of the banners are being displayed on the front façade of City Hall. They will also travel to the honorees’ home neighborhoods and other prominent locations around the city.
In addition to being featured in a physical exhibition, the incredible stories of The Guardians are also available to be viewed and heard online at https://guardians.thepeale.org/. Showcasing the women’s heartfelt work and making citizens aware of their dedication is of great importance to the mayor. He fully plans to tap into the valuable talents that these community leaders offer.
“This is only the beginning,” continued Mayor Brandon M. Scott. “I look forward to continued collaboration with these incredible women to uplift communities across our city.”
The Guardians: Reshaping History
October 30, 2021 – December 19, 2021 | Saturdays-Sundays, 12:00-4:00pm
The Peale Center at Carroll Mansion
800 E. Lombard Street
“The Guardians” project is seeking financial support to assist in the production of banners, exhibition expenses, and other project-related costs. Donations are being processed through the Peale Center, a 501c3 non-profit organization, and can be made at https://guardians.thepeale.org/donate/.
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