Interpreting What Citizens See for Forest Drive’s Future ~ Annapolis Capital Punishment

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Interpreting What Citizens See for Forest Drive’s Future

The following was provided by Anastasia Hopkinson (president of the Annapolis Roads Property Owners Association)  and an organizer of the Forest Drive event described:

On Thursday, April 22, 5:00 PM at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, graduate students from the Landscape Architecture Department, School of Architecture and Planning at Morgan State University, will present their interpretation of local citizens’ view of the future of Forest Drive. The presentation is free and open to the public.

In February, several dozen County and City citizens, working with renowned professional local artists such as Maryland Hall’s Artists-in-Residence Rob Levitt and Mary Jo Arthur, created an impressive collection of paintings, sculpture, prose and poems to express their vision for the future of this important and often congested roadway. 
As the citizens reflected on the communities around Forest Drive, construction began to widen the western end of roadway  to deal with traffic.  That roadway "improvement" brings immediacy and poignancy to the citizens artwork. 

The citizens did not undertake a planning project but rather a creative process.  The citizens were concerned with the nature of the communities that they live in, what might their future lifestyle be, will there be mere vestiges of the natural world left after all the houses and shops are built?  They were thinking about how they want to live their lives and what they want their community to be.  Citizens found art to be a way to express values, hopes, ideas.  In the end, the citizens have been empowered and energized by their artistic work, and are hopeful that others will share their vision. 
Six students have been studying the artwork and have been challenged by their professors to interpret the citizens’ expression without interfering or making assumptions about the citizens’ viewpoints.  The students will also comment on the benefits of working directly with citizens on personal and community values.

The public is invited to attend the students’ presentation on Thursday, April 22, 2010, beginning at 5:00 PM, at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, 801 Chase Street, Annapolis MD 21403.  The citizens’ artwork will be on display until the end of the evening’s presentation at 8:00 PM.   Light refreshments will be served.

This event culminates a three month project in community-based planning entitled“Art is Community Empowerment: Envisioning Forest Drive”.  TThehe Landscape Architecture Department, School of Architecture and Planning at Morgan State University, and the Annapolis Neck Peninsula Federation (ANPF) are conducting the project.  ANPF is a coalition of community associations focused on citizen engagement in government planning.

For information, visit or contact or Scott Mobley, 410-266-6351.

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