Visitors and residents know the city of Baltimore as many things. Some call it “The City That Reads.” Others call it “The City That Bleeds” and it has been known as “Charm City” or “Harm City.” But despite the bad publicity that it has garnered over the years, there is most definitely a certain palpable charm that envelops Baltimore when one comes to know the area. It has a fresh and thriving artistic community that showcases everything from music to literature, and well it should. Some of the best artists and institutions are located in Baltimore. For instance, there is the Peabody Institute, well-known for its music program and for helping to develop the talents of artists such as Tori Amos. HBO’s “The Wire” shows the darker side of the city, but is undeniably a show of impressive creativity and real-life storytelling, which also employs some of the local talent.
Baltimore is the home of best-selling and award-winning authors such Anne Tyler, Nora Roberts, Tom Clancy, and Laura Lippman. The city has also been home and hearth to the likes of Edgar Allan Poe and F. Scott Fitzgerald. This is in no way an exhaustive list of the amazing talent that currently resides here or once called the city home.
It’s no wonder that Baltimore is such an inspiration for independent artists and the well-known alike. There are various organizations that inspire and foster the burgeoning talent here, breathing new life into struggling writing groups and putting on literary and other artistic events that rival those of other big cities. Myself, I’ve seen and experienced the good and the bad in the city, and there’s no argument that it has its problems. But the thriving arts scene brings to Baltimore a beauty and originality that one would be remiss to not appreciate.