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Maryland Morning with host Tom Hall aired its final broadcast on September 16, 2016. Programs airing from 10/15 - 9/16/16 can be found below.  Tom is now hosting Midday which can be found here.

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The Baltimore African-American Festival is celebrating 40 years. To mark the occasion festival organizers are bringing in  some big names like Common, Vivica Fox, Estelle and Mary Mary. 

There will also be interactive activities focusing on health and wellness, financial literacy and police-community relations.

Shelonda Stokes, president and CEO of greiBO entertainment, and Joe Maye, singer from The Voice on NBC, both join Tom in-studio to discuss the festival. greiBo was hired by the city to plan the events. 

This morning we're taking a closer look at Thursday's verdict in the trial of Officer Caesar Goodson -- the 17-year Baltimore police veteran who drove the van in which Freddie Gray suffered his fatal neck injury in April, 2015. Goodson was found not guilty of second-degree depraved-heart murder, second-degree assault, misconduct in office, involuntary manslaughter, manslaughter by vehicles (gross negligence), manslaughter by vehicles (criminal negligence) and reckless endangerment.

To unpack Judge Williams' verdict, we turn once again to our legal eagles, practicing attorney Edward Smith and University of Baltimore law professor David Jaros, and WYPR's own Kenneth Burns.  They all join Tom in-studio to discuss a trial that many legal experts had called the most significant of the six criminal trials related to the death of Freddie Gray.

The United Kingdom Votes To Leave The European Union

Jun 24, 2016
Johns Hopkins University

The United Kingdom will depart the European Union after 52% of British, Irish and Commonwealth residents living in the UK cast their "leave" ballot in yesterday's referendum. Also eligible to vote were British citizens who left the UK within the past 15 years. Polls found that voters were torn on the decision, with the one side advocating that leaving the EU would secure borders, while the other side claimed that remaining in the EU would secure a strong economy.  Following the referendum, the EU will consist of 27 countries. 

The EU has evolved over many decades.  Its roots go back to shortly after World War II, when  Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands formed a union as they sought stability through increased trade.  The UK formally joined the coalition on Jan. 1, 1973.  Only two years later, the British held a referendum very similar to yesterday's vote -- and decided to remain in the union, which back then was called the European Economic Community, or EEC. It became the EU in 1993 when the Maastricht Treaty  came into effect; it also established the euro as the common currency used by most EU countries.  The UK never adopted the euro -- instead, it still uses the British pound. 

Sydney Van Morgan, director of the International Studies Program and Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology at Johns Hopkins University's Krieger School of Arts & Sciences, joins Tom in-studio to discuss how the UK's decision to leave the EU might impact British-American relations.

Dave Wetty, Cloud Prime Photography

Dr. Carol Anderson is the chair of the African-American Studies Department at Emory University, and the author of White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide

According to Anderson, racial discord and inequality in America is the product of white reaction and opposition to any progress made by people of color.  To support her argument, Anderson points to the white southern reaction to reconstruction efforts following the Civil War, Supreme Court decisions in the 1970s that undermined Brown v. Board of Education, the war on drugs and ongoing voter suppression efforts. 

Dr. Anderson joins Tom in-studio to discuss White Rage and how racial animus towards black and brown people in America perpetuates inequality. 

Monica Reinagel; Hungry Harvest

An estimated six billion pounds of produce are thrown away every year in the United States. That's enough to fill up four NFL stadiums. Half of that massive volume of fruits and vegetables doesn't even make it to grocery store shelves because commercial sorters and packers consider imperfectly shaped or slightly blemished produce to be too "ugly" to sell.

To combat this monumental food waste and redirect perfectly edible produce to markets -- and consumers -- that need it, recent University of Maryland graduate Evan Lutz established Hungry Harvest. The non-profit "recovers" this discarded produce from local farms, food wholesalers, and packing houses and boxes and delivers it to paying subscribers. For every box purchased, the program also delivers fresh produce to a family in need.

In this month's Smart Nutrition segment, Lutz and our regular Nutrition Diva Monica Reinagel join Tom in-studio to discuss Hungry Harvest's market-based strategies to end waste and improve equity in the nation's food system.

Sheri Parks

Sheri Parks is a culture critic, associate professor in the Department of American Studies and Associate Dean for Research, Interdisciplinary Scholarship and Programming at the College of Arts and Humanities at the University of Maryland College Park.

She joins Tom to discuss the massacre in Orlando and how issues of terrorism, gun control and bigotry against the LGBTQ, Latino and the Muslim communities intersect.  Dr. Parks also discusses presidential politics and how President Obama, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump and other politicians are reacting to the Orlando massacre. 

Photo by Tom Lauer

Godspell is a high-spirited, musical re-telling of the life and passion of Jesus Christ, created in 1971 by a 23-year-old wunderkind named Stephen Schwartz (who would later go on to score many more musical hits), with a book by John-Michael Tebelak. Since its Off-Broadway debut, Godspell has become an iconic and seemingly timeless work, played in numerous community theaters, touring companies and revivals, including a successful 2011 run on Broadway. Now, a new production of Godspell by Cockpit in Court is playing through Sunday (June 26) at the Essex Campus of the Community College of Baltimore.  Maryland Morning theater critic J. Wynn Rousuck caught the show and joins Tom in the studio with her review.

MacArthur Foundation

MacArthur Award-winning dancer and choreographer Liz Lerman is the author of Hiking the Horizontal: Field Notes from a Choreographer and founder of the Dance Exchange

Lerman is also the creator of the Critical Response Process, a system of feedback that is designed to make artists want to go back and work. She’s dedicated her career to challenging notions of who can be a dancer and what dance can mean.  In August, Lerman will be leaving Baltimore to accept an appointment as a Professor in the Herberger Institute of Design and the Arts at Arizona State University. Liz Lerman joins Tom in-studio to discuss her work as an artist and her new job at Arizona State University. She also explains why she believes that much of the public response to last year's Uprising has been misguided. 

Baltimore School for the Arts

Donald Hicken -- one of the most admired figures in the Baltimore theater community -- is retiring this week after a 36-year career heading the Theater Department at the Baltimore School for the Arts.  He helped plan the school back in the late 1970s, and in the years since, as the school has gained national renown, he’s worked to inspire and cultivate countless young talents. Some of his most well-known students include Jada Pinkett-Smith, Tupac Shakur, Tracie Thoms, and Josh Charles.  But for generations of School for the Arts graduates who landed in careers that didn’t put their names in lights, the experience of studying with Donald Hicken still shines brightly.  Donald Hicken joins Tom in the studio to reflect on his nearly four decades at the BSFA, and on the creative new projects that lie ahead.

Sharayna Christmas

Next month, 14 African-American young people will travel to Havana, Cuba to study dance, Spanish and history. The trip is being coordinated by Muse 360 and The African Diaspora Alliance.  According to a study by the Institute of International Education, only five percent of study abroad students are African-American at the college level, for high school students the numbers are even lower.  

To prepare for the two-week excursion students are taking classes and workshops to facilitate conversations about complex issues like systemic racism, health disparities, and manifestations of self-hate within communities of color. The program is designed to expose students to the world outside of Baltimore City while connecting them with the larger African Diaspora. 

Baltimore County Government

Kevin Kamenetz is the Baltimore County Executive. He joins Tom in the studio for the first installment of our new series, Focus on the Counties, in which we talk with county executives about the issues impacting the region's residents.

In today's program, Kamenetz, a member of the Democratic Party, talks about the Baltimore County budget, as well as development updates for Tradepoint Atlantic, the former Sparrow's Point. 

Baltimore County is about to usher in a new era of police transparency with body cameras. Kamenetz discusses that decision and Baltimore County's support of the city following the uprising.

O'Neil Arnold

The National Orchestral Institute and Festival highlights the talent of young classical musicians during an annual month-long showcase at The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center in College Park. Teddy Abrams, the 29-year-old Musical Director of the Louisville Orchestra, is among those selected to participate in the NOI following a rigorous application process.

On Saturday, Abrams will conduct Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 1  Titan. The work will be accompanied by a dance performance. 

Abrams joins Tom on the line to discuss his efforts to bring classical music to young people growing up in a world of synthetic music.  

Washington Post


Dr. Leana Wen is Baltimore City’s Health Commissioner, and she joins us here on Maryland Morning each month for our Healthwatch segment -- conversations about issues affecting the health and well-being of Charm City residents.

In today's program, Dr. Wen talks with Tom about her continuing campaign against opioid painkiller abuse, and her participation  last week with other Baltimore community leaders in a White House meeting on the city's social and economic resurgence.

And Dr. Wen talks with Tom about the obesity threat posed by sugary drinks, and her support for pending City Council legislation requiring warning signs to be posted wherever sugar-sweetened beverages are sold. For more information about the proposal to require warnings about sugary drinks, click here.

Single Carrot Theatre

The Single Carrot Theatre is currently running a breathtaking performance of Midlife, a play discussing the difficult changes of life. Three local directors, Katie Hileman, of the The Interrobang Theatre Company, Evan Moritz, of the Annex Theatre, and Genevieve de Mahy, of Single Carrot Theatre, are stepping onto the stage as actors in this intimate display of a fight against time. Katie, Evan, and Genevieve join Tom in-studio to discuss the show's development and the theater scene in Baltimore. 

Shealyn Jae Photography

In the world of Neil Gaiman’s “Neverwhere,” there are talking rats, duplicitous angels and immortal assassins.

Most of the action takes place below ground in the London sewers and subway, or “tube.” The supernatural goings-on include a girl who can walk through doors -- where there are no doors.

With so much imaginative material, you might expect the theatrical adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s fantasy novel to take its own leaps of fantasy. But ambitious as Cohesion Theatre Company’s efforts may be, in many respects, director Brad Norris’ production and playwright Robert Kauzlaric’s script are too literal an interpretation of the book  (a book that was, itself, adapted from Gaiman’s BBC-TV series).

Bob Mooney, Melissa McGlynn

Literature lovers in Chestertown are gearing up for their 2nd annual Bloomsday, a celebration of Irish writer James Joyce’s seminal 1922 novel, Ulysses.  Bloomsday is named after the Blooms, the story's protagonist family. 

The novel takes place on June 16, 1904 and every year on that day literature fans and Joyce lovers around the world convene to mark the occasion with dramatic readings, discussions, food and drink.  Melissa McGlynn is an actress who will be performing an iconic passage from the novel known as "Molly Bloom’s Soliloquy" during the Bloomsday festivities.  Bob Mooney is a Professor of English and Creative Writing at Washington College. He’ll be leading a discussion of the novel.  They both join Tom from Washington College in Chestertown to discuss the significance of Ulysses and what people can look forward to on Bloomsday. 


The Accountability Index is our monthly conversation with reporters from the Baltimore Brew examining fiscal and policy accountability in state and local government. 

The Baltimore Development Corporation has been holding closed meetings to discuss plans to transform Port Covington into a public space that will house the Under Armour headquarters. The site will be developed with help from a $535 million TIF or tax increment financing.  The BDC meetings are subject to open meetings laws and while the BDC says portions of the meetings are allowed to be closed to "discuss the marketing of public securities," critics say the closed meetings are a violation of the law.  Mark Reutter, senior editor and reporter for the Baltimore Brew, joins Tom in-studio to discuss why the BDC meetings have been closed and why it matters. 

Steve Raabe

Steve Raabe is the founder and president of OpinionWorks, a research organization based in Annapolis. OpinionWorks conducted polls during Baltimore's recent mayoral primary race; the poll accurately projected Senator Catherine Pugh's winning margin. 

Steve joins Tom in-studio to discuss how election polling influences a voter's choice of candidate, how polling has changed with technology and how trustworthy polls differ from unscientific guesswork.

Jason Gillman

It is the season of love here in Baltimore as the classic play Love Letters by A.R. Gurney takes the stage at the Hippodrome Theatre. Ryan O’Neal and Ali MacGraw, stars of the 1970 film, Love Story, rekindle old flames in this charming story of an artist and a lawyer who fall in love through pen and paper.  Theater critic J. Wynn Rousuck joins Tom in-studio to give her take on this tale of distant lovers.

Photo courtesy Anne Watts

Boister is a Baltimore band with an international profile that defies categories. The band can always be counted on to produce albums and performances that are intriguing and packed full of unexpected delights.  Anne Watts, who fronts the 8-piece band, writes all the group's songs. Their latest album is Cast a Net, and it features the vocal and instrumental contributions of Posie Lewis, Anne's 18 year-old daughter.  Posie and Anne join Tom in the studio to talk about Boister's unique musical style, and the joys of pursuing a family tradition.


Hillary Clinton has amassed enough delegate votes to secure the Democratic nomination for president, making her the party's presumptive nominee. Clinton reached the magic number of 2,383 delegates on Monday according to the AP, ahead of Tuesday's primaries in California, New Jersey, New Mexico, Montana, South Dakota and North Dakota. Clinton is the first woman in the United States to lead the presidential ticket of a major political party.

Although recent polls showed a close race in California, Clinton won the state, beating Bernie Sanders, by a more than 10-point margin. 

Will the Democratic party unite under a Clinton campaign? What can we expect in the coming months when Clinton faces presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump in the general election? John Fritze, National Reporter for the Baltimore Sun, joins Tom in-studio for analysis. 

Creative Capital; Jane Brown

A conversation now about the positive impact that the arts and artists can have in communities across the country, with two of America's most innovative philanthropists:  Jane Brown, president and executive director of the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation in Baltimore, and Ruby Lerner, founding president and executive director of Creative Capital in New York.  Their giving is focused on the arts, on the premise that artists bring “creative capital” to communities that can transform people and places in unique and important ways.  Jane and Ruby join Tom in the studio to discuss their efforts to support socially transformative art in Baltimore and other communities.

Can you imagine fighting for survival in a world without water? That's the premise of a new novel by Benjamin Warner, a creative writing professor at Towson University. In his debut sci-fi page-turner, Thirst, Warner describes a post-apocalyptic world in which a strange force suddenly eliminates all water. The Annapolis native joins Tom in the studio to discuss his craft and the theme of his unsettling first novel. 

Annie E. Casey Foundation. Baltimore's Promise

Baltimore‘s Promise is a consortium of civic leaders from government, philanthropy, business, education, and religious institutions who are trying to address the multiple challenges faced by many children in the city of Baltimore. 

There is no shortage of well-meaning people and programs aimed at improving outcomes for kids.  But what programs and strategies best meet the needs of a city where a quarter of children live below the poverty line? 

Patrick McCarthy is co-chair of Baltimore’s Promise and CEO of The Annie E. Casey Foundation.  Tomi Hiers is the Executive Director of Baltimore’s Promise. They both join Tom in-studio to discuss the best ways to improve the journey on what’s been coined the “cradle to career continuum.”

Mónica López-González, PhD

A windowless room, a few hardback chairs and a table with a bare bulb overhead. A female police Detective interrogates a murder suspect. The Suspect is also a woman. She was arrested at a party held to celebrate a book about – and supposedly written by -- a prominent, but notorious man.

He’s identified only as “the president,” though whether that refers to the political or corporate world is left unsaid. Now he’s been murdered. The Suspect was his ghostwriter. Was she also his killer? Does she have something to hide? Does the Detective?

Human communication has its limitations. And, when people deliberately conceal information – at a police interrogation, for example – understanding may boil down to a matter of perception.

Perception -- and its flaws -- is the central theme of Framed Illusion. This latest work by La Petite Noiseuse Productions is premiering at the Theatre Project. The one-act play is written, directed and stars the company’s artistic and scientific director, Mónica López-González.

Challenging Children Through Reading

Jun 6, 2016
The American Library Association

 Kathleen Isaacs' new book, Excellent Books for Early and Eager Readers (published by The American Library Association), recommends books to parents and educators seeking intriguing, age-appropriate reading for children. Isaacs offers 300 book recommendations that are meant to challenge, but not overwhelm, children aged 4-10. The book offerings range in topics from non-fiction and short stories to picture books and mythology. The former teacher and librarian has spent many years working within Baltimore, Washington, and Hong Kong. She currently teaches about children's literature in the education program at Towson University. Tom speaks with her in the studio.

Johns Hopkins University Library

In 2012 and 2013, then Maryland Morning Producer Lawrence Lanahan, WYPR’s Sheilah Kast, Tom Hall and other members of the Maryland Morning team produced a weekly series called The Lines Between Us, which examined the many ways in which inequality was manifested in the Baltimore region.

This morning, a conversation about one of the things we focused on then: discrimination in the mortgage lending market here in Baltimore.

Dr. Jacob Rugh is a Professor of Sociology at Brigham Young University of Utah. Last year Rugh and his co-authors -- sociologists Len Albright of Northeastern University, and Douglas Massey of Princeton University -- published a study of mortgage lending in Baltimore from 2000-2008, when the real estate market and the US economy went into a deep recession. What they found was significant racial discrimination in mortgage lending here in Baltimore City.

Tomorrow night in New Orleans, Prof. Rugh and his co-authors will be awarded the John Hope Franklin Prize for the Best Article on Race, Racism and the Law published within last 2 years for their Baltimore article. The Prize is named after the great historian and civil rights pioneer who studied racial politics.

Jacob Rugh joins me on the line from Utah. The prize-winning – and eye-opening -- article was published in the journal, Social Problems. It is called Race, Space, and Cumulative Disadvantage: A Case Study of the Subprime Lending Collapse.

David Gallagher - Creative Commons

Maryland Morning's Movie Mavens -- Ann Hornaday, film critic for the Washington Post, and Jed Dietz, founder and executive director of the Maryland Film Festival -- join senior producer Rob Sivak for a recap of last month's MFF here in Baltimore and the Cannes Film Festival in France, a look ahead at the upcoming American Film Institute’s AFI Docs Film Festival in late June, and a look at some of the best new summer movies hitting silver screens this weekend and in the weeks ahead.  

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra

Andrew Balio is the principal trumpet player of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and founder of the Future Symphony Institute, an organization that aims to create a new model for classical music.

The Baltimore Symphony and other orchestras across the country are expanding their missions to include educational activities and programming to attract non-traditional audiences.  Andrew Balio joins Tom in-studio to discuss the Future Symphony Institute and the changing landscape of the orchestra. 

Terry Richardson

Filmmaker John Waters celebrated his 70th birthday in April. Early in his career, Waters established himself as an enfant terrible and was affectionately dubbed by film critics as the "King of Sleaze." He has sustained a remarkable career as an author, stand-up comedian, visual artist, and one of America’s most thoughtful observers on the cultural landscape. 

Waters is the master of re-invention, and no work is more emblematic of that than Hairspray, his 1988 musical comedy film. This weekend, John Waters will narrate the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's production of Hairspray. He joins Tom in-studio to discuss Hairspray’s longstanding success, art, politics and aging while maintaining his reputation as an enfant terrible.