A Chat with B’more’s Fiercest New Bar Owner: Night Shift 2.0’s Beth Cooper

The Night Shift 2.0 celebrated its grand opening on October 4th to the delight of many in the Baltimore LGBTQ community. Located at 1725 Ponca Street, The Night Shift 2.0 already serves as a beacon for everyone in the community looking for a place to be themselves. Baltimore OUTloud recently chatted with owner Beth Cooper. “My inspiration,” began Cooper, “was to continue to provide an-all inclusive place for everyone in the LGBTQ community. I had been affiliated with other safe-spaces and I didn’t realize how special it was for people to have a place of their own to feel comfortable. […]

Meet and Greet: Johanna Dolan

Canadian activist Elaine MacDonald once said, “A life coach does for the rest of your life what a personal trainer does for your health and fitness.” Life coach and trainer Johanna Dolan’s work exudes empowerment. Dolan recently chatted with Baltimore OUTloud on her work and deep Baltimore roots. “I am a native Baltimorean,” began Dolan. “I was born in Towson and lived on Pratt Street. We moved when I was in second grade to West Virginia. My dad was a truck driver during the week and a minister. On Sundays, we would go to whatever church we were attending at […]

Theatre Meets Community

Baltimore Center Stage recently announced in July the addition of award-winning playwright and community organizer Annalisa Dias to its staff as the theater’s director of artistic partnerships and innovation. In her role, Dias will lead the development of new projects and steward relationships with artists and other cultural organizations. Baltimore OUTloud recently chatted with Dias on her new role and what the idea of community means to her. Frankie Kujawa: Can you tell our readers a little bit about your background? Annalisa Dias: I grew up in Pittsburgh, on the traditional territories of the Osage and Haudenosaunee Nations. I went […]

Steve Preston and Marvin ‘Doc’ Cheatham, Sr.’s Miracle on McKean

Coretta Scott King once said, “The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.” For Parks & People’s Steven Preston and community leader Marvin L. “Doc” Cheatham, Sr., compassion for the community is rooted in their DNA. Preston and Cheatham recently chatted with Baltimore OUTloud regarding their collaboration on the “Miracle on McKean” – the Easterwood / Sandtown park and playground and their enduring friendship that has grown from the project. For Steve Preston, parks construction and design manager for the Parks & People Foundation, the word “community” isn’t isolated to a single […]

The Dogs of Peace Gay couple bonded through love of teaching, now authors of children’s books featuring justice-loving canine

By definition, “peace” conveys harmonious well-being and freedom from hostile aggression. Peace Pom: Ronan Makes a Difference the second book in the series by Mark Gruber-Lebowitz (and illustrated by his husband Sheldon Gruber-Lebowitz), is the story about a young Pomeranian dog who is hoping to tell everyone about peace – how we can feel it ourselves and how we can spread it to those around us. The children’s book, for children of all ages, is a delightful tale that not only educates but touches readers’ souls. Baltimore OUTloud recently sat down with the book’s creators. For Mark, a retired elementary […]

Poetry as Sculpture: Wordsmith Stephen Zerance

American novelist and poet Erica Jong once said, “Everyone has talent. What’s rare is the courage to follow it to the dark places where it leads.” Baltimore-based poet Stephen Zerance embodies this courageous talent in its raw form. Zerance’s recent book Safe Danger (available on Amazon), is the author’s first collection of poetry released by Indolent Books. His skillfully-crafted poetry flawlessly evokes readers’ emotions. Baltimore OUTloud recently chatted with Zerance about his recent publication, his attachment to Baltimore, and the inspiration behind many of his current works. “I was inspired to write a lot of this book by the way […]

A Royal Repartee… with Baltimore’s 2018 King of Pride

Baltimore’s 2018 King of Pride, Chris Jay, has ascended from humble beginnings to promote LGBTQ awareness and inclusivity. They (Jay’s preferred pronoun) recently chatted with Baltimore OUTloud to discuss how photography became a passion, their current reign as King of Pride 2018, and their new project The Queerbook: The Queer Performers Yearbook. “I would describe my current reign as King of Pride 2018 as eye-opening,” Jay began. “It’s been exactly a year since I was named King of Pride 2018. The way that I’ve been able to connect to Baltimore is unlike any way that a person can connect to […]

Meet Eric Randolph and Alan Cortie – The New Owners of Mixers

Gay nightlife, like the gay community, has always existed in one form or another.  Over the last 50 years, gay bars have taken form to help shelter gay culture and have been one of the building blocks of the LGBTQ community.  Fostering a climate where LGBTQ individuals feel safe and protected is necessary for the well-being of the gay community.  For Eric Randolph and Alan Cortie, the new owners of Mixers Bar, this has become a mission.  “Mixers is a bar which is a comfort zone for everyone in the LGBTQ community.” Began Cortie.  “Many people may not want to travel to a bar that’s further into the city, or one […]

Highlandtown Goes Artsy

Growing up in Baltimore’s Highlandtown, Felicia Zanninio-Baker’s love for her neighborhood began very young. Today her creative talents are helping positive change in her community. As the owner and proprietress of the Highlandtown Gallery, as well as Magnolia Designs, the interior designer has long been a supporter of local artists within the community. “I was brought to Highlandtown when I was just three months old,” Zannino-Baker began. “From a very young age, I was very involved with the Italian culture. We sang, danced, and performed in Italian costume from the age of seven.” Zannino-Baker, whose father founded Zannino Funeral Homes […]

Three Galleries in One

The Highlandtown Gallery opened in September 2013 and is a crown jewel in the Highlandtown Arts District. “What makes this gallery unique,” says owner Felicia Zannino-Baker, “is the combination of three galleries in one building. It’s a tremendous dose of eye candy. You can find many forms of art in one place – we have paintings, encaustics, photography, jewelry, originals on paper or canvas, mosaics, sculpture, glass.” A recent group exhibition was “The Mosaic Show,” and currently there’s a group nude show, “Nudes / Erotica / Exotic Women,” running through August. Housed within the Highlandtown Gallery location is also Zwiebach […]