The Baltimore Banner’s Best 2022: Creatives in Residence

Published 12/29/2022 6:00 a.m. EST, Updated 12/29/2022 10:48 a.m. EST

A composite image shows eight artists and writers participating in the "Creatives in Residence" program.
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The Baltimore Banner launched the “Creatives in Residence” program to help amplify the work of artists and writers from across the region. The inaugural class includes poets, essayists, designers, bloggers and experienced journalists, each with a unique perspective and Baltimore experience to inform their reporting and storytelling.

Here is a recap of some of those stories from this year.

Wallace Lane: My life as a ’90s hood drama movie

Published: July 14, 2022

“I wish me fighting demons came with a stunt devil.”

In this autobiographical poem, writer and author Wallace Lane details his experiences growing up in Baltimore City.

You can watch the video and read the poem here.

What losing my brother taught me about grief: Take the advice that works, leave the rest

Illustration of sad woman separated from others by dark fog

Published Dec. 14, 2022

“Yet as universal as grief can be, it’s an incredibly individual experience.”

Grief comes in waves, and there’s no one right way to handle a loss. In this piece, Kerry Graham explains what she has learned about grief, how she is continuing to cope with it and how finding what works for you in the process is important.

Read the full piece here.

Right now is not forever: What my mother’s addiction taught me about hope and grace

Illustration of Kondwani Fidel. Through an ongoing cycle of addiction and recovery, Fidel never gave up on his mother.

Published: Aug. 18, 2022

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“For nine months, I fought for nutrients and oxygen in a drug-swaddled placenta, and by the grace of God, I made it.”

Baltimore poet and writer Kondwani Fidel shares this deeply personal essay about the highs and lows of a family battling crack and heroin addiction. Fidel takes us through his life and the relationship with his mother as she struggles with addiction.

To read this essay and see what lessons Fidel has learned in his journey, click here.

Queen Elizabeth’s death: What happened to civility?

Queen Elizabeth II in London in 2011.

Published: Sept. 20, 2022

“What rattled me as students tried to explain the humor in what they were enjoying on Twitter and TikTok was the absence of even a modicum of empathy, of any of that old-fashioned respect for the dead and of tiptoeing around the feelings of their loved ones during a reasonable period of mourning.”

After the death of Queen Elizabeth, social media lit up with jokes, memes — all at the expense of the queen. In this column, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist E.R. Shipp asked the tough question: What happened to civility?

To read her thoughts, click here.

Simone Phillips and Charm City Table

Illustration of Simone Phillips, Creative in Residence for The Baltimore Banner.

You want to know where to find the best brunch spots? Simone’s got it covered.

Need a recommendation for which restaurants have outdoor heated dining? Simone’s got it covered.

You even need to know where the best places are to take pics for Instagram? Yes, again, Simone’s got it covered.

Food blogger and Baltimore native Simone Phillips launched Charm City Table in 2017 and has since used her platform to amplify smaller voices in Baltimore’s food industry.

Her unique take on the food industry in Baltimore can be found here.

Life lessons in the classroom: When the student becomes the teacher

Woman watches boy embracing another grieving boy

Published: Sept. 8, 2022

“Teenagers shouldn’t need to bury one another. Yet when they do, they handle each other with such tender care: They’re the blessing cracking through the unjust burden.”

Another piece by Graham focuses on one of her students — or her “lovelies,” as she calls them — who comes to her wanting to do something nice for a friend who has lost a loved one. While she helps her student, she learns a lesson in the process.

Read the story here.

A Baltimore village helped get this singer to the Metropolitan Opera

Daniel Rich, a Baltimorean, was recently selected by the Metropolitan Opera for its very competitive Lindermann Young Artist Development Program.

Published: Aug. 1, 2022

“When a Daniel Rich moves into his purpose, it is a triumph for the village.”

From Baltimore to the opera: Shipp wrote about the village of neighbors, family, friends and teachers who poured love and support into Daniel Rich, a 31-year-old singer who was selected as one of 12 for the Metropolitan Opera’s coveted Lindemann Young Artist Development Program.

Read the story here.