Building and Strengthening Neighborhoods and People

Congrats to Natty Paint!

GHCC is thrilled to see local designer Emily Li Mandri – of Natty Paint fame – on the cover of today’s Baltimore City Paper. The feature chronicles Emily’s journey from teaching herself to silkscreen, to producing what has quickly become an established indie clothing label right here in Charm City.

“Most of my sales are happening in Baltimore,” Emily says. “People like seeing something fashion-forward here and want to support me.”

We count ourselves among these supporters, as Emily is who designed and printed some dazzling t-shirts (pictured above) for our 40 Trees in 40 Neighborhoods initiative.

So, in celebration of today’s feature story, we’re offering our 40 Trees tees at a special discounted rate of $15 for one week only! Each one is hand-printed by Emily herself on organic cotton with eco-friendly inks and can be purchased at our online store. All proceeds go towards our efforts to plant 1,600 trees by Spring 2011.

“I cannot believe I made the front page,” says Emily. “It’s a huge achievement for everyone involved in Natty Paint and myself. We’ve been working hard for one year to generate buzz about what we’re doing and it’s finally happening!”

To see more Natty Paint designs, visit

GHCC Office Closure – Winter Break

GHCC will close from December 24-January 2 (we’ll return on January 3) for our annual holiday break. This means Greater Homewood Voices will be on a short hiatus as well. We’ll look forward to returning your calls and emails—and bringing you a fresh batch of stories on the blog—in early January.

Have a safe, healthy, and happy holiday!

Play Scrabble for a Good Cause


Players face off at the 9th Annual Scrabble Fundraiser for Literacy in March 2010.

For nine years, participants in GHCC’s Scrabble® Fundraiser for Literacy have gathered in the spirit of fun and games to support a good cause — fighting adult illiteracy in Baltimore City. This year marks the event’s tenth anniversary and with an estimated 100 players planning to attend, promises to be the best one yet with live music, a silent auction, food, beer, wine, and fun.

Read more about the event »

Supporter Stories: Interview with Steve Goodman

GHCC: Tell us a bit about yourself

Steve Goodman: I’m a software engineer for a small federal contracting company. I’m an avid gardener, I spend a lot of my free time digging in my front yard, and I’m finishing up a new deck in the back yard. On Sundays, I attend a “Course in Miracles” study group which gives me a lot of joy.

GHCC: Are you a Baltimore native?

SG: I’m not a Baltimore native. I moved here in 1998 to attend JHU. When I graduated, I lived in Mt. Vernon. After a few years there, which were great, my wife and I moved to Better Waverly. I was looking for a reasonably priced house with a yard for my dogs and my gardening. I fell in love with Charles Village while I was studying at Hopkins, so I was always looking for a place in Greater Homewood. We stumbled upon our house in Waverly, which has a huge city lot of 25’X200′! It’s a shady neighborhood, which is great for our hot summers and for bird watching. Our neighbors are some of the sweetest people in the world, which really makes our neighborhood great. I didn’t know that when I decided to move here, but it has been the biggest blessing.

GHCC: When did you first discover Greater Homewood Community Corporation and what prompted you to become a supporter of our work?

SG: I can’t point to a specific moment when I found out about GHCC. It’s a testament to your marketing that GHCC is just in my mind somehow. When I first moved into my house, I was attending some of the Better Waverly Community Organization meetings. I wanted to help out one of my neighbors who was in a tough situation, and GHCC seemed like a vehicle for making my special project a reality. The more I found out about GHCC’s mission of strengthening community in Baltimore, the more I wanted to support that mission. I’ve always felt that developing relationships with people is what life is all about, and GHCC’s focus has always been about connecting people with each other and with opportunity.

GHCC: Why do you believe it’s important for individuals to support a nonprofit like GHCC?

SG: No man is an island. We all depend on and support one another in everything we do. I couldn’t sit in my house typing these answers without the builders who put it here, the city that maintains the roads, BGE who keeps the power on, the people who are these organizations. We’re all connected. It’s our responsibility to pay the debt we owe our brothers and sisters for supporting us. The more we can give to our communities, the more everyone receives.

GHCC: What do you love most about living in Greater Homewood?

SG: The early evening at Sherwood Gardens when the tulips are in bloom is a little slice of heaven.


Creating Community Art with Ben Stone

Led by some of Baltimore’s best and brightest activists, artists, educators, and leaders, GHCC’s 5th Annual Neighborhood Institute: Love Where You Live is all about learning what you can do to build and strengthen vibrant urban neighborhoods.

We caught up with Ben Stone, Executive Director of Station North Arts and Entertainment District, to ask him a couple of questions about what participants can expect from Creating Community Art – a workshop that he will be leading at this year’s Neighborhood Institute.

Tell us about your background in community art.

My background is in studio art and urban planning. I’ve worked on a number of public and community art projects, including the design of new bus shelters in Phoenix, the creation of a new waterfront art park in Portland, and most recently, Open Walls Baltimore, a new large-scale street art project in Station North. I’ve also been involved with the creation of plans for the revitalization of commercial corridors in Baltimore, New Orleans, DC, and other cities; I strive to incorporate elements of public art in all of my planning projects and elements of urban planning and design in all of my art projects.

Why did you choose to participate as a workshop leader in this year’s Neighborhood Institute?

I chose to participate in the Neighborhood Institute because I know that Baltimore’s community leaders all have much to learn from one another. Just as I am looking forward to sharing my knowledge of the arts, I’m excited to learn from others about energy efficiency, event planning, and community greening.

What are you hoping that your workshop participants will take away with them?

I hope that participants will leave the workshop with a desire to incorporate art into their neighborhood revitalization strategies, and with an understanding of how to successfully engage artists and community members in the art making process.

Register today for the 5th Annual Neighborhood Institute: Love Where You Live. It’s a free event, but space is limited!