MakingChange Provides Free Income Tax Preparation

MakingChange, a nonprofit in Howard County that empowers individuals and families to achieve financial stability, is hosting free tax preparation services at the MultiService Center, in North Laurel; and the NonProfit Collaborative, in Columbia. The two locations are serving as Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites.

The Howard County sites, like other VITA sites across the country, offer free tax return preparation and filing to most taxpayers who earned up to $54,000 in 2017. The taxpayer’s eligibility for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) also will be determined. This year’s tax deadline is April 17.

The MultiService Center is located at 9900 Washington Boulevard (Route 1), Laurel. Free tax preparation services are available Monday, from 4–8 p.m.; Friday, from 10:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m.; and Saturday, from 10 a.m.–3 p.m. The last day is April 14. Appointments can be scheduled at or by calling 410-313-0241.

The NonProfit Collaborative is located at 9770 Patuxent Woods Drive, Columbia. Free tax preparation services are available Wednesday, from 4–8 p.m. The last day is April 11. Appointments can be scheduled at or call 443-518-7649. For more information, visit

LHC to Hold Big Event With Educator Clark

Leadership Howard County (LHC) will hold its annual Big Event featuring guest speaker Ron Clark, a nationally- and internationally-recognized educator who established the Ron Clark Academy, in Atlanta. Clark will present his vision for transforming education and cultivating a generation of global leaders.

The Big Event brings together more than 400 leaders from business, government and nonprofit organizations in Howard County. Proceeds from the event support LHC programs and scholarships. It will be held Tuesday, March 13, 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m., at Turf Valley, in Ellicott City. Individual tickets cost $100 and $75 for students and employees of nonprofit organizations. To register, visit or call 410-730-4474.

Howard Rec & Parks Warhawks to Host USA Field Hockey Tourney

The Howard County Department of Recreation & Parks’ Warhawks Field Hockey Club has been selected to host the USA Field Hockey Region 7 U16 Club Championships during Memorial Day weekend at Troy Park, Elkridge. The tournament will feature the top field hockey clubs in Maryland, Delaware and the District of Columbia. At this Regional Championship, teams will battle for a spot in the USA Field Hockey National Club Championship, set to take place July 9 to July 17, in Lancaster, Pa.

“Troy Park is our newest regional park, and it’s wonderful to see it already being used for such high-level tournaments,” said John Byrd, director, Department of Recreation & Parks. “With Phases I and II of this project finished, we believe as the park’s additional phases are completed, Troy Park will continue to draw more regional tournaments as its amenities and location make it convenient and ideal for out-of-town players.”

This will be the first time that the Warhawks Field Hockey Club has hosted this championship tournament, and it is estimated that more than 250 families will visit Howard County for the event. For more information, visit and

MDOT Accepting Grant Applications for Safety Projects

The Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration (MDOT MVA) Highway Safety Office (MHSO) is accepting grant applications for traffic safety projects that will take place between Oct. 1, 2018, and Sept. 30, 2019 (federal fiscal 2019). The application deadline is March 16.

“Since 2009, an average of 502 people have died each year in traffic crashes on Maryland roads, and nearly 45,000 people have been injured,” said MDOT MVA Administrator and Highway Safety Representative Christine Nizer. “The projects we fund help eliminate these preventable tragedies and save lives.”

Two types of grants are available: one for law enforcement and a general grant for other eligible agencies. New projects must have statewide applicability. Local pilot projects are eligible, provided they demonstrate the potential for expansion throughout the state.

The MHSO is responsible for administering grant-funded programs that focus on preventing impaired, aggressive and distracted driving; protecting occupants; enhancing traffic-records systems; and ensuring the safety of pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists and drivers. For more information, visit or call the MHSO at 410-787-4050.

HCAC’s 21st Celebration of the Arts Set for March 24

The Howard County Arts Council (HCAC) is seeking volunteers to assist at the 21st annual Celebration of the Arts gala on March 24 at the Peter & Elizabeth Horowitz Visual & Performing Arts Center, Howard Community College, Columbia. Volunteers are needed for various jobs including reception, performance, silent auction, set-up, etc.

The celebration is a multi-faceted signature event, showcasing and promoting the arts while raising funds in support of the arts, artists and arts organizations in Howard County. The evening features a reception from 6–8 p.m. with a silent art auction, food from area restaurants and caterers, and musical performances. The Rising Star Performing Arts Competition and the presentation of the Howie Awards will begin at 8 p.m.

To learn more, or purchase tickets, visit the Support section at, and click on Volunteer. The HCAC can be contacted at 410-313-2787 or at [email protected].

Howard Health Department to Partner With Grassroots

The Howard County Health Department and Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center have announced a new partnership to provide substance use screenings and referrals to treatment. The new connection was made possible with state funding received by the Health Department to help combat the opioid crisis.

Under the new agreement, Grassroots will increase its capacity to provide in-person screening to adults, youth and families dealing with substance misuse issues, aided by the technical assistance, training and community promotion provided by the Health Department. Walk-in crisis assistance is available at Grassroots’ Freetown Road facility, in Columbia, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. The location is accessible by public transportation.

A counselor will screen clients using a method called Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT), an evidence-based method to identify individuals at risk, link them to treatment services in the community and assist them in removing barriers to getting treatment.

Individuals and families in Howard County seeking assistance with behavioral health or shelter crises should contact Grassroots at 800-422-0009/410-531-6677 or visit For help with substance use disorder treatment resources, contact the Howard County Health Department at 410-313-6202 or visit

$2.4M Awarded to Combat Homelessness in Anne Arundel

Anne Arundel County was awarded $2.43 million in competitive federal funding to end homelessness. The award, which was granted to the county from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) through the nationally competitive Continuum of Care (CoC) program, will support 14 different ongoing projects working to provide permanent supportive housing for homeless individuals and families in Anne Arundel County and the City of Annapolis.

The projects funded will provide 175 units of stable, affordable housing to the county’s most vulnerable homeless individuals and families. “Over the last decade, we have been able to increase the funding available to the county by approximately 44%, and every dollar is working toward our goal of ending homelessness,” said Kathleen Koch, executive director of Arundel Community Development Services.

The majority of CoC funds will provide permanent supportive housing for chronically homeless individuals — that is, individuals who have been on the street for a long time and who may have mental health, physical health or substance abuse disorders. One such program is the Safe Have II program, which is operated by Arundel House of Hope.

A portion of the CoC award will support Catholic Charities’ Rapid Re-Housing Program, helping homeless families quickly locate housing in the community to avoid being on the streets with their children. Other service and shelter providers funded by the CoC include the Mental Health Agency, Arundel House of Hope, People Encouraging People and the Housing Commission of Anne Arundel County.

Rep Stage Announces 2018–19 Season Productions

Rep Stage, the professional regional theater-in-residence at Howard Community College, has announced its 2018–19 season will launch with the musical “Sweeney Todd,” followed by a world premiere production by Callie Kimball, “Things That Are Round,” and contemporary theater classics “Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992” and “The 39 Steps.”

The first show of the season is “Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” from Sept. 6–23; followed by “Things That Are Round,” Nov. 1–18; “Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992,” Feb. 7–25, 2019; and “The 39 Steps,” May 2-19, 2019. For more information, contact 443-518-1510 or visit

UMSON, State Partner to Address Opioid Addiction

Anne Arundel County has a new tool to combat the heroin and opioid epidemic: the Governor’s Wellmobile Program, administered by the University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON).

The Maryland Department of Health and the Opioid Operational Command Center have announced a partnership between UMSON and the Anne Arundel County Department of Health to use the Governor’s Wellmobile Program to deliver medication-assisted treatment to one of the areas of Anne Arundel County most affected by the heroin and opioid crisis.

The Wellmobile provides primary health care to uninsured and underserved residents across Central Maryland, while serving as inter-professional clinical education sites for students from the University of Maryland schools of Nursing, Law, Social Work, Medicine and Pharmacy. Operating through a combination of state and private funding, the program has grown to four 33-foot-long mobile medical vehicles that rotate in and out of service and provide more than 6,000 visits annually.

The Wellmobile will treat Anne Arundel County residents two days a week. Anne Arundel County Department of Health officials have not announced an exact location nor a start date.

AAWDC, FMA to Host Military Workplace Event

Anne Arundel Workforce Development Corp.’s (AAWDC) Military Corps Career Connect (C3) initiative, in partnership with the Fort Meade Alliance (FMA), is hosting a free morning event where human resources (HR), talent acquisition and hiring managers can learn about how to make their workplace military-ready. The event will be held on Tuesday, March 20, from 9:30–11:30 a.m. at the Columbia Workforce Center, 7161 Columbia Gateway, Columbia.

Attendees will learn methods for creating a military-ready culture, review facts on military spouses and receive actionable methods for engaging with and recruiting this talent pool. The session will be taught by Miligistix, an HR consulting firm that specializes in optimizing, developing and training recruiting teams, with an emphasis on military and veteran programs. To register, visit

PHG Receives $50K Chesapeake Bay Trust Grant

Patapsco Heritage Greenway received a $50,000 grant from the Chesapeake Bay Trust (CBT) to use towards a pet waste behavior change campaign in Elkridge, in the Deep Run Watershed. The grant is funded by Howard County and administered by CBT for community-based investigation and awareness, and a behavior change marketing campaign.

One gram of pet waste can contain up to 23 million bacteria. When it rains, pet waste can wash off of lawns and other surfaces into streams and creeks. Unlike the dung of many wild animals, such as deer, the waste of dogs contains many more bacteria and parasites.

The addition of these harmful bacteria and nutrients to local waters encourages excess weed and algae growth and is a major cause of water quality decline. When pet waste is washed into rivers and streams, it decays, using up oxygen and often releasing ammonia. Low oxygen levels and ammonia combined with warm temperatures can kill fish and other aquatic life.

HCAC Accepting Applications for Development Grants Program

The Howard County Arts Council (HCAC) is currently accepting applications for its fiscal 2019 Community Arts Development Grant Program. The program funds day-to-day activities for county arts organizations, as well as arts-related projects for new arts organizations or non-arts groups.

Interested applicants should visit for more information and to register. The deadline to apply for the fiscal 2019 Community Arts Development Grant Program is May 16.

HCAC General Exhibit Applications Due April 1

Artists wishing to be considered for an exhibit in the Howard County Arts Council (HCAC) galleries are invited to submit a general exhibit application. The HCAC Exhibits Committee meets quarterly to review applications and select artists for the exhibit space. Artists, ages 18 and older, working in all media and styles including time-based and installation artists, are encouraged to apply either individually or as a group. The committee also welcomes proposals from curators and organizations.

The next deadline for submissions is Sunday, April 1. Detailed entry guidelines are available at, for pick-up at the Howard County Center for the Arts or by mail by calling 410-313-2787 or emailing [email protected].

Two New Exhibits Offered at HCAC

March is Youth Art Month and the Howard County Arts Council (HCAC) will commemorate the occasion with its annual spring exhibit of student artwork in Gallery I at the Howard County Center for the Arts. Presented through an ongoing partnership between the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) and HCAC, this year’s Youth Art Month exhibit is titled “Drawing to Understand” and features hundreds of works by HCPSS students in grades K–12, selected from public school art classes throughout the county.

In Gallery II, in partnership with Howard County Recreation and Parks’ Department of Therapeutic Recreation and Inclusion Services, the exhibit “No Boundaries” showcases work by youth and adult artists with developmental disabilities. The work was created in the Exploring Art and Focus on Art programs offered by the Department of Therapeutic Recreation and Inclusion Services.

Both exhibits will be open from March 9 to April 20. A free public reception including light refreshments will be held on Thursday, March 15, from 5–7 p.m. For more information, visit

AMFM Announces $5K Scholarship for Music Majors

Annapolis Musicians Fund for Musicians (AMFM) is broadening its Tim King Scholarship Fund and accepting applications for its newly-established Music Performance Scholarship. This $5,000 scholarship will be awarded to a current high school senior who intends to pursue a bachelor’s degree in either vocal or instrumental music performance.

Candidates will be evaluated using a points-based system that awards points for active membership in a school band, orchestra, choir, chorus or other school-sponsored musical performance group; volunteer music participation; participation in special school performances; selection to all county/all state/regional performance groups; and participation in private music lessons.

Scholarship applications will be accepted through April 15 and the scholarship recipient will be chosen by May 15. To apply, and for specific details about the rating system, go to

Positive Living and Aging Well Workshops Set for 50+ Centers

Vantage House is sponsoring free workshops on Positive Living and Aging Well at Howard County 50+ Centers. The workshops feature Marketing Director and Personal Development Coach Andrew Morgan who argues that society’s perceptions of older adults remains stuck in the past.

In the two-hour workshop, Morgan and partners use real-life lessons to provide an effective blueprint for a happier, healthier and more impactful life as people grow older. This stage of life, according to Morgan, is not simply a time of “leisure activities,” but rather full engagement, authentic social connections, interesting people, vitality, meaning and purpose. During the workshops, Morgan will discuss timeless strategies for a more “purpose-driven life.”

Upcoming workshops include the following.
• March 13, 5–7 p.m., East Columbia 50+ Center, East Columbia Library, 6600 Cradlerock Way, Columbia. Call 410-3413-7680.
• April 4, 1–3 p.m., Glenwood 50+ Center, Gary J. Arthur Community Center, 2400 Route 97, Cooksville. Call 410-313-5440.

Black History Month Celebrated at Live! Casino & Hotel

In celebration of Black History Month, The Cordish Companies’ Live! Casino & Hotel and the Md. Washington Minority Companies Association (MWMCA) celebrated the fifth annual Black History Heroes Awards. The ceremony, held at Live! Center Stage, recognized 10 Maryland and Washington, D.C., business and community leaders who have contributed to their communities and citizens in a positive way.

Maryland Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford, one of the evening’s honorees, also served as the keynote speaker. He discussed the legacies of historical influential African-Americans with ties to Maryland, including Harriet Tubman, Thurgood Marshall and Frederick Douglass, whose contributions to society transcend race, nationality and religion. Rutherford also said while much progress has been made for equal rights and equality, it is important to remember this month that there is still much more that needs to be done.

In addition to Rutherford, other honorees included the following.
• Cynthia Brooks, Bea Gaddy Family Centers
• Jefferi Lee, WHUT
• Sheila Brooks, SRB Communications
• The Jonathan Ogden Foundation
• Jonas Edward Brooks, Fire Marshal’s Office in Annapolis
• Pastor James E. Rollins, 15 City
• Ramsey Harris, PNC Bank
• Jeanne Hitchcock, The Johns Hopkins University
• Bishop Doctor Abraham Shanklin, Jr., The Center of Transformation

HHC, HCAC Launches Merriweather District Artist-in-Residence Program

The Howard Hughes Corp. (HHC), in collaboration with the Howard County Arts Council (HCAC), has launched the Merriweather District Artist-in-Residence (MD AIR) program in Downtown Columbia. The Call for Entry for prospective participants is being disseminated nationwide.

Three artists will be selected from submitted entries and provided a stipend of $10,000 each to spend up to two months, from June 1–July 31, creating work in a medium of their choosing. Studio space will be provided in Two Merriweather, a new office building, and residential accommodations will be provided within walking distance.

The MD AIR program for 2018 will be the first in what will be an annual program to provide an opportunity for artists to spend two months in the midst of the evolving urban center. Works by selected MD AIR artists will be considered for inclusion in the second annual OPUS, scheduled for October 2018.

Artists are encouraged to focus on the relationship between art and technology in responding to the call for Entry. MD AIR applications will remain open until April 7. For further information, visit