Motor House welcomes building’s first performances in three years

BALTIMORE, Dec. 4, 2015 – The marquee affixed to Station North’s new cultural hub, Motor House, is now lit, signaling that the 100-year-old former automobile showroom is officially open for business. With all of Motor House’s new office tenants moved in as of Thanksgiving, this upcoming week will be the first time performances have been held inside since the building was vacated three years ago.

On Saturday, Dec. 5, a private reception to support the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s OrchKids program will feature the Country Music Association’s six-time winner of “Musician of the Year” Mark O’Connor. O’Connor, who the Los Angeles Times hailed as “one of the most talented and imaginative artists working in music today,” will play songs with his wife from their critically acclaimed new album “Duo.”  In addition, his son, Forrest, and partner Kate Lee will join them as the newly formed O’Connor Family Band, which recently made their first appearance at the International Bluegrass Music Association festival in Nashville.

On Tuesday, Dec. 8, the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance (GBCA) will host a reception in honor of the 2015 Rubys Artist Project Grant winners. Created with the vision and initial funding from the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation, the Rubys provide meaningful project support directly to Baltimore area artists. The Rubys usher in a new era of arts grantmaking in Baltimore by offering citizen-philanthropists, as well as foundations, the opportunity to support individual artists. To date, the Rubys have granted over $290,000 to 39 artists.

On Thursday, Dec. 10 the Monument Quilt will host “Hear Our Stories,” a fundraiser featuring a keynote address from Del. Mary Washington, music by Deletta Gillespie and Janice Buerkli, a poetry reading by Uni Q and Hannah Sawyer, and testimonials from sexual assault and domestic abuse survivors.  All donations will support the Monument Quilt, an on-going collection of stories from survivors of domestic and sexual violence. The quilt is designed to build a new culture where survivors are publicly supported, rather than publicly shamed. Written, stitched, and painted onto red fabric, the stories of survivors are displayed in public exhibits to uplift survivors’ voices and create space to heal. To date, over 1,000 collected quilt squares have been displayed in 22 different cities across the US.

“Opening the Motor House for performances and events for the very first time is both exciting and very rewarding,” said Amy Bonitz, Baltimore Arts Realty Corporation President & CEO. “The collective team responsible for Motor House has worked incredibly hard to create a space that is inviting, beautiful, safe, and conducive for hosting many types of events, and we welcome our guests with open arms.”

The name “Motor House” pays homage to the 100-year-old building, which was the first Ford dealership in Maryland.  BARCO acquired the building in 2013 and has been planning a careful restoration that preserves important architectural elements of the building’s interior and exterior. Construction was completed last month.

About Baltimore Arts Realty Corporation (BARCO):

BARCO was established to create working spaces for artists and artisans in Station North that are affordable and secure in perpetuity. BARCO facilitates the goals of Station North Arts & Entertainment, Inc. (SNAE) and the Central Baltimore Partnership (CBP) by ensuring that the artists who helped to make the district successful have a safe and affordable place to work and create art for the long-term. BARCO, SNAE and CBP believe that this kind of strategic intervention is needed to ensure that artists are not displaced as the district becomes increasingly successful, nor face the risk of working in buildings that are unsafe and do not comply with current building codes. Motor House is one of two buildings that have been acquired by BARCO as part of this long-term strategy. For more information, visit