Women in the Arts Collection
Imagination, ingenuity and inspiration are on view all along this route—it’s just a road trip away.
Women have long birthed their original ideas and thoughts through the creative arts, weaving a tapestry of American culture. From the vocals of influential jazz singer Billie Holiday to novels by best-selling mystery author Nora Roberts, Maryland teems with women’s creative genius. A landscape of women’s creative expression is yours to explore.
Tour one of the nation’s premier African-American entertainment districts to explore the musical roots of jazz singer Billie Holiday who performed at clubs and restaurants on the Avenue and nearby. Holiday, known as “Lady Day,” spent her childhood in East Baltimore and sang with accomplished musicians Artie Shaw, Benny Goodman and Count Basie. A sculpture of Holiday by James Earl Reid interprets her performance of the haunting anti-lynching song “Strange Fruit.” Learn more about the Pennsylvania Avenue Heritage Trail.
#1 New York Times best-selling author Nora Roberts is celebrated at Turn the Page Bookstore, which features a full selection of Roberts’ and J.D. Robb’s titles, among other literary works. Come to a book release, signing or event and sip a coffee beverage while perusing the gift shop. The store includes an extensive Civil War history section and an impressive stock of autographed books.
Since its founding in 1982, the Maryland Symphony Orchestra’s reputation has reached far beyond Western Maryland. It is one of only four professional symphony orchestras in Maryland drawing audiences from far and wide to the historic Maryland Theatre in downtown Hagerstown. Under the baton of Music Director Elizabeth Schulze—whom the Washington Post calls “a superb conductor”—the MSO has become a first-class orchestra of exceptional artistic quality.
Spruce Forest Artisan Village was founded by Alta Schrock, the first Mennonite woman in the United States to receive her doctoral degree. Highly-skilled artisans and craftsmen work in various media on site in the German-inspired log cabin village, which provides studio space for the artisans. Artwork such as carvings, stained glass, baskets, weavings, pottery and more are available for purchase. Penn Alps Restaurant is housed here in the last log hospitality house on the National Pike. The restaurant serves traditional Mennonite cooking.
The Fiber Arts Center of the Eastern Shore is the region’s premier resource for fiber artists and fiber art enthusiasts, featuring arts and crafts made primarily by women. Shop for quilts, needlework and yarn work or take a class and find inspiration. Classes are offered by regionally-known fiber artists, and their works are often on display.