Maryland Morning Podcast


We begin this morning with another installment in our monthly series, Living Questions, in which we examine the role of religion in the public sphere. Retiring Executive Director Christopher Leighton, Catholic Scholar Heather Miller Rubens, Islamic Scholar Homayra Ziad, and Jewish Scholar Benjamin Sax from The Institute for Islamic, Christian and Jewish Studies all join Tom in-studio to discuss leadership transition in the organization, as well as what it will take for the voices of tolerance to be heard in the din of bigotry that has taken over much of the public discourse in this unprecedented political year.

J. Wynn Rousuck reviews EVITAwhich is currently playing at Olney Theater through July 24.

Ramifications, repercussions and ruminations on two decisions: the acquittal of Officer Caesar Goodson in Baltimore, and the exit from the European Union in Great Britain. Prosecutors have failed to get convictions in the first three trials of officers charged in the arrest and death of Freddie Gray. What are their chances moving forward? How will the Goodson verdict affect the suits that five officers have filed against State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby? And what will the verdict mean for efforts to build trust between police and communities of color? Edward Smith, David Jaros, and WYPR’s Kenneth Burns join me for MM on the Law. 

Plus, the stunning Brexit vote in the UK. Sydney van Morgan, who directs the International Studies Program at Johns Hopkins, on what the vote to leave the EU means for those of us on this side of the pond.

Dave Wetty, Cloud Prime Photography

Dr. Carol Anderson, author of White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide, joins Tom in-studio to discuss the reasons behind the racial divide in America. While some argue that the Uprising in Baltimore was a result black anger bubbling over after years of systemic and institutionalized racism, Anderson argues that the chasm between whites and people of color has been animated, throughout American history, by white reaction and opposition to any and all progress towards equality made by minorities.  To support her argument, Anderson points to the white southern reaction to reconstruction efforts following the Civil War, Supreme Court decisions in the 1970s that undermined Brown v. Board of Education, the war on drugs and ongoing voter suppression efforts. 

Then, Nutrition Diva, Monica Reinagel, and Evan Lutz, founder of Hungry Harvest join Tom to discuss efforts to end food waste. Hungry Harvest "recovers" discarded produce from local farms, food wholesalers, and packing houses and boxes and delivers it to paying subscribers. For every box purchased, the program also delivers fresh produce to a family in need. 

Sheri Parks

Culture Commentator Sheri Parks on reactions to the mass shooting in Orlando.  Was the shooter a self-radicalized terrorist, a deranged abuser, a virulent bigot, a self-loathing gay man, or some combination thereof?  As the dead are remembered and buried, what will we remember months and years from now about how this tragedy changed the conversation about the fight against terrorism, access to firearms, and bigotry against the LGBTQ community, Latinos, and Muslims?  Sheri Parks is an associate Dean and associate professor at the University of Maryland College Park.  She’ll help us unpack lessons from the massacre at Pulse nightclub.

Plus, Theater Critic J Wynn Rousuck reviews Godspell at Cockpit in Court.


As Maryland Morning focuses on the arts, Liz Lerman, a MacArthur award winning dancer and choreographer joins Tom to discuss her new appointment as a Professor in the Herberger Institute of Design and the Arts at Arizona State University.

Then, Donald Hicken, longtime head of the theater department at the Baltimore School of the Arts is retiring. He joins to share his reflections after three and a half decades of changing young lives.  And, Sharayna Christmas is a dancer, writer and the executive director of Muse 360, an organization that works with youth to cultivate their interests in the arts. Next month, Muse 360 will be taking a group of young people from Baltimore City to Havana, Cuba where for two weeks they’ll study history, Spanish and dance. The trip is being put together in conjunction with The African Diaspora Alliance and Frederick Douglass High School. Sharayna and two of her students share their thoughts about the upcoming trip. 

Baltimore County Government

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz joins Tom in a new segment called Focus on the Counties.

Police in Baltimore County will start wearing body cameras on July 1, amid concerns about law enforcement transparency.  Sparrows Point is taking a big step towards its transformation from a steel mill to an industrial complex. We’ll talk about what Kamenetz thinks the county’s role can be in helping Baltimore City bounce back from the uprising, and an unresolved school maintenance debate. Plus, a dynamic young conductor, Teddy Abrams, leads this year’s edition of the National Orchestral Institute. Can young performers inspire young listeners to pick-up the habit of classical music?  

Washington Post

In Baltimore City, approximately 25% of school-aged children drink one or more sodas per day. Should sugary drinks come with a label warning against the health risks? And, Prince’s death has been ruled an accidental overdose on the powerful drug fentanyl. In our monthly Healthwatch conversation, Baltimore City’s Health Commissioner Leana Wen, who is a leading voice against opioid abuse, joins Tom to discuss sugary drinks, prescription drug abuse and more. 

Tom then speaks with three local directors Katie Hileman, of the The Interrobang Theatre Company, Evan Moritz, of the Annex Theatre, and Genevieve de Mahy, of Single Carrot Theatre, about stepping out of the wings and onto the stage in Single Carrot Theatre’s Midlife. Theater critic J. Wynn Rousuck has a review of Cohesion Theater’s production of Neverwhere.    Then we head over to Chestertown, Maryland, where residents are gearing up for their annual June 16th observance of Bloomsday, a celebration of James Joyce’s iconic work Ulysses. Bob Mooney, Professor of English and Creative Writing at Washington College, and actress Melissa McGlynn join Tom to share what folks can look forward to on Bloomsday.  


The ambitious plan to transform Port Covington into a city within a city is just one of the many proposals that the Baltimore Development Corporation evaluates that often involve so-called public-private partnerships. Mark Reutter from the Baltimore Brew tells us that recent meetings of the BDC to discuss these projects have been a lot more private than public, despite clear guidelines from the MD Open Meetings Compliance Board. Today, the Accountability Index takes a look at transparency at the BDC.

Then, pollster Steve Raabe on how research experts divine the inclinations and proclivities of a diverse public: Polling and politics in this unusual election cycle. J. Wynn Rousuck reviews Love Letters at the Hippodrome Theatre through June 12.

And Boister is playing tonight in Baltimore County. It’s a great band, and for Anne Watts and Posie Lewis, it’s a family affair.

Creative Capital; Jane Brown

Hillary Clinton has amassed enough delegate votes to be the Democratic party's presumptive presidential nominee. Clinton reached the magic number of 2,383 delegates on Monday according to the AP, ahead of Tuesday's primaries in California, New Jersey, New Mexico, Montana, South Dakota and North Dakota. Clinton is the first woman in the United States to lead the presidential ticket of a major political party.

John Fritze, the national correspondent for the Baltimore Sun,  joins Tom to talk about how the Clinton-Trump general election contest will shape up, and how Bernie Sanders will inform and influence it.   Plus, Jane Brown and Ruby Lerner are two of the most thoughtful philanthropists in the country.  Their giving is focused on the arts, on the premise that artists bring “creative capital” to communities that can transform people and places in a unique way.  They talk about how the arts are making a difference in Baltimore and beyond.   And, Benjamin Warner, author of Thirst joins Tom to discuss his new apocalyptic tale of what happens when the water supply is cut off and people have to respond to a life threatening disaster. 

Baltimore‘s Promise is a consortium of civic leaders from government, philanthropy, business, education, and religious institutions who are trying to address the multiple challenges faced by so many children in the city of Baltimore.  There is no shortage of well-meaning people and programs aimed at improving outcomes for kids, but what programs and strategies best meet the needs of kids in a city with high levels of poverty. 

Patrick McCarthy, President and CEO of The Annie E. Casey Foundation, and Tomi Hiers on Baltimore’s Promise to our children.  And, Theater critic J. Wynn Rousuck reviews Framed Illusion at the Theater Project through May 27.  Plus, for children who love to read, a handy guide to books for early and eager readers from Kathleen Isaacs, an expert on children’s literature.