Be Here: Baltimore

Be Here launched in Baltimore in the summer of 2016. With the generous support izi.Travel, the MuseWeb Foundation distributed small grants to a broad range of local storytellers selected by an international committee of proposal reviewers to help pilot the community-sourced cultural story concept. The Be Here: Baltimore project is now based at the Peale Center for Baltimore History and Architecture.

The storytelling continues, and now the city is connected by more than 1250 authentic stories of Baltimore culture and heritage told by the people who know the city best. These stories include the Promenade: Baltimore interviews of nearly 40 Baltimore residents, recorded by Single Carrot Theatre and contributed to the Be Here: Baltimore project in the summer of 2017. Promenade: Baltimore was a theatrical site-specific performance co-created by Single Carrot Theatre (Baltimore) and STEREO Akt (Hungary). It premiered on June 2, 2017. On Be Here Stories, you will hear segments of these interviews.

Please share your feedback using the #bHereBmore hashtag on Twitter, and let us know if you want to join the Be Here movement in Baltimore or elsewhere! Check out Baltimore’s stories below. For content creators, check out Be Here resources for recording, editing, and posting your content.

Be Here: Baltimore Project Submissions:

York Road: Our History, Our Story tour graphic
“Baltimore is a ‘city of neighborhoods,’ but have you explored each one? We invite you to our community, Govans, where our history and stories collide. Learn more about the positive work being done by local neighbors, and organizations working to create a unified and beautiful community for all residents.”

Grant winner: Tour by Michael Puma, Loyola University
Includes Belvedere Square, Senator Theater, Saint Mary of the Assumption, Micah House, Govans Farmer’s market, and more. Available on izi.Travel, YouTube.


Sounds of Baltimore: Eubie Blake's Ragtime Riffs tour graphic
“In late 1800s Baltimore, the remarkably talented James Hubert “Eubie” Blake who grew up on the East Side of town, began to pursue his passion for music and composed breakneck ragtime riffs that would later transform arts, culture and music history.”

Grant winner: Tour by Shellée Haynesworth, Indigo Communications, Inc.
Includes: Details of Blake’s humble beginnings, the birth of a ragtime star, Blake’s ragtime riffs, breaking the color line, and more. Available on SoundCloudizi.Travel and Tumblr.


Books in Baltimore tour graphic
Where have all the bookstores gone? On this tour, you’ll visit the sites and learn about the colorful characters that have fed the minds of Baltimoreans across the centuries.

Grant winner: Tour by Jean Lee Cole, Loyola University, Maryland
Includes: The historic first “book block” on Baltimore Street as well as modern, currently operating independent book stores. Available on izi.Travel, and SoundCloud.


Bmore Cloth tour graphic
Artisans & designers in the garment industry could be the most intimately tied to our humanity. These ancient trades are connected to the things we carry, how we adorn our bodies, and the architecture that communicates ourselves to the world. How does Baltimore’s cloth industry tie into that?

Grant winner: Tour by Sarah Cubbage, Freelance
Includes AT Jones & Sons Costume Shop, Neighborhood Fiber Company, Wax & Wane Fiber, and more. Available on izi.Travel.


Merchants of Early Baltimore tour graphic
Learn the city’s early history through the lens of merchants who worked and shaped the port from 1790-1830. This tour is a blended experience of walking and driving to various sites.

Grant winner: Tour by Abby Schreiber
Includes: Fells Point, the Inner Harbor, Federal Hill, Hampden, and Clifton Park. Available on izi.Travel, SoundCloud.


Station North Arts and Entertainment District tour graphic
Features 10-15 key sites in the Station North Arts & Entertainment District in Baltimore, bringing together historical and contemporary material, photographs, documents, and videos.

Grant winner: Tour by Ryan Lucas
Includes: Penn Station, the Charles Theater, Saint Paul Street, Green Mount Cemetery, and more. Available on izi.Travel.


NoisePlaque: Wyman Park Dell Public Reactions to Public Art tour graphic
This tour “uses personal experience and stories to uncover the history and explore ideas around some of Baltimore’s overlooked and underexposed public art.”

Grant winners: Tour by NoisePlaque and Ryan Peterson
Includes: Wyman Park, a historic Olmstead park; Joseph Beuys Sculpture Park, the monument that honors the parting of Jackson and Lee, and the Union Soldiers and Sailors monument. Available on izi.Travel.


Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route tour graphic
Go back to the years 1781 and 1782 as you take a walk on this historic route where General George Washington and his company camped in the city and surrounding areas.

Grant winner: Tour by Robert Reyes
Includes: Fells Point, Fells Point London Coffee House, the 1781 Asquith Friends Meeting House, Mount Clare Mansion, the Maryland Historical Society, the Robert Long House, and more. Available on izi.Travel.


A Grandmother's Pilgrimage tour graphic
Did you know that the National Aquarium in Inner Harbor started with a rare fish collection donated by African American philanthropist Mr. Henry Hall? Little-known and surprising facts from Grandma Edna.

Grant winner: Tour by Edna Lawrence
Includes: The National Great Blacks in Wax Museum, Baltimore Museum of Art, Reginald F. Lewis Museum, Frederick Douglass Museum, The Maryland Women’s Heritage Center, and more. Available on izi.TravelYouTube and Vimeo.


This is Baltimore Too! tour graphic
“This tour features culturally and racially diverse places known for uniqueness, compelling design, and historical significance including artifacts, objects that cause conversations, and soulful, tasty dining.”

Grant winners: Tour by Linda Goss, National Association of Black Storytellers; David Fakunle, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Includes: The National Great Blacks in Wax Museum, American Visionary Art Museum, Maryland Traditions Folklife Festival, and diverse local points like the Taste This and Terra Cafe. Available on izi.Travel, SoundCloud


Stoop Storytelling Mobile tour graphic
Get behind the scenes of the area’s landmarks and legends with these local Baltimore voices, recorded live at The Stoop Storytelling Series, a Baltimore-based live show that features ‘ordinary’ people telling the extraordinary true tales of their lives.”

Grant winner: Tour by Laura Wexler
Includes personal stories about: The Maryland Zoo, Leakin Park Chapel, Edgar Allen Poe’s grave, the Walter’s Art Museum, the Glass Houses, and more. Available on izi.Travel, on Stoop Storytelling.com, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.


The Pathways of Roland Park tour graphic
The hidden trails around Roland Park are often overlooked. Explore the historical significance of these paths and learn a little something new about the city of Baltimore.

Grant winner: Tour by Sara Blumberg
Includes: The history of Roland Park, the Hilltop Path, the Briar Path, the abandoned homes of Roland Park, the Roland Park streetcar, and more. Available on izi.Travel, SoundCloud, Tumblr.


Ghetto Artsy Kid on the Rise tour graphic
The Ghetto Artsy Kids on the Rise: Storytelling Series is “a photo-audio experience showcasing at least 10 stories of ‘quirky’ creative and community leaders from inner city communities in Baltimore. Explore Baltimore through the lens of a group that’s often invisible in mainstream narratives.

Grant winner: Tour by Mia Smith, Invisible Majority
Includes: The EMP Collective, the Now Child Sound Stage, the Eubie Blake National Jazz and Cultural Center, as well as conversations with Baltimore residents. Available on izi.Travel, Tumblr, YouTube, Facebook.


Jewish Baltimore: A Living History tour graphic
The tour is a “fun, surprising, moving look at how Jewish Baltimore has flowered into one of the most influential Jewish communities in the U.S., from its immigrant beginnings to its unexpected evolution as a center for Orthodox Jewish life in America.”

Grant winners: Tour by Sherri Allen, Robert Half
Includes: Lloyd Street Synagogue,  Locust Point, Baltimore’s Holocaust Memorial, Baltimore’s Jewish-style delis, Jewish Community Center (JCC) of Greater Baltimore, and more. Available on izi.Travel.


NoisePlaque: Penn Station Public Art tour graphic
This experienced group uses personal experience and stories to uncover the history and explore ideas around some of Baltimore’s overlooked and underexposed public art.

Grant winners: Tour by NoisePlaque and Ryan Peterson, Estelle Kline
Includes a tour of Penn Station’s public art, specifically Jonathan Borofsky’s Male/Female; the Wave Bench by local artist Rachael London; an untitled work by William Leizman, and more. This tour is fully transcribed. Available on izi.Travel.


The Baltimore Museum of Industry tour graphic
“Sharing the stories of the innovators, entrepreneurs, and workers who propelled this port city into the industrial age and beyond through short recordings objects/galleries within the museum.”

Grant winner: Tour by Claire Mullins
Includes: Various galleries within the Baltimore Museum of Industry, such as the Oyster Cannery, various grocery stores, a pharmacy, a machine shop and print shop. Available on SoundCloud.


Walking Through Waverly: Baltimore Murals and Their Stories tour graphic
“Welcome to Waverly – home to some of Baltimore’s most beautiful and interesting public art! You don’t have to be an art expert to enjoy observing the different styles and themes represented in the neighborhood’s murals.”

Grant winner: Tour by Heidi Gerber-Salins
Includes murals big and small, such as local artist Gary Mullen’s work at Giant Foods, Lady with a Lollipop by Luis Rosenfeld, the Donald Tyson-Bey, Jr. mural of a waterfall and cityscape, and work by Chilean street art pioneer Nelson Rivas. Many, many more local art treasures. Available on izi.Travel and SoundCloud.


Sharp Leaden Hall Walking Tour graphic
Sharp Leadenhall is a 19th-century neighborhood with incredible stories to tell.  It’s one of Baltimore’s oldest African American communities.

Grant winner: Tour by Samuel Collins, Towson University
Includes Creek Street historic homes, stadium square development, interviews with long-time residents, Solo Gibbs Park, and even Ravens’ Stadium. Available on izi.Travel, Tumblrand SoundCloud.


West Baltimore Beyond the Fire: Art Along Pennsylvania Avenue tour graphic
“Old West Baltimore is actually a national historic district made up of a half dozen neighborhoods. This was the home of jazz clubs and entertainment hubs like the Royal Theater. Back in the day, Billie Holiday could be seen in the clubs at night and then, perhaps, at St. Peter Claver Church in the day.”

Grant winner: Tour by E.R. Shipp, Morgan State University
Includes: Arch Social Club, Penn North Library, Upton Boxing Center, Avenue Market, Strength to Love Farm, Jubilee Arts, and more. Available on izi.Travel.


The Breweries of Baltimore tour graphic
Fancy a drink? This tasty tour takes you through the history–past and present–of Baltimore’s many local breweries.

Tour by MuseWeb Foundation
Includes: Pratt Street Ale House, Waverly Brewing Company, Heavy Seas Beer, Peabody Heights, LLC; Gunther Headquarters, American Brewery, and more. Avaialble on izi.Travel.


H.L. Mencken tour graphic
Get the scoop on “one of the most iconic and controversial of Baltimore’s residents was the journalist and literary critic H.L. Mencken (1880-1956). He lived at 1524 Hollins Street for a majority of his life while penning articles and books in his second floor office.”

Tour by MuseWeb Foundation
Includes: Overview of the historic, local landmark located in Baltimore. Available on izi.Travel.


JHU: Archaeology of Knowledge tour graphic
Welcome to the Reading Room of the Brody Learning Commons. This tour explores museum objects and installations by contemporary artist Mark Dion held inside of various cabinets.

Tour by Anne Hollmuller, Johns Hopkins University
Includes: A brief history of the university and a number of fascinating museum objects such as medical field kits, lava rocks, snuff bottles, a mounted skeleton of a sloth, and more. Available on izi.Travel.


JHU--Homewood History tour graphic
The Homewood Histories tour at Johns Hopkins University offers visitors an opportunity to enjoy the lush greenery around the Homewood campus, while exploring some of the little-known people who have lived and worked on this campus over time.

Tour by Museums and Society at Johns Hopkins University
Includes: “The Beach,” Homewood House, the Greenhouse, the Fields, Wyman Park, Gillman Hall, the Farmhouse and Orchard, and more. Available on izi.Travel.


Lexington market tour graphic
“Baltimore’s Lexington Market is often called: The World-Famous Lexington Market–and there’s a reason for that. It’s one of the oldest marketplaces in the world,” and it’s, literally, got something for everyone.

Tour by Baltimore Sound Society
Includes: Stops at the Arcade, Berger’s Cookies, the Catacombs, Faidley’s Seafood, Connie’s Chicken and Waffles, and more. Available on izi.Travel.


Out of the Blocks tour graphic
What if you could meet everyone on an entire Baltimore city block, in less than an hour? As you travel to the 600 block of Deepdene Road in North Baltimore’s Tuxedo Park neighborhood, the sounds of city traffic give way to the natural harmony of cicadas, birds, and frogs on this tree-lined residential block, nestled up against the city’s Stony Run Trail.

Tour by Your Public Radio in Baltimore
Includes: Conversations with a variety of familes–families with same-sex parents, interracial parents, single parents, and adoptive parents, as well as empty-nesters, divorcees, and newlyweds. Available on izi.Travel.


Out of the Blocks tour graphic
What if you could meet everyone on an entire Baltimore city block, in less than an hour? The 2100 block of Monument Street is anchored by the Baltimore’s Northeast Market, a honeycomb of vendors selling fish, meat, fried chicken, barbeque, bulgogi, deli sandwiches, and baked goods.

Tour by Your Public Radio in Baltimore
Includes: Conversations with a DJ, local store owners, a food truck manager, and the life stories of area residents from immigrants to a man who survived police brutality. Available on izi.Travel.


Out of the Blocks tour graphic
What if you could meet everyone on an entire Baltimore city block, in less than an hour? Over the past fifty years, the story of the American Dream has been written and rewritten in this community, as two distinct waves of immigrants have taken their turns settling in and opening up shop. In the 1960’s & 70’s, Greek immigrants arrived in droves, and the neighborhood came to be known as Greektown.

Tour by Your Public Radio in Baltimore
Includes: Conversations with local residents and business owners. Available on izi.Travel.


Out of the Blocks tour graphic
What would it be like if you could meet everyone on an entire Baltimore city block, and you could do it in less than an hour? Get a glimpse into the lives of everyone on the 4700 block of Liberty Heights Avenue. This block, in many ways, is a portrait of survival and adaptability. It’s a self-governed, informal economy where the currency is respect. Space is shared by merchants, churches, longtime residents, and drug dealers. Immigrants from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal, West Africa, and Korea have set up shops alongside a dwindling number of African American-owned businesses. Trust is earned here, not given lightly.

Tour by Your Public Radio in Baltimore
Includes: Conversations with local residents and business owners. Available on izi.Travel.


Out of the Blocks tour graphic
What if you could meet everyone on an entire Baltimore city block, in less than an hour? On the 3300 block of Greenmount Avenue, you’ll meet store clerks and restaurateurs from all over the globe – Pakistan, Mali, Korea, China, Thailand, Eritrea, and the Ukraine. You’ll also meet born & bred Baltimore entrepreneurs, bar-flies, and street corner preachers.

Tour by Your Public Radio in Baltimore
Includes: Conversations with local residents and business owners. Available on izi.Travel.


Out of the Blocks tour graphic
What if you could meet everyone on an entire Baltimore city block, in less than an hour? A vanguard of artists populates a five-story building on the block, a honeycomb of musicians, painters, fashion designers, and jewelers. As a sum of its parts, 200 West Saratoga is an ecstatic cacophony of optimism, ambition, anxiety, and resilience.

Tour by Your Public Radio in Baltimore
Includes: Conversations with local residents and business owners. Available on izi.Travel.


Out of the Blocks tour graphic
What if you could meet everyone on an entire Baltimore city block, in less than an hour? This tour takes you through the 6300 block of Reisterstown Road, tucked just inside the Northwest Baltimore city limit. Orthodox Jews from Russia and Iran operate kosher eateries, and Nepali Hindus run carry-outs and gas stations. Add to the mix a public library branch, a used-car dealership, and a home-security expert who specializes in cracking safes, and you get an idiosyncratic cast of characters.

Tour by Your Public Radio in Baltimore
Includes: Conversations with local residents and business owners. Available on izi.Travel.


Out of the Blocks tour graphic
What if you could meet everyone on an entire Baltimore city block, in less than an hour? On the 400 block of E Patapsco Avenue, you’ll meet octogenarian pigeon racers, evangelizing barbers, philosophical convenience-store clerks, reformed and not-so-reformed drug dealers, aspiring hip hop musicians, and more.

Tour by Your Public Radio in Baltimore
Includes: Conversations with local residents and business owners. Available on izi.Travel.


Say It Loud tour graphic
A tour of significant sites in Baltimore that focus on African American history.

Tour by Say It Loud: Black Baltimore Tour
Includes: Reginald Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture, Arena Players Theater, Eubie Blake historic site, Frederick Douglas-Isaac Myers Maritime Museum & Park, St. Frances Academy, and the Orchard Street Church. Available on izi.Travel.


War of 1812 tour graphic
Welcome to a tour of Baltimore and the War of 1812. This multimedia tour takes you to the most important sites of the Battle of Baltimore, a defining battle for the United States.

Tour by Demo Baltimore
Includes: Inner Harbor, Fort McHenry, the Battle Monument, the Star-Spangled Banner Flag House, the Maryland Historical Society. Available on izi.Travel.


Historic Baltimore tour graphic
Baltimore has been called the ‘Greatest City in America,’ as our bus-stop benches proclaim. The benches capture the city’s paradoxes: spectacular ambitions and spectacular failures; great diversity and great inequality; economic struggles and artistic flourishing. All this history is out in the open, as easy to spot as a “Greatest City in America” bench, if you know where to look.”

Tour by ListenUp Audio
Includes: the Davidge Hall, College of Medicine of Maryland and National Museum of Dentistry; Bromo Seltzer Tower, Westminster Presbyterian Church and Cemetery, A.T. Jones and Sons Costume Company, Enoch Pratt House and Maryland Historical Society, Peabody Library and Peabody Conservatory, Walters Art Museum, Women’s Industrial Exchange, and more. Available on izi.Travel.


Edgar Allan Poe tour graphic
“Master of the macabre and mystery, father of the modern short story, inventor of detective fiction, Edgar Allan Poe holds a pervasive connection to Baltimore. This tour will guide you through important places within Baltimore connected to his life and his enigmatic death.”

Tour by MuseWeb Foundation
Includes: Go to checkpoints to explore this quest in Baltimore. Available on izi.Travel.