Connecting With Community

What are they doing? It’s the 2008 Flagship Class of Leadership Anne Arundel doing a few stretches before starting a dance class.

Members of the Leadership Class 2008 stretching for a dance class

It’s been a very rainy week and all week long I’ve been worrying and asking the fates, “Will it rain on Saturday?”
Saturday was Customer Appreciation Day at the Peter B. Crilly Nationwide Insurance Agency  in Annapolis. My husband Peter had scheduled a Moon Bounce, Satellite Glass was set to do free glass repair to damaged windshields and he’d bought lots and lots of food for a barbecue buffet.
The wind was blowing hard but the sun was shining. Associate Agents Kathy Gascon, Pamela Lewis, and Debbie Whittaker worked late Customers enjoying the lunch buffet

into the night making baked beans, macaroni salad, potato salad, and cole slaw. One of the customers brought home baked brownies. Fellow Nationwide agent Ed Owens and his wife Sharon were flipping burgers and hot dogs.
Our daughter Alex set up a face painting table and painted butterflies, footballs, kitty cats, and polka dots on the faces and forearms of at least 35 children. Debbie’s husband Chip volunteered to have a Nationwide symbol painted on his head. Over 125 people came by to enjoy the party. All I had to do was stand behind the tables and serve up the side dishes.
      My other “extra-curricular” project for the week, Leadership Anne Arundel Cultural Arts Day, was not quite a stress free—being an entire day of activities, but all went well. LAA  for those who are not familiar, is a program that mentors emerging leaders in the corporate, volunteer, and political sectors of Anne Arundel County by teaching them about some of the primary infrastructures—health & human services, education, criminal justice, government, environment, economics, the arts and how they are related to each other in a variety of ways. The flagship program, which I participated and graduated from in 2002, is a nine month program that requires a commitment of one to two days per month plus additional time for “homework” and the development of a community leadership project that you create and execute with some of your classmates. I have continued to volunteer with the program as a chair of Cultural Arts Day, the day that puts the focus on the arts and local history.
        This year my Co-Chair was David Jones, former Executive Director of the Chesapeake Arts Center and we worked with Davina Hill, the current CAC Executive Director, April Nynan Executive Director of the Arts Council and Linnell Bowen Executive Director of Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts to formulate a day that included artists workshops, round table discussions with some of the forty plus non-profit county arts groups, and culminated with a viewing “Pip and Zastrow” the local documentary film released earlier this year about the relationship between former Mayor Pip Moyer and retired Staunton Center Director Zastrow Simms. And it just so happened to be Zastrow’s birthday so we sang “Happy Birthday”.
         LAA participants learned drumming, drama, ceramics, dancing, and painting. Opening remarks from Lee Streby President and Executive Director of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra kicked off the morning activities and the day ended with creative presentations from the ‘Core Learning Teams” (a term you’ll just have to learn about if you take the course) sharing what they’ve learned about the county and themselves with their classmates.
Of course I can’t blog about what we’ve been working on at What’s Up? Publishing because then I’d be revealing our plans for the July/August, September, and October issues but we’ve got some great articles in the works plus new items every day on our website If you have suggestions, send your comments. Thank you for reading.


Published by Nadja Maril

Nadja Maril is a communications professional who has over 10 years experience as a magazine editor. A writer and journalist, Maril is the author of several books including: "American Lighting 1840-1940", "Antique Lamp Buyer's Guide", "Me, Molly Midnight; the Artist's Cat", and "Runaway, Molly Midnight; the Artist's Cat". Her short stories and essays have been published in several small online journals including Lunch Ticket, Change Seven, Scarlet Leaf Review and Defunkt Magazine. She has an MFA in creative writing from Stonecoast at the University of Southern Maine. Former Editor-in-Chief of What's Up ? Publishing, former Editor of Chesapeake Taste Magazine a regional lifestyle magazine based in Annapolis, and former Lighting Editor of Victorian Homes Magazine, Maril has written hundreds of newspaper and magazines articles on a variety of subjects..

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