Presented to individuals or organizations to recognize projects demonstrating excellence in the revitalization of threatened or abandoned historic resources, this year’s Phoenix Award goes to the Peale Center for Baltimore History and Architecture. 

Located in the heart of downtown Baltimore, just a few blocks from the city’s inner harbor and other tourist attractions, the Peale Museum building serves today as Baltimore’s community museum: both a platform and a showcase for the city’s storytellers that reflects the historical importance of Baltimore’s contemporary arts and intangible cultural heritage. Baltimore’s “stories” in all media – from physical exhibitions and performances to digital recordings and events – and are presented in-person and online with The Peale by local creators: griots, performers, artists, architects, historians, students, educators, and other culture-keepers. The Peale has recorded, shared, and archived thousands of digital stories and hundreds of live performances and events since relaunching in 2017. The Peale supports artists and storytellers with microgrants and new income opportunities from their creative work, as well as access to technical resources and expertise.

The Peale operates as a teaching museum and laboratory for cultural practice. Now in its third year, the Accomplished Arts Apprentices (AAA) program, led by the Peale’s Chief Curator, Jeffrey Kent, enables young people from Baltimore’s marginalized communities and returning citizens to earn a living wage while learning career skills in art handling, exhibition installation, gallery preparation, and historic preservation. The Peale also hosts artist and student fellows to provide paid educational and professional development opportunities that also help diversify the workforce in the cultural sector.