Focus on Community/Arts
Celebrate Forgotten Culture of the Shore

Posted on Monday, November 08, 2010

WYE MILLS – Chesapeake College looks back at long-standing activities that once defined the area with its 3rd Cadby Series event, "Vanishing Traditions", with Rhonda Aaron, Janice Marshall, and Dr. Elaine Eff. "Vanishing Traditions" will be presented on Wednesday, Nov.17, at 12 p.m. at the Cadby Theatre in the Kent Humanities Building.

The discussion will be led by prize-winning folklorist and author Dr. Elaine Eff, who is also the co-founder and co-director of the Maryland State Arts Council’s Maryland Traditions since 2001. Dr. Eff has a long history with the Shore herself, and said she is proud to moderate "Vanishing Traditions", saying "I think it is critical and timely that the college, like any good neighbor, looks around and acknowledges the communities that surround it. The people, places and traditions of the Shore could not be more distinctive or better reflect the land and water that make us what and who we are."

Rhonda Aaron hails from Hooper’s Island and carries the distinction of being a repeat Women’s Champion Muskrat Skinner of the Eastern Shore, with a 2004 skinning performance featured in the documentary film, Muskrat Lovely. A nationally known Eastern Shore cook as well, she can whip up dishes that run the gamut from Southwestern Muskrat to the acclaimed Smith Island Cake.

Janice Marshall is a sixth-generation Smith Islander and founder of the Smith Island Crabmeat Co-op, the longest running all female-owned and operated business of its kind. Janice spends the rest of her spare time participating in local Ladies Aid and watermen’s events, plying her crab picking skills, and performing local dramatic acts for her community.

Traditions and Transitions 2010 -2011 covers a broad scope of past, present, and future times on the Shore, ranging from "Preserving the Memories of the African-American Past" and the "Tidewater Chamber Singers," to "Women and the Future of Agriculture on the Shore" and "Saving the Chesapeake Bay: What’s the Latest?" Five unique events and programs remain to be presented from November 17, 2010 to May 18, 2011, with the last production featuring the celebrated Tidewater Chamber Singers, who will express "the beauty of the Eastern Shore through music."

Traditions and Transitions 2010 -2011 was developed to appeal to a broad range of patrons and to provide a new appreciation of the region. Supported by a donation from M&T Bank, all Traditions and Transitions programs are free and open to the public.

Dr. Eff reflects that, "I have witnessed many changes over the years, but the people never waiver . . . the people who live off the bounty of the Shore following the lead of their parents and grandparents – watermen, farmers, hunters and trappers – and the women who support and contribute to their success could not be more dedicated to this place, insuring that their stories are remembered, despite the winds of change."

For more information about Vanishing Traditions, or future events of the Cadby Theatre Series, please call: 410-822-5400, ext. 5825.


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