Common Ground sets summer sessions

May 07, 2008

Offering more than 200 courses in the traditional arts and a two-day festival with three Grammy Award winners, Common Ground on the Hill will hold its 2008 Traditions Weeks July 6-11 and 13-18 at McDaniel College.

Nationally and internationally known artists, filmmakers, musicians and scholars visit campus for the two-week series of workshops. Participants choose courses in a range of topics: from playing the harmonica and harp, to watercolor and woodworking, fiddling and photography, Native American philosophy and nonviolent social change. There are many other subjects and a full-scale youth program.

One of the highlights is a two-day Roots Music & Arts Festival at the Carroll County Farm Museum on July 12,13 featuring the Grammy-Award winners Nashville Bluegrass Band and the Fairfield Four. Both bands played on the soundtrack of the movie “O Brother Where Art Thou?” Sunday’s concert features the Grammy-nominated music of Tom Paxton. Concert-goers can even camp out.

“Our world is one of immense diversity,” says founder and recording artist Walt Michael ’68. “As we explore and celebrate this diversity, we find that what we have in common with one another far outweighs our differences.”

Michael started Common Ground on the Hill after discovering the power and beauty of traditional music while working with the poor and disenfranchised in the Deep South during the 1960s. Common Ground on the Hill seeks to bridge the cultural gap between people from diverse racial, ethnic, religious, age, and gender groups through traditional art and music.

For more information call Walt Michael at 410-857-2771 or check out