July 24, 2017
More than 560 students of all ages gathered on McDaniel’s campus during two Common Ground on the Hill (CGOTH) Traditions Weeks, June 26-July 1 and July 2-7. They stepped back in time to learn traditional roots-based arts in 270 different workshops taught by 150 nationally and internationally recognized instructors from nearby as well as Estonia, Ireland, France, Syria, China, Palestine, the Czech Republic and across the United States.
Students — including 190 Carroll County, St. Mary’s County and Dallas school teachers taking courses for credits — literally found something for everyone, from yoga to natural dyes for natural fabrics, from Thoreau-style cabin building to mandolin, ukulele and dulcimer lessons for beginners. On Saturday evening, July 1, CGOTH produced Common Ground on the Town, five musical acts in five venues in Westminster, Md., a free event for the community supported by sponsorships.
A highlight of CGOTH’s Traditions Weeks activities is always the Common Ground on the Hill Festival at the Carroll Farm Museum. The July 8 event featured four musical stages, juried arts, vendors and food plus the awarding of the Robert H. Chambers Award for Excellence in the Traditional Arts, which went this year to bluesman Guy Davis, son of Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee.
Here’s a sampling, through coverage in the Carroll County Times, of Traditions Weeks 2017:
• "Common Ground students learn how comedy 'speaks truth to power'"
• "Common Ground class teaches connections between bluegrass and hip-hop dances"
• "Common Ground on the Town brings musicians to Westminster"
• "Common Ground metal working class a chance to try something new"
• "Common Ground students create costumes on a shoestring budget"
• "Going primitive: Bow making the ancient way at Common Ground on the Hill"
• "Singing, storytelling a chance to find common ground"
• "Common Ground on the Hill class examines changing the understanding of gender"