As We See Ourselves: Black Doll Art Exhibit and Event

Members of Charm City Dolls stand behind a display of their Black dolls.

Saturday, Feb 11
10 am – 6 pm
HCLS Miller Branch
For all ages. Register here to receive an email reminder.

In honor of Black History Month, the Charm City Dolling Club of Maryland celebrates its 25th anniversary with As We See Ourselves, an exhibit in appreciation of Black dolls. The exhibit, on display during February at Miller Branch, includes dolls made from a wide array of media such as wood, polymer clay, cloth, porcelain, vinyl, and gourds. Marty Bass from WJZ-TV talked to the club members about the exhibit.

A selection of Black dolls in various styles and costumes.

The exhibit kicks off with an all-day educational and informative event that celebrates the history of dolls, Black dolls, and the people who love them. Members of Charm City Dolling Club of Maryland, a member of the United Federation of Doll Clubs (UFDC), will be available to guide and answer questions.

Charm City Dolling Club’s story begins in the early 1990s, when doll collecting was the second-most popular hobby in the United States behind stamp collecting. It was an exciting time to be a doll lover! There were doll auctions, doll-making classes, shows, and more. Charm City Dolling Club (CCDC) educates the public on doll history, with a special focus on Black dolls.

Storyteller and keynote speaker Janice Curtis Greene in costume as Harriet Tubman, wearing a brown dress, and white lace shawl, a white jabot, and a black headwrap.
Storyteller and keynote speaker Janice Curtis Greene in costume as Harriet Tubman.

The club meets on the second Saturday of each month, September through May. They are always looking for new members interested in being educated about dolls and are willing to educate others about dolls. To request a membership application or get more information, email Don Wilson, Membership Committee Chair, at

Visit to learn more about the United Federation of Doll Clubs.

Speakers include:
Keynote Speaker: Janice Curtis Greene, storyteller, American Griot, and Artist in Residence at the Reginald Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture.
Deborah Butler Johnson, collector and recognized authority on Black dolls.
Barbara Stone, past president of the UFDC.
Goldie Wilson, doll artist, historian, and author.

Made From Scratch Exhibit

Soft pink and beige rays appear behind "Made from Scratch: Creating the Howard County Jewish Community," witht he Jewish Federation logo beneath.

by Joel F.

We can’t move forward without knowing where we have been. This is the essence of why the Jewish Federation of Howard County took on the creation of the Howard County Jewish History Project. By looking back at how the rapid growth of Columbia impacted the evolution of the organized Jewish community in the area, we are better able to chart a path into the future that builds on the work that has been put in by the leaders of the past.

The Jewish Federation is the major instrument of Jewish philanthropy and engagement in Howard County. We are a community-driven organization committed to taking care of the needs of the Jewish people and building a vibrant Jewish future in Howard County, in Israel, and around the world. We are responsible for looking out for the entire Jewish community in the county, not just one demographic segment or one geographic pocket.

The Howard County History Project, “Made From Scratch: Creating the Howard County Jewish Community,” is the type of venture that only a communally-minded organization like ours could take on. We are so grateful to the wonderful historians who worked on this project with us, Deb Weiner and Karen Falk. Assembling this collection of artifacts and anecdotes took over three years, and their process was greatly impacted by the pandemic. Howard County’s Jewish history dates back to the 19th century, but the exhibit starts in the 1950s, when 12 Jewish families settled in the area. It takes viewers through the most important inflection points in the community’s history over the next 50 years then wraps up with an epilogue that gives an overview of what the local Jewish community looks like today.

We are thrilled that the the exhibit’s tour stops next at HCLS Central Branch in the Equity Resource Center from January 4 – February 10. HCLS is one of our most important community partners, and we are always excited to collaborate with them. And if you are wondering when might be a good time to check out the exhibit, maybe try to schedule your visit on January 19, when the Federation and the library partner on an event with local author Diane Tuckman to complement the exhibit.

Photo of a Joel Frankel, a dark haired man with a beard, wearing a blue suit and red tie.

Joel Frankel was appointed the executive director of The Jewish Federation of Howard County on July 1, 2021. He and his family moved from St. Louis, Missouri, where he spent almost 10 years working at the Jewish Federation of St. Louis. Joel and his wife Leah have two sons. As a family they love exploring everything this area has to offer, especially the tot lots, playgrounds, and all of the amazing trails.

The Baltimore Bead Society at the Miller Branch

A picture of the Baltimore Bead Society collection in the Miller Branch display cases, with an assortment of beaded necklaces in red, pink, earth tones, and gold (clockwise from upper right corner).
The Baltimore Bead Society display at the Miller Branch.

HCLS Miller Branch is delighted to partner with the Baltimore Bead Society (BBS) to exhibit beautiful displays of innovative jewelry designed and created by BBS members! Please visit the Miller Branch through mid-January and view the glass cases in the meeting room hallway to examine and explore the unique handiwork of these gifted local artisans.

The Baltimore Bead Society is a nonprofit group of enthusiasts who love jewelry, and especially love making all kinds of jewelry. Having been around for more than 28 years, the group has experienced amazing growth in membership as more people develop a desire and passion for making jewelry, even with the advent of more mass-produced jewelry. The BBS provides many educational opportunities, including programs, workshops, networking, outreach for individuals who need a healing peace in their lives, and classes for those wanting to learn traditional and new techniques.

A small hexagonal trinket box with a design of sailing ships on the ocean worked in beads, with a red and white striped lighthouse and small outbuilding and bushes on top of the trinket box.

The Baltimore Bead Society presents its 14th Winter Bead and Jewelry Show on January 15-16, 2022 at the Howard County Fairgrounds. You can visit on Saturday from 10 am – 5 pm and Sunday from 10 am – 4 pm. Experts offer a wide assortment of classes each day, from how to make your own jewelry to advanced techniques, with pop-up demos featured concurrently during the entire show. Jewelry makers and crafters will also find an extensive selection of supplies from many of the top vendors.

For further information about the BBS’s 2022 Winter Bead & Jewelry Show, visit their website,

And if you are a jeweler, artist, crafter, or enthusiast for all things creative and lovely, please check out this list of related jewelry-making books and other resources available from Howard County Library System. HCLS also has a wide variety of DIY and crafting classes to help you get in touch with your creative side!