We’ve scheduled two featured speakers for the Baltimore convention that we think you’ll really enjoy.

At our opening banquet Thursday night, we’ll hear from prize-winning novelist Sharyn McCrumb, known best for her “Ballad Series” novels that spring from her love of the Appalachian culture and history of North Carolina and Tennessee. Several of her books have been on New York Times best-seller lists and have won honors and awards. McCrumb is a good choice for this convention, in that Baltimore has a rich literary heritage, especially because of native son Edgar Allan Poe, and at the convention Alpha Chi will continue its ongoing literacy service project.

At a plenary session on Friday morning our speaker will be Susan Fillion, an artist who teaches at the Baltimore Museum of Art who has recently published Miss Etta and Dr. Claribel: Bringing Matisse to America, the story of two unmarried sisters in Baltimore at the turn of the 20th century. The Cone sisters’ love of modern art led to their acquaintance with Henri Matisse and their acquisition of one of the foremost Matisse collections in the world, now housed in the Baltimore museum. As well as Matisse prints, Fillion ‘s book includes many of her own illustrations of the Cone sisters’ story, painted in the style of Matisse. Her book is designed in part as a primer on modern art for young people.

Hearing from these speakers will be educational, but they’ll also point us to some of the ways we can spend our Friday afternoon sight-seeing time in Baltimore, exploring the history, literature, and art of our host city.

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