Friday, September 16, 2011

Silver Spring Town Center, Inc. and Montgomery County to Partner on Silver Spring Community Programming

The Silver Spring Town Center, Inc. and Montgomery County have concluded a Memorandum of Understanding to promote community programming at the Silver Spring Civic Building and Veterans Plaza.

“This is very good news for Silver Spring,” said Alan Bowser, SSTCi’s President and member of the SSTCi Board of Directors. “The signing of the MOU is the culmination of many years of hard work by the SSTCi Board of Directors and Montgomery County officials to provide a viable framework for low-cost community access to the building. We’re dedicated to the proposition that the Silver Spring Civic Building and Veterans Plaza are vitally important public spaces for our neighbors and that they should serve as our community’s collective “living room.” We have a wonderfully diverse, local culture of community partnerships and artistic expression that needs to be nurtured and celebrated. With the MOU, we’ll be able continue our work to ensure that there are many exciting things to do, see and learn in downtown Silver Spring, and that the community has ready access to the building.”

The Silver Spring Town Center, Inc. (SSTCi) was established in 2004 to promote community-based arts & entertainment programming for the Silver Spring Civic Building and Veterans Plaza that was completed in 2010. The vision of the non-profit’s founders was to ensure that Silver Spring residents would have access to the new civic building after its completion and to promote community arts, entertainment and cultural uses in the new facility.

The Memorandum of Understanding, which became effective on September 15, 2011, facilitates the organization’s community-serving agenda by permitting SSTCi to use space in the building and on the Veterans Plaza at no-cost when its programs and activities are supporting a community project or program. SSTCi plans to partner, initially, with local non-profit arts & organizations to facilitate their access to the Civic Building and Plaza at no cost.

According to the MOU, SSTCi and its partner organizations would have to pay any required maintenance, security and other costs associated with the use of the space. SSTCi will coordinate the programming through the Director of the Silver Spring Regional Center and the County’s Community Use of Public Facilities (CUPF) program.

The Silver Spring Town Center, Inc. has been very active in promoting the arts and humanities in Silver Spring and in greater Montgomery County. It has organized the very successful Silver Spring Blues Festivals at Downtown Silver Spring which have entertained thousands of neighbors and visitors, the annual benefit concerts in support of Montgomery County’s veterans, community dance classes, and its popular Plaza Performances on Veterans Plaza. This year, alone, SSTCi’s Plaza Performances have brought nearly 50 free musical acts to the public, featuring jazz, blues, folk, classical, and rock music.

SSTCi is a 501(c)3 organization. The members of the SSTCi Board of Directors are: Alan Bowser, Aurelia Martin, Beth Wong, David Fogel, Don Berkemeyer, Graciela Jaschek, Harriet Weil, Jack Hewitt, Jon Lourie, Jose Dominguez, Mark Kozaki, Mary Ann Zimmerman, Reemberto Rodriguez, Sheryl Chapman, and Wanda Whiteside.

For more information, please visit SSTCi’s website at, its blog at, on Facebook at or on Twitter at

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