By Sophie Vinograd

As we begin a new year, we will (as always) look brightly forward with our newfound resolutions to be slimmer, happier, more peaceful, more involved and all around better versions of ourselves. As we fondly finish off 2011 and begin to embrace 2012, why not commit to a more cultured and artistic “you?” With the exhibits and performances gracing the Baltimore area this winter, it shouldn’t be a difficult resolution to keep, and you’ll be entertained through it all.

The American Visionary Art Museum’s 17th mega-exhibition, which runs through September 2012, promises to be “well-rounded.” Literally. Titled “All Things Round: Galaxies, Eyeballs & Karma,” the exhibit celebrates all things circular with works by such artists as Adolph Wofli (look out for his stunning mandala-like works) and Roy Materson (don’t miss his micro-dot embroidery). Another must-see exhibit? The Baltimore Museum of Art’s exhibition of 350 prints
by European and American artists, titled “Print by Print: Series from Durer to Lichtenstein.” The exhibit runs through Feb, 26, 2012.

If musical theatre is your thing—you’re in luck. One of Broadway’s longest running musicals, “The Lion King,” will be delighting audiences at the Hippdrome Theatre through Jan. 8, 2012. Tony Award-winning director Julie Traymor helms the touring production. Opera fans also have a lot to look forward to. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, The Annapolis Opera is presenting “Shakespeare in Love,” a collaborative concert of Bay Theatre Company and Ballet Theatre of Maryland, on Feb. 12, 2012 at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts. Scenes from Bernstein’s “West Side Story” and Bellini’s version of “Romeo & Juliet, I Capuletti e i Montecchi” plus excerpts from Shakespeare’s plays (including the balcony scene from Prokofiev’s ballet “Romeo & Juliet”) will sure to be highlights of the show.

In January, the city of Baltimore will celebrate the life and influence of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with its annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade. The parade not only commemorates Dr. King’s work and societal impact, but also those who continue to pay tribute to his legacy through their own work. The parade kicks off on Monday Jan. 16 at the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Eutaw Street, and continues down the namesake road until it
disbands at Baltimore Street.

If you’re food-focused for your culture fix, Baltimore Restaurant Week will be cooking up a storm from Jan. 20-29, with participating restaurants providing fixed price multi-course menu options for diners eager to fully try some new restaurants in the area, without breaking the bank. Most restaurants will offer the prix fixe at dinner, but others will additionally be offering a lunch option as well.

Many more interesting and exciting cultural events will be popping up left and right as the holiday season progresses, so keep your eyes peeled on CBS Local Events, The Baltimore City Paper, and other local media outlets to find out where you can go to have the most culturally fun-filled winter possible. After all, what better way to pep up your winter than with perpetual merriment?

Sophie Vinograd is a writer, creative strategist and funk enthusiast living in Charles Village. You can check out her portfolio at, and her social commentary blog, Blackout Factory, at

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