Stories of Deindustrialized Baltimore on 88.9FM 5/12-5/17

Sparrows Point 3 by New Media StudioTune in to the Marc Steiner Show on WEAA 88.9 FM from Monday, May 12th through Friday, May 17th for the special series, Stories of Deindustrialized Baltimore, which traces the boom and bust of the industrial communities of Baybrook and the Sparrows Point Steel Mill.

Each day at 9am, the stories and memories of community members are threaded together to explore the industrial history and deindustrialized present of each area, how various industries shaped the lives of countless residents and former workers, including their stories of struggle and hardship, and how a sustainable future for these areas can be forged.

Teaming up with the Center for Emerging Media, the series is produced by students at UMBC as part of the larger Post-industrial Places Project (PIPP), which seeks to examine the processes and impacts of deindustrialization in the greater Baltimore region, led by UMBC Professors Steve Bradley (Visual Arts), Bill Shewbridge (Media and Communication Studies), Nicole King (American Studies), and Michelle Stefano (American Studies and Maryland Traditions, the folklife program of the Maryland State Arts Council).

Remembering Sparrows Point

Bonnie Bowen, American Studies ’14, is a student in ‘Mill Stories,’ a UMBC American Studies course

Bonnie BowenSparrows Point Steel Mill helped shape the lives of hundreds of thousands of steelworkers and associated personnel for well over a century. The Mill has had a large role in my life as my husband worked there until he was laid off in 2012, but my story is not unique—it is one of many. In the Baltimore region, it is often hard not to find a family whose life had not been touched in someway by Sparrows Point Steel Mill. The dismantling of the Mill is well on its way and will continue. Soon, all of the buildings will all be torn down, or imploded, leaving little tangible remains to remember the community and culture of the people whose lives were greatly impacted by it.

The BreakingGround initiative at UMBC has provided the opportunity for faculty and students to supports former steelworkers and associated personal by encouraging them to share their stories and by providing them an opportunity to have their stories documented, preserved, and shared with others long after the Mill Storiesbuildings have been demolished for scrap.

Please join us Thursday, April 10th at 7:30pm for Remembering Sparrows Point. The event is FREE to all and is being held at the Creative Alliance at the Patterson (3134 Eastern Ave., Baltimore, MD 21224). To keep the memory alive, Creative Alliance will screen Mill Stories and Life After Steel, present a reading by Deborah Rudacille, author of Roots of Steel: Boom and Bust in an American Mill Town, and engage the audience in a discussion with former Sparrows Point workers Chris MacLarion, Addie Loretta Houston-Smith, and LeRoy McClelland, Sr.

  • Introductions by Marc Steiner
  • Mill Stories –Bill Shewbridge and Michelle Stefano, UMBC
  • Life After Steel – Eric Kruszewski
  • Roots of Steel, a reading by Deborah Rudacille, UMBC
  • Discussion moderated by Bill Barry (former Director of Labor Studies, CCBC Dundalk)

Contact the author, Bonnie Bowen, at

Remembering Sparrows Point (4/10)

Remembering flyer-page-001 The Creative Alliance and BreakingGround will host Remembering Sparrows Point on Thursday, April 10 at 7.30. The event will be held at Creative Alliance at the Patterson.

The evening will feature short films, a reading and discussion about the Sparrows Point Steel Mill.

See flyer for more information.

This Week: Mill Stories — Refreshments (and Laughter) Guaranteed!

Mill Stories

Cultural Documentation in Partnership with Communities

Michelle Stefano, folklorist in residence for UMBC’s department of American studies, coordinates the Maryland Traditions program for the Maryland State Arts Council.

Michelle StefanoStudents in my Cultural Documentation in Partnership with Communities course (AMST 358) are working with local residents and former steelworkers to document their varied experiences with the recently closed Sparrows Point Steel Mill in Dundalk, Maryland.

The students spent the first several weeks of the semester learning about concepts, techniques and ethical considerations in approaching qualitative research from a community-based, out-in-the-field perspective; broader notions of community cohesion, senses of place and belonging; and the realities of post-industrial economic and social transition. Now they are also becoming key players in the promotion of the mill’s significance to a wider public by helping to safeguard its living heritage: the memories and stories of former and active steelworkers, as well as other mill personnel and community members.

In this video, UMBC New Media Studio director Bill Shewbridge and I share the ideas and experiences at the heart of this collaboration.

Contact the author, Michelle Stefano, at