Annapolis Rd. in Westport is welcoming their first new business since the 2011 rezoning law with the opening of the Veditz Center of Maryland. With hopes of revitalizing the Main Street in Westport, the Westport Neighborhood is excited to have its first new tenant and are hopeful it will be the first of many new business causing a domino effect for Annapolis Rd.
Named after Baltimore-born George William Veditz, the Veditz Center of Maryland will be a deaf history museum and resource center at 2219 Annapolis Rd. in the home of a former bank. The project has been made possible thanks to fundraising and they are optimistic a bond supported by Senator Bill Ferguson and Delegate Luke Clippinger will also come through. They are in the process of purchasing the building and hoping to open the facility this summer.
In addition to the museum exhibits, the center will feature art galleries, wine and cheese gatherings, career days and sign language education for the community. The center will also offer internships for not only students from Galludet University, but also for sign language and deaf studies students from all local universities. They are additionally hoping to set up a translation agency. The center will be hearing, deaf, blind and handicap friendly.
When asked “why Westport?” Kat Brockway of the Veditz Center of Maryland replied, “George was from Baltimore so we wanted it to be here. We like the historical aspect of the building we’ll be occupying and it’s very accessible to the light rail and other public transportation.”
With successful fundraising, the Veditz Center of Maryland is hoping to open a second facility at a property one block south. This would feature the country’s first DCDL ( Deaf Culture Digital Library).
It was an optimistic evening for the Westport Community as they are working hard to continue improvements in the South Baltimore neighborhood. ”We love Patrick Turner, but our success isn’t dependent on the waterfront, we are two separate places,” said Westport Neighborhood Association President Keisha Allen. The community is also working with Department of Transportation in hopes of eventually adding a median to Annapolis Rd. and eliminating it from four lanes to two to slow the flow of traffic. They are also hopeful that impact funds from the Horseshoe casino will have a positive effect on the community.
For more information abut Veditz Center of Maryland and how to help visit www.veditz-center-of-maryland.org or contact VeditzCenterMD@gmail.com.