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Arts Leader
(Category 1 of 11)

Fiber artist Stacy Cantrell is the creator of the enormous, colorful crocheted creatures that surprised and delighted passers-by in Takoma Park for several months. In early October the 15-foot-tall, 300-pound octopus Oct O’Clock took up residence on top of the clock tower in Old Town with suckered tentacles draped around the support posts. Meanwhile, at the other end of the city two caterpillars, 80 and 65 feet long, appeared on a fence along New Hampshire Avenue near University Boulevard to form the installation “Scoochin’ Down the Avenue, Two by Two!” Both octopus and caterpillars featured the City’s colors. The octopus’s stuffing recycles plastic bags, water bottles, etc., and the caterpillar pieces will be repurposed as baby blankets for needy families. On April 23, Oct O’Clock got a new home and a new name when Stacy helped the children and staff of Takoma Children’s School carry it a few blocks to the school playground and install it on top of the shed, where it will be known as Octoshedopus.
This January Theodore Carter’s vision of free and accessible art in public spaces transformed Takoma Park into a Frida Kahlo wonderland. While Theodore’s “Night of 1,000 Fridas” (#1KFridas) touched fifteen countries on five continents, from a mural painted in Sao Paulo, Brazil to drawings by children that hung in the windows along Carroll Avenue, his ambitious celebration of public art and the human spirit originated in Takoma Park. Beyond the Night of 1,000 Fridas, Theodore makes sure to bring his creativity and passion to our City, as you may have noticed some of his rogue public art installations that help keep Takoma Park special. Theodore also recently volunteered his time and talents to a paint a ferocious mural with his daughter at our very own VFW Post 350 for all of us to enjoy.
“Mr. Gabe” Hutter, the Pied Piper of Takoma Park, has delighted children and their caregivers for the past decade with tuneful, rhythmic classic songs and original compositions. Performing solo and with his band, the Circle Time All-Stars, Mr. Gabe has played to capacity crowds at the community center, the gazebo, and elsewhere, and donated his time to the Takoma Park Library and at fundraisers for two local preschools. Parents report that their children go home afterwards and pretend to be Mr. Gabe, singing and “playing” the guitar. He contributes to a dynamic arts community and is part of what makes our city special.
Charlie Pilzer is a mover and a shaker. The owner of Tonal Park studio with recording room and performance venue Allyworld, a Grammy award–winning recording and mastering engineer, and an accomplished pianist and bass player, he’s comfortable on stage and off stage. Charlie has “great ears,” able to critique music from jazz to folk, from Ethiopian to Swedish, to bluegrass and beyond. Musicians want his touch on their project, and he understands all levels of music recording and digital mastering. He’s constantly expanding the limits, adding new gear, trying new methods. Charlie’s generosity is legendary. He houses musicians, features them in concerts, and helps them maximize their creativity. In addition, he invited Takoma Radio WOWD-FM to set up their station in his studio. Charlie has lived in Takoma Park for more than 30 years with his wife Cecily, who also exudes the same warmth as Charlie.
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