Online PR News – 30-May-2014 – Columbia, MD – “The Erase Hate Through Art exhibit is important because we need to take a stand to erase hate crimes. Not just anti-LGBT hate crimes, all hate crime. I conceived this exhibit out of a desire to spread information and create awareness. The victims we have identified on our website, represent some of the most heinous acts of man against man imaginable. We can use the medium of fine art to raise awareness of these crimes and help prevent their recurrence.”
- Grant Myers, Executive Producer, Erase Hate Through Art Founding Member

Erase Hate Through Art is an exciting new creative and charity event under the umbrella of How Do You Like Me Now Productions, a 501 (c) 3 Non Profit organization, for the purposes of advancing the cause of acceptance of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning (LGBTQ) Community, in and around the greater BaltimoreWashington DC region as well as nationwide. Our goal is to facilitate an open and free flowing dialog between the LGBTQ Community and non-LGBT citizens, promoting the ideals of acceptance and equality through the use of theater and fine arts. This mission includes creating awareness of hate and hate crimes against all races, genders, sexual identity and humanity as a whole.

Erase Hate Through Art has assembled names and stories of some of the most notorious hate crimes of the last thirty-five years as a beginning. It is these stories that will serve as the inspiration for the art incorporated into an extensive Art Exhibit at multiple Maryland galleries, including the Columbia Art Center, a Columbia Association Facility The exhibitions open September 5, 2014 and run through October 12, 2014. Each Gallery will present the original work of artists which specifically examines the fate of victims of LGBT related hate crimes, revealing the nature of hatred through a courageous expression of creativity, compassion, and caring, and as further tribute to victims of hate crimes. These people, young and old, were students, artists, politicians, members of our armed forces; straight allies and activists. Most importantly, they were friends and family. Through the powerful medium of the imagination transformed into art, they will live on; to inspire hope, and remind us of how far we have come and how far we have yet to go.

We are actively seeking Artists who would like to participate and share their passion for this vital mission by creating new on theme works of art. We invite all interested Artists to submit an application with samples of their work via our website under Artist Application. Included on our site is an extensive list of victims to serve as a foundation and inspiration for these works of art. We believe that Erase Hate Through Art can grow and become a powerful annual charity event to continue promoting awareness of hate crimes and giving artists an opportunity to share their talents, incorporating their art in tribute to victims of these heinous crimes. Deadline for submissions June 30, 2014

Our Flagship theatrical production to open October 3, 2014 will be a limited engagement of THE LARAMIE PROJECT, a powerful play created by Moisés Kaufman and members of the Tectonic Theatre Project. THE LARAMIE PROJECT examines the impact of a violent hate crime on the close-knit community of Laramie, Wyoming.

In the early hours of October 7, 1998, Matthew Shepard was tied to a fence, pistol whipped, robbed, and left alone to face the cold Wyoming wind. After seventeen hours, he was found and transported to a Colorado hospital where he succumbed to his injuries six days later. Only months before, on June 7, 1998 James Byrd Jr. was chained to the back of a pickup truck and dragged three miles to his death after his body hit a concrete curb. His attackers dumped his battered corpse near a cemetery a mile further down the road. Matthew was attacked because he was gay. James only crime was the color of his skin. Thousands of miles separated them while hate joins them forever in the battle against hatred. On October 28, 2009, President Obama signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act into law. It expanded the 1969 United States Federal Hate-Crime law to include crimes motivated by a victim’s actual or perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.

In spite of this far-reaching legislation, hate crimes are still pervasive in our society and their incidence is on the rise through out the country. The American LGBT community is often the target of hate crimes, and among this group transgendered individuals face an even greater threat. A portion of the proceeds from the Erase Hate Through Art Exhibition and The Laramie Project will be donated in support of the Matthew Shepard Foundation.

The Matthew Shepard Foundation was founded by Dennis and Judy Shepard in memory of their 21-year old son, Matthew, who was murdered in an anti-gay hate crime in Wyoming in October 1998. Created to honor Matthew in a manner that was appropriate to his dreams, beliefs, and aspirations, the Foundation seeks to “Replace Hate with Understanding, Compassion, & Acceptance” through its varied educational, outreach and, advocacy programs and by continuing to tell Matthew’s story.

For more information email or visit our website Contact: Robert Neal Marshall, 410-984-0225
For Columbia Arts Center, Contact Liz Henzy, 410-730-0075.