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Holiday Closing All Pratt Library locations will be closed Monday, May 30 in observance of Memorial Day.

More About the Artist

Lawrence Burney

Lawrence Burney is a writer, journalist and the founder of True Laurels, a media platform dedicated to highlighting Baltimore and The DMV area’s most captivating music and culture. Burney’s storytelling is concerned with finding — and sharing — the intersections of history, culture, and contemporary art in Black communities in his home region, as well as various pockets within the African diaspora in an attempt to make more sense of the world he was born into. His work has been featured in publications such as Baltimore City Paper, Vice, Complex and Pitchfork.

Lawrence Burney’s research is focused on the roots of key musical and cultural moments, eras, and events throughout history in the Baltimore area. His interviews will include the voices of scholars/experts as well as former participants on subjects such as Pennsylvania Avenue’s legacy of jazz in the 20th century, local gospel powerhouses, and literature from Baltimore’s liberation movements in the early 20th century. As part of his office hours at the Pratt, Burney will bring in experts on these subjects for research purposes throughout the week.

"I wanted to be an artist in residence at the Pratt because it would afford me the opportunity to fully immerse myself into the wealth of resources and knowledge that the institution provides. I've been carefully combing through the history of Baltimore — particularly the city's Black population — for the past few years and I can't think of a place that would help me understand that history better than the Enoch Pratt. My earliest memories of going into a library are at The Pratt and this opportunity feels like a full circle moment."

Office Hours & Contact

Programs with Lawrence Burney

How Did We Get Here?

Second & Fourth Wednesdays, 11 am – 5 pm at Central Library

Wednesdays, 11 am – 3 pm at Central Library

Humans—like many other species on our planet—are in a constant state of migration. It’s how we evolve over time, by sharing the culture and knowledge we have with new people in order to advance. Everyone’s family has a migration story. Whether it be as recent as this decade or hundreds of years ago, we all have a starting point. The people of Baltimore are no different. Every Wednesday, Baltimore residents are invited to the Central Library to speak about how they or their families from generation’s past ended up in the Baltimore area. Sessions for days other than Wednesdays can also be scheduled via email or phone.

Where Time Stops: Living History Storytelling Project

Thursday, March 17, 3 pm at Central Library
Thursday, April 14, 3 pm at Edmondson Avenue

Once a month over the spring, Lawrence Burney will visit different Enoch Pratt branches around the city to share archival material he’s found that is relevant to those specific neighborhoods. This show and tell program will aim to educate people of all ages on things from their community that they may not have been previously aware of and also engage community elders who may have firsthand knowledge of some of these findings in conversation.

View All Programs with Lawrence Burney