Olney Theatre Announces Community Partner Program With Sandy Spring Slave Museum

by Patrick Herron

Per the Olney Theatre: 

Olney, MD — April 4, 2022 —  Olney Theatre Center announced a series of events as part of its new “Community Partners” program, planned in conjunction with its first partner, The Sandy Spring Slave Museum & African Art Gallery. The Community Partners program is an annual program whereby two qualified nonprofit organizations get elevated to the position of our Community Partners. The mission and work of these organizations will be amplified in multiple ways by Olney Theatre, not limited to: in-kind donations, on-site conversations, tickets, and marketing opportunities. The organizations are selected based upon a set of criteria, including the value added to the identified community and work in areas relating to themes being presented in each programming season. The Sandy Spring Slave Museum & African Art Gallery is the first such partner and was chosen after consultation with the theatre staff by the Community Engagement Committee.

The museum is a private non-profit organization located in historic Sandy Spring, MD in the “Freedman’s Settlement” on Brooke Road. The museum does not receive local, state, or federal funding. The museum is a labor of love run 100% by volunteers. The Sandy Spring Slave Museum & African Art Gallery, Inc. (SSSM) was founded in 1988 by Dr. Winston Anderson, Ph.D., Presidential Award for Excellence recipient, with the following mission:

  • Focus on the heritage of Blacks from their origin through the Middle passage, the salvation the Underground Railroad provided, the struggle for civil rights, and their accomplishments in the United States and African Diaspora; ​
  • Bridge the information gap and inform all ethnic groups about the advantages of cross-cultural communication and diversity, as expressed through history, the arts and the humanities; ​
  • Highlight the heritage of the African American families for whom Montgomery County is home; and ​​
  • Display the rich and significant contributions that Africans and African Americans have made in the building of America.


Local History Hour: Stories of Women on the Underground Railroad

Sunday, April 24, 4:00pm-5:00pm

Mulitz-Gudelsky Theatre Lab Lobby

Local History Hour: Stories of Men on the Underground Railroad Stories

Saturday, May 21, 5:00pm-6:00

Mulitz-Gudelsky Theatre Lab Lobby

Local History Hour: Black Churches in the Area

Friday, June 10, 5:00pm-6:00pm

Bank of America Plaza

Visit olneytheatre.org/whats-playing for event details and registration

Humanities Truck

The American University Humanities Truck, in conjunction with the Sandy Spring Slave Museum, is visiting the Olney Theatre Center campus to collect oral histories of the area. Community members and audiences are invited to stop by the truck on the dates below to share their stories.

  • Saturday, April 23
  • Saturday, May 21
  • Friday, June 10
  • Saturday July 23
  • Saturday, July 30th


Masks and proof of COVID vaccination are currently required to attend for all patrons. Exceptions may be made for those who are not vaccinated, such as children under 5, people with certain medical conditions preventing vaccination, or those with closely held religious beliefs. These patrons must provide proof of a timely negative Covid-19 PCR test taken within 48 hours or a professionally administered rapid antigen test taken within six hours of showtime. Please note, we do not accept home test results. These procedures are in place through at least April 30, 2022. Visit olneytheatre.org/covid for changes and updates to Covid procedures..



Olney Theatre Center for the Arts produces and curates theatrical performance for the diverse audiences in our community, and educates, learns from, supports and inspires a more inclusive generation of theater-makers.


We strive to become an arts and culture powerhouse, redefining the American regional theater movement by cultivating and sharing the creativity of our community.


Founded in 1938 as a summer playhouse, Olney Theatre Center (OTC) now produces world and American premieres of plays and musicals, and reimaginings of familiar titles year-round; presents the work of leading companies and artists; tours nationally and locally; teaches students of all ages; and mentors a more inclusive generation of theatremakers. For more than 8 decades, OTC has brought impactful theater performance and education to our community, helping to grow the vibrancy and vitality of our home in the Washington, DC region.

Over the years, some of the biggest names in theater and film have appeared on our stages, including Tallulah Bankhead, Helen Hayes, Jessica Tandy, Hume Cronyn, Bob Fosse, Phillip Bosco, Eve Arden, Eva Gabor, Burl Ives, Jose Ferrer, Carol Channing, Olivia d’Havilland, Tony Randall, Paulette Goddard, Dorothy and Lillian Gish, Jane Seymour, Anne Revere, Frances Sternhagen, Arthur Treacher, James Broderick, Olympia Dukakis, Sir Ian McKellen, Marica Gay Harden, John Colicos, Uzo Aduba, Alan Cumming, Cheyenne Jackson, Robin de Jesus, Wilson Jermaine Heredia, among many, many others.

Olney Theatre is now the cultural anchor of a rapidly changing region and serves one of the most diverse, best educated, and wealthiest counties in the country. Situated on the unceded land of the Piscataway-Conoy people, the Olney area was once a rural farming community with a unique Quaker heritage. Now the area is occupied by every kind of family that makes up 21st Century America, along with major corporations, shopping districts, civic associations, non profit organizations and a diverse collection of houses of worship. Montgomery County’s 1 million residents play a dynamic role in the Baltimore-Washington corridor, and are a driving force behind the region’s creative economy.

Olney Theatre Center employs 40 full time staff, 20 part-time positions, 26 early career apprentices and players, and more than 400 professional artists annually. The Theatre intends to continue expanding to better meet the needs of our community.

For more information, please visit olneytheatre.org/history

Follow Olney Theatre Center on Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok @olneytheatre and on Facebook at facebook.com/olneytheatre.


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