The next Public Relations in Southern Maryland (PRISM) luncheon meeting will be held in the new arts building on Thursday, Aug. 21, at 12:00 at Annmarie Garden Sculpture Park and Arts Center. A panel discussion on using the arts in public relations and marketing will be the meeting’s focus. The center is located in Solomons, Maryland, at 13480 Dowell Road. Lunch will be provided by Four Winds Café. To RSVP, call Gretchen Heinze, (301) 885-0108, or email You may also register on line at Cost is $13 for members and $18 for non-members. Registration is required by noon, Aug. 19.

A panel of experts in the community arts and public relations fields will address the benefits of using the arts as a public relations vehicle. Panel members include Peggy Palmer, executive director of the Charles County Chesapeake Bay Floating Theatre, Inc. She will discuss how to act strategically when gauging how companies benefit from supporting the arts. Panelist Laurell Aiton, director of corporate communications at Smartronix, Inc. in California, Maryland, will talk about the benefits her company, a large defense contractor, gains in community image and recruiting efforts from involvement in com-munity arts projects.  Smartronix is a major underwriter of St. Mary’s College of Maryland’s River Concert Series. Stacey Hann-Ruff, director of Annmarie Garden, will discuss how her organization is working in cooperation with other tourist attractions in Solomons to encourage local “staycations.”

Arts venues such as Annmarie Garden, the River Concert Series and the Chesapeake Bay Floating Theatre are being marketed as staycation destinations—day or weekend trips no more than four hours drive from home. With gas prices at an all-time high, this marketing technique is meeting with great success.

The PRISM luncheon meeting will be held in the garden’s new 15,000-square-foot arts center. It opened in May and is designed in the shape of a boat. Its glass “bow” overlooks “A Tribute to the Oys-ter Tonger, a Chesapeake Waterman,” by Antonio Tobias Mendez. The “stern” overlooks modern sculptures in the wooded park. Among the center’s sculptures on display is an Alexander Calder mo-bile on loan from the Smithsonian, which is valued at $4 million. Attendees will also be able to view the center’s first exhibit, which features kinetic sculptures. For more information on the arts center, call (410) 326-4640 or visit

PRISM is the organization of public relations and marketing professionals in Southern Maryland. It holds bi-monthly luncheon meetings and occasional workshops to foster professional development and networking opportunities for its members. The meetings rotate between Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s counties. For more information, or to join log on to, or contact Mike Zabko, ; call (888) 276-2767.