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John "Kinderman" Taylor Papers

Identifier: R0165-JKT

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Scope and Content Note

This collection contains the personal papers of John "Kinderman" Taylor and documents his career as a teacher, dance and music instructor, and popular children's television star on "The Kinderman Show," which was aired locally in the Baltimore, Maryland region. The collection contains a significant number of "The Kinderman" learning kits and activity packets including CDs/DVDs. Included are several digital copies episodes of “The Kinderman Show.” Also present are photographs portraying John Taylor’s career and a large number of awards and certificates awarded by local entities and Maryland government officials including Barbara A. Mikulski, Martin O’Malley, Sheila Dixon, and Elijah E. Cummings. The collection also includes press materials and clippings that document Kinderman’s career in Baltimore.

The materials in this collection are mainly textual including learning activities, kits, and workbooks. Other formats include photographs, newspaper clippings, ephemera, realia such a local Emmy award, and digital audiovisual materials such as a VHS, CDs and DVDs, and audio records.


  • circa 1970-2018



Materials are in English.

Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research. This collection contains audio-visual and digital materials that may need further processing or special equipment to allow use.

Usage Restrictions

Rights interests for this collection have been transferred to the University of Baltimore Foundation with the following limitation: all rights to The Kinderman Show and The Kinderman Brand, which include learning activities, kits, and related materials, are retained by the donor. Permission to reproduce these materials for educational purposes may be obtained.

Biographical Note

John Taylor (b. 1936 - d. 2018) was a teacher, music and dance instructor, and popular children's television star in Baltimore. He is known as the "Kinderman" because of his successful children's television shows "It's Kindertime" and "The Kinderman Show." Taylor was born and raised in Baltimore; he lived in the region including Columbia for the majority of his life.

Growing up in Baltimore, Taylor enjoyed dance and eventually went to New York to pursue a career in dance and performance. After returning to Maryland, Taylor earned a bachelor’s degree at Morgan State University and a master’s degree in art education from the Maryland Institute College of Art. In the 1950s, he began teaching in the Baltimore County and Anne Arundel County school systems. His teaching career spanned 18 years.

In the 1970s, he returned to music and dance and founded his own business: The John Taylor Experience, where he taught disco dances. Later he began to teach dance aerobics. In the 1980s he began focusing on teaching music and dance to children.

Throughout the 1990s, Taylor was a popular children’s television star in Baltimore and around the region. He was associated with the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts and its early learning institute. Taylor’s show on WMAR-TV, “It's Kindertime,” ran for six years and was a three-time National Capital Region Emmy Award winner. After "It's Kindertime," the station aired Taylor's “The Kinderman Show.” He continued performing for decades at malls, festivals, schools, and other events until his death in 2018.

Information for this historical note came from materials in the collection and from a local news obituary.


2.83 Linear feet (3 containers)


John Taylor, or “The Kinderman,” was an educator, singer, dancer, and children’s television star based in Maryland. His work focused on bringing song, dance, and art to children through his television shows “It’s Kindertime” and “The Kinderman Show,” and through community events and workshops around the Maryland region. This collection consists of a portion of John “Kinderman” Taylor’s educational materials, awards, newspaper clippings, photographs, and other records relating to his career and work as “The Kinderman.”


Collection is organized into four series:

  • Learning Activities and Kits
  • Press and Clippings
  • Certificates and Awards
  • Photographs and Oversize Audiovisual Materials
Each series is arranged by material type and chronologically.

Custodial History

The collection was donated by John Taylor to the University of Baltimore Foundation on March 5, 2018. Physical custody was transferred by Linda Joy Burke to Aiden Faust on August 6, 2018.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Laura Bell in 2018.

Finding aid for the John "Kinderman" Taylor Papers
Finding aid prepared by Laura Bell (2018).
October 2018
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Baltimore Studies Archives Repository

H. Mebane Turner Learning Commons, Room 104
1415 Maryland Avenue
Baltimore Maryland 21201 USA