Office Phone: 410-230-0200
Office Fax: 410-685-1174
General E-mail: [email protected]
Jeannie L. Howe, Executive Director, [email protected]
Kibibi Ajanku, Director of Equity and Inclusion , [email protected]
David London, Director of Innovation, [email protected]
Lauren Saunders, Director of Development and Membership, [email protected]
Richard Okonkwo, Marketing & Communications Manager, [email protected]
Renz Balagtas, Equity Manager, [email protected]
Alix Fenhagen, Baker Artist Portfolios Manager, [email protected]
Pangelica Hall, Executive Assistant, [email protected]
Sarah Berns-Zieve, Marketing Assistant, [email protected]
Jeannie L. Howe, Executive Director
Jeannie L. Howe is the Executive Director of the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance (GBCA), a regional, membership organization that was organized by artists and cultural organizations to unify, nurture and promote the cultural sector in Baltimore and its five surrounding counties. Under her leadership, since January 2012 GBCA has transformed and expanded its services to the cultural community, including: new professional development initiatives for artists and emerging arts management leaders of color; re-launched audience development strategies; supported artists with awards and grants; and advocated for the health, visibility, and financial strength of the sector. Membership during this time has increased from 80 to nearly 500 artists and organizations.
Prior to joining GBCA, Howe was founder and president of BayCliff Associates, and provided management and fundraising consultation for nonprofit clients, including Everyman Theatre in Baltimore for whom she led a successful $17.7 million capital campaign. Her career has included leadership positions with a range of nonprofit organizations including the Alley Theatre, Baltimore Reads, and The Marrow Foundation (now Be the Match Foundation). Howe has held many volunteer positions including her current service on the Baltimore Orchard Project and Callaway Garrison Improvement Association Boards of Directors. Howe received a M.A. in Theatre from Miami University of Ohio and a B.A. in Theatre from St. Mary’s College of Maryland. In 2014, the Daily Record recognized her as one of Maryland’s Top 100 Women.
Kibibi Ajanku, Director of Equity and Inclusion
Kibibi Ajanku curates and guides the elements of the Urban Arts Leadership Fellowship for the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance where she serves as Equity and Inclusion Director. Under her leadership, the Fellowship has increased racial inclusion within arts sector leadership and has positively altered workplace best practices through actively training, placing, and referring an annual cohort of emerging professionals. Also, Ajanku is the Urban Arts Professor for a small cohort of students at Coppin State University, and additionally serves as a Community Researcher for Maryland Institute College of Art. Through her work as an arts leader, an artist, and an educator; Ajanku works consistently and deeply as a social justice voice. She also leads monthly equity conversations for the Alliance and is excited to administer the evolution of a new Urban Arts Field School project with Urban Arts Leadership fellows and community folklorists, recently funded by the National Endowment for the Arts.
David London, Director of Innovation
David London is an arts administrator and project manager with over 20 years experience in the arts and culture sector. He has served in leadership roles at museums, galleries, festivals, arts media, and large scale interactive experiences. Since joining the GBCA team in 2013, David has managed the Baker Artist Portfolios and associated awards, as well as focused on technology solutions for GBCA's audience development programs including CultureFly, and SpaceFinder. His role as Director of Innovation began in 2022. In addition to his work at GBCA, David spent over 25 years creating and presenting theatrical and interactive experiences designed to spark the imagination and inspire new ways to see and engage with the world around us. He has performed as a storyteller and magician across the United States, and regularly presents talks and workshops on magic, creativity, and "the show business." He holds a B.A. in Cinematography from Columbia College Chicago.
Lauren Saunders, Director of Development & Membership
Lauren Saunders (she/her) serves as the Director of Development and Membership for the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance. From 2013 to 2017 she worked as the Assistant Program Manager for GBCA, helping to establish critical organizational infrastructure. Prior to rejoining GBCA in 2022, Lauren was the Director of Individual Giving for Pittsburgh Public Theater. She has also worked for City of Asylum, Manhattan Theatre Club, Maryland Humanities, and Theatre Communications Group. A passionate theatre-maker, Lauren was an Ensemble Member with Single Carrot Theatre for five years - devising, directing, and performing in new plays. She holds a M.A.M from Carnegie Mellon University and a B.A. in Theatre from Goucher College.
Richard Okonkwo, Marketing & Communications Manager
Richard Okonkwo is a strategic communications and image management professional with remarkable successes in crafting mission-focused strategies for corporate and brand integrity enhancement, protection, and positioning. As a consummate communicator and organizational storyteller, Richard’s interest lies in helping organizations and businesses to connect with their target audiences meaningfully and compellingly, while simultaneously heightening profitability, efficiency, and competitiveness. By deftly working cross-functionally and collaboratively, he seeks to constantly establish strategic partnerships and mutually beneficial relationships with key stakeholders, “Centers of Influence,” and publics, while gathering insights and leveraging data to drive innovative marketing strategies and effective communication campaigns that are critical to addressing complex challenges in today’s dynamic corporate spaces and volatile business environments. Aside from designing men’s apparel, Richard enjoys taking scenic photographs, calligraphy, and escaping into the orbit of his imagination by virtue of creative writing. He holds a B.A. in Public Relations and an MBA from Morgan State University.
Renz Balagtas, Equity Manager
Renz Balagtas moved from the Philippines to San Diego, California when he was five years old. From San Diego City College, he transferred and went on to graduate from MICA in 2014. Since his graduation, Renz has dedicated himself to supporting and advocating for the success of emerging artists in the community. In 2016 he co-founded a small business with two friends focusing on promoting and curating local artists work. Currently, Renz is a freelance muralist, podcaster and digital media producer focusing on graphic design, videography and animation.
Alix Fenhagen, Baker Artist Portfolios Manager
With a background in arts management, marketing, development, and theatre practice, Alix has consciously combined her passion and creative thinking as an artist with a strategic and collaborative approach to promoting and sustaining artistic endeavors. Alix has worked as a digital marketing and PR strategist and consultant in the arts, helping artists and organizations promote their work to reach and grow audiences. In addition to her work as an arts administrator, Alix is a multifaceted theatre artist, who has had the privilege to work with many of Baltimore’s wonderful theatre companies and artists. Alix believes that arts and culture are deeply woven into the fabric of any community and that artists are integral to continually shaping and enhancing the creative landscape of Baltimore.
She holds a M.A.A.A from Goucher College where she wrote extensively about how active artistic practice enhances adaptive leadership on both a psychological and neurological level. She also holds a B.S. in Theatre from Northwestern University.
Pangelica Hall, Executive Assistant
Pangelica Hall is an art administrator, musician, and event curator in Baltimore, MD. In addition to joining GBCA as Executive Assistant in 2021, she works passionately to elevate the voices of LGBTQIA artists as Co-Director of the Baltimore-based event production organization GRL PWR. A classically trained violist and sound designer, she also is a prolific local performer and DJ who has toured nationally as well.
Sarah Berns-Zieve, Marketing Assistant
Sarah Berns-Zieve aka BZ is an all-around artist with a passion for community. She was born and raised in Baltimore, MD, where she lives now. She is a videographer, editor, writer, and dancer. She has found that her background as a dancer influences how she moves with the camera and edits visuals with sound. Also, she is the founder/director of The Arts Collective, a Baltimore City-based non-profit whose mission is to unify and transform community through the power of art. Overall, the aim of all she does is to create community in whatever way possible.