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Urban Arts Leadership Program Launches Blog & Facebook Page

UALP…Who? What? Where?

MARCH 28, 2016

by Kibibi Ajanku

The Urban Arts Leadership Program (UALP) is a program of the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance (GBCA) and was designed to increase the participation of groups that have been historically underrepresented, particularly those of color, in the management of cultural and artistic organizations.

UALP is a pipeline for high achieving young leaders (college seniors or recent graduates) who have demonstrated a strong commitment to this goal. The Program offers professional development, networking opportunities, and paid Fellowship placements to aspiring arts administrators. Equally important, UALP offers Fellowship Host organizations tools and training that support institutional changes that encourage greater equity and inclusion.

The development of UALP has been guided by community input and the participation of more than 30 administrators from partnering cultural organizations. It is an immediate response to the needs of early career professionals and is meant to strengthen the cultural field.

That is the official answer… more personally, The Urban Arts Leadership Program exists to build equity within the arts leadership community. It is a vehicle for marginalized groups of young professionals who are typically excluded from the process that becomes a bridge to upper level management within arts organizations through Fellowship placements that are represented as on the job training and have the potential to lead to viable employment beyond the actual experience.

During the 2015/16 round, 10 Fellows were accepted into the program, and this is the list: Khadijah Adell, Rhea Becket, Danae Bell, Tiana Bias, Precious Blake, Teara Booker, Arthur Brown, Ashley DeHoyos, Carla Thomas, and McKinley Wallace. The first leg of their UALP journey offered personal development training and capacity building intensives. The second half of the Fellowship gave way to placements within Partner Organizations chosen to represent the landscape of the Baltimore arts leadership community.

In February of 2016, 10 Fellows were successfully placed with 10 Partner Organizations. Those organizations represent a range of sizes across the Baltimore City landscape, all coming to the table with the shared interest of bringing more racial equity to the leadership of their institutions. The current round of Partner Organizations includes: Arts Everyday, Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore Office of Planning, Baltimore Office of Promotion and The Arts, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Jubilee Art Center, Maryland State Art Council, Single Carrot Theater, Walters Art Museum, Young Audiences of Maryland. I am pleased to say that things a moving along smoothly at a rapid and most productive pace. Stay tuned for updates.

Like Urban Arts Leadership Program on Facebook & Visit the UALP blog at

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