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Executive Director’s Letter January 8, 2019

While 2019 has gotten off to a running start, we at GBCA are reflecting on the past year and what we have accomplished with your support. In 2018, GBCA started its sixth Urban Arts Leadership class. Recent alumnus have accepted positions at the Maryland State Arts Council, and right here at GBCA. In breaking news, the 2019 class has just completed the matching process with cultural organizations including: Baltimore Museum of Art, The Walters Art Museum, The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of MD, Prince George’s County Department of Parks and Recreation, Jubilee Arts, Chesapeake Shakespeare Company, and Baltimore Clayworks. To learn more, see Kibibi Ajanku’s letter below. This year, we are particularly grateful for the visionary support of The Saul Zaentz Charitable Foundation, The Bunting Family Foundation, Maryland State Arts Council, Transamerica, Rheda Becker and Robert Meyerhoff for UAL.

"Urban Arts Leadership Program has helped me find my voice in aspects beyond my career goals. It taught me valuable experience in education, community service and business within the arts sector." - Asia McCallum 2018/19 cohort

GBCA continued to offer critical services through its online calendar, Culture Fly and the region’s most comprehensive and most visited cultural jobs posting, Jobs Plus.

“…we truly appreciate our partnership! I am happy to say through the posting of our openings on the GBCA site (Jobs Plus) we have been able to hire two awesome employees. It is great to start the new year with full staff!” - Lori Snyder, Arts Education in MD Schools

In 2018, GBCA awarded $125,000 to artists in the Baltimore region, successfully completed its five-year incubation of the Rubys Artists Awards with the support of the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation, and increased the visibility of artists through a thorough redesign of the Baker Artists Portfolio website with the William G. Baker, Jr. Memorial Fund.

“Through your efforts, you make the Baker Awards more than just another prize. You create a moment in our lives that can only be described as special and unique. Through your combined efforts, attention and caring you make us feel special. Not something an artist of any age feels all that often outside of his or her private studios.” --David Bacharach, Baker Artist Award winner

In 2019, GBCA will continue to convene the cultural sector around critical issues such as building audiences, sustainable careers for teaching artists, arts journalism, human resources expertise including guidance around sexual misconduct, and deep dives into increasing equity and inclusion practices in the cultural workforce. We will also be deepening our impact in the surrounding counties by launching focused landing sites for Space Finder and the Baker Artists Portfolios (e.g. Baker Artists Howard County).

Given the current political climate, GBCA is redoubling its non-partisan efforts to partner with Maryland Citizens for the Arts and other organizations such as MD Votes Together to encourage the participation of artists, patrons, and supporters in the political process.

With your continued support and encouragement, we’ll be doing all this and so much more! Thank you in advance for your belief in arts and culture, and in the importance of the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance.

Happy New Year,


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