Executive Director Letter
June 14, 2022
It has been my honor to spend the last few days helping to spread the news about Baltimore’s incredible arts community. On Friday, along with Mayor Brandon Scott and Councilwoman Phylicia Porter, I was a speaker at the press conference announcing the 6th Annual Cherry Hill Arts & Music Waterfront Festival at Middle Branch Park on July 4. The festival will be hosted by the Youth Resiliency Institute (YRI) in partnership with the Cherry Hill Community Coalition. Congratulations to YRI founders Fanon Hill and GBCA Board Member Navasha Daya on this return to in-person programming!
Yesterday, I participated on a panel titled Art, Culture and COVID-19: Pandemic Threats to Culturally Significant Businesses, as part of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) 2022 Just Economy Conference in Washington, D.C. The panel was moderated by Joshua Devine, NCRC’s Director of Racial Economic Equity, and included JohnDre Jennings, Interim Executive Director at Druid Heights Community Development Corporation, and Camille Kashaka, Executive Director of Motor House. Community Development Corporations and activists from around the country attended the session.
Investing in arts and culture has long been critical to supporting the economic sustainability of a community. This was a common theme shared by the panelists. The conversation centered around the important ways in which artists and culture workers provide meaning, create channels for expression, improve quality of life, and advocate for social justice, while acknowledging the many challenges currently facing the field.
Leading up to the conference, GBCA and Motor House connected the NCRC research team to culturally significant organizations and businesses in Baltimore as part of a study to measure the impact of COVID. Results from the study will be published here by GBCA as soon as they are made available.
All my best,
P.S. Good news for emerging leaders! The Urban Arts Leadership Application has been briefly reopened. Here is the link to apply, but hurry as the deadline is June 19.