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Executive Director's Letter - 9/26/23

Back in June, I wrote an op-ed about how Baltimore is facing a moment of tremendous opportunity to rethink and transparently rebuild the way it supports one of its greatest assets — the arts. I am grateful to Mayor Brandon Scott for recognizing the arts as vital to the soul of our great city by declaring an “Arts and Culture Week” in Baltimore and investing $6.25 million to support artists and cultural organizations. This level of energy and commitment is crucial for our sector, which has a $606 million economic contribution and continues to face unprecedented challenges in the wake of the pandemic.

Equally important, Mayor Brandon Scott announced last week the creation of an Arts and Culture Advisory Committee, which will focus on supporting local artists, entrepreneurs, and creative professionals by providing recommendations for economic development, community engagement, cultural heritage preservation, and more. I am honored and proud to serve on this committee and look forward to working with colleagues from diverse fields to make Baltimore an even more vibrant place to live, work, and create.

Congratulations to every organization and artist who was a part of this year’s Artscape festival! Though Tropical Storm Ophelia put a damper on Saturday’s activities, Friday and Sunday provided a safe, exciting, and rich creative landscape that visitors are sure to remember and participants should be proud of.

On a much sadder note, the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance (GBCA) mourns the loss of two community members who are near and dear to our hearts.

Jacqueline “Jackie” Copeland, chairwoman of the Maryland State Arts Council, passed away last Wednesday. An innovative and talented leader, Jackie worked at several of our area’s institutions, including as executive director for the Reginald F. Lewis Museum, and co-director of education at the Walters Art Museum. Deeply committed to creating equity and opportunity through the arts, she served on GBCA’s Board of Directors from 2019-2021. We are grateful for her many contributions, generous spirit, and extend our sincerest condolences to her family and loved ones.

William “Bill” Maughlin, talented and beloved chef of Nancy by SNAC kept our hearts and stomachs full. Bill's culinary creations, ranging from breakfast sandwiches to his signature chili, were the epitome of deliciousness, providing nourishment and joy to nearly every creative soul in this city, including thousands of MICA students. We are grateful for Bill and will deeply miss his kind smile, as well as the love and care he poured into countless meals and catered events for GBCA’s board and staff. We all send our deepest sympathy and strength to his husband and partner of over 30 years, Kevin Brown, and to all of his loved ones during this difficult time.

With care and in community,


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