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Executive Director's Letter - 12/12/23

Happy Hanukkah! While not one of the Jewish High Holy Days, it is a celebration of light that is meaningful to many families, particularly in light of the painful war in Israel and Gaza. Our hearts are with these communities as we all sincerely yearn for their peace and safety.

GBCA is an organization that proudly serves its members and the broader constituency of cultural organizations and artists throughout the region.This work is often quiet, or behind the scenes. That's why I wanted to take a moment to share a few exciting projects I have been engaged with to help create greater connectedness and be a catalyst that drives resources and awareness to the creative sector.

As was recently announced, I am proud to serve on Mayor Scott’s Arts and Culture Advisory Committee. Not as well known is that GBCA is also representing the arts community on the Steering Committee for the Economic Opportunity Strategy of the Greater Baltimore Committee. This is a critical chance to align the work of the creative community with other sectors in addressing the needs and aspirations of the region.

The Painted Screen Society was founded in 1985 by folklorist Elaine Eff and screen painter Dee Herget. Elaine Eff has for many years been the protector and promoter of the collection of now more than 300 screens and the associated community partnerships. I am fortunate to serve on the Painted Screens Future working group whose goals include finding a permanent home for the physical and digital Painted Screen collection and securing partner(s) to continue programming and exhibiting the collection as a living artifact and to champion the continuation of the tradition by instructing and encouraging new generations of screen painters.

I have also been supporting Shelley Morhaim, the President of the Board of the Pikesville Armory Foundation, as they plan the redevelopment of the property. In true GBCA fashion, my goal is to help make connections with artists and cultural organizations as potential partners in the project. In addition to being a creative space, the sprawling campus (the buildings contain about 225,000 square feet) will be a new home for athletics, recreation, youth services, veterans, and more.

Finally (but not really finally!), I have been included in a movement to establish Baltimore's first Poet Laureate. Organized by writers, this group is working on a plan to define what this would look like in Baltimore City and has me working with friends, old and new including Eze Jackson, Olu Butterfly Woods (also on the Urban Arts Leadership Teaching Team), Kenneth Morrison, and more.

These are just some of the additional ways that GBCA is working to strengthen the creative sector. You can support our work by becoming a member and or making a year-end donation.

All my best,


P.S. Calling all artists! The final Baker Artist Portfolios Information Sessions of the season are coming up fast! These sessions are a wonderful resource to learn about the Baker Artist Portfolios and the associated $90,000 in annual awards for local artists or to get insights into setting up, refining, and/or improving your portfolio. Only a few in-person and virtual sessions remain this year (including an in-person session this evening at 5pm!), so RSVP and/or spread the word to anyone you think might benefit from joining one. Click here or for a schedule of the remaining sessions.

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