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Executive Director's Letter - 2/6/24

GBCA is happy to honor new Baltimore arts sector leaders during Black History Month.

Jason Steer was recently welcomed as the new Executive Director of GBCA member Creative Alliance. With over two decades of experience, he is known for his commitment to community engagement, inclusivity, nurturing talent on and off stage, strategic program design, and partnership-building. He comes to Creative Alliance from the famed Apollo Theatre in New York where he served in several senior roles spanning programming, educational leadership, and youth engagement.

Jason joins Creative Alliance ready to animate a vibrant season set to explore three themes across disciplines: Roots of Creativity, Live Out Loud, and Feel The Rhythm. Highlights include the Baltimore Crankie Festival (hand-cranked, scrolling panoramas used for storytelling with live music) returning in May, the 25th anniversary of the Great Halloween Lantern Parade and Festival, the Walk On By exhibition that partners Baltimore artists with artists in our Sister City of Rotterdam in the Netherlands, plus a robust new line-up of movement, cultural cooking, and creative arts classes in the Creativity Center. Located in Highlandtown in east Baltimore, the Creative Alliance supports area artists, promotes Baltimore as a center for creative production, acts as a positive force in our community, and advocates for cultural expression rooted in a sense of place.

In other news, today, the Board of Directors of the Baltimore Office of Promotion & the Arts (BOPA) appointed Rachel D. Graham as the organization’s next Chief Executive Officer. She is a native of New Jersey and currently the Director of External Relations for the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture, and is a veteran strategic communications and public relations professional with extensive experience in events and tourism marketing, partnerships, policy, and community relations.

Rachel previously held senior communications roles for the Neighborhoods Partnership Network and Harmony Neighborhood Development in New Orleans and the Greater Houston Partnership, the economic development entity for the 10-county Houston region.

The Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts serves as the arts council, events producer and film office for the City of Baltimore. In addition to organizing and supporting free, city-wide cultural events, BOPA supports the creative community through funding and support for artists, arts programs, and artistic and cultural organizations across the City of Baltimore.

Please join us in congratulating Jason and Rachel as they assume their new positions and wishing them the greatest success.

All my best,

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