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Executive Director's Letter - 11/14/23

The mighty 2024 Tenth Annual Urban Arts Leadership cohort has been undertaking an incredible journey since they began their sessions in September. With the leadership of GBCA’s Kibibi Ajanku and Renz Balagtas, their learning has included marketing, fundraising, financial management, and more, all through the lens of racial equity and inclusion. Learning leaders for this class include Camilla Bryce LaPorte, Maurissa Stone Bass, Larry Poncho Brown, Sonja Cendak, Cheryl Waters Hassan, Kayla Morgan, Olu Woods, and GBCA staff Alix Finhagen, David London, Richard Okonkwo, and Lauren Saunders.

The Fellows have also journeyed to Washington, D.C., where they had private discussion with Michelle Stafano and the archives team at the Library of Congress, and with leadership at the National Museum of African American History and Culture. In December, they will meet with leaders from the Schomburg Center and The Studio Museum where they will have a personal, pre-reopening tour of the building.

These extraordinary experiences and training build on their already talented portfolios. In January, the Fellows will be matched with host organizations in the area, where they will be embedded in leadership roles for six months. In the past, host organizations have included The Walters Art Museum, the Baltimore Museum of Art, Jubilee Arts, Maryland CItizens for the Arts, and many others. If your organization would like to host a fellow in 2024, there’s still time. You can learn more here.

Of course, Urban Arts Leadership would not exist without the generous support of our donors, including Baltimore Gas and Electric Company, Baltimore National Heritage Area Association

The Bunting Family Foundation, Maryland Heritage Area Authority, National Endowment for the Arts, PNC Foundation, SB & Company, LLC, and the Saul Zaentz Charitable Foundation. . If you would like to add your name to this list by investing in talented, rising leaders of color, please consider making a contribution to GBCA.

With 10 years under our belts since David Mitchell (Urban Arts Leadership founder and Program Director at the County Arts Development and Arts & Entertainment Districts at the Maryland State Arts Council) brought this mustard seed of an idea to GBCA, we have had the privilege of watching our alumni advance in their careers and make important contributions to various organizations, including The Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American HIstory and Culture, the Arts Council of Anne Arundel County, The Andy Warhol Foundation, Maryland Citizens for the Arts, Arts Everyday, National Museum of Women in the Arts, and more. Congratulations to all our alumni and Fellows and here’s to another 10 years!

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