Citizen Artist Baltimore announces arts voting initiative ahead of primary election


December 30, 2015

Graham Coreil-Allen,, 443-687-9255

Citizen Artist Baltimore announces arts voting initiative and six citywide listening sessions ahead of the 2016 primary election.

Baltimore, MD, December 30, 2015 – Citizen Artist Baltimore is a call to action for individuals, organizations, institutions, and foundations to work together to advance inclusion of the arts, culture, and humanities as an issue of critical importance in the April 2016 Primary Mayoral Election and beyond.

This growing partnership, led by the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance (GBCA), Maryland Citizens for the Arts (MCA), and the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation, consists of artists, organizations, patrons of the arts, and community and cultural leaders.

Through a series of public listening session in January 2016, Citizen Artist Baltimore will identify sector priorities. The group will then circulate a questionnaire to the 2016 mayoral candidates whose responses will be published on the website In mid-March 2016, there will be a public, candidates’ forum on arts and culture.  Leading up to the primary election, Citizen Artist Baltimore will also be registering and encouraging all eligible voters to participate in the primary election on April 26, 2016.

GBCA Executive Director Jeannie Howe emphasizes the value of local artists and the initiative’s timeliness:

“At this critical time for Baltimore, the region, and the country, the creative community can and is making an important contribution to political discourse and to building a strong Baltimore. Citizen Artist will help mobilize the arts and culture sector. It will also provide an excellent opportunity to for candidates to outline their positions and goals.”

Reflecting on the critical nature of Citizen Artist Baltimore’s grassroots organizing, MCA Executive Director John Schratwieser states:

“At MCA we believe voting is a critical component of advocacy. Through Citizen Artist Baltimore, we hope to support, and learn from, a local arts-centered initiative that engages citizens in the civic process, and helps elected officials see the arts as part of the solution for the future.”

Given the many contributions that the creative community makes to the success of the city, the Citizen Artist Baltimore campaign will offer candidates a means to clarify the role of the sector in their policies and strategies. The effort is also meant to engage artists, designers, performers and other cultural producers and patrons in the electoral process and improve access to arts, culture, and humanities for all Baltimore citizens.

Citizen Artist Baltimore Listening Sessions will be held:

Central: Tuesday, January 5 2016, 6:30-8:00pm – Design Conversation at
The Windup Space, 12 W North Avenue, Baltimore MD 21201

Southwest: Saturday, January 9 2016, 3-4:30pm
Zella’s Pizzeria, 1145 Hollins St, Baltimore, MD 21223

West: Monday, January 11 2016, 7-8pm
Jubilee Arts, 1947 Pennsylvania Ave, Baltimore, MD 21217

East: Wednesday, January 13 2016, 7-8:30pm
Baltimore American Indian Center, 113 S Broadway, Baltimore, MD 21231

Northeast: Saturday, January 23 2016, 1-2:30pm
Hamilton Branch – Enoch Pratt Free Library, 5910 Harford Rd, Baltimore, MD 21214

Northwest: Late January, date and location to-be-confirmed

Maryland Citizens for the Arts is an advocacy organization committed to expanding the nonprofit arts sector through public investment and service; thereby enhancing lifelong learning, quality of life, and economic vitality for all Maryland’s citizens.

The Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance is a membership and service organization that nurtures and promotes a vibrant, diverse, and sustainable arts and cultural community essential to the region’s economic success and quality of life.

The Robert W. Deutsch Foundation exists to promote innovation in science and technology, arts, education and social justice.

Hashtag: #citizenartistbmore