Motivated by the forthcoming election, a loose knit group of cultural organizers began talking in summer 2015 about ways to increase voter engagement and mobilizing the power of arts and cultural communities in Baltimore City. With major support from the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance (GBCA), Maryland Citizens for the Arts (MCA), and the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation, Citizen Artist Baltimore (CAB) was founded. In early 2016 Citizen Artist Baltimore engaged hundreds of participants in identifying their top arts priorities through a series of seven public listening sessions held across the City. Based on this feedback CAB published a set of top priorities and a mayoral questionnaire on our website.
On March 7, 2016, CAB, GBCA, and Maryland Institute College of Art held the Mayoral Forum on Arts and Culture in which over 500 arts voters listened to nine mayoral contenders as they spoke about important issues including increasing support for arts education, mandating equity in cultural funding, creating a cabinet level art position, and developing an inclusive cultural plan for Baltimore City. Leading up to the 2016 Primary and General Elections, CAB registered and educated voters on Baltimore’s mayoral candidates positions on arts and culture.
CAB continues to listen to, connect, and support Baltimore’s arts and cultural communities through events, calls-to-action, and get-out-the-vote operations.