The arts in Baltimore represent an unmatched, deep-rooted culture. Creativity can be found in every corner, fueled by local artists, makers, authors and crusaders whose work and mission builds a beautiful kaleidoscope filled with the diverse voices re-writing the narrative of our city.
After a year’s worth of deep dives and meaningful conversations with locals from all walks of life, the result is an inclusive, wide-ranging project that offers a look into the rich soul of Baltimore. We are incredibly proud to work alongside and feature the authentic talent that exists within our own community. Our new campaign is a prism highlighting the different people, places and experiences that embody the boldness, resilience and real-ness of Baltimore.
Baltimore is a city of several tongues. However, art is the universal language of our land.
– Kondwani Fidel
Meet the Artists
Renowned photographer Devin Allen captured the bold portraits featured in the campaign. Born and raised in West Baltimore, Allen, a Gordon Parks Foundation Fellow, garnered national media attention after being the third ever amateur photographer to land a Time magazine cover. He has been on the frontlines of protests and civil unrest capturing imagery that matters. Allen says his life’s work is to photograph what he believes in, showcasing moments that can speak volumes and tell stories that can foster true change. In doing so, he’s giving a voice back to his community.
Poet & Author @kondwanifidel
Kondwani Fidel is an East Baltimore author, lyrical poet and spoken word artist. His work focuses on education reform, civil rights and growing up in an underserved Black community. Fidel’s talent, passion and poignancy have taken him on a beautiful writing journey. Fidel is the first to say that adversity and beauty are not mutually exclusive—especially in his hometown. As lead copywriter for this campaign, Fidel dove into that complex dichotomy. His recent poem “Beneath the Shell” documents the strong beating heart of Baltimore, while encouraging locals and visitors alike to look past the hard exterior and find the beauty within. Though his star is rising, Fidel remains committed to Baltimore’s youth, donating countless hours as well as books to local schools.
Visual Artist @itsjacobmarley
Jacob Marley is a Baltimore-based visual artist and musician with an undeniable cool factor. His distinctive art focuses on representation and draws inspiration from high fashion while juxtaposing ancestral and cross-cultural imagery. In the local music scene, Marley is a producer, performer, DJ and the founder of Blush+Brews, a monthly Baltimore dance party. #VibeCheck.
Owner, Get Shredded Vintage @getshreddedvintage
Sara Autrey embodies the undeniable truth that Baltimore’s style cannot be defined by one word. Autrey is a tastemaker, shop owner and sartorial enthusiast whose business, Get Shredded Vintage, is carefully curated to challenge fashion’s status quo. By breathing new life and purpose into old pieces, Autrey creates looks that transcend of-the-moment trends.
Author, Actress & Poet @meccamorphosis
Mecca Verdell, aka Meccamorphosis, is a Baltimore-based poet, performer, actress and teacher who first made a splash on the national stage after winning Brand New Voices, an international youth slam. Verdell dedicates her time and energy to providing safe spaces for youth; her creative expression and devotion to using her work to promote healing make her an incredible voice for women and for Baltimore.
Al Rogers, Jr.
Rapper, singer and songwriter @alrogersjr
Al Rogers, Jr. is a Baltimore-born musician, stylist, creative director, curator and philanthropist. His music is influenced by the complexity of the city he grew up in and reflects a mix of genres that make his live shows an experience not to be missed. Al is also the founder of Swoozy Donation, a non-profit that provides clothing to local communities in need.
Chef & Owner of the Alfred Restaurant Group @chefashishalfred
Classically trained at the French Culinary Institute, Chef Alfred mastered his skills in countless kitchens before making waves in the city he now calls home. With his roots in French cuisine, Alfred’s Duck Duck Goose in Fell’s Point offers a unique twist on traditional bistro fare and craft cocktails. The Alfred Restaurant Group also operates two restaurants in Bethesda, Maryland.