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
Singer, Songwriter & Educator @bougiegivenchy
Born and raised in Baltimore, Zadia records and performs with dozens of musicians and artists within the local creative community. We knew she would be a natural collaborator for our first-ever Baltimore music video. Zadia’s lyrics and vocals combined to create a ballad that is soulful, memorable and real. Check out this interview for more on what inspires her. Listen to Zadia’s music on Spotify and visit her Instagram for info on upcoming live gigs.
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.
Musician & Founder of Love Groove Music Festival @johntylersounds
Though young, John Tyler has already established himself as a big name in Baltimore’s music and arts scene. In addition to scoring productions for Under Armour, Bloomberg Philanthropies and Visit Baltimore, he founded Love Groove Music Festival to provide young artists with performance and networking opportunities.
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.
Podcast Host, No Pix After Dark @nopixafterdark
Aaron Dante started his award-winning podcast, No Pix After Dark, in 2019 with the goal of uplifting communities and people often-overlooked or misrepresented by the mainstream media. He frequently features local business owners and city leaders on the show, and he has collaborated Guinness Open Gate Brewery, Full Tilt Brewing, Millennial Media and more. You can listen to No Pix After Dark on all major streaming platforms.
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.
TT the Artist
Rapper & Filmmaker @tttheartist
Rap star and filmmaker TT the Artist came to Baltimore to attend MICA and stayed to create. She gained national attention when her original song was featured in a Super Bowl ad that featured a version of the “crazy legs” dance that Baltimore club music is known for.
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.
Photographer & Filmmaker @schaunchampion
Schaun is an international photographer, filmmaker and instructor who specializes in natural light, portraiture, fine art and cultural documentary work. Using both analog and digital cameras, she creates intentionally cinematic and honest imagery. She has exhibited her work internationally through museums such as the James E. Lewis Museum of Art, the Baltimore Museum of Art, Antipode Gallery of Marseilles, Paris and private installations.
Al Rogers, Jr.
Rapper, Singer & 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.
Artist & Activist @ladybspeaks
A Baltimore native, Lady Brion is a spoken word artist, activist, organizer, educator and poetry coach. She is also the cultural curator for Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle, a Baltimore think tank advancing the public policy interests of Black people via political advocacy and youth leadership development. Under her given name, Brion Gill, she serves as Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Avenue Black Arts and Entertainment District.
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.
Amy Sherald earned her renown when former First Lady Michelle Obama asked her to paint her portrait, which today hangs in the National Portrait Gallery. Through her portraiture, Sherald “explores the way people construct and perform their identities in response to political, social and cultural expectations,” according to the National Museum of Women in the Arts.
Author & Professor at the University of Baltimore @dwatkinsworld
Best-selling author D. Watkins has taken his own rough beginning and used it to empower young people who come from neighborhoods like his own. He is the founder of the BMORE Writers Project, which is dedicated to helping underserved children reach their potential. In addition to writing for publications such as The New York Times, Rolling Stone and The Guardian, he lectures at the University of Baltimore.
Get the Art
Want one of our original posters made by Globe at MICA? You can buy your own! The “Beneath the Shell” poster features a poem by Kondwani Fidel about Baltimore’s similarities to a crab. “Bridging Our People” is a poem by Mecca Verdell written in honor of our BoP Pass. Both are made with Globe’s signature hand-pressed style and are limited edition.