Our StaffMeet The Team

We are a diverse and versatile group of impassioned change makers and artists. Here at the core of the Creative Alliance you will find a dedicated crew with years of experience over a broad range of disciplines including community building, education, music, performance, film and video, and visual arts.

Dr. Tinku Bhattacharyya

Performance Director

Over the course of her quarter century plus career in the music industry, Tinku Bhattacharyya has engaged in a multitude of unique, groundbreaking roles driven by her enduring passion and creative approaches to artist development and fierce advocacy for artist rights administration and protection. Since launching her career as a club promoter and DJ with Thelonious Junk (Big Beat) and Café Graffiti in Edinburgh in 1995, the UK bred, New York and Baltimore-based visionary has defined what it means to be an innovative Renaissance Woman in the fast-moving, ever-evolving music industry. Tinku has been an international artist development mentor, rights activist, event producer, production and tour manager, label owner, director of talent booking, and label product manager.

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Creative Alliance | Dr Tinku Bhattacharyya

Adam Cooke

Technical Director

A Baltimore native, Adam Cooke has over 20 years experience as an audio engineer, mixing bands in various recording studios and venues in Baltimore and on tour. He started at Creative Alliance in 2003, and now serves as Technical Director, overseeing audio, lighting and video for the theater and Marquee Lounge, and supervising the technical staff. Adam is a drummer and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Production & Engineering from Berklee College of Music.

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Adam Cooke | Technical Director

Joy Davis

Visual Arts Director

Joy Davis is an experienced curator, curatorial director, and an independent scholar of cultural and fashion history. In her tenure at the Walters Art Museum she, along with her staff, drove the museum forward with digital programming that encompassed some of the most diverse programming in the museum’s history. From 2015 to present she co-hosts and produces Unravel Podcast, a fashion history and culture podcast. Her scholarly projects include subject matter that is underdeveloped in academia and transcends many fields of study: fashion, history, art, media, and performance among people of color throughout history. She received her B.A. degrees in History and Media Studies from the University of Maryland, and her M.A. in Fashion and Museum Studies from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York.

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Creative Alliance | Joy Davis

Jessy DeSantis

Marketing Manager

Jessy is a Nicaraguan American self-taught artist originally from Miami, FL who now resides in Baltimore. They are a recovering accountant turned artist, activist, educator, and storyteller, whose works have been shown locally in publications such as BmoreArt Magazine and exhibited in museums like the Walters Art Museum, as well as nationally and internationally. They are passionate about uplifting and showcasing artists and have curated and promoted exhibitions at venues such as Motor House and Impact Hub. They are the owner of J DeSantis Art and have received their B.S. and M.S. in Finance and Accounting.

¡Hablo Español!

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Jessy DeSantis

Heather Keating

Marketing and Communications Director

Heather Keating grew up in a creative family and has been around art and photography all her life. In her time at the Maryland Institute College of art, where she studied Graphic Design and Photography, she fell in love with Baltimore and all of its eccentricities. She is a photographer, designer, event planner, and long-time resident of Patterson Park. Heather has worked in design, advertising, and event planning in Baltimore for more than a decade. She worked as a graphic designer for Baltimore Office of Promotion & the Arts (BOPA) where she learned the ins and outs of large-scale events. She has done marketing and design for many for Baltimore companies such as John Yuhanick Associates, Phillips Seafood, Birroteca, Johns Hopkins, Saint Agnes Hospital, the Fells Point Festival, the Baltimore Rock Opera Society, among others. She received her B.A. from the Maryland Institute College of Art.

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Heather Keating | Marketing & Communications Director

Julia Keller

Development Director

Julia has been an avid Creative Alliance attendee since moving to Baltimore in 2005 to work in the Development office at the Walters Art Museum. After the Walters, Julia worked with some of the region’s top cultural sites and organizations such as Baltimore Center Stage, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Parks and People Foundation, and Ladew Topiary Gardens, to name a few. She has degrees in Art History from the College of Charleston and the University of South Carolina and loves music, theater, dance, and literature as much as she loves paintings and sculpture. Creative Alliance’s dedication to lifting up everyone through art and community keeps Julia inspired, energized, and proud every day.

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Julia Keller

Parker Matthews

Director of Learning

Originally hailing from the verdant Pacific Northwest, Parker Matthews is a Baltimore-based theatre artist, teacher, mime, and storyteller. As an educator and performer, he has brought physical comedy and dramatic performance to audiences across North and South America. His works have been seen in settings as diverse as urban schools, mountain villages, exclusive private clubs, and agrarian community centers. While working with Baltimore City Public schools, Matthews originated the experiential-learning “Story Journeys: Live!” curriculum, which enables young students develop literacy and critical thinking skills through theatrical imaginative play. His learning approaches center student empowerment, agency, and creation so that the learning experience reflects and elevates the diverse perspectives and wild imaginations of the participants. He holds an MFA in Devised Physical Performance from the University of the Arts. He has one cat and five hats and is slowly learning to play his great-great-uncle’s bowlback mandolin.

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Parker Matthews | Director of Learning

Yesenia Mosley

CIELO Director & Artesanas Coordinator

We honor Latin-American traditions by presenting three generations of women demonstrating, sharing, and teaching Latin American folkloric arts, crafts, and traditions taking root and thriving in Southeast Baltimore. The Artesanas focus on artist exchanges, workshops, and public events. The program includes professional development training in Spanish for immigrant artists, after-school enrichment programs, as well as public community workshops at family festivals and area schools. We organize bilingual cultural events for all ages including Día de los Muertos and traditional Posadas!

¡Hablo Español!

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Yesenia Mosley | CIELO

Candace Mitchell

Director of Finance & Administration

Candace recently returned as Director of Finance & Administration with Creative Alliance after serving as a nonprofit capacity building volunteer in Peace Corps Botswana for two years. Candace previously held the position with Creative Alliance for ten years. While in Botswana, Candace utilized her passion for art and advocacy honed at Creative Alliance to collaborate with a former Baltimore-based artist to conduct a photography workshop with HIV positive girls to help them share their stories, as well as learn photography skills.

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Creative Alliance | Candace Mitchell

James Pollard

Finance & Administration Associate

James Pollard serves as the Finance & Administration Associate for Creative Alliance. He holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Stevenson University. He worked in the banking industry for 4.5 years before making the transition to the not-for-profit world. He is an avid learner of life, and always eager to take on new challenges.

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Creative Alliance | James Pollard

Rachel Rush

Education Director

Rachel Rush has worked in education, the arts, and event coordinating for over a decade in Baltimore. She has also coordinated community events such as Park After Dark in Patterson Park and taught Fine Arts at Friends School of Baltimore and Living Classrooms Foundation. Previously as Education Coordinator, she assisted in coordination of all Education offerings. After graduating from The University of the Arts with a BFA in Painting, she was awarded the Ted Carey prize. Rachel continues making her large scale jungle paintings and shows her work in the Baltimore area.

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Creative Alliance | Rachel Rush

Lucretia "Lucy" Sands

Front of House & Rentals Manager

(fka Matt Sullivan) Before joining Creative Alliance as an Event Manager in 2021, Lucy spent the better part of their career working in the music industry after graduating from James Madison University as a classical guitarist with a Bachelor of Music.  Initially starting in the Marketing Department for I.M.P., the DC-based concert promotion and production company that operates 930 Club and Merriweather Post Pavilion, they later relocated to Brooklyn, NY where they worked as a Contributing Editor and Production Manager for AdHoc Presents, and later a Venue Manager for Alphaville.  They recently earned their Master of Public Administration and Policy from American University with the intent of imbuing their experience in the music and service industries with a public service ethos.

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Lucy Sands

Vic Yambao

Development Associate

Victor Yambao has been involved in the arts and theater since graduating from Lesley University. He has worked for the Harvard Box Office in Cambridge, MA and the Improv Asylum in Boston. He’s a painter and has also worked as an illustrator, prop manager, and graphic designer for various theater groups. He moved to Baltimore and joined Creative Alliance in 2016 as a Box Office Assistant transitioning to Office Manager in 2017. Currently, he is the Creative Alliance Development Associate.

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Vic Yambao | Development Associate

Margaret Footner


After co-founding the Creative Alliance at her café and gallery in Fells Point in 1995, Margaret served as the Creative Alliance’s Executive Director from 1995-2018. She co-led the development of The Patterson, Baltimore’s premier multi-arts center. Creative Alliance built The Patterson in 2003 to champion Baltimore’s creative community, spearhead Greater Highlandtown’s revival, and build community through accessible arts and education programs. As Executive Director, Margaret led the organization’s growth from a small group of visionary volunteers into a transformative cultural force. After transitioning from executive leadership, Margaret continued as a volunteer to help develop the new Creativity Center to provide facilities and opportunities for education and community programs. She now lives on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

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Creative Alliance | Margaret Footner
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