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.

Gina Caruso

Executive Director

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gina@creativealliance.org

Gina Caruso

Gina moved to Baltimore from Honolulu, Hawaii, where she was Director and Film Curator at Honolulu Museum of Art's Doris Duke Theatre. Prior to Hawaii, she was a former resident of Baltimore for 16 years, she was Manager of Public Programs at the Walters Art Museum and also worked as an editor, photography editor, and writer for The Washington Post Magazine. As a freelance writer, she has written articles about art, photography, and film, and has reviewed books for Baltimore MagazineBaltimore City Paper, and the Baltimore Sun. Devoted to arts integration, Gina was a poet-in-residence in public and private schools in New York City and a teacher at the Waldorf School of Baltimore.


Margaret Footner

Founder | Director Special Projects

Margaret Footner

Margaret Footner is a co-founder of the Creative Alliance which spawned at Halcyon Gallery at Margaret’s Cafe in 1995. Ms. Footner owned and operated Margaret’s as a café/gallery from 1992-2000 before selling her restaurant to work full time as Executive Director for the Creative Alliance.


Christy Applegate

Director of Finance and Administration

Christy Applegate

In her role as Director of Finance and Administration, Christy manages the financial, human resources, and IT functions for the Creative Alliance. She has worked with not-for-profit organizations for more than 20 years focused on issues of youth, the arts, and social justice. Her skills include budget analysis, financial sustainability, and translating the accounting and regulatory environment for others.  A native of Baltimore, Christy spent 11 years in San Francisco working with documentary film producers and festivals including GroundSpark, Citizen Film, and San Francisco Jewish Film Festival.


Thomas James

Visual Arts Curator

thomas@creativealliance.org

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Thomas James

Thomas began his work as a curator in 2015. Before joining Creative Alliance in 2018, he was responsible for crafting exhibitions throughout the Washington, DC Metropolitan area with organizations such as The Phillips Collection, Town Hall Education and Recreation Center (THEARC), The Jerusalem Fund, Syra Arts, and Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts. He comes to us from the Maryland Federation of Art where he served as the Exhibitions Manager.


Adam Cooke

Technical Director

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adam@creativealliance.org

Adam Cooke

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.


Heather Keating

Marketing and Communications Director

heather@creativealliance.org
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Heather Keating

Heather Keating 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) from 2002-2004. She also worked on a large-scale design project helping BOPA develop a brand, logo, and style guide for Artscape, the largest free arts festival in the country. In her last position, she was an art director and designer for John Yuhanick Associates.


Vic Yambao

Office Manager

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vic@creativealliance.org

Vic Yambao

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 and has since transitioned to Office Manager.

 

Josh Kohn

Performance Director

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josh@creativealliance.org

Josh Kohn

Creative Alliance Performance Director Josh Kohn has been working in the arts for more than a decade, specializing in curating powerful live performance experiences and meaningful community dialogue. Previously he served as Program Officer, Jazz and Traditional Arts at Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation and for many years as the Programming Manager with the National Council for the Traditional Arts. He has an on-going relationship with American Routes, a weekly public radio program out of Tulane University, organizing tours of China for an array of musicians. In addition, he is a former Fellow with the Devos Institute of Arts Management at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.


Brooks Long

Robert W. Deutsch Foundation Community Arts and Programming Fellow

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brooks@creativealliance.org

Brooks Long

Brooks Long was attracted to a wide range of music from an early age and spent much of his youth in various gospel choirs, including the Baltimore Police Youth choir that gave him the opportunity to back country music star Shania Twain. When he was 13-years-old, Brooks took guitar lessons and started writing his own songs. He had written over 100 songs by the time he was a freshman at Washington College in 2004, and when he graduated with a BA in English and Music History in 2008, he had honed his craft in various bands.

As a recording artist, Brooks has released several albums, including Mannish Boys in 2016. The record’s lead single “Got Soul” was voted #2 on WTMD’s Top 89 Songs of 2016, behind David Bowie’s “Lazarus”.


Brittney Huff

Annual Giving Manager

Brittney Huff

Brittney Huff joined Creative Alliance in 2007 and has previously served as Office Manager, Marketing Assistant, and Program Assistant. She now serves as Annual Giving Manager, overseeing individual giving and the membership program.


Samantha Mitchell

Samantha first joined the Creative Alliance in 2014 as an intern for the Film Program and Box Office Associate. She has since assumed the role of Office Manager and now, Film Curator. Samantha earned her BA summa cum laude from Rutgers University, where she studied French, English, and Cinema. Her undergraduate thesis, "Agnès Varda: auteur du temps," earned the distinction of Highest Honors in the Department of French. Samantha's writing has been published in Objet d'Art literary magazine, the Rutgers Review, and What Weekly. Samantha is currently pursuing her MFA in Filmmaking at the Maryland Institute College of Art.


Erika Samis

Events and Administration Coordinator

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erika@creativealliance.org

Erika Samis

Erika Samis is a graphic designer, photographer, and organizer in Baltimore. She joined Creative Alliance in 2017 and has worked as a Box Office Associate, Education Program Assistant, and Bookkeeper. As the Events and Administration Coordinator she works in accounting, human resources, and performance event management. 


S. Rasheem

Site Manager at Tench Tilghman

S. Rasheem

S. Rasheem is the Site Manager at Creative Alliance After School program for 160 youth in K-8th grade at Tench Tilghman Elementary/Middle School. Rasheem is self-taught Baltimore community artist. Her mediums are pencil, various types of pastel, and charcoal. She self-identifies as a Womanist Artist, because her art encourages a critical examination of society and culture through the lens of race, gender, sexuality, and class. Her work centralizes the lives and experiences of marginalized populations. Rasheem’s work contributes to the growing body of art that is dedicated to gender expression. Her influences are interdisciplinary, varied, and largely come from lived-experiences.


Natasha Tylea

Sound Engineer & Lighting Designer

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Natasha Tylea

Sound Engineer & Lighting Designer


Sheila Gonzalez

Operations & Rentals Manager

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sheila@creativealliance.org

Sheila Gonzalez

Operations & Rentals Manager


Kim Brock

Development Associate

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kim@creativealliance.org

Kim Brock

Development Associate


Yesenia Mejia

Artesanas Mexicanas Coordinator

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yesenia@creativealliance.org
Hablamos Español​

Yesenia Mejia

We honor Latin-American traditions by presenting three generations of women demonstrating, sharing, and teaching Mexican folkloric arts, crafts, and traditions taking root and thriving in Southeast Baltimore. Artesanas Mexicanas 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!


Micah Wood

Marketing & Design Associate

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micah@creativealliance.org

Micah Wood

Micah E. Wood is a photographer, musician, and designer from Newport News, Virginia. He moved to Baltimore in 2009 to pursue his Bachelors degree in Photography at Maryland Institute College of Art. Since graduating in 2013 he has been working and performing in the Baltimore art scene sharing his music, design, and photography. Micah’s work now includes marketing strategy, outreach, and design at Creative Alliance.


Maria Gabriela Aldana

Education Director

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maria@creativealliance.org
Hablamos Español​

Maria Gabriela Aldana

Maria Aldana is the Education Director for the Creative Alliance. She works with visual and performing artists to develop original project-based curriculum afterschool, summer and weekend programs which serve more than 2500 children and youth each year.


Ari Pluznik

Community Arts Liaison

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ari@creativealliance.org
Hablamos Español

Ari Pluznik

Ari Pluznik joins Creative Alliance after serving as a volunteer in Peace Corps Mozambique for two years as a high school educator and youth development facilitator. With a passion for cross-cultural collaboration and creative expression, Ari worked with Mozambican artists to write and produce an album dedicated to Mozambican youth entitled “Somos Todos Iguais / We Are All Equal.”  Ari graduated from St. Mary’s College of Maryland with a degree in Spanish and Biology and speaks both Spanish and Portuguese.


Marlo Jacobson

Director of Development

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marlo@creativealliance.org 

Marlo Jacobson

Marlo Jacobson, Development Director, leads development staff and fundraising efforts. She began 25 years as a fundraiser at her undergraduate alma mater, Goddard College, in Plainfield, VT, an experimental college based on the ideas of American philosopher and educational reformer John Dewey. Marlo’s role at the Creative Alliance is to focus on increasing financial and partnership support from foundations, corporations/businesses, and individuals, as well as securing support for capital initiatives.


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