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 was a founder of Creative Alliance and served as the organization's first 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 in 2018, Margaret is now Director of Special Projects focusing on developing the new Creativity Center.


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.


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.


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


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.


Kim Brock

Development Associate

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kim@creativealliance.org

Kim Brock

Kim has worked in the arts and nonprofit sectors for over 10 years, holding positions in human resources, management, and development. She is a former AmeriCorps VISTA Member and holds a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Studio Art with a concentration in Photography from Michigan State University.


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.


S. Rasheem

Education Director

S. Rasheem

S. Rasheem became the Education Director at Creative Alliance in June of 2019. In that role she she is responsible for five Out-of-School time arts enrichment programs. Those programs include, Open Minds, KERPLUNK, Creative Alliance at Tench Tilghman, Creative Alliance at John Ruhrah and Teen Council.  Prior to the appointment of Education Director, Rasheem was the Site Manager at Creative Alliance After School program for 160 youth in K-8th grade at Tench Tilghman Elementary/Middle School. 


Rachel Rush

Education Coordinator

Education Coordinator
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rachel@creativealliance.org

Rachel Rush

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. As Education Coordinator, she assist 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. 


Ti Coleman

Site Coordinator John Ruhrah

Ti Coleman
Site Manager John Ruhrah
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Ti@creativealliance.org

Ti Coleman

Ti Coleman is a seasoned facilitator, comedian and teacher. He is dedicated to building spaces for marginalized people to come together, and share stories as a mechanism of healing and celebration. As a community artist, they teach students and organizations how to use art to facilitate change. They are a youth organizer and facilitator, creating the first youth team at Baltimore Improv Group, a site manager for Creative Alliance after school, and a teaching artist with Young Audiences of Maryland. Ti is a founding member of the all Black improv comedy group, Casually Dope, and has featured as a performer and teacher at improv festivals in Toronto, Calgary, Chicago, New York, DC, and Philadelphia.


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.


Kammeran Tyree Giggers

Site Manager Tench Tilghman School

Kammeran Tyree Giggers

Kammeran Tyree Giggers is a native of Baltimore, Maryland. She recently completed her Masters in Diverse Leadership in Education from The University of Notre Dame. She also received her Masters of Fine Arts Degree in Performing Arts from Savannah College of Art and Design, as well as receiving her Bachelors of Arts Degree in Acting from North Carolina Central University. Some of her acting credits in productions at various repertory theatres across the south and Midwest include: Dreamgirls, Shrek the Musical, The Color Purple, Clybourne Park, and Ragtime, to name a few. Kammeran also enjoys giving back to her community through teaching and directing musical.


Brittney Huff

Director of Development

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 Director of Development. She is a visual artist, working mostly with mixed media on found paper. She holds a BFA in Art History from the Maryland Institute College of Art.


Erika Samis

Design and Administration Coordinator

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erika@creativealliance.org

Erika Samis

Erika Samis is a multi-media artist and photographer in Baltimore. For the last 4 years she has been an operative part of Terrault Gallery in the Maryland Arts Place, and produced and managed performance events at several venues in Baltimore. Since joining Creative Alliance in 2017 she has worked across several departments in box office, event management, accounting, administration, IT and design. Her current role focues on design, marketing, and human resources. 


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