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Maryland Arts Summit Long Conversation Groups
Alanah Nichole Davis is a mother, essayist, cultural worker, social designer, and philanthropist from The Bronx, NY based in Baltimore MD. Davis earned her Master of Arts in Social Design at Maryland Institute College of Art and is affectionately referred to as Baltimore’s Godmother for her ability to foster, support, love, and build everything she touches. Her written witticisms surrounding love, race, womanhood, and being a human have gone viral online in perfect millennial fashion and are also in print to match her old soul.
Anne L’Ecuyer is the Executive Director of Arts on the Block, a nonprofit public art studio in downtown Silver Spring. Anne is a strategist, facilitator and executive consultant who stays closely connected to an international network of city leaders, cultural professionals, and individual artists. She is an expert in the creative industries and cultural tourism in the United States, as well as the contributions of the arts toward educational, social, and environmental goals. Previously, she taught at American University in the Arts Management Program and served as Associate Vice President for Field Services at Americans for the Arts. Throughout her career, Anne has consulted with hundreds of arts leaders to provide strategy and support for their efforts.
Originally from Chester, Pennsylvania, Monique Walker has traveled the world as a performer, educator, and choreographer. She specializes in neo-traditional and contemporary African dance; and has studied from many dance masters and institutions including Chuck Davis, Walter Nicks, Philadanco!, The School at Jacob’s Pillow, and Dr. Kariamu Welsh. Based in southern-Maryland, Monique holds a Bachelor of Arts in Arts Administration, is the Administrative Director for the Charles County Arts Alliance, a 2018-2019 NextLOOK Residency Artist, and a certified Master Teacher of the Umfundalai contemporary African dance technique. She teaches Umfundalai at CityDance’s School & Conservatory and DREAM School of Dance, has taught as a guest lecturer at the University of Illinois Urbana- Champaign campus and Drexel University, and on the teaching faculties at North Carolina State University and The School at Jacob’s Pillow. Monique is the former dance captain and Assistant to the Artistic Director of Chuck Davis’ African American Dance Ensemble and former principal dancer with Kariamu & Company: Traditions. Her choreography has been presented at the North Carolina Dance Festival, Philadelphia Fringe Festival, Dance Place (DC), and the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center (MD). As a wife and mother of two, Monique continues her mission of using dance, music, and theater as a vehicle for the preservation, promotion, and innovation of African Diasporan dance through her work as the Executive Director for the National Association of American African Dance Teachers and a choreographer with her project-based performance company, MoDance Works.
Carla Du Pree is a fiction writer, literary consultant, state arts ambassador, and speaker, whose short stories and excerpts from her work-in-progress, Where the Spirit Meets the Bone, have appeared in Callaloo, Potomac Review, a Special Fiction and Poetry edition of City Paper – Baltimore, and anthologies The Spirit of Pregnancy and Street Lights: Illuminating Tales of the Urban Black Experience.
Ms. Du Pree is the Executive Director of CityLit Project, a small literary nonprofit that nurtures readers and writers throughout the region. She was appointed to the Maryland State Arts Council, served as the Vice Chair, and the Chair of the Diversity Outreach Committee, and completes a six-year stint as a counselor in 2017. She’s currently on the One Maryland One Book Selection Committee (a second time), and has served as a county and state judge for the flourishing Poetry Out Loud, NEA’s national poetry competition. She produced Raising Our Voices: Womyn Out Loud, a reading devoted to diverse voices. Ms. Du Pree’s speaking engagements include tributes to Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison – all with the Furious Flower Poetry Center, The Baltimore Choral Arts Society, in a tribute to Lucille Clifton, and the Baltimore debut of Listen to Your Mother speaker series. Ms. Du Pree has spoken before the National Association of State Arts Agencies (NASAA) about the benefits and necessity of diversity and inclusivity, and worked as a parent liaison for the Howard County public middle schools. She was an adjunct professor and independent thesis advisor at The Johns Hopkins University part-time graduate writing seminars in Fiction.
Brion Gill (Lady Brion)
Lady Brion is an international spoken word artist, poetry coach, activist, organizer, educator and the executive director of the Pennsylvania Avenue Black Arts and Entertainment District. She received her B.A. in Applied Communication from Howard University and her MFA in Creative Writing & Publishing Design from the University of Baltimore. During her slam career she has won the 2016 National Poetry Slam, the 2017/2019 Southern Fried Regional Slam, and the 2019 Rustbelt Regional Slam. She was most recently also ranked 3rd in the Women of the World Poetry Slam in March 2020. In 2018, she published a book and accompanying album called With My Head Unbowed. Lady Brion also serves on the board for DewMore Baltimore and as the Cultural Curator for a grassroots political think-tank called Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle in Baltimore.
Mary Mateer Callis, Executive Director of Garrett Lakes Arts Festival and Performing Arts Center at Garrett College. Live long resident of Garrett County, Maryland and graduate of Garrett College, attended West Virginia University and University of Maryland with a concentration in Human Resource Management. Mary has a strong background in commercial insurance, banking, human resource recruiting and performing arts. Some of her passions include history, biking and hiking throughout Maryland, West Virginia and Virginia.