Alanah Nichole Davis is a mother, cultural worker + award winning column + essayist, social designer and the current Assistant Director of Community Arts in CSE at MICA. Davis is from The Bronx, NY but was raised and is based in Baltimore MD. Davis earned her Master of Arts in Social Design at Maryland Institute College of Art 21’, and is affectionately referred to as Baltimore’s Godmother for her ability to foster, support, love, and build everything she touches. Davis is a Leslie King Hammond Graduate Fellow a 2020 Maryland Delaware and DC Press Association awardee and a 2021 recipient of the Fred Lazarus Leadership for Social Change award. Her contributions to the community were recognized when she was named a Baltimore Sun ‘Hero’ in 2020 and a Baltimore GameChanger by Baltimore Magazine this Fall 2021.
Abby Neyenhouse is the founding Director of the Center for Creative Citizenship at the Maryland Institute College of Art, part of MICA’s strategic plan to integrate civic learning and action, and promote community and democratic engagement, throughout the institution.
Abby is an activist, experiential educator and facilitator with a long history working for social justice within the grassroots, nonprofit and higher education sector. Abby previously worked for eight years at the Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Social Concern as the Senior Assistant Director of Neighborhood and Community Programs. While at JHU, Abby instituted the Public Service Speaker Series, JHU Collective - a faculty, staff and student collective leading dialogues surrounding the Baltimore Uprising and historical injustices. Additionally, she founded the Community Impact Internships Program (CIIP), an intensive summer internship program for JHU undergraduates, fostering mutually beneficial relationships with Baltimore’s grassroots, nonprofits and government agencies. This program was recognized with a Governor’s Award for being an exemplary service learning program in the State of Maryland.
Having lived and worked in Baltimore City for the past 19 years, Abby is an active member of the queer arts and activist communities, highlighted by their co-producing of Baltimore's premier gender performance troupe, the Charm City Boys and producing the 12th annual IDKcE (International Drag King and Community Extravaganza).
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 Communication and Culture 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. Most recently she became the Women of the World Poetry Slam Champion and International Poetry Slam Champion (team slam) in April 2021. 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.
Landis McCord, better known as Landis Expandis, moved to Baltimore in the 80’s to study painting at MICA. During that time, he founded the internationally popular band, All Mighty Senators, and toured extensively as their lead vocalist and songwriter while also being the drummer known for playing while standing up. He’s been straddling the line of art and music ever since.
Because of his band’s early success, Landis paused his art education. Not forever, though, as he earned a degree in digital design in 2017. His education as a graphic designer gave him the skills necessary to create most of his marketing material and images, as well as those for other area bands. His distinct illustration style became an important aspect for the presentation of his most recent and well-loved band, F-City.
Throughout his career as a musician, both as a drummer/singer, and as an award-winning DJ, Landis has kept his love for painting in the periphery. Recently his visual art has been in the forefront, being shown in well-loved galleries such as the Hamilton Art Gallery, Max’s Gallery, and even the building inhabited by local independent radio station, WTMD.
His love for painting has taken him to create work in unconventional ways, most notable in his fashion line, GLOW. This project married his love for thrifting with his obsession with painting - each unique piece is created by hand painting and embellishing clothing that often is second-hand. He has continued in this vein by also producing graphic designs for printed tees as merchandise for his latest endeavors, music videos.
The pandemic has changed the nature of music and art everywhere, as venues all over closed for safety measures. No longer working in the manner that he had been for decades, Landis began to create more from his home studio. He began with a live interactive painting show, Let’s Get Painting.
Before the pandemic, he planned to launch GLOW more widely by collaborating with other designers. When it became clear that the world as we knew it would be on hold indefinitely, Landis began to make campy music videos featuring alter egos named Larry and Harry - forming LHL, short for Landis Harry Larry. LHL videos quickly became viral due to their whimsical take on common topics, such as pandemic grocery shopping, disrupted sleep patterns, and the things that we must do to get by.
LHL videos are comprised of original music, elaborate costuming featuring the GLOW line and wigs, handmade props and puppets that are mostly science fiction in nature, green screen effects and animation. They have not only been an outlet during a difficult time but also a way to connect with the community while remaining safely at home. Housing his work on YouTube, Landis quickly gained over one thousand followers in a few months with several viral videos. He has since been creating original content for AVAM, WTMD, and the Walter’s Art Gallery.
Throughout the past three decades, Landis has proven to be adaptable, multi-faceted, and relevant to the times. He intends to follow his creative spirit wherever it takes him, and hopes others continue to come along for the journey.
April Danielle Lewis is an artist, visionary, and community cultivator. Her artwork explores the intersections of history, place, and identity through a social justice and community building lens. Interventions, performances and installations are the vehicles used to express those themes. By day, April is the co-founding Director of Community and Culture at Open Works, a non-profit makerspace whose mission is to make tools, technology and the knowledge to use them accessible to all. With a passion for equitable and intentional community building, April finds fulfillment through her work by helping folks find their way to self-empowerment through making. She also serves as an advisory board member and volunteer librarian at the Station North Tool Library, and Chair of the Board of Directors at Neighborhood Housing Services Baltimore.
Antwaun Sargent is a writer, curator and director at Gagosian Gallery. He is the author of The New Black Vanguard Photography between Art and Fashion (Aperture 2019) and the editor of Young, Gifted and Black: A New Generation of Artists (DAP 2020) and the May/June 2020 issue of Art In American magazine. His writing has appeared in the New York Times and New Yorker, and in museum and gallery publications for artists Micaklene Thomas, Arthur Jafa, Meleko Mogoski, Nick Cave, Yinka Shonibare and Ed Clark, among many others. Most recently, he is the curator of Social Works, The New Black Vanguard and Young, Gifted and Black, all currently on view.
Faith Couch is a photographer whose work focuses on the exploration of Black aesthetics, Black memory landscapes, love, and autonomy. She received her BFA in Photography from Maryland Institute College of Art in 2019. She has exhibited her work nationally and internationally. She has most notably exhibited work at New Image Art Gallery in Los Angeles, The International Center of Photography, The Nasher Museum at Duke, The African American Museum in Philadelphia, The Aperture Foundation in NYC and more. She has been featured in Forbes Magazine 30 under 30 in Art and Style as a Photographer.