Kent Cultural Alliance Announces New Board Members

The Kent Cultural Alliance welcomes Margaret Footner and Vanessa Holloway-Truxon to its Board of Directors. Board Chair Jason Claire said, “I am privileged to welcome Margaret Footner and Vanessa Holloway-Truxon to our board. Margaret’s visionary leadership in co-founding and growing Baltimore’s Creative Alliance into a preeminent multi-arts center championing local artists and arts education will elevate our mission tremendously. Vanessa’s lifelong dedication to community empowerment and addressing inequities in Kent and Queen Anne’s County is equally vital through her holistic, family-focused work at Minary’s Dream Alliance. Together, their collective passion, expertise, and local ties will be catalytic forces to expand the KCA’s impact region-wide, and I cannot wait to work with both of them.”

Vanessa Holloway-Truxon is a dedicated advocate and community leader, currently serving as the Parent Engagement Coordinator and The Keeper of the Garden at Minary’s Dream Alliance. With a lifetime of experience in community empowerment and addressing disparities, Vanessa brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her role. Born and raised on the Eastern Shore of Maryland in rural Queen Anne County, Vanessa’s upbringing instilled in her a deep sense of responsibility towards her community. From an early age, she witnessed the challenges faced by families in accessing affordable housing, quality education, and adequate healthcare. Determined to make a difference, Vanessa dedicated herself to serving others and creating positive change. In her role as Parent Engagement Coordinator, Vanessa works tirelessly to empower families and strengthen community bonds. She collaborates with parents, caregivers, and community stakeholders to address issues ranging from housing insecurity to educational inequities. Vanessa is a firm believer in the power of green spaces to promote health and well-being, and she integrates nature-based initiatives into her work to create inclusive and accessible environments for all.

Margaret Footner co-founded the Creative Alliance, co-led the redevelopment of The Patterson, and served as its Executive Director for 23 years as the Creative Alliance grew from a small volunteer group into Baltimore’s premier multi-arts center. Housing two galleries, a performance space, eight live/work artists’ studios and a classroom, Creative Alliance at The Patterson champions local artists and spurred the revitalization of the southeast Baltimore neighborhood, Highlandtown. Its innovative structure as a multi-arts nonprofit, prioritizing free education and multicultural community programs is in part her vision.

Margaret spearheaded Creative Alliance’s new facility for education and community programs called the Creativity Center. She served on the boards of the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance, the Maryland State Arts Council, and the selection committee for Open Society Institute’s fellowship program. Prior to founding the Creative Alliance, she owned and operated a restaurant/gallery in Fells Point. She also developed and implemented free education programs focused on African American maritime history for Baltimore City children and youth at the Living Classrooms Foundation. She has an M.Ed. from Loyola University.

“I am overcome with gratitude for the commitment Vanessa and Margaret have made by joining the Board of Directors of the Kent Cultural Alliance” said Director, John Schratwieser. “I connected immediately with Vanessa one day doing volunteer gardening at Minary’s Dream Alliance. She shared a particular story that a year later led to the creation of “Chesterville Graveyard” for KCA and Stories of the Chesapeake’s Smithsonian Museum on Main program in 2023.” Schratwieser added, “Margaret and I have been working together since 2010 and sharing our love of Kent County and the Eastern Shore… I never dreamed we would be lucky enough to have her move here, nor that she would share her many gifts and talents with KCA!”

Footner and Holloway-Truxon join a distinguished and committed team of volunteer leaders of the Kent Cultural Alliance. Their first three-year term begins July 1, 2024.