Holloway-Truxon, Footner join Kent Cultural Alliance’s board

CHESTERTOWN — Vanessa Holloway-Truxon and Margaret Footner have been appointed to Kent Cultural Alliance’s board of directors.

Each is serving a three-year term beginning July 1.

Holloway-Truxon, born and raised in Queen Anne’s County, is described as “a dedicated advocate and community leader” with a lifetime of experience in community empowerment and addressing disparities.

From an early age, she witnessed the challenges faced by families in accessing affordable housing, quality education and adequate health care. Determined to make a difference, she has dedicated herself to serving others and creating positive change.

In her role as parent engagement coordinator for Minary’s Dream Alliance, Holloway-Truxon works 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.

She 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.

It should not be surprising that she also has the title of “The Keeper of the Garden” at Minary’s Dream Alliance.

Footner co-founded the Creative Alliance, co-led the redevelopment of the historic Patterson Theater and served as 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 of Highlandtown. Its innovative structure as a multi-arts nonprofit prioritizing free education and multicultural community programs is in part her vision.

Footner also spearheaded the Creativity Center, which is Creative Alliance’s new facility for education and community programs.

She has served on the boards of the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance and the Maryland State Arts Council, and the selection committee for Open Society Institute’s fellowship program.

Prior to founding the Creative Alliance, Footner 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 a Master of Education from Loyola University.

KCA Director John Schratwieser said he was “overcome with gratitude for the commitment” that Holloway-Truxon and Footner have made in joining the board.

In a news release, he said: “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. 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.”

Also in the news release, board Chair Jason Claire said Truxon-Holloway and Footner’s “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.”

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