Graham, of the Reginald F. Lewis Museum in Baltimore, was selected after a national search process
Baltimore’s arts council named a new permanent CEO Tuesday, bookending a months long search for a new leader to take the reins of the embattled agency after a tumultuous year.
Rachel D. Graham, currently the director of external relations for the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture, will lead the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts, or BOPA, after a unanimous vote by the nonprofit’s board of directors. She will succeed Donna Drew Sawyer, who resigned from the position last January. Film producer and public relations professional Todd Yuhanick had been serving as interim director since June.
Sawyer stepped down after a public spat with Mayor Brandon Scott, who called on her to leave the agency or else risk its funding. The organization contracts with city government to stage several high-profile events, including Artscape, the Baltimore Book Festival, Light City Baltimore and the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade. It also maintains some city facilities and serves as a resource for local artists.
In an interview Tuesday, Graham said she hopes to refocus the organization’s mission to prop up the arts community.