The Truth In This Art: Baltimore, Arts & Culture

The Truth In This Art: Baltimore, Arts & Culture

The Truth In This Art is Rob Lee's series of candid, intellectually curious conversations with artists, creatives and entrepreneurs — about their process, ideas that go into their work, and everything in between. Listen to the complete archives of 400-plus interviews with guests from Baltimore & beyond including photographer Devin Allen, filmmaker (Afro-Punk) & graphic novelist James Spooner, comedian Roxxy Haze, NPR's LaFontaine Oliver and many more.


October 3, 2022 42 min

Noah Smock’s career in social justice started in Baltimore in 2008. He currently has the honor of serving as Executive Director of the Baltimore Community ToolBank. The ToolBank enhances access to tools, equipment, and expertise for community organizations, amplifying their efforts to strengthen and celebrate diverse neighborhoods.

Previously, Smock served as Assistant Director of the Student Outreach Resource Center at the Johns Ho...

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Chloë Williams grew up in Martinsburg, West Virginia where she gained a strong attachment to Appalachia. Upon her high school graduation, she moved to Towson, Maryland where she earned a a B.S. in English: Writing, and a B.S. in Electronic Media and Film at Towson University. During her time at Towson University, she directed two short films, wrote a novel draft, was Co-President of Her Campus Towson, wrote for The Towerlight Newsp...

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October 2, 2022 35 min

Melanie Royster is a Multifaceted Visual Artist. Art has always been a passion of hers. Growing up shy and quiet, she has always used art to express herself and tell stories. Melanie really dives into her work and is not afraid to be vulnerable. When you look at her work you can also tell that she is not afraid to experiment with different media or to try different techniques, which really defines her as an artist.

Melanie studied I...

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September 29, 2022 37 min

James Knill is a South Florida based artist. He is a self-taught, freestyle photographer. He began his exploration of photography almost three decades ago with 35mm film and slides. As a photographer, James’ work explores many subjects such as landscape, portraits, surfing and street photography. His works reveal his affinity for surrealism and captures an essence of peace, natural beauty, magnificence and divinity. His photos illu...

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Chris Clark is a self-taught visual artist, illustrator, and muralist living and working in Jacksonville, FL. Art, to him, is a form of journalism. Using acrylic, oil, ink, and spray paint, he explores the rich culture and history of the Black community across the diaspora and the social issues affecting them today. For Clark, reflecting the human figure is very powerful, which is why he uses graphic-style portraiture and figurativ...

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James Piper Bond is President and CEO of Living Classrooms Foundation, a non-profit educational organization that provides hands-on education and job training programs in challenging settings.

From one of the oldest families in Baltimore, Maryland, James Piper Bond has seen the city face its share of challenges, but he has also seen the opportunities to provide its community members new experiences that may not have been previously ...

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Jocelyn Broadwick is Highlandtown's reigning "Mistress of Smut". As host and curator of Baltimore's randiest reading series, An Evening of Vintage Smut (, she reads porn novels from the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, aloud in public- and occasionally around the world on the Internet- as a part of the Highlandtown Arts District's First Friday Art Walks. 

The Truth In This Art

The Truth ...

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September 26, 2022 52 min

BeMo Brown is a producer, curator, and creative impresario based in Washington DC. From producing large festivals like the DC Funk Parade and PBR’s Flower Bomb Festival to curating intimate and sophisticated events like Urbane and Parlor-styled discussions, BeMo has exhibited a keen understanding of the DC creative industry. Bryant recognizes the patterns of engagement as it pertains to providing high-quality events often featuring...

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Lee Johnson-Lowe, Director Of Sales Marketing at Lord Baltimore Hotel. Johnson-Lowe is responsible for leading and coaching the sales & catering team as well as personally highly motivated sales person. Creativity, innovation and differentiators are a specialty. Focusing on the relationship and loyalty with my clients has been a crucial part of my success. Accommodating association and corporate groups with their hotel, meeting...

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Ben Otterbein, vice president of Otterbein's Cookies. Otterbein’s Bakery, the family-owned business established in 1881. Otterbein's Cookies is celebrating its 140th year in business this year and remains a Baltimore staple.

About Otterbein's Cookies

A family of German immigrants would come to Baltimore, Maryland and start a little bakery near Fort McHenry (Oh say, can you see!), where Adam Otterbein would create a crispy...

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September 23, 2022 38 min

Evan Serpick is a communications professional with backgrounds in journalism and social justice activism. He is currently the program manager for communications and narrative change at Open Society Institute-Baltimore, and previously served as the editor-in-chief of Baltimore’s weekly City Paper, senior editor at Baltimore magazine, and associate editor at Rolling Stone. Evan has also been a lifelong community activist, serving in ...

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Christine Vineyard is a local DC artist and art teacher, working with all mediums and a concentration in photography, drawing and painting. She has her BFA in Art Education and a Masters of Art Education with a focus on curriculum writing. Christine is originally from Atlanta, GA where she taught at an international charter school before relocating to DC to continue her teaching career. Christine has worked with all ages from presc...

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Chip Py began taking photographs at a young age while he tagged along with his father, a reporter. He studied history at East Carolina University and moved to Washington, DC in 1988. An avid live music fan, Chip Py has been shooting DC bands of all genres for over 20 years. Py has spent the last 12 years photo documenting Washington DC's underground Go-Go music scene and was Chuck Brown's photographer. One of his photograph...

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September 19, 2022 48 min

Zoë Charlton (Baltimore, MD) creates figure drawings, collages, installations, and animations that depict her subject’s relationship to culturally loaded objects and landscapes.  Charlton received her MFA degree from the University of Texas at Austin and participated in residencies at Artpace (TX), McColl Center for Art + Innovation (NC), Ucross Foundation (WY), the Skowhegan School of Painting (ME), and the Patterson Residency...

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September 17, 2022 45 min

James Spooner is a graphic novelist, tattoo artist, illustrator, and filmmaker, who directed the seminal documentary AFRO-PUNK which premiered at national and international film festivals, including Toronto International and The American Black Film Festival. James also co-founded the Afropunk Festival, which currently boasts audiences in the hundreds of thousands around the world. His debut graphic novel, The High Desert is availab...

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September 16, 2022 45 min

Dr. Keith Knight is many things–rapper, social activist, father and educator among them.  He is also one of the funniest and most highly regarded cartoonists in America.

For nearly three decades, this multi-award-winning artist has brought the funny back to the funny pages with a uniquely personal style that’s a cross between Calvin & Hobbes, MAD, and underground comix.

Keith Knight is part of a generation of  African-American ar...

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Artist Kesha Bruce, born and raised in Iowa, she completed a BFA from the University of Iowa before earning an MFA in painting from Hunter College in New York City. Kesha Bruce has been awarded fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA), The Vermont Studio Center, The CAMAC Foundation and the Puffin Foundation. Her work is included in the collections of The Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Cultur...

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Yiselle Santos Rivera, AIA, NOMA, LSSYB, LEED AP, WELL AP is a Principal and Global Director of Justice, Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion at HKS, Inc. Yiselle seeks to dismantle barriers, bring visibility and voice to underrepresented designers, and create equitable practices through inclusive workplace strategies. As an architect and medical planner, Yiselle amplifies the voices of marginalized communities encouraging processes ...

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Susan Dorsey is an artist and educator inspired by the constant iteration, evolution, expansion, overlapping, and layering of systems in the natural world. Using drawing, collage, and painting, she emphasizes its complexity to inspire creative dreams; the building of worlds that push beyond structures which hold our imagination captive. She combines her art and science backgrounds as a means of storytelling within her work. Her aim...

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September 8, 2022 35 min

Kim Bryden, CEO of Cureate, is an accomplished business development professional with expertise in strategy, marketing, and operations focusing on the food & beverage industry and economic development. Kim has consulted 300+ small businesses on growth strategy, building out diversified revenue streams, and identifying new market opportunities. In addition to her commitment to small business growth at-large, Kim’s expertise ...

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