Maryland Matters is pleased to announce that Alanah Nichole Davis will become a regular contributor to our website. She’ll write an opinion column twice a month – including one we publish today.
Davis is a Baltimore-based artist and a freelance consultant for nonprofit arts and social change groups both locally and nationally. Davis also is an M.A. candidate in Social Design at Maryland Institute College of Art.
In March, recognizing artists would face financial hardship during the pandemic, Davis formed Alanah’s COVID-19 Emergency Fund for Artists and Freelancers.
“There are many individuals and families who will be impacted by event, show and travel related cancellations,” she wrote on Instagram.
Starting with $100 from her own pocket, Davis raised more than $5,000 from individuals and foundations. She distributed the funds to more than 100 artists as “micro-grants” – amounts ranging from $25 to $100 to help pay for expenses such as food or medicine.
Davis, 28, has waited tables, worked as a cashier and triaged emergencies as an emergency room nurse technician. She describes herself as “a big belly, heart, and idea having Black woman whose days since 2015 have been filled with bringing ideas and culture-filled platforms to fruition in the social change and art sector.”
In recent commentaries published in Maryland Matters, Davis has written about the racial injustice that is roiling the country.
“COVID-19 showed us how disproportionately the ills of this modern society affect Black people. The police killings of Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and George Floyd have left our communities hungry,” she wrote. “When we consider the police killing of Freddie Gray and how long we’ve gone without justice for that, the community is starving.”
At Maryland Matters, Davis joins our regular columnists — Frank A. DeFilippo, a veteran journalist and commentator based in Baltimore, whose column appears on Mondays, and Editor Josh Kurtz, who turns out a column whenever he’s able. Davis’s columns are thoughtful and thought-provoking – and a welcome addition as Maryland Matters continues to grow and improve.