The Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts (BOPA) has appointed Todd Yuhanick as interim CEO. With a background as a film producer and previous ownership of a Baltimore public relations company, Yuhanick steps into the position following the departure of former CEO Donna Drew Sawyer, who resigned in January after Mayor Brandon Scott expressed doubts about her leadership of the quasi public agency. BOPA, an organization that relies on city funds to produce highly anticipated events such as Artscape and other citywide festivals, has since been overseen by board chair Brian Lyles, the director of development for the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company. Lyles has volunteered his time without compensation.
Yuhanick faces a tight timeline, with less than four months remaining until the start of the highly anticipated Artscape 2023 festival. Additionally, on June 2, his first day in office, BOPA leaders were scheduled to meet with the Baltimore City Council’s Ways and Means Committee to discuss their fiscal 2024 funding request, adding further significance to this pivotal leadership change.
On June 4 the Baltimore Farmers Market B-Side Drag Brunch, a BOPA sponsored event, kicked off Pride month with a celebration of the LGBTQ+ community.
In 2001 he joined his father’s PR firm, John Yuhanick Associates, and later took over as president after his father passed away in 2008. He joined Digital Cave Media in 2016, a Baltimore film and production company. He most recently served as an executive producer with Lunchbunch Pictures, a film, TV and documentary production collaborative.
Yuhanick, 47, said he’s honored to take on the BOPA role.
“Working alongside our incredible team and dedicated Board, and with the support of City leaders, we will support and empower local creatives, collaborate closely with cultural institutions, and ensure that artistic and cultural programming thrives and reaches the widest possible audience in every part of our community.” Yuhanick said in a statement.
He also added that he plans to work alongside the BOPA team, city leaders, and cultural institutions to empower local creatives, and ensure that cultural and artistic programming thrives and reaches a wide audience.
BOPA said the search continues for a permanent leader.
Todd Yuhanick photo via LinkedIn
Main photo, promoting Baltimore Farmers Market B-Side Drag Brunch, via BOPA website