Harford County Cultural Arts Board was founded in 1973, and for close to fifty years has worked to “Preserve, Enhance, and Promote the Culture of Harford County, Maryland."
As the official county arts agency, Harford County Cultural Arts Advisory Board is the primary local resource for arts organizations, independent artists, and the audiences of Harford County, Maryland. The government-appointed board provides grant opportunities, advocacy and administrative support; sponsors workshops, events, and promotional opportunities; and encourages and invests in the advancement of the arts for the community.
Current Harford County Cultural Arts Advisory Board Members
Chuck Bowden, Chair, has taught both English and Drama at Bel Air High School for over 20 years. A graduate of West Virginia University with a BFA in Theatre and the College of Notre Dame of Maryland with a Masters in Education, Chuck worked with the theatre program at Bel Air for over 25 years. Chuck has also served as the Technical Director and Scenic Designer at the school. As a musician, he has participated in the pit bands for the musicals since 1994. For 12 years, he has organized the North East Theatre Festival, a regional gathering of drama students, colleges and professionals from the Baltimore area. Chuck is an adjunct faculty member of the Theatre Department at Harford Community College, a Board member of the Scottfield Theatre Company and has worked as a Technical Director and Designer for several community theatres around the region.
Angie Sokolov, Vice Chair,has been singing, acting, and dancing in Harford County since before she could write her name. She is a graduate of William S. James Elementary, Bel Air Middle School, and Bel Air High School. Her love for the Arts led her to Elon University in North Carolina, where she received her B.F.A. in Music Theatre. She moved to New York City and was a professional actress for a number of years. She has been on National Tours, performed Off-Broadway, and been a member of the Actor's Equity Association. She went back to school to receive a Master's Degree in Early Childhood Education, got married, had 2 little girls, and moved back home, to Bel Air, MD. She now shares her love of performing, visual, and literary arts, with her students at Fallston Community Pre-k, and Garrison Forest School, where she teaches art based preschool. When not teaching, Angie still loves being on stage and can be seen around the county performing whenever possible!
Pete McCallum, Secretary Peter McCallum Ed.D. is the past president of the Deer Creek Chorale. He and his wife, Carol, reside in Street, MD. Pete retired in June, 2011 from the Cecil County Public Schools after a 41-year career in public education the last 17 of which were as an Executive Director of Instruction. He graduated from Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School in Montgomery County, Maryland. earned his B.A. undergraduate degree form Frostburg State College, earned his Maryland degree from Towson University and his doctorate from the University of Maryland. He serves on the Session at Highland Presbyterian Church, volunteers in the conservatory at Longwood Gardens, coordinates the McDaniel College graduate programs in Cecil County, gardens, travels, exercises, and studies guitar. Pete has 5 young grandchildren and loves being an important part of their lives. As a retiree, one of his primary goals is to make a positive impact on the community in which he lives.
Chris Depkin is a lifelong and enthusiastic participant and supporter of the arts. As a child she participated in community theatre productions and in high school acted in several shows at Corner Theatre in Baltimore. As an undergraduate, she majored in education with a minor in theater. She taught high school English and Reading in Baltimore County Public Schools for 30 years and retired in 2009. She earned a M.Ed. in Reading from Loyola College and a M.F.A.in publication design from University of Baltimore. After her retirement she was a teacher mentor for Teach for America for 2 years. From 2012-2020 she coordinated Harford County Public Library’s Partners in Reading program which paired volunteer mentors with struggling elementary school readers. Chris is a past president and current member of the Bel Air Community Chorus. She is also one of two volunteer coordinators for the Bel Air Summer Concert Series. A 43 year Harford county resident, Chris lives on a quiet 5 acre property in a steam valley where she and her husband Jim raised their two grown sons. In her spare time, she attends shows at Everyman Theatre in Baltimore, the Hippodrome and on Broadway. Although she loves art, she claims her only real visual talent is creating dynamic colorways in quilts she makes. She is a member of 3 book clubs and also addicted to knitting. She cherishes time with her 4 grandchildren and traveling adventures with her husband. Like Harvey Fierstein, Chris believes “art has the power to transform, to illuminate, to educate, inspire, and motivate.”
Gigi Devanney has been a resident of Harford County for more than 25 years. Her love of the arts began in her childhood in central Florida. Her love of music (she studied instrumental music performance in college), expanded to include all the performing arts and she has served on the board of directors for Ballet Chesapeake for more than ten years. She knows the impact art has had on her life and wants others, particularly those in our area, to have opportunities for similar experiences. Professionally, her skills lie in communication and marketing in the education sector. She believes her relational approach guides her to ask thoughtful questions in an effort to better understand the environment, the critical issues, and the goals. Her expertise at looking at things both critically and holistically and considering the impact on all stakeholders helps her advise appropriate and effective strategies. Married to a Harford County native, Gigi has three grown children and loves spending time with family and friends.
Karen Heppen attended Boston University. As the Director of Finance and Operations of the Center for Food Action, which operates seven food pantries in northern New Jersey, she especially enjoyed working on appeals and being the staff support for fundraising events. When she and her husband decided they wanted to move closer to their children and their families, they were delighted to find Harford County and Havre de Grace. They have found much pleasure in new friends and in this beautiful area. Karen is a fiber artist and a member of the Warped Weavers Guild, a county-wide group of talented weavers. She has served on the board of the League of Women Voters of Maryland and of Harford County and is the treasurer of the Havre de Grace Arts Collective. Karen feels that it is a privilege and a pleasure to have a part in supporting and encouraging the arts in Harford County by serving on the Harford County Cultural Arts Board.
Christina McLoughlin has nurtured a lifelong passion for the arts through hobbies, study, travel, volunteering, and advocacy. She holds a master’s degree in art history and museum studies, and has dedicated her career to supporting the arts and cultural sector through philanthropy. A seasoned development professional, she served for over a decade as Grants Director at Port Discovery Children’s Museum in Baltimore. She is also a grants consultant for both Maryland Symphony Orchestra and McAllister & Quinn, which leads clients around the U.S. in winning funds from the National Endowment for the Arts and other federal agencies. Throughout her fundraising career, she has driven critical support for arts and cultural organizations, and for arts and humanities initiatives at universities and colleges. She has worked in museum collections management, as an arts writer for various publications, and as an adjunct instructor of art history. While her greatest loves are visual art, music, and folk art/traditions, she believes that all art forms make valuable contributions to society and the human experience. Having lived in New York, Nevada, California, and Virginia, she is pleased to have made Darlington, Maryland, her permanent home and to have chosen a resident County that invests in its citizens by supporting the arts.
Heidi Neff Chuffo is a Professor of Art + Design at Harford Community College. She earned her MFA in painting from the University of Iowa in 2002 and her BFA in painting from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 1994. Heidi Neff currently exhibits at the Amos Eno Gallery, an artist-run gallery in the 56 Bogart Building in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. She lives in Bel Air, Maryland, with her husband, Paul Chuffo, and their children, Max and Maya.
Bill Rothenbach has been a resident of Harford County for almost 30 years. He recently retired after a 45 year career as a corporate Human Resources Executive and is now President of Harbor Lights Human Resources Consulting, LLC. In addition to his work with the Harford County Cultural Arts Advisory Board, he is also a member of the Advisory Boards for the Chesapeake Human Resources Foundation, the College of Science and Health Professions for Edinboro University, the Edinboro University Foundation, and the UMBC Industrial-Organizational Psychology Program. He has established the William Rothenbach Psychology Scholarship at Edinboro University and the William Rothenbach Scholarship at North Allegheny High School. Bill taught for 5 years at Towson University as a member of the Associate Faculty for the Graduate School Human Resources Development Program. He holds a B.A. degree in Psychology from Edinboro University and an M.A. in Organizational Psychology from The University of Akron. Bill discovered his passion for art late in life when he began painting. Since then his modern abstract pieces have won juried competition awards and have been exhibited in numerous galleries. He is an advocate for the important role that culture and the arts can play in the lives of everyone.
Erin Feeney Whipple, PLA ASLA Longwood Gardens, Associate Director, Landscape Architecture and Program Design. Throughout her 15+ year career, Erin has been dedicated to creating meaningful, beautiful connections between people and the natural world. At Longwood, she oversees Longwood’s large-scale installations and special exhibitions, often serving as the artist and lead designer for such projects. A licensed landscape architect, Erin also serves as a creative and aesthetic advisor to Longwood’s outdoor landscape team, setting design direction and supporting the refinement of ideas for both seasonal displays and permanent garden amplifications. Erin co-leads several critical Longwood teams focused on strategic innovation and cross-department collaboration, including the IDEA Committee and the Programming Committee, which is responsible for annual events, exhibitions, and displays invaluable to the effective delivery of the organization’s mission. Prior to Longwood, Erin worked as a landscape architect in Chicago, where she concentrated on projects to improve local community resources, including the redesign of play areas in eight historic parks for the Chicago Park District. Erin holds a bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture from Michigan State University and is a graduate of Longwood’s Professional Horticulture Program. Erin is settled in Kingsville, MD with her ultra-supportive husband and two young children.
Harford County Cultural Arts Advisory Board is currently accepting applications from Harford residents with a passion for the arts.
Harford County Cultural Arts Board Coordinator Jessica L. Cleaver has extensive experience in information literacy, grants administration, technology, and building and assessing inclusive systems. She enjoys problem-solving and connecting people, resources, organizations, and ideas. Mrs. Cleaver has been employed by The Harford County Public Library Board of Trustees since 1999, as Harford County Cultural Arts Board Coordinator since 2015, and served as a member of the County Arts Agencies of Maryland Executive Committee since 2020.