Creatively Cool 2015: Priya Bhayana

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Bromo Arts District director Priya Bhayana. Photo: Kelvin Bulluck

Bromo Arts District director Priya Bhayana. Photo: Kelvin Bulluck


“Not having an innate talent for something is a good reason to stop doing it.”

According to Priya Bhayana, that’s a piece of bad advice you should never take.

She’s has a double-major in English and Economics, and yet, she is the director of the Bromo Arts District -formally known as Bromo Tower Arts & Entertainment Inc., in downtown Baltimore. The organization’s mission is, essentially, to revive its community into a thriving arts and cultural part of Baltimore.

But the 28-year-old doesn’t see an issue with her degrees, which fundamentally may not be the first things you’d attach to what seems like a more art-driven position. “It’s kind of impossible to separate my career experiences from why I think I’m qualified for the job,” Bhayana said.

“I do have a combination of community organizing, fundraising, marketing and working for arts institutions -and even with an art district, Station North, when I was an organizer that have offered a pretty well-rounded perspective to bring to the table.”

And, so far, she’s proven to be a spark of change in the arts and culture of the Bromo Arts District as the organization’s inaugural director.

From events like the Bromo Arts Holiday Hike, which allowed locals and tourists alike to explore the many art spaces in the district, to Light Up Lexington and Reel B.A.D. Film Night, Bhayana has promoted and facilitated a well-rounded sense of diversity and community. And in that, she’s touched on progressing not just the creative side of Bromo, but also its retail community.

Of course, change and progress can be a very gradual process, but her strides have definitely made a visible mark. It goes to say, it takes more than just a degree or two to lead in such a position.

“Working for the organization and in such a unique district does require the ability to get along with a really wide range of people and I guess I’ve always been pretty good at that,” Bhayana said.

“I think, in part, it’s because I’m not a super vocal person. I much prefer listening and learning, processing, and then responding.”

Someone in charge who recognizes when she must allow others to teach her to better lead a community?

Bhayana, we think a lot of people would love to clone you if they could.

Creator & managing editor of Strangers With Style. Happiest when her work allows others to shine, too. Lover of collabs, social media, blogging, fashion, food & the color blue.