Janelle Dowell

Creator and Cofounder, Black Art In America
Janelle Dowell is the network creator and cofounder of Black Art in America (BAIA). Since 2010, BAIA has grown to become the largest social network for the African American visual arts community.

Prior to BAIA, Dowell worked in Chicago city government for nearly a decade and directed a $17 million youth initiative. In addition to her work in community development, Dowell has been a strategic and creative planner, documentary film producer, and branding (print/web) specialist.

Dowell earned a BA in communications from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. She completed the digital publishing program at Stanford University in 2003. While attending Stanford, Dowell began exploring virtual multimedia design solutions. She is currently pursuing an MFA in interdisciplinary arts with an emphasis on creative producing and media management.

Most recently, she was awarded funding through the Chicago Filmmakers and the Chicago Instructional Technology Foundation to produce a documentary about the social and historic impact of African American barbers. This documentary will feature Zariff, the barber of President Barack Obama. The documentary will be completed by January 2013.