Brooke Hall Allen is a cultural innovator and entrepreneur who has started a creative agency, an online magazine, an innovation conference series, and a major citywide light festival. She’s also a speaker, writer, and photographer.

For over ten years, she’s led What Works Studio, an award-winning creative agency that inspires audiences, builds movements, and fuels growth for healthcare organizations, financial services firms, institutional nonprofits, and destinations. What Works Studio is one of the 0.1% of female-founded creative agencies in the U.S.

Brooke and her partner conceptualized a citywide festival and built the team that launched Light City, America’s first large-scale light, music, and innovation festival. Her agency branded the festival as well as curated, marketed, and produced the festival’s 6 days of sold-out innovation conferences in 2016. Light City attracted over 400,000 attendees in its first year and has added $111 Million to the Maryland economy so far.

In 2010, Brooke co-founded an online magazine, What Weekly, which was touted by The Guardian as having its “fingers on the pulse of all things hot and creative” and won multiple Best Of awards. With a longstanding focus on innovation and creativity, What Weekly is an independent digital resource for the creators of the new economy.

Brooke’s work has been featured in New York Times, Fast Company, The Guardian, CNN, and New York Magazine, among many others. She holds a Bachelor of Liberal Arts, with a concentration in Philosophy and Literature, from The Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College of Florida Atlantic University. Brooke is currently training to be an Insight Meditation teacher with Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach through the UC Berkeley Greater Good Science Center and The Awareness Training Institute. Brooke lives in the Washington, DC Metro Area with her husband and two children.

Awards

Innovator of the Year Award
The Daily Record, 2016

25 Women to Watch
The Baltimore Sun, 2016

40 Under 40
Baltimore Business Journal, 2016

Downtown Baltimore Award
Downtown Partnership of Baltimore, 2016

Silo Breaker Award
Betamore, 2016

Best Category Buster: Light City
Baltimore Magazine, 2016

Brava Top Female CEO Award
SmartCEO Magazine, 2016

Creative Group of the Year Award
Technical.ly, 2015

Mayor’s Certificate of Recognition
City of Baltimore, 2015

Social Innovation Award
Baltimore Social Innovation Journal, 2014

Baltimore Transformer Award
Strong City Baltimore, 2013

Best ‘Zine: What Weekly
Baltimore Magazine, 2013

Best New Magazine: What Weekly
Baltimore Magazine, 2011

SPEAKING

Keynote Panelist
“Branding Baltimore from Activism and Festivals to Hashtags”
Communicator Summit, 2019

Speaker
Classification Talk
Rotary Club of Frederick, 2019

Panelist
“Cultural Innovation in a Culture of Exploitation”
Red Bull Amaphiko Festival, 2017

Panelist
“We Built This City – Using Festivals as a Catalyst for Inspiring and Revitalizing Communities”
XLIVE Las Vegas, 2016

Speaker
“Fireside Chat Entrepreneur Series”
Towson University, 2016

Speaker
“Launching Light City: From Vision to Reality”
Baltimore Innovation Week, 2016

Host and Emcee
Creative Innovation Conference
Light City, 2016

Panelist
“Wonder Women: Change Makers + Innovators”
Light City Social Innovation Conference, 2016

Speaker
“Light City Opening Ceremony”
Mayor’s News Conference, 2016

Speaker
“Light City and its International Significance”
World Trade Center Institute, 2016

Speaker
“Light City Baltimore Announces Innovation Conferences”
Mayor’s Press Conference, 2016

Speaker
“Light City”
Visit Baltimore’s Cultural Tourism Advisory Committee, 2015

Speaker
“Light City Community Meeting”
Betamore, 2015

Speaker
“Light City Community Meeting”
Maryland Institute College of Art, 2015

Panelist
“On Entrepreneurship”
University of Maryland, Baltimore County, 2015

Speaker
“The Working Artist: Making Art Life”
The Windup Space, 2014

Speaker
“Introducing Light City”
Visit Baltimore Board Meeting, 2014

Speaker
“Introducing Light City”
Charles Street Development Corporation Board Meeting, 2014

Panelist
“How to grow your creative business in a competitive market”
Bmore Creatives, 2015

Host and Speaker
“Light City Rally featuring Ignatius Jones”
Four Seasons, 2014

Guest Lecturer
Loyola University Maryland, 2010

Radio, TV, and Video

Guest
“25 Women to Watch” Video
The Baltimore Sun, 2016

Guest
“Light City Baltimore Looking To Go Bigger And Brighter Next Year” Segment
CBS Baltimore, 2016

Speaker
“Light City Kick Off”
Mayor’s News Conference, 2016

Guest
“The Promise of Light City” Video
SmartCEO Magazine, 2016

Guest
“Light City Baltimore festival kicks off Monday” Segment
Fox45 News, 2016

Guest
Roughly Speaking Podcast by Dan Rodricks
The Baltimore Sun, 2016

Guest
“Meet the married couple behind Light City Baltimore” Video
The Baltimore Sun, 2016

Guest
“Brava: Top Female CEOs” Video
SmartCEO Magazine, 2016

Guest
“Young Cultural Innovators Interview Series” Video
Salzburg Global Seminar, 2015

Guest
“We Are Light City” Video
Light City Press Conference, 2015

Guest
Startup Soirée Podcast
2015

Guest
“Baltimore’s Future with David Warnock”
WYPR Radio, 2015

Guest
“The Power of Google” Segment
Fox45 News, 2011

See Press

FELLOWSHIPS

Young Cultural Innovators Fellow
Salzburg Global Seminar

Social Innovation Fellow
Warnock Foundation

99U Fellow
Adobe Behance

VOLUNTEER

The Rotary Club of Frederick
Member

Downtown Partnership of Baltimore
Board Member

Light City Innovation Committee
Chair

Light City Chairman’s Council
Founding Member

Light City Steering Committee
Founding Member

Baltimore Festival of the Arts
Board Member

Charles Street Development Corporation
Executive Committee Member

The Women’s Exchange
Board Member

Historic Charles Street Association
Board President

Rhymes With Opera
Board Member