Todd Marcus

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Todd Marcus

When you meet Todd Marcus, you may be struck by his outward sense of calm—balanced with a kind of pragmatic realism. A true community activist, Todd runs the Intersection of Change in Baltimore, a nonprofit “dedicated to providing programs that enrich the economic, social and spiritual lives of those dealing with poverty-related issues in Sandtown-Winchester and surrounding communities.”

Todd’s efforts in the community run wide and deep—tackling the challenges the communities face with a holistic, multi-faceted approach. A community arts program for children and adults, a recovery program for women overcoming drug addiction, an urban farm, and significant community revitalization through renovating abandoned buildings and vacant lots—including a unique Sacred Place—are some of the hallmark programs Todd oversees.  

I most enjoy the beauty our spaces provide and times when I use the spaces or see others using them.  It is powerful to see them as places for congregation given their histories as an open air drug market, vacant buildings, and lots where people were shot and left for dead.

But what you wouldn’t know about Todd, if you just met him, is that he’s also been lauded by the New York Times as “…probably the most inventive bass clarinetist working in straight-ahead jazz today [and] lives in Baltimore, where he is a guiding light on the city’s jazz scene.”

His modest, kind demeanor may not tell you that he’s performed at the Kennedy Center and other international stages, either, or has received many national awards and media mentions for his talents with the bass clarinet.

But it makes perfect sense. Todd isn’t afraid to tackle complex challenges as Firesoul—endemic, long-standing ones—in the name of bringing beauty and peace to the lives of people who need it. Just as his music is complex—sometimes intense and impassioned—sharing compelling, honest stories of hope, melancholy, and beauty—all intertwined.

My Sacred Place

Choose Life Memorial Garden

With a meditative garden, restful seating areas, and a massive mural inscribed with the names of those community members lost due to drug use and violence, the Choose Life Memorial Garden is truly a dedicated space to healing its community.

My Sacred Place

Jubilee Arts Performance Garden, in partnership with Intersection of Change

Jubilee Arts is a community program providing arts classes to the residents of the Sandtown-Winchester, Upton, and surrounding neighborhoods in Baltimore, Maryland. Jubilee Arts is located on Pennsylvania Avenue, an area with a rich history of African-American culture, and is helping to bring the arts back to life in the community.

My Sacred Place

Martha’s Place Garden, in partnership with Intersection of Change

Martha's Place, a recovery program for women, houses a lush garden for contemplation and serenity. Done in partnership with Intersection of Change, this Sacred Place serves the residents of Sandtown-Winchester and surrounding communities in West Baltimore.

Meet Another Firesoul

Tom Gamper

As an architect by profession (and runner and fly-fisherman on the side), it is the sanctity of nature that inspires his work as a Firesoul. The capacity that it holds to shake things clear—into perspective—and helping us recognize the beauty and frailty of life around us. It was experiencing an annual remembrance service at The...


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