Brooke Hall Allen is an award-winning entrepreneur who has started and built a creative agency, an arts and culture-focused magazine, a social innovation conference series, and a major citywide music and light festival. She’s also a photographer, painter, certified mindfulness meditation teacher, mother of two, and writer.

She’s been named “Innovator of the Year” by The Daily Record,“25 Women to Watch” by the Baltimore Sun, “Top Female CEO” by Smart CEO Magazine, “40 Under 40” by the Baltimore Business Journal, “Young Cultural Innovator” by Salzburg Global Seminar, and a Warnock Foundation’s “Social Innovation Fellow.” Brooke has been honored with the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore Award, Betamore’s “Silo Breaker Award,” Smart CEO’s “Brava Top Female CEO” Award and others.

Brooke and her work have appeared in New York Times, Fast Company, National Geographic, The New Yorker, The Guardian, CNN, New York Magazine, The Guardian, Huffington Post, Spin Magazine, and others.

For over thirteen years, she’s led What Works Studio, an award-winning creative agency that inspires audiences, builds movements, and fuels growth for purpose-driven clients. What Works Studio is certified WBE and WOSB and is one of the 0.1% of female-founded creative agencies in the U.S.

Brooke and her partner founded America’s first large-scale light and innovation festival, Light City. The citywide festival attracted over 400,000 attendees in its first year (2016) and has added $111.8 Million to the Maryland economy so far.

In 2010, Brooke co-founded a hyper-local 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 a number of awards.

Brooke is certified by UC Berkeley Greater Good Science Center and The Awareness Training Institute as a mindfulness meditation teacher. She is certified by Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach through the Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Training Program.

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 lives in Encinitas, California with her husband and two kids.


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, 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


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

Classification Talk
Rotary Club of Frederick, 2019

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

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

“Fireside Chat Entrepreneur Series”
Towson University, 2016

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

Host and Emcee
Creative Innovation Conference
Light City, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

“Light City Community Meeting”
Betamore, 2015

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

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

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

“Introducing Light City”
Visit Baltimore Board Meeting, 2014

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

“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, Podcast, TV, and Video

The Power of Meditation with Brooke Hall
The New Mid Radio Show, 106.9 The Eagle, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

Roughly Speaking Podcast by Dan Rodricks
The Baltimore Sun, 2016

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

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

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

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

Startup Soirée Podcast

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

“The Power of Google” Segment
Fox45 News, 2011

See Press


Young Cultural Innovators Fellow
Salzburg Global Seminar

Social Innovation Fellow
Warnock Foundation

99U Fellow
Adobe Behance


The Rotary Club of Frederick

Downtown Partnership of Baltimore
Board Member

Light City Innovation Committee

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