Omari earned degrees in music from the University of Michigan and Florida State University, and extended his love for learning by completing fellowships with the Salzburg Global Forum and Association of Performing Arts Professionals, by managing the K-12 education program of the University Musical Society (UMS), and by serving on the John F. Kennedy Center's Partners in Education National Advisory Committee.
A lapsed clarinetist, Omari now uses his voice to co-host an arts-focused radio show on NPR affiliate WEMU-FM and recite Robert Frost poetry.
Most recently, she served as the Director of Marketing at the world-famous Apollo Theater where she worked diligently to move the iconic Apollo institution forward. PennyMaria was instrumental in launching the theater’s Amateur Night at the Apollo live stream series and elevating audience engagement experiences. She worked closely with sponsors including HBO, Coca-Cola, and Spotify, in addition to fostering cultural partnerships with both local, national, and international arts organizations.
Previously, PennyMaria developed millennial audiences at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater as part of a Wallace Foundation $1.4 million dollar grant and led a significant community engagement initiative at Harlem Stage. She offers a robust range of experience in marketing and communications, web and graphic design, community engagement, foundation relations, corporate partnership management, and more. PennyMaria was born and raised in Miami, Florida where her artistic world flourished at the African American Cultural Arts Center, and later earned an M.A. degree in Arts Journalism from Syracuse University's Newhouse School of Communications.
Utilizing the power of the arts as a driving force, PennyMaria is dedicated to bridging the gap between cultures for decades to come.