Event Participant Bios

“Know Your Rights” Tenants Rights & Art-Making Workshop, Sunday September 13

Brooklyn Hi-Art Machine (Mildred Beltre and Oasa DuVerney), artists and organizers 
The Brooklyn Hi-Art Machine is a community based, socially engaged project in Crown Heights Brooklyn. The project began when artists Mildred Beltre and Oasa DuVerney started making art together in each other’s apartments. As they shared stories and experiences while making their work, they wondered if they could bring a similar experience to our other neighbors. In the summer of 2010 the artists co-founded a collaborative public art project that explores art making as a community-building tool. Dubbing themselves the “Official Unofficial Artists in Residence” of our block, they set up tents, tables, a banner, and art supplies on the street outside their apartment building, and began working.

Panel discussion/workshop: Sensing AND Doing Something About Inequality: artists & arts groups share their strategies, Wednesday, September 16

Caron Atlas, Director, Arts & Democracy, Moderator:
Caron Atlas is director of Arts & Democracy, which cross-fertilizes arts and culture, participatory democracy, and social justice, and co-director of Naturally Occurring Cultural Districts NY (NOCD-NY), a citywide alliance of cultural networks and community leaders. Caron teaches at Pratt Institute and Hunter College, consults for the Ford Foundation, and serves on the district and steering committees for participatory budgeting in NYC. Previously she worked at Appalshop, was the founding director of the American Festival Project, and consulted with National Voice, Animating Democracy, Pratt Center for Community Development, and the Network of Ensemble Theaters. She co-edited Bridge Conversations and Critical Perspectives and contributed to Beyond Zuccotti Park, Toward a 21st Century City for All, and Cultural Blueprint for NYC. Caron was a Warren Weaver Fellow at the Rockefeller Foundation and is an alumnus of Coro’s Leadership New York. She received her BA and MA from the University of Chicago.

Daonne Huff, Project Manager, Groundswell:
Daonne Huff 
is Project Manager at Groundswell–a community mural project based in Brooklyn, New York. At Groundswell, Ms. Huff assists with the logistics of bringing Groundswell’s mural projects, created in collaboration with local youth, artists and community partners, to fruition. With a curatorial and administrative background, Ms. Huff has previously worked on projects with the Bronx Museum of the Arts, The Laundromat Project, Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership, and The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts. Ms. Huff holds an M.A. in Visual Arts Administration with a Non-Profit concentration from New York University and a B.A. in Art History from Vassar College. Throughout her professional career, Ms. Huff has focused on working with non-profit arts organizations dedicated to increasing arts’ accessibility to a wider, more diversified audience and advocating for the support and necessity of creative expression and arts education within society at large.

Jody Wood
, Artist, “Beauty in Transition” project:
Jody Wood makes work that is time-based and performative, utilizing video, installation, performance, and community organization to engage with socially charged content. Primarily focusing on transitional experiences of death, trauma, and social isolation, her work aims to unpack and meaningfully interpret these issues by working one-on-one with members of her community. Beauty in Transition is a mobile hair salon providing beauty services including a hair wash, cut, color and/or style service to willing participants living at homeless shelters and transitional housing units across the country. Through providing face-to-face dialogue in a calming recuperative salon environment, this project aims to facilitate empathetic understanding and to unravel the reductive label of homeless. Jody’s work has been supported by grants and fellowships from Brooklyn Arts Council and A Blade of Grass, and through residencies with Asian Arts Initiative, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. She was a participant in the 2014 Open Engagement Conference at Queens Museum, and has presented collaborative community-based projects in NYC at El Museo Del Barrio, and in Seoul, South Korea at Temporary Space Artist Residency, Seoul Art Space Geumcheon, One-Circle Community Theatre, and the Senior Welfare Center of Seoul. Her performance and video work has been exhibited internationally at venues such as the FIVAC Festival in Camaguey, Cuba, Socrates Sculpture Park in NYC, Vox Populi in Philadelphia, and the Institute of Contemporary Art Newtown in Sydney, Australia.

Becca Lynch, Joker and Founding Member, Theatre of the Oppressed NYC:
Theatre of the Oppressed NYC works with local communities including the homeless, immigrants, court-involved youth, trafficking survivors and LGBTQ youth to establish “popular theatre troupes” all over New York City. These ensembles create and tour original, interactive plays inspired by real-life struggles, in order to engage peers, institutions and policy makers in theatrical problem-solving and inspire transformative acton. TONYC has facilitated Forum and Legislative Theatre workshops and performances in NYC public schools, with students and faculty at Yale University, Columbia University, CUNY, Colorado College and The New School, and with organizations such as the ACLU and American Jewish World Service. Community partners include the Ali Forney Center, Housing Works, African Services Committee, Bronx Works, New York City Housing Authority, International Rescue Committee, and others. International experience includes collaborations with Cardboard Citizens (U.K), Center for Theatre of the Oppressed – Rio (Brazil), Jana Sanskriti (India), Formaat (Netherlands), Combatants for Peace (Israel/Palestine), and New Haven-Leon Sister City Project (Nicaragua).
For more info and multimedia, go to: www.tonyc.nyc

Jason Maas, Founder and Director, Artist Volunteer Center
Jason is an artist, educator, and arts nonprofit director. He founded the Artist Volunteer Center (www.avcenter.org), a nonprofit that connects artists with humanitarian volunteer opportunities. His work is dedicated to supporting artists who get involved in community projects and create socially-conscious work through grants, residencies, and shows. He has over ten years’ experience in college and K-12 art teaching. His artwork has been shown nationally and internationally, including the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts, the Noyes Museum, Governor’s Island Art Fair, and Smack Mellon.

Caroline Woolard and Vicky Virgin, artists and co-founders, BFAMFAPhD
Concerned about the impact of debt, rent, and precarity on the lives of creative people, BFAMFAPhD asks: What is a work of art in the age of $120,000 art degrees?
Artists Report Back  and The Cultural Value Debate  are recent efforts of core members Susan Jahoda, Caroline Woolard, Vicky Virgin, Blair Murphy and Agnes Szanyi and contributing members Dan Nott and Julian Boilen. BFAMFAPhD’s reports and installations contextualize personal experience in relation to national data.  They have been cited widely by mainstream and art-centric press, and have been exhibited  at The Museum of Art and Design, Cleveland Art Institute, and The Brooklyn Museum.

Museum Hue Mentorathon, Sunday, October 4

About Museum Hue, Event Partner Organization:
Museum Hue advances the viability and visibility of people of color, utilizing museums, arts and culture as a medium for discussion, creation, and solutions. The goal of Museum Hue’s Mentorathons is to directly connect neighbors and job seekers in need of inspiration, guidance and work to career resources, human services, professional development and personal enrichment. Our daylong intensives build equity and add value in the community by fusing the interests of seekers, solvers and service organizations in one room in one day. We operate in a framework of generosity; intentionality, community engagement and solutionary thinking to increase the access everyday people have to creative careers, fellowships, graduate school, resume clinics, internships and more.

Monica Montgomery, Event Producer:
Monica O. Montgomery is a cultural entrepreneur, curating media, museums and memory to enhance creative inspiration.  She is the Director of the Lewis Latimer Historic House Museum. As a museum anarchist, she remixes the museum experience, interpreting diversity, creativity and community, to bridge past and present through the lens of Latimer’s legacy. Her thought leadership converges at the intersection of public programs, visitor experience, marketing and arts administration. She believes museums should be in service to society, and she speaks and consults with institutions along the eastern seaboard. Monica is the Founding Director of the Museum of Impact (MOI) the worlds first mobile Social Justice Museum archiving the now, transforming visitors to upstanders! She has leads MOI in working within communities to amplify grassroots movements at the intersection of art and activism through a creative lens.

She is an alumna of Temple University with a Bachelor of Broadcast Communication, in Broadcast Journalism, and a candidate for La Salle University, Master of Corporate Communication, in Public Relations. Monica is a Creative Community Fellow with National Arts Strategies, Innovative Cultural Advocacy Fellow with Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute, Cultural Equity Fellow with the New York Community Trust. She has facilitated tweetchats with #EduTues & #MuseumWorkersSpeak and participated in #MuseumsRespondToFerguson.

As a former indie magazine publisher and classroom educator, she is passionate about exploring new narratives and creative place making for the public good. Her active citizenship includes a missions trip to South Africa to build a school, producing million dollar charitable golf tournaments, ‘Day of Service’ book drive events for a Title 1 school library and producing family programs at local museums for high need communities.

Monica is a proud member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Incorporated, and a Board member of the New York City Museum Educators Roundtable. Additionally Monica is the Founder and Strategic Director of Museum Hue, a platform for cultural diversity, advancing the viability and visibility of people of color, utilizing the arts, culture and museums as a medium for discussion, creation, and solutions.www.museumhue.com

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