Panel Talk: Liberating Imagination through Artistic Activism, Thursday, 10/25, 6:30-8:30pm

305 Russell

Liberating Imagination through Artistic Activism explores change in our current time and how we are coping with it through art.


Born in Mexico City, Laura Anderson Barbata works in Brooklyn and Mexico City. Since 1992 she has worked primarily in the social realm, and has initiated projects in Venezuela’s Amazon region, Trinidad and Tobago, Mexico, Norway and the USA. Ms. Anderson Barbata creates work that ties traditional utilitarian production as communal activity and historical ways of learning to her own reframed model of art and activism – cultural preservation, self-determination, and protest. Her work, some of which forms part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's collection, is filled with joy, color, movement, purpose, and soul. 

Over the past decade, Grace McDonald has sought to make the arts more equitable through her leadership of various arts education initiatives both in New York City and across the nation. By working with public institutions such as libraries, schools and churches, Ms. McDonald enables organizations to implement democratic processes into the experience of both art making and art seeing. Currently McDonald is the Education Director at NURTUREart. 

NURTUREart is dedicated to nurturing contemporary art by providing exhibition opportunities and resources for emerging artists, curators, and local public school students. The unique synergy between NURTUREart’s programs generates a collaborative environment for artistic experimentation. This framework, along with other far-reaching programming, cultivates a supportive artistic network and enriches the local and larger cultural communities. NURTUREart works at the intersection of art, curatorial practice and education.

Marissa Gutierrez-Vicario is the Executive Director and Founder of Art and Resistance Through Education (ARTE), a non-profit organization that supports young people in amplifying their voices for human rights change through the visual arts. ARTE uses art, design, and technology to empower young people to develop creative solutions and bring awareness to local and global human rights challenges, fostering leadership opportunities to train and organize other young people in their own communities. Marissa is also a adjunct lecturer at the City College of New York in the Art Education department.

Paul Griffin founded The Possibility Project in NYC in 2000 and has served as it’s President ever since. In 2009, he launched The Possibility Project’s Foster Care Program and in 2015, was Executive Producer for “Know How,” a film written and acted by foster care youth and released in May of that year. With over 26 years of experience working in the field of youth development and the arts, Mr. Griffin has overseen the creation of more than 100 original musicals written and performed by youth.

The Possibility Project, formerly known as City at Peace-National, had its beginnings in Washington, D.C. in 1994 as City at Peace, which Paul also founded. City at Peace was a local program created in response to the racial division and violence that was destroying youth and communities in our nation’s capital. The local demand for the program in Washington, D.C. was matched by an increasing demand from other cities. City at Peace began assisting communities that demonstrated a serious initiative in beginning new programs, giving rise to The Possibility Project and partner programs in Santa Barbara, Charlotte, Baton Rouge, Los Angeles, Cape Town, South Africa, and Israel.

Courtney Weida is an Associate Professor and the Director of the Graduate Art Education Ruth S. Ammon School of Education at Adelphi University, New York. She has also taught courses in art education, studio art, and art history at Columbia University Teachers College, the State University of New York, and Radford University. Dr. Weida serves as a teaching artist in New York public schools. Her recent publications address arts education, technology, craft, and gender issues in art education.


Gemma Mangione is a Lecturer in the Arts Administration Program and a Consulting Analyst with Randi Korn & Associates, a planning and evaluation firm serving museums across the United States. She previously worked as a member of the Whitney Museum of American Art’s Education Department, coordinating a community outreach initiative for older adults in the New York metropolitan area. Dr. Mangione has a sustained interest in exploring how social scientific theory and evaluation practice can together help people make informed choices about the operations of cultural institutions and the values they contain. 

This event is jointly hosted by Student Advocates for the Arts (SAA) of Columbia University and Advocates for Cultural Exchange (ACE) of New York University. Collaborators include: Peace Education Network (PEN); Art and Resistance Through Education (ARTE); NURTUREart; Emerging Leaders in New York Arts Administration (ELNYA); Global Citizen Club (GCC); Soul Haven Arts; National Art Education Association (NAEA); Gottesman Libraries; Friends of Japan; and the Arts Administration Program, Columbia University.

Please rsvp with your interest and details by Tuesday, October 23rd.

Where: 305 Russell


To request disability-related accommodations contact OASID at, (212) 678-3689, (212) 678-3853 TTY, (646) 755-3144 video phone, as early as possible.

Last Updated: 4:30 pm, Tuesday, Sep 18 , 2018