The Future Of Higher Education
Emily Hanako Momohara, Deborah Obalil, Kymberly N. Pinder, Luciana Scrutchen
August 10, 2021 | 6:00 - 7:30pm EDT
Recognizing an opening in the current environment to act in ways not previously prioritized, Obalil and several leaders at AICAD institutions initiated the BIPOC Academic Leadership Institute. 94 participants joined in the inaugural year for education, community, and transparency around the system they are working to change from within. Could a change in academic gatekeepers translate to greater diversity in the art world as a whole?
Everyone in the art world from current students and academics to artists, designers, arts administrators, and art historians are encouraged to join this
About the Speakers
Emily Hanako Momohara was born in Seattle, Washington. She currently lives and works in Cincinnati, where she is Associate Professor of Art at the Art Academy of Cincinnati and heads the photography major. Her work centers around issues of heritage, multiculturalism, immigration, and social justice. Momohara has exhibited nationally, most notably at the Japanese American National Museum in a two-person show titled Sugar/Islands. She has been a visiting artist at several residency programs including the Center for Photography at Woodstock, Headlands Center for the Arts, Fine Arts Work Center, and Red Gate Gallery Beijing. In 2015, her work was included in the Chongqing Photography and Video Biennial. Momohara has created socially-driven billboards for For Freedoms and United Photo Industries. She earned her BFA in Photography and BA in Art History from the University of Washington. Her MFA is in Expanded Media from the University of Kansas.
Deborah Obalil has over 20 years experience as a leader in the national arts and culture industry. She became Executive Director of the Association of Independent Colleges of Art & Design (AICAD) in June 2012, and then President in 2015. Prior to AICAD, she operated a boutique arts management consulting firm, Obalil & Associates. The firm provided consultation and facilitation in strategic business planning, marketing research and planning, and board development for non-profit arts organizations, independent artists of all disciplines, and creative for-profit ventures. She also served as Executive Director of the Alliance of Artists Communities and Director of the Arts Marketing Center & Research at the Arts & Business Council of Chicago.
Dr. Kymberly N. Pinder is the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Dean of the Yale School of Art. Her career in higher education spans more than 25 years, in administrative and faculty roles with the University of New Mexico (UNM), the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and Middlebury College, among other institutions. She also served as the dean of the College of Fine Arts at UNM and the Acting President of the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. As a scholar and a curator, Dr. Pinder teaches, writes, and lectures on representations of religion, history, and race in American Art, and has edited and authored multiple books on the subject, including Race-ing Art History (2002) and Painting the Gospel: Black Public Art and Religion in Chicago (2016). Her curatorial projects include "Necessary Force: Art of the Police State" and "Spreading the Gospel: Graffiti and the Public Space as Canvas." As a mural scholar, Dr. Pinder has always been committed to community engagement and interdisciplinary initiatives and currently serves as a Boston Public Art Commission member.
Luciana Scrutchen, Assistant Professor of Fashion, is the Associate Dean of Parsons School of Fashion and has twenty years of service at The New School University. Scrutchen received her MFA in Design & Technology from Parsons School of Design and BFA in Weaving & Textiles from Rochester Institute of Technology. She has been invited to teach master classes in Miami, Portugal, and the Dominican Republic, as well as guest lecture in Hangzhou and Nanjing, China. Her professional career as a textile designer and technology coach has included working with clientele from many notable fashion brands. Scrutchen has participated in a number of peer-reviewed publications and presentations, including: “Textiles as Art, Culture, and Science: Discovery of the Ephemeral and Perennial Imprints Through Modeled Ecosystems” for the Anywhere Elsewhere online Journal; “The Fickleness of Interweaving Digital and Studio Practice” for DEL Conference in London; and “Engaging with Earth’s Palettes: Painting with Microbes” at the Shibori Symposium in Oaxaca, Mexico, with co-presenter Katayoun Chamay of The New School.
Author, Faculty Member at New York University
Holding an MFA and an MBA, Amy studies the friction between art and business and proposes new structures to support economic sustainability for artists. Her third book, Economics of Visual Arts, was published in the fall of 2021 with Cambridge University Press. Amy is also author of two other books, Museum Legs and Art Thinking. Serving on the arts administration faculty at NYU, Amy researches what would happen if artists retained equity in their work. Her work on fractional equity has appeared in Management Science (with Kraussl) in the "Fast Track" intended for "high-impact research that is of broad interest.”
Amy's work has been featured in The Guardian, Harpers, The Atlantic, the Financial Times, Artforum, and The Art Newspaper. Her early work with the artists' cooperative project Trade School was covered in the New York Times and The New Yorker. She speaks widely including at the Aspen Ideas Festival, Meaning Conference (Brighton, UK), and The Conference (Malmö, Sweden). She has taught at Williams College, the Rhode Island School of Design, the School of Visual Arts, and California College of the Arts, and is a past recipient of the Sarah Verdone Writing Award from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.
Image © Shieva Rezvani
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Attorney, Deputy Director of Legal Services at the Arts & Business Council of Greater Boston (A&BC)
Luke Blackadar is an attorney and the Deputy Director of Legal Services at the Arts & Business Council of Greater Boston (A&BC). An artist himself, he helps artists, creative start-ups, and arts nonprofits manage legal issues involving copyright, trademark, contracts, entity formation, and corporate governance. Luke also enjoys talking to groups of law students and artists and has recently spoken on art legal issues to the Americans for the Arts, the City of Boston, and students at Brown University, RISD, MassArt, and Lesley University. In addition to managing the A&BC’s legal interns, he teaches at the Boston University Metropolitan College and the Roger Williams University School of Law, and mentors students through the Northeastern University and Northeast Regional Black Law Student Associations. Luke is a graduate of Clark University and Northeastern University School of Law. In his spare time, he enjoys drawing, running, reading, and playing video games.
Marci Blackman + Diana Y Greiner
Founders of Treehouse Taxes
Treehouse Taxes, run by Diana Y Greiner and Marci Blackman in Brooklyn, New York, caters specifically to self-employed individuals and small businesses. They built the Treehouse so you will have a safe, fun, and friendly place to get your taxes done.
Marci has been providing a combination of tax preparation, bookkeeping, and accounting services to a wide range of clientele, including individuals, partnerships, and small corporations for the past 20 years. As a longtime freelancer and award-winning novelist, Marci understands what it means to “hustle” for your dreams, particularly as it pertains to taxes. As a partner in Treehouse Taxes LLC, Marci believes transferring knowledge and helping artists and freelancers become savvy taxpayers is a form of social justice.
Diana Y Greiner knows about cobbling together an income, tracking expenses, and pursuing a dream. She has spent over 20 years juggling the life of a performing artist while developing and maintaining her left brain as the managing director of an arts organization, a waitress, an acrobatics instructor, an office manager, a massage therapist, a bookkeeper, and finally a full-fledged tax nerd by earning her EA. Through it all she maintains that connection is the point of everything.
Pamela Capalad + Dyalekt
Hosts of Brunch & Budget
Pamela Capalad is a Certified Financial Planner™ and Accredited Financial Counselor™ who has worked in the field of financial services for over a decade. She founded Brunch & Budget to provide people who felt ashamed or embarrassed about money with a safe and friendly place to speak openly and make financial progress. Her mission is to make financial planning as affordable as possible for the communities who need it most. Her work has been featured in publications including the Washington Post, Teen Vogue, Huffington Post, and Vice Magazine. She was named in New York Magazine’s Best of New York 2019 and has brunched with over 400 people and counting.
Dyalekt is an MC, playwright, educator, and podcaster. His work focuses on defining personal identities and finding one’s voice, authentic communication, and supporting one’s community. His first album and one-man show, Square Peg Syndrome, is also a 6-week school curriculum that toured through St. Croix’s 17 schools. His new album and one-man show, The Museum of Dead Words, explores communication, race, and empathy in the internet age. Dyalekt was named to the Public Theater’s Emerging Writers Group and his performance venues include the Bowery Ballroom, SXSW, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Mozilla’s Internet Festival in London, the United Nations, Santa Barbara’s Lucidity Festival, and the Divadlo Archa in Prague, CZ.
Pam and Dyalekt host the Brunch & Budget podcast, where they discuss how personal finance and racial economic inclusion intersect. They also co-founded the Race & Wealth Podcast Network with Dedrick Asante-Muhammad, Chief of Race, Wealth and Community at NCRC. Through what they’ve learned in their work, Dyalekt and Pam have started a group financial planning program called See Change, specifically designed for People of Color and make financial planning more inclusive.
Staff Attorney at Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts of NY
Laura Levin-Dando, Staff Attorney at Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts of NY, advises clients on a range of issues, including disputes, contracts, and intellectual property matters. Laura also teaches and facilitates VLA’s educational programs. Laura received her J.D. from George Washington University Law School and graduated summa cum laude from Yeshiva University, where she studied history and music. A lifelong musical theatre nerd, Laura feels very fortunate to be able to help artists from all disciplines through her work at VLA.
Actor, President and Founder of Abundance Bound
Miata Edoga is an actor and the President and Founder of Abundance Bound, the premiere financial education company for creative entrepreneurs. She created The Artist’s Prosperity System™, which has provided thousands of artists with a step-by-step process to significantly improve their financial situations, giving them more time and freedom to focus on their creative careers. Miata and other Abundance Bound facilitators, all working artists themselves, lead workshops and seminars on financial empowerment for organizations including: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, The Television Academy, WGA, DGA, SAG-AFTRA, The Actors Fund, The Motion Picture & Television Fund and The Center for Cultural Innovation.
Director of Education Outreach at Next Gen Personal Finance
Yanely Espinal is the Director of Education Outreach at Next Gen Personal Finance and the Creator of the MissBeHelpful YouTube channel, where she posts weekly videos about money. Born and raised by Dominican, immigrant parents in Brooklyn, New York, Yanely is a proud product of NYC public schools. She majored in Art at Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School before going on to receive her bachelor's degree in History of Art/Architecture and Visual Art at Brown University. She later earned her master's degree in teaching and after struggling with credit card debt, became passionate about personal finance education. When she isn't working, she sews, paints, listens to podcasts, and babysits her 8 nieces and nephews.
Director of Artist Services at Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC)
As Director of Artist Services at LMCC, Ana Fiore oversees re-grant programs in support of community-based arts programming in Manhattan; artist residencies providing work space for creative development; the SU-CASA program, connecting artists with senior centers; and other artist service initiatives within the organization. The core of these programs is to increase the range of resources available to artists. Prior to LMCC, Ana aided fiscally sponsored artists at the New York Foundation for the Arts with a focus on demystifying the fundraising process. She has also served the Center for Performance Research, The Joyce, and Danspace Project.
Co-founder and Partner of Westfuller
Ian Fuller is a co-founder and partner of Westfuller, a financial and wealth management firm that provides advice, strategy, and investment management for values-aligned global individuals, families, and institutions.
A specialist in evidence-driven, global wealth advisory and planning, strategic investment management, and philanthropic giving, he works closely with people and institutions to empower wealth with purpose. Ian is also the board chair of Common Justice, a restorative and criminal justice reform organization, and serves as the treasurer/finance chair for many social justice organizations, including: civil rights organization Color of Change, economic justice impact fund The Workers Lab, the private foundation Proteus Action League, and Amalgamated bank’s Charitable Foundation.
He holds a B.S. in Economics from Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and an M.S. in International Affairs and Global Finance from New York University. He also holds a Chartered Financial Consultant designation for the Series 7, 66, 24 securities licenses. He lives on the Lower East Side of New York City with his family.
Math Educator, Personal Finance Advocate
Joel Kwabi was born in Ghana and moved to the United States for college. After receiving a bachelor's degree in mathematics and working in finance, he obtained a masters degree in mathematics education in pursuit of his passion for teaching. For over a decade, he has taught math in the classrooms of Brooklyn. He is passionate about personal finance and helped lead a Financial Peace University course in his church community after an eye-opening experience paying off student debt and saving to buy a home. He currently lives on Long Island with his wife and two kids.
Partner in the Advanced Media & Technology Practice at Loeb & Loeb
Jessica Lee is a Partner in the Advanced Media & Technology practice at Loeb & Loeb, where she counsels clients on the privacy and intellectual property issues that arise when launching, marketing, and monetizing digital products and content. Named one of New York’s Notable Women in Law by Crain’s, Jessica has helped a variety of media and technology companies negotiate the agreements that support their digital media initiatives. She is a member of MoMA’s Friends of Education and sits on the board of directors for The Laundromat Project.
Anibal A. Luque
Founder and Managing Attorney of Luque PLLC
Anibal A. Luque provides legal advice and practical counsel to creatives and entrepreneurs across the globe. Following today's progressive merging of industries, Anibal caters to the needs of companies and individuals who create products and provide services utilizing technology in the areas of music, art, and fashion. His clients consist of companies that provide services and innovative products in the technology, media, apparel, and beverage industries, as well as those with an eye toward social enterprise. As an enthusiastic young entrepreneur himself, Anibal strives to help like-minded people achieve success with the right legal planning.
National Director of Health Services for Entertainment Community Fund (Formerly The Actors Fund)
Renata Marinaro is an experienced social worker and current National Director of Health Services for ECF, a human services organization that helps all professionals in performing arts and entertainment. Her accomplishments include starting the Friedman Health Center for Performing Arts, a primary and specialty care center in partnership with Mount Sinai Doctors in New York City; training and managing a national team of health insurance navigators and agents; and developing creative health literacy products. Her overarching goal is to create educated healthcare consumers with increased access to affordable care.
Executive Director of the Foundation for Contemporary Arts (FCA)
Kay Takeda has worked for over 25 years to support the advancement of artists and the arts sector. Currently, she is Executive Director of the Foundation for Contemporary Arts (FCA), which recognizes artists making innovative work through unrestricted grants and responsive project support. Previously, she developed strategy and oversaw artist-focused initiatives at Joan Mitchell Foundation, including the launch of the multi-year Joan Mitchell Fellowship. In prior roles, Kay expanded local grantmaking community partnerships and professional development at Lower Manhattan Cultural Council; led national grantmaking programs at Arts International, and managed exhibitions and programming at the Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art, Snug Harbor. She serves on the board of Movement Research, frequently sits on funding panels, and lectures widely on professional issues affecting artists.
Aaliya Zaveri is an immigration attorney whose practice focuses on extraordinary ability petitions. She represents individual and institutional clients from a diverse range of professions, including architectural design, classical music, and visual art. A graduate of Wesleyan University and Fordham Law, she worked in corporate securities litigation before practicing immigration law. Born in India and raised in Hong Kong, she now makes her home in Brooklyn, NY.
Artist, Cultural Worker
Rad Pereira (they/them) is a queer (im)migrant artist and cultural worker building consciousness between healing justice, system change, reindigenization and queer futures based in Lenapehoking (Brooklyn) and Haudenosaunee territory (northern Hudson Valley). Their work in performance, education, and social practice has been experienced on stages, screens, stoops, and sidewalks all over Turtle Island through the support of many communities, institutions, and groups. Their book, Meeting the Moment: Socially Engaged Performance, 1965-2020, By Those Who Lived It, is available through New Village Press. They are building a Native led food sovereignty project called Iron Path Farms.
Community Architect, Cooperative Journal Podcast Host
Ebony Gustave (she/her) is a web weaver, community architect, and storyteller. She is the host of Cooperative Journal podcast, an archive of interviews highlighting international examples of the solidarity economy. As a co-steward of its multimedia umbrella, she is bridging the gaps between political education, imagination, co-creation, and actualization. The common thread between all of her work is bringing awareness to, and activating, collective autonomy, care, and trust.
Founder of Olu & Company
Dubbed the “King of multi-tasking” by Anthony Haden-Guest in The Art Newspaper, Amani Olu is a serial entrepreneur with a strong background in exhibition making and art writing. He is the co-founder of Humble Arts Foundation, a 501c3 that began to support and promote new art photography in 2005. From 2008 to 2012, he curated numerous exhibitions of contemporary photography, and spearheaded the four-part series Young Curators, New Ideas. In 2011 he joined Nadine Johnson & Associates as an art publicist for clients such as the Brant Foundation Art Study Center, Marlborough Chelsea, and the Dallas Art Fair. Eighteen months later, he was named managing editor of Whitewall, having previously contributed articles on artists William Eggleston, Zoe Crosher, Elad Lassry, and Rashaad Newsome. He left to establish Olu & Company, a marketing and business consultancy for individuals, businesses and organizations in the arts. Amani makes art under the name "Scott Avery,” and is currently developing IMG SRVR, a visual cloud storage service for creative industries.
Image © James Adams
Image © James Adams
Founding Coordinator of The Kola Nut Collaborative
Mike Strode is a writer, cyclist, IT consultant, facilitator, and solidarity economy organizer residing in southeast Chicago whose community engagement work has included ride leadership with the Chicago chapter of Red, Bike & Green; editorial and archival oversight for Fultonia; and co-facilitation of Cooperation for Liberation Study & Working Group. He is founding coordinator of the Kola Nut Collaborative, a time-based service and skills trading platform which promotes timebanking throughout Chicago. He also serves as a current board member for Dill Pickle Food Co-op.
Artist, Somatic Educator, Cultural Organizer
Marina Lopez (she/her) is a Mexican American performing and social practice artist, massage therapist/somatic educator, and cultural organizer. Her experience as a bodyworker is essential to her practice as an artist because we can’t separate the art from the body that makes it. Care work is culture work. As an artist, her work is an interdisciplinary weaving of many voices that links to history, social movements, and tradition. She is a co-organizer and creative collaborator with Art.coop. Marina seeks to create work that articulates and provides an embodied cognition of the ways in which art, culture, and care are foundational within a thriving society. Her work challenges the status quo of who we as a society uplift as expert voices, and inspires curiosity, collaboration, and solidarity.
Artist, Educator, Chief Culture Officer at Open Collective
Caroline Woolard (she/her) is an artist, educator, and the Chief Culture Officer at Open Collective, a technology platform that supports 15,000 groups to raise and spend $35 million a year in full transparency. Caroline is a founding co-organizer of Art.coop which exists to grow the Solidarity Economy movement by centering systems change work led by artists, and is the co-author of three books: Making and Being (Pioneer Works, 2019), a book for educators about interdisciplinary collaboration, co-authored with Susan Jahoda; Art, Engagement, Economy (onomatopee, 2020) a book about managing socially-engaged and public art projects; and TRADE SCHOOL: 2009-2019, a book about peer learning that Caroline catalyzed in thirty cities internationally over a decade. Caroline’s artwork has been featured twice on New York Close Up (2014, 2016), a digital film series produced by Art21 and broadcast on PBS.
Caroline was integral to the writing, making, and funding of all the courses in the Solidarity Economy section of the site.
NO BOSSES! Worker-Owned Cooperatives
Artist, Worker-Owner of Obvious Agency
Daniel Park (he/him) is a queer, bi-racial, theatre and performance artist, movement facilitator, and organizer for racial and labor justice in the cultural sector. Through all of the above, his work brings people together to understand and experiment with their individual and mutual roles in bringing about the liberation of all people. Since moving to Philadelphia in 2014, Daniel has become a leader for radical thought in the local creative ecosystem and a trusted national source for guidance on the intersection between cooperatives and the arts. Daniel has self-produced multiple major works, co-founded the worker cooperative Obvious Agency, created commissions for institutions such as the Barnes Foundation and Moore College of Art and Design, and taught anti-oppressive creation methodology at the University of the Arts. He was a recipient of the 2022 Art Works Grant from the Philadelphia Foundation and Forman Arts Initiative. Daniel has provided his services as a facilitator and consultant nationally with organizations such as Creatives Rebuild New York, The PA Governor’s Commission on Asian American Affairs, ArtPlace America, and many others. Daniel was also instrumental as an organizer and recruiter for Philadelphia Asian Performing Artists, a community group that brings together folks of pan-Asian descent involved in the performing arts.
NO BOSSES! Worker-Owned Cooperatives
Artist, Worker-Owner of Obvious Agency
Joseph Ahmed (he/they) is a mixed race Asian, genderfluid, Philadelphia-based theater artist and arts administrator whose work swirls together the disciplines of theater, dance, circus, and interactive performance. They are a founding worker-owner of the interactive performance cooperative Obvious Agency, and a former company member of the Barrymore Award-winning physical theater/circus companies Tribe of Fools and Almanac Dance Circus Theatre. He co-directed ikantkoan’s Chaos Theory, which won Immersive Nation’s Best Social Immersion award in 2019. As an actor and director he has worked throughout Philadelphia with companies such as the Arden Theatre Company, Theater Exile, Philadelphia Artists’ Collective, Asian Arts Initiative, the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival, First Person Arts, and Team Sunshine Performance Corporation. They hold a BFA in Theater Arts from Boston University.
NO BOSSES! Worker-Owned Cooperatives
Director, Producer, Worker-Owner of Obvious Agency
Cat Ramirez (they/he/she) is an award-winning Philly-based performance director and producer who loves giant logistical puzzles, community meals, and bisexual lighting. Recent directing collaborators include Villanova University, Temple University, Philly Young Playwrights, PlayPenn, Lxs Primxs, Theatre Exile, Hedgerow Theatre Company, and Mel Hsu. They are the Creative Director for Philadelphia Asian Performing Artists (PAPA), the Staff Producer for the Bearded Ladies Cabaret, and the Cooperative Operations Manager for Obvious Agency. Cat is a board member for the Stockton Rush Bartol Foundation and an alumni of the National New Play Network’s Producer-In-Residence Program. Cat has been recognized by Governor Tom Wolf and Pennsylvania Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs for their contributions to Asian American Theatre in the state of Pennsylvania.
NO BOSSES! Worker-Owned Cooperatives
NO DEBT! Non-Extractive Loans
NO DEBT! Non-Extractive Loans
Actor, Writer, Producer, Cultural Worker
Chris Myers is an actor, writer, producer, and cultural worker, born and based in New York City. His performance work has been featured at leading cultural institutions, networks, and streaming platforms. As an organizer and popular educator, he teaches class politics to artists as a founding member of Anticapitalism for Artists. He the recipient of two Obie Awards—one for acting and one for his organizing work—as well as a CUNY Segal Center Award for Civic Engagement in the Arts. Education: Juilliard.
chrismyersinc.com / anticapitalismforartists.com
@chrismyersinc (IG) / @lilmaterialist (Twitter)
@chrismyersinc (IG) / @lilmaterialist (Twitter)
NO DEBT! Non-Extractive Loans
Artist, Writer, Communications Director of Boston Ujima
Cierra Peters is an artist and writer based in Brooklyn, NY. Her work spans video, installation, writing, and experimental publishing, and she is the Director of Communications, Culture & Enfranchisement at the Boston Ujima Project, a cooperative business and investment ecosystem supporting communities of color. Cierra has given talks at deCordova Sculpture Park, Harvard Law School, and other institutions. She recently curated Combahee’s Radical Call, a year-long exhibition celebrating Black feminist organizing in Boston, and in 2021 built a residency at MassMOCA called Converging Liberations for artists of color.