Who We Are

NOCD-NY’s citywide alliance of steering committee members and affiliates reflect our values. Our growing list…

  • demonstrates a connection with artists and/or cultural workers
  • exhibits leadership in neighborhood alliance building
  • nurtures equitable, place-based relationships…engaging with multiple kinds of community stakeholders and demonstrating transparency in decision-making processes
  • reflects the geographic and social diversity of the city

The steering committee contributes by…

  • attending monthly meetings held at member sites throughout the city
  • developing programs and campaigns
  • expanding collective knowledge through peer exchange, capacity building and data collection
  • scaling up local experience for citywide application


Arts & Democracy
Caron Atlas, Director
Co-Director, NOCD-NY
Caron Atlas directs the Arts & Democracy Project, which supports the cross-pollination between arts and culture, participatory democracy, and social justice. She also co-directs NOCD-NY, teaches at Pratt Institute, and is a member of the Steering and District committees for Participatory Budgeting in New York. She is co-editor of two publications: BridgeConversations and Critical Perspectives, and contributor to Towards a 21st Century City for All and Beyond Zuccotti Park.
caronatlas@gmail.com | www.artsanddemocracy.org

CatherineArts East New York Inc. is committed to presenting and promoting multicultural arts to address socio-economic issues that hinder the growth and development of the East New York community. AENY’s innovative efforts foster entrepreneurs and cultural industries that generate jobs and income, reduce crime and recidivism, heighten the community’s level of education and awareness around healthy and sustainable living, attract tourists to boost local economy, and instill pride among residents. These initiatives improve livability and encourage economic development outcomes that have the potential to radically change the future of East New York.
info@artseastny.org | www.artseastny.org 

Bronx Council on the Artsfblogo
A pioneering advocate for cultural equity, the Bronx Council on the Arts nurtures the development of a diverse array of artists and arts organizations, and builds strong cultural connections in and beyond The Bronx.

Dance Theatre EtceteraDTE
Martha Bowers, Executive Director
Martha Bowers is noted for her 20 years of work as an artist, activist and educator in Red Hook, Brooklyn. In New York, her choreography has been presented at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Dance Theater Workshop, PS 122, and St. Mark’s Church among others.  She is a recipient of choreographic fellowships from the NEA (`84, `88, `96), the New Jersey State Council for the Arts (`84), among others. She has been the Executive Producer of the Red Hook Fest since 2000.  She currently teaches Art, Activism and Public Space and as well Applied Theatre courses at NYU.
martha@dtetc.org | www.dtetc.org

ElMuseoEl Museo del Barrio
Ana Chireno, Director, Government and Community Affairs
AChireno@elmuseo.org | www.elmuseo.org

El Puenteelpuentegld
El Puente is a community human rights institution that promotes leadership for peace and justice through the engagement of members (youth and adult) in the arts, education, scientific research, wellness and environmental action. Founded in 1982 by Luis Garden Acosta, El Puente currently integrates the diverse activities and community campaigns of its Center for Arts and Culture and its Green Light District & Community Wellness Program within its four neighborhood Leadership Centers, and its nationally recognized public high school, the El Puente Academy for Peace and Justice.

Fourth Arts Block (FABnyc)
FABnyc is a neighborhood nonprofit founded by cultural and community groups to coordinate the purchase of eight East 4th Street properties as permanently affordable spaces for non-profit arts and cultural organizations. The East 4th Street Cultural District is nationally recognized as an incubator for new work and for its outstanding records for racial and ethnic diversity, free and low cost programs, and training for emerging artists and youth. FABnyc has expanded its work beyond East 4th Street to support and promote the cultural vitality of the larger Lower East Side neighborhood.

Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center
Brian T. Coleman, CEO

Brian serves as the CEO of Greenpoint Manufacturing & Design Center (GMDC), which creates and sustains viable creative manufacturing in North Brooklyn through planning, developing and managing real estate and offering other related services. Since 1992, GMDC has developed over 750,000 square feet of industrial space and currently has 120 tenants with over 500 employees.
BrianC@gmdconline.org | www.gmdconline.org

laundromat.projectThe Laundromat Project
Kemi Ilesanmi, Executive Director
With over 14 years of experience in the cultural arena, Kemi is inspired by the immense possibilities for joy and justice at the intersection of arts, activism and community. Bringing community-responsive art and artists into local coinops across the city, Laundromat Project engages and empowers communities of color living on modest incomes to dream new visions for their own neighborhoods.
kemi@laundromatproject.org | www.laundromatproject.org

THE POINT Community Development Corporation
Carey Clark, Visual Arts Director

Carey Clark is the Visual Arts Director at THE POINT Community Development Corporation, a non-profit 501 (c)(3) dedicated to youth development and the cultural and economic revitalization of the Hunts Point section of the South Bronx.
cclark@gmail.com | www.thepoint.org

Queens MuseumQueensMuseum
Prerana Reddy, Director of Public Events

As Director of Public Events, Prerana oversees Queens Museum of Art’s community engagement and public art initiatives, working with a full-time community organizer to combine arts and culture with social development goals in nearby neighborhoods, such as Corona, Queens, which are predominantly comprised of new immigrants. As a collective member of the South Asian Solidarity Initiative, Reddy organizes workshops, reading groups and public forums.
prerana@queensmuseum.org | www.queensmuseum.org

staten-island-arts-logoStaten Island Arts
Monica Valenzuela, Deputy Director

Monica is a grantwriter, project manager and freelance photographer. She works closely with the diverse cultural ecosystem of Staten Island. She identifies alternative spaces for art and is Project Manager for SIA’s LUMEN, a cutting-edge video and performance art festival on Staten Island’s waterfront.
mvalenzuela@statenislandarts.org | www.statenislandarts.org

ubw.blogUrban Bush Women (UBW)
Founded in 1984 by choreographer Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Urban Bush Women (UBW) seeks to bring the untold and under-told histories and stories of disenfranchised people to light through dance. UBW does this from a woman-centered perspective and as members of the African Diaspora community in order to create a more equitable balance of power in the dance world and beyond. UBW is a contemporary dance company creating work at the intersection of art and social change, both internationally and in their home neighborhood of Fort Greene, Brooklyn. UBW’s work includes education and community engagement through programs like BOLD (Builders, Organizers and Leaders through Dance) and partnerships with groups like People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond, hosting Understanding and Undoing Racism workshops for arts communities.



Maria Bauman, MB Dance
Maria Bauman is an artist and a community organizer. She founded MBDance in 2007, created from a desire for equity and a fascination with relationship. Bauman has danced with Urban Bush Women, Nia Love/Blacksmith’s Daughter, Adele Myers and Dancers, Angela’s Pulse, Mendi + Keith Obadike, and jill sigman/thinkdance, and apprenticed with Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. She was with Urban Bush Women for eight seasons, recently serving as Associate Artistic Director of that company. Among other honors, she has received a 2014 CUNY Dance Initiative Residency Award, 2012-13 and 2009-10 Harlem Stage Fund for New Work via The Jerome Foundation, and a 2013 NYFA Emerging Arts Leader. Bauman works closely with the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond on Understanding and Undoing Racism workshops for arts communities and is a WOW Café Theatre collective member (theater space by and for women and transgender artists).

Gonzalo Casals
Gonzalo Casals is the Director of The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art. For the last decade, Gonzalo, an aspiring ‘neighborhoodist’, has been exploring cultural production as a vehicle to foster empowerment, social capital, civic participation and community development. Through his work at The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, Friends of The High Line and El Museo del Barrio, he joins the leadership of a generation of cultural workers that are redefining the role of cultural organizations and their relationship with communities, neighborhoods and cities.

Melanie Franklin Cohn, Visual Arts Center of New Jersey
Melanie is the Executive Director of Visual Arts Center of New Jersey. She is active in arts advocacy and policy, leading Staten Island Arts as its Executive Director from 2007-2014. She has served as a New York State Captain for Americans for the Arts and on the Steering Committee of the NYC Cultural Emergency Response Network. Melanie worked in the curatorial department at the New Museum for seven years and has curated many exhibitions and edited several books including “Who Cares” (Creative Time, 2006) and “Witness to Her Art” (CCS Bard Hessel Museum, 2006).

Ryan Gilliam, Downtown Art
Ryan has been working with young artists to make theater since 1988. Gilliam has directed over a hundred productions, written sixteen plays, and worked with more than 1200 young artists ages 12-19 to create original theater.  She has worked with local public schools and spearheaded the $4.5 million capital campaign to purchase and restore a vacant building as a youth arts center on East 4th Street.  Downtown Art is a founding member of Fourth Arts Block (FAB).
ryan@downtownart.org | www.downtownart.org

Tamara Greenfield

Michael Hickey, Community Development Consultant
Michael is an independent community development consultant serving nonprofit, foundation, public sector and corporate partners in project development, strategic planning, and organizational change. He recently served as the founding Executive Director of the Center for NYC Neighborhoods (CNYCN), the nation’s single largest foreclosure prevention intermediary.
mhickey001@gmail.com | about.me/mhickey

Betsy Imershein, Consultant and Artist
Betsy has more than 30 years of experience engaging communities, small businesses and cultural organizations in economic development, cultural revitalization and sustainability initiatives. In addition to co-founding Croton Energy Group Inc and the Shop Small Stores program, Betsy has designed streetscape and sustainability initiatives for FABnyc and worked with the Bronx Council on the Arts to create a strategic/action plan for the South Bronx Cultural Corridor.

Risa Shoup
Risa is the Executive Director of Spaceworks, a nonprofit that develops space for all New Yorkers to gather and engage in their chosen cultural practices. Previously, they were the Executive Director of FABnyc, an arts services organization based on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.


Milly Hawk Daniel, Vice President for Communications, PolicyLink

Milly leads the team responsible for strategically applying media, online, editorial, and special events efforts to advance economic and social equity issues, including affordable housing, transit oriented development, equitable rebuilding in New Orleans and the revitalization of older core cities.
| www.policylink.org

Charles Lai

Jack (John Kuo Wei) Tchen, Founding Director, Asian/Pacific/American Institute at New York University
Jack (John Kuo Wei) Tchen is a historian and cultural activist who helps to give voice to individuals and communities who have been absent from our public history. He is the founding director of the A/P/A (Asian/Pacific/American) Studies Program and Institute at New York University (1996) and is co-founder of the New York Chinatown History Project (1980), now called the Museum of Chinese in the Americas.

Have inquiries?  Contact us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or at nocdny@gmail.com.

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