Adam Horowitz is a “projectician”—a co-creator of sector-blurring, border-crossing projects rooted in storytelling, cultural exchange, and social change. Adam was Co-Executive Director of Bowery Arts + Science—which programs the Bowery Poetry Club in NYC—and has worked with numerous organizations at the intersection of arts, education, and social change, including the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market, Ashoka, and The Future Project, where he was a founding team member. As a performer, musician, and researcher of intercultural exchange, he has worked with ensembles in Europe and in South America, presenting original work in forests, churches, public plazas, and living rooms, as well as traditional theaters. He is an Artist in Residence at the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics at NYU and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. Adam holds a BA from Yale University and was a Fulbright Scholar in Colombia, where he wrote about performance and politics for Theater Magazine, devised original theater pieces with teens, and printed out hundreds of posters for an imagined entity known as the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture…
Arlene Goldbard is a writer, speaker, consultant and cultural activist whose focus is the intersection of culture, politics and spirituality. Her blog and other writings may be downloaded from her Web site: www.arlenegoldbard.com. She was born in New York and grew up near San Francisco. Her two newest books on art’s public purpose—The Wave and The Culture of Possibility: Art, Artists & The Future were published in spring 2013. Prior books include New Creative Community: The Art of Cultural Development, Community, Culture and Globalization, an international anthology published by the Rockefeller Foundation, Crossroads: Reflections on the Politics of Culture, and Clarity, a novel. Her essays have been published in In Motion Magazine, Art in America, Theatre, Tikkun, and many other journals. She has addressed many academic and community audiences in the U.S. and Europe on topics ranging from the ethics of community arts practice to the development of integral organizations. She has provided advice and counsel to hundreds of community-based organizations, independent media groups, and public and private funders and policymakers including the Rockefeller Foundation, the Independent Television Service, Appalshop and dozens of others. She serves as President of the Board of Directors of The Shalom Center
Yolanda Wisher is the 2016-2017 Poet Laureate of the City of Philadelphia. Wisher is the author of Monk Eats an Afro and the co-editor of Peace is a Haiku Song. Her work has appeared in Ploughshares, Fence, Chain, MELUS, and GOOD Magazine and the anthologies Gathering Ground and The Ringing Ear. Wisher is a 2016 Hedgebrook Writer-in-Residence, 2015 Pew Fellow, Center for Performance and Civic Practice Catalyst Initiative grantee (2015), Leeway Art & Change Award recipient (2008), and the inaugural Montgomery County Pennsylvania Poet Laureate (1999). She holds an M.A in English/Creative Writing-Poetry from Temple University and a B.A. in English/Black Studies from Lafayette College. Wisher founded and directed the Germantown Poetry Festival (2006-2010) and served as Director of Art Education for the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program (2010-2015).
Nora Rahimian is a code-switcher and community-builder who helps organizations and artists develop social impact strategies through the use of arts and entertainment. She combines over 10 years of peacebuilding, social justice organizing, and project management experience with innovative arts-for-change strategies, including developing a model that was integral in the fight against Ebola. In 2014, Nora co-founded #CultureFix, a global collaborative network of artists, influencers, and cultural producers who use arts and culture to create social change in communities around the world. Since #CultureFix’s inception, Nora has spoken at SXSW, Rock the School Bells, Hip Hop Congress, and USC; partnered with organizations like ONE, BBC, Accountability Lab, #HipHopEd, and AJ Stream; and consulted for several popular artists around the world. She also helps run the record label and culture house INTL BLK & and is Head of Communications at the UK-based think tank Signifier.
Beatriz Beckford is a hope dealer, design and DIY enthusiast, and organizer with over 15 years experience, architecting multilayered campaigns, developing coalition and alliance formations, and designing participatory processes. Actively resisting anti black racism, and engaging in the struggle for racial, gender and economic justice are at the core of what fuels her passion for organizing and love of community. Beatriz has trained with the Center for Third World Organizing, Black Organizing for Leadership and Dignity, Ruckus Society, Social Justice Leadership Institute, People's Institute for Survival and Beyond, and is a CoreAlign Speaking Race to Power Fellow. Her commitment to amplifying the wisdom of the grassroots and organizing with front line communities of color has been marked by her calm, strong leadership and intense work ethic. "I believe that grassroots organizing, and direct action are a form of creative expression. I believe that art is political, and when radical art is an integral part of movement spaces, our movements are not only more dynamic, but are beautiful, resilient, and healing." Her proudest role is as Momma to a beautifully brilliant 8 year old who reminds her to play, create, laugh, share, and RESIST!
A growing group of engaged volunteers are coming together as the Action Squad to activate and enable the USDAC's continued activities and growth. Interested in joining? We're always recruiting for new roles . Or if you have an idea, send us a note about how you'd like to get involved.
Current Action Squad Members include:
- Josh Adler, Poet-in-Residence (New York, NY)
- Liliana Ashman, Story Hunter-Gatherer (New York, NY)
- Dorit Avganim, Strategic Advisor of Treasure (New York, NY)
- Jordan Cambell, Artreach Coordinator (Washington, DC)
- Jax Gil, Sparkitect (Providence, RI)
- Liz Green, Magister of Matchmaking (Philadelphia, PA)
- Sara Harvey, Secretary of Tweets and Pokes (New York, NY)
- Kristen Scott Kennedy, Artreach Coordinator (Washington, DC)
- Liz Maxwell, Chief Dot Connector (New York, NY)
- Marinna Guzy, Media Editor (Corvallis, OR)
- Shawn Lent, Artreach Coordinator (Chicago, IL)
- Karie Liao, Artreach Coordinator (New York, NY)
- Laurenellen McCann, Artreach Coordinator (Washington, DC)
- Angela Miles, Master of Swag (Philadelphia, PA)
- Jalessa Mungin, Deputy Deputy (Philadelphia, PA)
- Allison Schifani, Lead Initiative Investigator, Bureau of Speculative Acts and Technologies of Empathy (Cleveland, OH)
- Ralph Stalter, Jr., Artreach Coordinator (Las Vegas, NV)
- Les Talusan, Minister of Funk (Washington, DC)
- Vanessa Urbina, Embajador al Español (Miami, FL)
- Jenna Zhu, Interpreter of Discourse and Expression (NYC, NY)
- Lea A. Gilmore, Deputy of Fullfilment (Nottingham, MD)
- Kate McNeely, Action Maest@ (New York, NY)
The USDAC is an ongoing project shaped by many. Other catalytic collaborators include Jess Solomon, Stephanie Johnstone, Cordelia Istel, Kathy Engel, Susan Clark, and Alissa Schwartz. Through interviews and conversations, dozens of individuals have contributed to its development (though are not responsible for current programming). They include, but are not limited to: Marcy Arlin, Caron Atlas, Daniel Banks, Jack Becker, Eric Booth, Andrew Boyd, Kevin Bott, Alexa Bradley, Jeff Chang, Emma Shaw Crane, Stephen Duncomb, Kathy Engel, Lee Sunday Evans, Caleb Hammons, Jonathan Harris, Bob Holman, Morgan Jenness, Stanley Katz, Erica Kohl-Arenas, Liz Lerman, Todd Lester, Roberta Levitow, Jessica Litwak, Randy Martin, Hannah Merriman, Grace Needlman, Rachel Parish, Rachel Plattus, Marlene Ramirez-Cancio, Lisandra Maria Ramos, Yosi Sargent, Levana Saxon, Alissa Schwartz, Baraka Sele, Niegel Smith, Doris Sommers, Aaron Stern, Molly Sturges, Caridad Svich, Carlton Turner, Duncan Wall, and others. Special thanks also to artists and former Action Squad members Jeff Placencia, Christie Goshe, Jessica Halfyard, Bob Bland, David Tomassini, Beth Brodsky, Melissa McClung, Lauren Zanedis, Soo Hyun Noh, Max Powers, Nikhil Melnechuk, Amanda Damewood, Claire Arkin, Veena Vasista, David Greenson, Rafa Kern, Monica Montgomery, Mary Morgan, and others who've lent talent and time to the USDAC.