CUP’s core staff supports the organization from day to day, but CUP projects are designed and implemented by teams of artists, designers, educators, activists, and researchers.
Fatima was born and raised in NYC and is interested in all things urban. When not working, she likes to explore and relax in different parks around the city. Fatima is completing her bachelors in urban studies at Barnard College and is teaching this fall’s class on disaster planning.close
Max Allbee is a visual artist, muralist and educator from San Francisco, California. Max specializes in community mural art and illustration, yet teaching has always been in the forefront of Allbee’s creative practice. In 2013 Max worked with CUP on Voice Recognition, investigating decision making in NYC public schools. Max studied art education, community art and Spanish at The Evergreen State College, whose mascot is The Geoduck. Allbee has worked with arts organizations, schools and community groups to create professional quality artwork, in a variety of different communities from California to Central America and New York.close
Kate is an artist and an urbanist. She holds a bachelor’s in studio art from USC and a master’s in urban planning from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. She recently spent a year as a Harvard fellow in Mexico City, creating the project “Museum of the Future” that involved time travel and building a time machine with over 100 youth. She is a founding member of the Department of Play, a new collective that will infuse Boston with temporary play zones. She has developed art projects and youth collaborations in the US, Latin America and Poland. Her work examines collective imagination as a tool for bold, inclusive city-making, and her process connects local histories toward the future to build local agency. Originally from Poland, Balug grew up in Chicago. She was a CUP teaching artist for “Museumopolis,” where she led youth at Dia:Beacon on a quest to research the role of a museum in a city and build three fantasy museums.close
Francisca Benitez is an artist born in Chile in 1974. Architect (University of Chile,1998), Master in Fine Arts (Hunter College CUNY, 2007).
Her videos, photographs and drawings are exhibited internationally, most recently at El Museo del Barrio in New York, Parc de la Villette in Paris and
Museu de Arte Contemporánea da USP in Sao Paulo. She has been involved with CUP since 2001 working on several educational projects and exhibitions.
Jonathan Bogarín is an artist, filmmaker, and educator. He believes that art is a tool for understanding our world that can help us become more active, creative, and conscientious citizens. Jonathan is currently co-directing Invisible Murals, a PBS supported documentary about myths, murals, and oil in Venezuela. He has created numerous public artworks in collaboration with youth including CUP projects “Bodega Down Bronx” and “Scary, OK with it, Good.” Jonathan thinks CUP is cool.close
John is a researcher-as-artist who has called Brooklyn his home since 2001.
He is most interested in creating and experiencing works of art that challenge ideas of social/political formation by way of critical theory. John works in a variety of media, including pen & paper, digital, video, sound, and performance. Some of his influences include: Vito Acconci, Barbara Kruger, the Fluxus movement, Nam June Paik, and Mark Lombardi.
John has a B.A. in Politics from the University of California, Santa Cruz. His other interests include: postcolonialism, post-9/11 national security, and psychoanalysis.close
Leigh Davis is a photographer, artist, and educator. Her work investigates the relationships between people and the physical spaces in which they live, work, and perform. Her subjects span a broad range—from the men of a dying religious order, to women living in a YWCA residence hall, to a variety of performing artists (a choir, a Michael Jackson impersonator, a conductor)—and derive from the relationships that she develops with those subjects over time. Leigh has been involved with CUP since 2000. Her photographs were featured in CUP exhibitions, YMCA, The City Without a Ghetto, and Values and Variety. In 2013, Leigh was the teaching artist for “Making the Grade.”close
Meredith Degyansky, often under the alias of The Work Intern, is an artist, educator, student debtor, precarious laborer, and counselor. Her artwork explores alternatives to capitalism by suggesting and enacting economies that aren’t based in current economic structures. Past projects include attempting to barter down her student loan debt with Sallie Mae; successfully exchanging her labor for rent payments to her landlord; creating a currency, monies, that represents unpaid and under recognized labor; and one-on-one conversations with the public to discuss how we can renegotiate our relationship to work, wage, debt, time, and education. She experiments and creates situations for free learning in urban environments for high school youth through her project, ThinkerSpace, and for adults, through Mapping Your Free Education.close
Hatuey Ramos Fermín is an educator and multimedia artist who uses photography, video, installation, graphics, performance, intervention, maps, sounds, and social and curatorial practices to creatively investigate issues related to urban space. His work is informed by the documentary and the fine arts.close
Stephen Fiehn is an artist from Chicago, now based in Brooklyn, working in collaboration, performance, sound, visual art, and writing. He co-founded the collaborative art duo Cupola Bobber in 2000 and the sound group Fessenden in 2005. Other recent collaborative projects include: Let us think of these things always. Let us speak of them never.(2010) and Testimony 2.2 (2013) with Every house has a door. His work has been shown across the U.S. and Europe. Most recently, Stephen worked with CUP and the Academy of Urban Planning on a two week class consisting of a series of micro-investigations viewing federal, state, and city governments through the businesses and streets of a small area in Brooklyn, NY. The class culminated with the production of a booklet titled Field Guide to Federalism: Bushwick, Brooklyn, New York in collaboration with designer Jennifer Korff.close
Helki Frantzen received her BFA and MFA degrees from Bard College. For the last five years, she has worked as a teaching artist and filmmaker, creating educational and collaborative new media projects with teens in Brooklyn, working with organizations such as the NYC Parks and Recreation department, Adobe Youth Voices and the Center for Urban Pedagogy. She worked as a teaching artist with CUP to produce “The Internet is Serious Business” and “What the Cell?”close
is a documentary filmmaker, multi-media artist, educator, and native Brooklynite. Through her work, she sets out to demystify urban planning and policy issues using the creative process to empower individuals to take a proactive role in shaping their communities. Tamara’s first documentary, "Rezoning Harlem: The battle over Harlem’s future” continues to be used as a community organizing tool to engage viewers in meaningful discussion about complex land use issues both locally in NYC and beyond. In her upcoming documentary, “Open Process: local democracy in one corner of Brooklyn” she turns the lens on her own community of Greenpoint/Williamsburg, taking a closer look at Brooklyn Community Board 1 as the existing, though imperfect, forum for local citizen participation. Tamara also teaches Video Production and Media Studies in the Film & Media Department at Hunter College.close
Anthony Harrington holds a BS in Architecture from the University of Michigan and a Master of Architecture from Rice University. He is an Adjunct Instructor at both the School of Architecture and Design at the New York Institute of Technology and the College of Architecture and Design at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He has worked on youth education programs in architecture and planning in both New York and Houston. Anthony is a registered Architect and partner in the firm pHdesign (www.phdesign.us).close
Lindsay is an interdisciplinary artist, writer, cultural worker, and educator based in Brooklyn. She loves teaching outside of the classroom and her work engages cross-media explorations of identity and community. She was the teaching artist for Lotto Zone, an urban investigation that explores how the lottery really works. Check out her most recent project hereclose
New media artist Christina Houle holds an MFA in Visual Arts from Columbia University and is currently working to complete an EdM in Technology, Innovation and Education from Harvard (2016). Primarily interested in new forms of story telling as a tool for social justice, Houle’s work aims to bring new insights into how empathy can inform conflict resolution and is committed to the apprehension of emergent phenomena at the intersection of the aesthetic and journalistic. As an award winning choreographer and filmaker her work has appeared at Movement Research at Judson Church, the NYU Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics and at Second City Chicago, been supported by the Rema Hort Mann Foundation and the Andy Warhol Foundation.close
Ellie Irons is an interdisciplinary artist and educator exploring the interplay of humanity and ecology through drawings, environmental sculpture, and site responsive projects. Born in rural Northern California, she went to college in Los Angeles, where she studied art and environmental science. After falling in love with biology field work, she began combining ecology with art. She relocated to New York City in 2005, and completed her MFA at Hunter College in fall 2009. She now teaches and keeps a studio in Bushwick, Brooklyn.close
Leon Anthony James is a Brooklyn based photographer. He believes whole heartedly in the goodness and creativity of people and hopes that any and all work he does reflects that belief. In the past he has had the honor of teaching at Brooklyn College, as well as being a Laundromat Project Create Change Fellow and Caribbean Cultural Centers African Diaspora Initiative Innovative Cultural Advocacy Fellow.close
Prudence Katze arrived in New York from Memphis, TN in 2004. Since then, she has graduated from the Cooper Union, and has been working with projects that examine our urban ecology. She started working with CUP as an Education Intern in 2009 and has assisted Hatuey Ramos-Fermin with both the “I Heart East New York” and “Who Beneﬁts from Community Beneﬁts Agreements at the Kingsbridge Armory” Urban Investigations. Prudence also taught a workshop with students from the Resilience Advocacy Project, and produced the resulting book “The Road to Cash Assistance.”close
April Lee is an artist and education practitioner, researcher, and consultant. She has worked in the curatorial and education departments of cultural institutions such as Dia Art Foundation, the Hammer Museum, the Honolulu Academy of Arts, and P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, as well as with community-based arts and education organizations in the U.S. and abroad. Her fields of interest include artistic research, and cultural, global, and ethics education. Recently, she completed a master’s degree at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and consulted on the development of a world-class school in Bhutan.close
Mads Lynnerup responds to politics and everyday life using a range of media including silk-screen, drawing, video, sculpture, and performance. His work has been exhibited at venues such as SFMOMA, MoMA PS1, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Mori Art Museum to mention a few. He resides in Brooklyn, NY and Copenhagen and holds an MFA from Columbia University, NY.close