Tamara Zbrizher is a Ukrainian American poet and teacher. She received her MFA at Drew University. She has worked as a writing and literature instructor in various universities and colleges in New Jersey. Tamara is a poet in the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation’s Visiting Poets in Schools and one of the hosts for the Platform Poetry Series. She hosts various poetry and art events. Her poems and prose pieces have been published in various journals and nominated for a Pushcart Prize and Best of The Net. Her full-length collection Tell Me Something Good was released from Get Fresh Books in 2019.
Lynne McEniry, MFA, is the author of the poetry collection, Some Other Wet Landscape published by Get Fresh Books, LLC. Her poems have been recognized for a Pushcart Prize and for second prize and honorable mention for the Allen Ginsberg Poetry Award. They have been widely published in journals and anthologies and have been used in collaboration with other creative arts projects. Lynne shares her time on projects with ARTS By The People, for whom she also hosts a monthly reading series, The Platform. She screens and edits manuscripts and individual poems for various journals, presses, and individual poets. Born in Yonkers, NY, Lynne lives in Morristown, NJ, where she also works at The College of Saint Elizabeth as a writing instructor and director of the Academic Success Center.
David Crews (davidcrewspoetry.com) serves as poetry editor for both the Platform Review and the Platform Review Chapbook Series as well as the writers workshop leader for Moving Words—a project also supported by ARTS By the People—that makes possible international collaboration among artists of prose, poetry, voice acting, and animation. He is author of the poetry collection High Peaks (Ra Press 2015), which catalogs his hiking of “The 46ers” in New York’s Adirondack State Park, as well as a new collection of lyric essays on the Adirondacks titled, Wander-Thrush (Ra Press 2018). (Follow him on Instagram or Twitter )
Gustav Gauntlett is a professional teaching artist leading bi-lingual workshops around the world. Emphasizing in Theater & Hip Hop songwriting, Gustav’s process is very straightforward: Establish trust through sharing stories, build confidence with unconditional love, then create art in a safe space where everyone’s creative spirit can shine. To learn more about Gus, please visit his website at http://www.hoopsartist.com.
Erin Jones received her MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College, where she is now affiliated faculty. Her first novel, Tinfoil Crowns, is forthcoming from Flux Books in May 2019, and she is the Editor-in-chief of The Platform Review. She is the former head of marketing at Ploughshares, and her work has been published in The James Franco Review, The Ploughshares Blog, Rock & Sling, and other publications. She was a 2017 finalist for the Boston Public Library Writer-in-Residence fellowship and calls Boston home.
Visual Arts & Design
Dana DeBarros received her BA in Studio Arts from Drew University, double minored in Art Administration and Archaeology. Her passion for the arts started at the age of seven while photographing her mother’s garden. Her attention to detail, color, and composition has developed over the years as she continues to photograph and paint. She has traveled to six of the seven continents and finds inspiration from the places she travels. Dana is a custom framer and also works as a teaching artist with ABTP. Dana was the organizations first intern in 2012 and has helped pave the way for the numerous interns that the organization has had since then. Dana has run fine art classes, writing classes, and jewelry classes for senior citizens at several locations for ABTP. To see her work, please visit her website at www.danadebarros.com or follow her on Instagram @danadebarros.
Jean Choe is an artist based in central New Jersey. She works with various media including watercolor and acrylics. Color is her biggest source of inspiration. She understands how colors in everyday life can affect people’s moods, thus she gravitates towards bright and cheerful colors. She loves to paint people, nature and abstract ideas. She also practices modern calligraphy, sews, and repaints furniture to give it new life. She holds a B.S. in Clothing and Textiles and is currently working with ARTS By The People. She runs fine art and craft workshops at Lester Senior Housing in Whippany, NJ. You can find out more about her work at instagram.com/jeanchoe or JeanChoeArtDesign.com
Yael Ozsinay is an animator and animation director and producer. She is the founder of Mind the Gap Animation studio, which aspires to make films that make a difference and focuses on social and artistic issues. In addition to filmmaking, Yael conducts poetry and animation workshops for youths and adults, and is the producer of the Asif Animation Competition and Events in Tel Aviv. Yael’s films have participated and won awards in numerous festivals around the world. To learn more about Yael’s work, please visit www.mindthegapanimation.com.
Ron Levin is an Israeli illustrator and animator, working on a variety of project such as children's books, editorial illustrations, illustration exhibitions and workshops, poetry animation, commercial animation and more. She co-founded the Ginogli studio for independent animators in Jerusalem, where artists support each other's work and organize monthly animation based events for the community. To learn more about Ron's work, please visit www.ronlevin-illustration.com
Debbie Z Maciel
Debbie Z Maciel is a dance artist currently moving and making work in Brooklyn, NY. Miami bred, she received her BFA from the University of Florida, with training at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance. Under the moniker DZ maciel she creates work often moving through dance, theater, speech, and song that is equal parts introspection and exposition. DZ maciel creates thought-provoking images with the hope of sparking community conversation. Debbie also has a prolific career as a dance educator, working nationally with communities of all ages, most recently at Jacob’s Pillow as part of a science and arts integration program. More about her at debbiezmaciel.com
Alyssa Tiren was raised in Paramus, NJ, where she started her dance career at Mariann's School of Dance. She is currently an undergraduate student at Skidmore College in Saratoga Spring NY, majoring in dance and psychology. While dancing at Skidmore, she has performed in the works of Paul Taylor, Erika Pujič, Brian Reeder, Debra Fernandez, Mary Harney, and Denise Limoli, among others. She is excited to be a teaching artist with ABTP where she teaches Stories in Motion, a program which pairs the art of storytelling with expressive dance and choreography.
Jennifer Sanchez began her dance journey with The Passaic High School Marching Band as part of the color guard and is currently pursuing a Fine Arts degree at Montclair State University (MSU). Most recently she has performed under IBEX puppetry in their latest production of Ajijaak on Turtle Island in La Mama Theatre NYC. She is also a performing aerialist and teaches aerial silks at the Tribe Body dance studio in Ramsey, NJ which she now calls home. She is excited to be with ARTS By The People teaching senior citizens dance and movement.
Troy Ogilvie has danced for and collaborated with choreographers – Andrea Miller, Sidra Bell, Zoe Scofield, Idan Sharabi, Itzik Galili, Roy Assaf, Shannon Gillen, Margie Gillis, and Patricia Noworol; violinist – Liv Heym; theater company – Punchdrunk (in the role of Lady Macbeth in the immersive production of Sleep No More); and director – Peter Sellars (in the role of Mary Magdalene in The Gospel According to the Other Mary). The tension between text and movement is where Troy likes to tell stories and she is thrilled to continue this research with ARTS by the People’s “Stories in Motion.” She was one of Dance Magazine’s 2011 Top 25 to Watch and graduated with a B.F.A. from the Juilliard School in 2007. troyogilvie.com
Marsha Guirlande Pierre
Marsha Guirlande Pierre (Hamilton, New Jersey) will be receiving her BFA in Dance Performance at Montclair State University in May 2019. Marsha has performed works by Camille Brown, Bill T. Jones, Daniel Shapiro and Joanie Smith, Frederick Earl Mosley, Christian Von Howard, and Alwin Nikolais. Outside of the repertory she has performed works by Frederick Earl Mosley, Alrick Thomas, Patrick Coker, and Nathaniel Hunt. She has attended both Earl Mosley Institute of the Arts and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago on Scholarship. Ms. Pierre interns for Sidra Bell Dance New York and is a current member of Padierna Dance Project and The Lab by SGalberth.
Brad “Bisco” Smith
Brad “Bisco” Smith is a creative professional based out of New York City and Los Angeles who focuses on music, design, art, and mentorship. In addition, he operates a boutique design studio, IV.Creative, founded in 2002, which develops branding, print, web, and mural design for clients around the globe. With ARTS By The People, Bisco brings “Arts By the Street,” a workshop that intends to acquaint its participants with modern day visual street arts through history and the use of mediums commonly found in urban landscapes around the world. He has also done Art Installation and Live Art at the Morristown High School Art and Design show. He led a street art workshop in Jerusalem in July 2012. To learn more about Bisco, please visit his website at www.biscosmith.com.
Leland Baker is a New York City based jazz saxophonist who grew up in Providence, RI. He has lived and spent time honing his craft in the city of New Orleans, LA and New England. While his short time here in New York City, Leland has had the opportunity to play with Alicia Keys, and study and play with some of jazz’s titans including Lawrence Clark, Kahlil Bell and Roy Hargrove. He freelances as a musician, teaches music, and leads his own quartet by the name of The Free 5. Leland continues to pursue his vision as an artist in hopes to make a positive difference in the world by bring souls together and challenging the spectrum of superficial reality.
Nina Rangel is a classically trained vocalist born and raised in Morristown, New Jersey. She recently graduated from Montclair State University with her BA in music therapy and is currently pursuing her masters in music education in hopes of becoming a future choral director and educator. She currently works as a private vocal and piano instructor and is the children’s choir director at St. Virgils Parish in Morris Plains. Nina has performed in a wide range of venues, from local bars with her old band to the Sydney Opera House with the MSU singers. She loves the communal power of music and loves to share, spread, and create music with others.
With a focus on staying true to Hip Hop’s roots while also propelling it toward the future, iLLspokinn has garnered a worldwide following, both through the two albums he released as the lead vocalist of the band Spokinn Movement, who was named one of the “Rawkus 50 (next important Hip Hop artists)”, and maintaining an extensive international touring schedule. Closer to home, iLLspokinn wears many hats. He is an educator/mentor holding Hip Hop workshops, a Vinyl DJ Instructor, and CEO/Host/Producer of New York’s longest running live band Hip Hop open mic, Freestyle Mondays.
Alex Tremblay was born and raised in North Providence RI and came from a family of musicians who enabled him to hone his craft at a young age and study at the Hartt School of Music at the University of Hartford. There he was a student of the school’s renowned jazz department that was founded by the legendary Jazz Saxophonist/Composer, Jackie McLean. It was there that he met and studied with one of his bass heroes, Professor Nat Reeves. He currently resides in Brooklyn and is an active member of the music community in and around New York City. He has performed at many venues in New York and abroad including The Blue Note, The Cotton Club (Tokyo), Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Iridium, and Shanghai Jazz. His web site is: https://www.alextremblaymusic.com/
Megan Fainsinger is a graduate of the New York Botanical Gardens, where she studied Horticultural Therapy. Born and raised on the Indian Ocean, a native to the bounty of botanical diversity in South Africa, Megan grew up in a subtropical world of flowers and temperate African landscapes. With a background in Special Education, Megan draws on her teaching experience, passion for gardening and professional skills in floral design, to create educational, creative and enriching indoor and outdoor horticultural programs for seniors.
The touch, taste, smell, sound and sight of plant materials serves as a trigger to stimulate our inherent human instinct and attraction to what is beautiful and awe inspiring. Megan’s goal is to reconnect individuals to our collective sense of wonder in the outdoor world as a vehicle of engagement, connection and purpose, thereby enhancing the participants day to day quality of life.
Gerry Sherman graduated with a B.A. from Skidmore College where she studied International Affairs, Studio Art, and Environmental Studies. She received her Horticultural Therapy Certificate from The New York Botanical Gardens, which included an intensive clinical internship at NYU Langone Health. Through her business endeavors and “backyard farm” she encourages everyone to get their hands dirty and be creative utilizing the amazing medium of plants.