2019 Uptown Arts Stroll Poster Contest WINNERS

This year, NoMAA had 69 submissions! Congratulations to the winners.

Liz Roberts

Liz Roberts has background in fine art with an MFA in painting from Temple University, and worked as a graphic designer at daily newspapers for over a decade. Liz has lived and had her studio in Washington Heights for the last 21 years, painting with gouache and also with pixels.

Alexis Agliano Sanborn

Alexis Agliano Sanborn is an artist based in Washington Heights. She works primarily in watercolors, pen & ink and specializes in illustration. Since 2016, Alexis has been working to produce a documentary about food education in Japan.

Ashanti N. Muñiz

Ashanti N. Muñiz is a Dominican-American writer from Washington Heights who graduated with a Bachelors in Graphic Design and Creative Writing. Many of her works combine her love for word play with typography & can be found at

OPEN CALL – Women in the Heights: Creating for Change

The Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance (NoMAA), in partnership with Broadway Housing Communities and The Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling is seeking submissions for “Women in the Heights: Creating for Change”, an exhibition featuring work by women artists of Northern Manhattan.

The Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance (NoMAA), in partnership with Broadway Housing Communities and The Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling is seeking submissions for “Women in the Heights: Creating for Change”, an annual exhibition featuring work by women artists of Northern Manhattan.

Curated by Andrea Arroyo

Submission Deadline: February 8, 2019
Open to self-identified women artists working or residing in El Barrio, Inwood, Washington Heights or Harlem. Above 110th Street on the West Side (west of 5th Ave) and above 96th Street on the East Side (east of 5th Ave).
Submission requirements:

  • 4 images (jpg, 300 dpi, 4″ wide on largest side) or written/spoken word (doc, docx, pdf – maximum 250 words)
  • Image List: title, year, medium, size, price (pdf, doc or docx)
  • Artist Statement (One paragraph statement commenting on the subject, process and/or any other pertinent information about the work submitted. 100 words maximum.)
  • Artist Bio / Resume (one page, pdf, doc or docx)


Submission Deadline: February 8, 2019
Notification: February 15
Delivery of accepted works at the Rio II Gallery, 583 Riverside Drive (@ 135th Street): February 25 &amp 26, 10am-5pm (Dates to be confirmed)
Opening Reception: March 8, 6-8pm
Artist Talk, Workshop “How to use your art to create change” and Closing Reception: March 29
Pick-up of work: After the closing March 29, or April 1-2

Wall-hung works in all fine art media will be considered for the exhibit, maximum width of all artworks is 36” (including frame).

Written/spoken word works (maximum 250 words) must be presented printed and framed as per framing guidelines.

ACCEPTED WORK (please read and follow the instructions carefully):

Participating artists must provide all of the requested materials by the dates indicated above.
All artwork must be presented in a professional manner (including: professional-grade framing, matting and display materials.) All works must have hanging wire attached to the back (at least 2” below top edge of work,) no other hanging hardware will be accepted (The gallery has a railing system with rods and hooks, no picture hanging hooks or nails will be used on the walls).
All work must be labeled on the back with artist’s name and title.
All artwork must be available for exhibition for the duration of the show.
Sales of artworks are not conducted by NoMAA. However, a price list will be available, and artists will be contacted directly by interested buyers. We suggest a donation of 15% of the sale to NoMAA to help sustain our gallery.
Images of the artwork may be used by NoMAA for promotion of the exhibit (for non-commercial purposes only).
Artists will be encouraged to participate in an artist talk.
Please note that Broadway Housing Communities has insurance coverage for the Rio II Gallery, 583 Riverside Drive. There is however no FINE ARTS insurance for individual pieces.

If you have any questions, call (212) 567 4394 or

2019 Uptown Arts Stroll Poster Contest

2019 Uptown Arts Stroll Poster Contest. Deadline February 25, 2019


  • $1,250 Grand Prize 1st place winner
  • $500 for 2nd place
  • $250 for 3rd place



  • Consideration is given to eye-catching original and unpublished images which highlight the unique characteristics of Northern Manhattan.
  • Include the phrase: 2019 Uptown Arts Stroll / Paseo de las Artes
  • Design must accommodate 11″x17″ poster, and various sizes for social media (300 dpi jpg, 4-5mb)


  • Artists must be West Harlem, Washington Heights-Inwood residents (W 135th to W 155th St from Edgecombe Ave west to the Hudson River, W155th Street to W 220th St river-to-river)
  • Artists may only submit one (1) design for consideration.


  • A panel of distinguished judges from the local arts community will select the grand prize 1st place winner, 2nd and 3rd place winner.
  • The names of the artists will not be submitted to the judges.
  • NoMAA owns the intellectual property rights on 2019 Uptown Arts Stroll poster designs for the winner, 2nd and 3rd finalists.


  • The 1st place image will be used exclusively to promote the 2019 Uptown Arts Stroll in print and online.
  • On BronxNet OPEN: Puerto Rico- A Hope in the Dark

    On Open Friday, host Daren Jaime sits down with Joanna Castro, Executive Director Of Nomaa (Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance) and Charlie Vazquez, Arts & Culture Consultant, to talk about ‘Puerto Rico: Hope In The Dark,’ a documentary that depicts the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

    This documentary by PACE University Students – PaceDocs – will be featured at the INTERNATIONAL PUERTO RICAN HERITAGE FILM FESTIVAL, happening Nov 14 – 18, 2018
    On Open Friday, host Daren Jaime sits down with Joanna Castro, Executive Director Of Nomaa (Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance) and Charlie Vázquez, Arts & Culture Consultant, to talk about ‘Puerto Rico: Hope In The Dark,’ a documentary that depicts the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

    BronxNet: Puerto Rico Hope in The Dark Screening & Panel Discussion was held at Sugar Hill Museum of Art & Storytelling on September 23, 2018.
    Excerpt with Interviews (2:20)

    Full program on BronxNet, Documentary and Panel (2 hours in length)

    You can also watch the entire PaceDoc Documentary on YouTube

    Persuasive Visions

    The 5th edition of Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance (NoMAA)’s public art initiative.
    Guest curator Stephanie Lindquist
    Sunday November 4, 1:30 pm Artist Talk with: Nick Kozak and Gina Goico
    Northern End of Inwood Hill Park (enter at Indian Road and 218th Street)

    The 5th edition of Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance (NoMAA)’s public art initiative.
    Guest curator Stephanie Lindquist
    Northern end of Inwood Hill Park (enter at Indian Road and 218th Street)
    Inspired by W. E. B. Du Bois’s conviction that propaganda through the arts can create social change, Persuasive Visions presents the work of two local artists, Gina Goico and Nick Kozak, who respond to today’s constant deluge of (mis)information.

    Gina Goico
    As we are inundated daily with media Gina Goico reminds us of the power of cleansing ourselves and holding space for our community. In this case, she invited neighbors to reconnect through conversation and collaboration creating traditional Dominican pellizas that read “reconocer para sanar”/ “recognize to heal” in her installation Sanar.

    Nick Kozak
    Opposition Position
    Nick Kozak’s installation Opposition Position challenges us to examine our education system and to stage our own educational interactions in this classroom in the park.

    All are welcome to attend free workshops led by local students on the first Saturday of the month through March of 2019 FINAL WORKSHOP will be Saturday March 9. RSVP HERE

    This holiday season we were shocked to find the social sculpture Opposition Position uprooted in Inwood Hill Park. Created by artist Nick Kozak, this public art work is activated by local high school students every month through dialogue around topics that matter most to youth and the community: health, safety, education, communication, technology, and identity.

    In the days after we were also heartened to see neighbors take ownership of this social sculpture by carefully arranging the chairs and desk of this classroom in the park back to its original layout.

    Opposition Position will continue to be on view at the northern entrance of Inwood Hill Park through March 2019./span>

    Made possible with support from NYC Department of Small Business Services N360 Grant, Con Edison and New York City Department of Parks & Recreation. This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council

    Creative Engagement Through Art

    Wednesday, October 24, 2018 6:30 – 8:30pm
    Inwood Center – 5030 Broadway (@214 St) 6th floor Conference Room

    A Placemaking workshop with Ambassadora’s Jana La Sorte

    Get an overview of the growing field and trend of creative placemaking, which connects to the desire of artists and communities to embrace art-making in hands-on and communal ways that build stronger, functional and connected communities.

    The recent UMEZ/LMCC grant opportunity related to this as do grant opportunities with the city and other funders. The workshop will largely focus on creative engagement strategies that serve you, your art, your organization and the creative and citizen community at large. Local uptown arts examples will be shared. Results of creative engagement include larger audiences; more donations and purchases; more committed supporters and funders; and energized citizens who sustain the ripple effect of involvement and fully understand the importance of local arts/artists.

    Arts, Community and Equity

    Professional development & networking for the creative and civic minded
    NoMAA’s Technical Assistance Institute 2018 – Saturday, November 3, 2018  9am – 3pm at Alianza Dominicana Cultural Center

    Professional development & networking for the creative and civic minded

    NoMAA’s Technical Assistance Institute 2018
    Suggested Admission: $25 in advance / $35 at the door (Breakfast and lunch provided)
    Eventbrite - Arts, Community and Equity

    Date: Saturday, November 3, 2018  9am – 3pm
    Venue: Alianza Dominicana Cultural Center / 530 W 166th St, New York, NY 10032
    Keynote: Rocío Aranda-Alvarado, Program Officer, Creativity and Free Expression – Ford Foundation
    Moderator: Alicia Grullón
    Coordinator: Charlie Vázquez
    Social Media Partner: Museum Hue

    BronxNet Host Daren Jaime talks with Joanna Castro,Executive Director of  NoMAA

    Panels: (panelist bios below)

    • Technology: Bridges to New Engagement with Marco Castro Cosio, Lisa Daniell, Carlos Jesus Martinez Dominguez and Monica O. Montgomery
    • Women on the Frontlines with Blanka Amezkua, Minerva Diaz, Juanita Lanzo and Yelaine Rodriguez
    • Gentrification and Cultural Preservation with Tomie Arai, LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs, Edwin Pagan and Adrián “Viajero” Román
    • The Arts as Healing Practices with Nancy Bruning, Maggie Hernandez, Marcus Smalls and Curtis D. Young

    Rocío Aranda-Alvarado / KEYNOTE
    Rocío Aranda-Alvarado is a program officer at the Ford Foundation on the Creativity and Free Expression team. Prior to this she was curator at El Museo del Barrio, where she organized numerous exhibitions including Presente! The Young Lords in New York and Antonio López: Future Funk Fashion. She was also curator at Jersey City Museum, where she organized retrospectives of the work of Chakaia Booker and Raphael Montañez Ortiz. She is also on the adjunct faculty at the City College of New York. Rocío lived in Washington Heights and Inwood from 1994 to 2014.

    Alicia Grullón / MODERATOR
    Alicia Grullón has exhibited at The Brooklyn Museum, Bronx Museum of the Arts, and El Museo del Barrio. She’s received grants from Department of Cultural Affairs, Franklin Furnace Archives and Bronx River Art Center for the City’s Immigrant Culture Initiative. She’s a contributing author in “Rhetoric, Social Value and the Arts: But How Does it Work?” from Palgrave MacMillian. Her work has been reviewed in the New York Times, Hyperallergic, Creative Time Reports, Village Voice and ArtNews. Grullon is an Artist-in-Residence at The Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics at New York University.

    Charlie Vázquez / COORDINATOR
    Charlie Vázquez is an author and cultural consultant with over thirty years’ experience in the creative sector: as a musician, photographer, fundraiser, festival planner, exhibit developer, freelance editor, program manager, teaching artist and technology strategist. He’s published several books of fiction and poetry and edited four anthologies of fiction and memoir. Charlie served as festival coordinator for Puerto Rico’s Festival de la Palabra for four years as well as having directed the BCA Bronx Writers Center for five. He lives and works in the Bronx where he discovered his love for the arts as a child.



    Marco Castro Cosio (NYU ITP ’10) has worked as curator of art exhibitions in New York and Mexico. He was the MediaLab director at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and worked as Visitor Experience Manager at the Queens Museum. As an artist, his project Bus Roots seeks to equip buses with a lightweight green garden. Marco was part of the UN Rio +20 and was a TED speaker-in-residence. Currently, he’s an adjunct professor at Columbia University within the School of Anthropology, a Research Fellow at the Brown Institute for Media Innovation and Visiting Scholar at the Institute for Public Knowledge at New York University.

    Lisa Daniell With a background in art and publishing, Lisa Daniell has been an organizer since 1994 and holds the role of Operations Manager of Women’s Press Collective (WPC), an all-volunteer, non-government funded membership association dedicated to organizing alternative press resources in the interest of poor and working communities. WPC places a special focus on the needs of low-paid working women. Ms. Daniell provides on-the-job training in the organizing and technical skills for building community-based media, independent of government or corporate control. WPC runs a free-of-charge Publication Benefit Program where members receive training in writing, journalism, graphic design and printing.

    Carlos Jesus Martinez Dominguez is a Caribbean New Yorker, father, Atheist some days, Non-Theist Agnostic on others, socialist, ethical polyamorist, dropout, GED holder, autodidact, educator, debater, marijuana advocate, as well as a Hip Hop, sneaker, comic book and sci-fi loving non-Latino/a/x identifying Dominican Puerto Rican. An artist born on a military base in North Carolina in 1976, he’s taught and spoken at institutions nationally and internationally, exhibiting at El Museo del Barrio, Studio Museum of Harlem and Centro Leon Museum among others. Washington Heights resident since 1984. “My work conveys my anxiety and thrill regarding history, how that history manifests in the present, and the present’s implications for the future.”

    Monica O. Montgomery, is an arts and culture consultant and diversity, equity, inclusion trainer, using a social justice framework to foster innovation and new outcomes that bridge the equity gap between people and institutions. She is the principal trainer of ‘IDEAL Culture Environments of Equity’ platform. She works internationally to facilitate diversity, equity & inclusion initiatives with clients throughout Europe, Africa and North America. She is cofounder and strategic director of Museum Hue, a multicultural force advocating for people of color in arts, culture and museums. She is currently a fellow with the Human Impacts Institute.


    Blanka Amezkua: artist, cultural promoter and educator. She was formally trained as a painter, studied in Florence, Italy, and received her B.A. from California State University, Fresno. Recipient of the BRIO award from the Bronx Council on the Arts in 2007, she initiated an artist-run project called the Bronx Blue Bedroom Project in 2008. In 2010, the project’s two-year trajectory was included in Greater New York: 5 Year Review at MoMA-PS 1 and Alternative Histories at Exit Art. Between 2010–2016 she lived in Athens, Greece. She currently runs AAA3A (Alexander Avenue Apartment 3A), an artist space on Alexander Avenue in Mott Haven, South Bronx.

    Minerva Diaz was a painter with DC-9, an HVAC engineer at Disney ABC, and a road producer in the auto-industry until its collapse in 2008, which led her to pursue her passion of being an artist. It all started when then Senator Obama signed her work. Now she has a growing collection signed by other influential individuals. Her work is permanently displayed at the Rosa Parks School and the Atomic Bomb Museum in Nagasaki, Japan. It has also been published and featured at multiple UN summits. Minerva Diaz is the Director of Operations at the Dwyer Cultural Center in Harlem and continues to tell visual stories through her work.

    Juanita Lanzo is a visual artist based in New York City. She’s exhibited at Aljira Center for Contemporary Art in New Jersey, BronxArtSpace, Wallworks and Longwood Art Gallery @ Hostos in New York, as well as at Museo Contemporáneo, Caguas and Galería Francisco Oller in Puerto Rico. Her curatorial focus is on women of color and LGBTQ artists; race, gender and immigration. Lanzo has been sought for her industry expertise by Wave Hill, MTA’s Arts for Transit, Percent for Art, Center for the Book Arts and the Lower East Side Printshop. She graduated from City College of New York (MFA, 2004) and the University of Puerto Rico (BFA, 1996).

    Yelaine Rodriguez is a Bronx based Artist/Curator. Founder of La Lucha: D.R & Haiti: One Island, an artist-based organization. Since 2014, La Lucha has hosted artist talks and exhibitions with the Dominican/Haitian Diaspora. Rodriguez graduated from Parsons the New School of Design in 2013 and Central St. Martins London. Rodriguez is the recipient of the Van Lier Fellowship, Wave Hill 2018 & a Fellow at Caribbean Cultural Center of the African Diaspora 2017. She has exhibited at BRAC, American Museum of Natural History, Rush Art Gallery, and El Centro Cultural de España in the Dominican Republic. She currently teaches at Parsons the New School of Design in NY.


    Tomie Arai is a public artist who collaborates with local communities to create visual narratives that give meaning to the spaces we live in. She’s designed public works for the NYC Percent for Art program, the San Francisco Arts Commission, the MTA Arts for Transit program, and for US GSA Art in Architecture. Her latest public commission will be an architectural glass mural for the new Central Subway Station in San Francisco’s Chinatown, sponsored by the SF MTA. Tomie is a co-founder of the Chinatown Art Brigade, a cultural collective that mobilizes against gentrification and displacement.

    LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs is a writer, vocalist and sound artist. She’s the author of the poetry collection TwERK (Belladonna, 2013). Her interdisciplinary work has been featured nationally and internationally. As a curator and director, she’s staged events at BAM Café, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, The David Rubenstein Atrium, The Highline, Poets House and El Museo del Barrio. LaTasha has received awards from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Japan-US Friendship Commission and Creative Capital, as well as Whiting Foundation’s Literary Award. She’s a native of Harlem.

    Edwin Pagan is a New York-based artist, cultural advocate, and thought leader with over 25 years’ experience in utilizing the arts as anchors for community revitalization via an approach called “Cultural Identity Reclamation”. He’s championed this since the 1990s to inform his organizing work. Pagán is program manager of Bronx Culture Collective, where he partners with South Bronx-based organizations to strengthen and unify arts resources in the region as a tool for empowerment and to collectively address the most pressing social issues in the region—including gentrification. He’s the communications and media director for Nos Quedamos.

    Adrián “Viajero” Román’s work is informed by issues of race, migration and identity while exploring both the personal and historical memory of the two disparate worlds he inhabits: the tropical landscape of Puerto Rico and the cityscape of New York. His practice combines drawing, painting and sculpture within immersive installation environments composed of objects collected from different communities, from salvaged wood and window frames to historic artifacts. The result often draws upon the history and memory embedded in the objects. He’s interested in the continuity of time, and in how these interventions may bring these living histories forward to the present.


    Nancy BruningNancy Bruning is the author of over 20 books on health and fitness. She’s the founder of Nancy Bruning’s Nancercize, an experienced public speaker, and popular leader of outdoor fitness classes for all ages and abilities. Nancy augmented her art degree from Pratt Institute with a Masters Degree in Urban Public Health from Hunter College/CUNY. She believes that expanding and connecting our concepts of art and fitness work to benefit them both.

    Maggie Hernandez-Knight Maggie Hernandez-Knight is a visual artist known for her brightly colored abstract paintings. Over a lifetime, Maggie has used her creativity to reinvent herself. Her first love was classical ballet. Alongside dance, Maggie worked primarily in banks. In the mid 90’s she landed at the Fashion Institute of Technology where she became an abstract artist. She eventually became certified as a life coach and published a book about her healing journey, The Magic of Succeeding. In 2013, Maggie left the banking world to open JourneySpace, a dance (and sometimes visual art) studio, which she ran for five years. MariposaMaggie, her current project, is built upon her foundational experiences; combining her love of the arts with personal development and community building.

    Marcus Smalls is a teaching artist and youth development professional with extensive experience in training, group facilitation and curriculum development. Over the past twenty years Marcus has utilized his lifelong love of Hip Hop culture and artistic background as a writer, blogger, poet, and spoken word artist to moderate creative environments, which focus on themes of spirituality, identity and goals. Marcus is a VONA/Voices Fiction alumnus and former Bronx Council on the Arts/Bronx Writers Corps Fellow. He’s currently an Artist in Residence/Teaching Artist for Brooklyn Academy of Music.

    Curtis D. Young is an advocate of youth education programs focusing on art and opportunity expansion. He joined Artistic Noise as Executive Director in 2017, after more than 10 years in education at leading non-profit organizations including iEARN-USA, where he managed U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs programs, and most recently, the Ross Institute. He obtained his B.A. in Political Science from Hampton University and completed coursework in Urban Planning at NYU’s Wagner School of Public Service. He serves as Board of Directors (Chair) for The Laundromat Project and is a member of NYC Community Board 12.

    NoMAA Exhibit: Neighborhood Anthems

    NoMAA Exhibit: Neighborhood Anthems
    Featured Artists: Andrea Kornbluth, Arlene Schulman, Joana Toro, Paul Deo
    Guest Curator: Henone Girma (Art in Flux)
    OPENING & ARTIST TALK: Tuesday Oct 16, 2018 6-8pm
    ON VIEW UNTIL: January 7, 2019
    NewYork-Presbyterian, The Allen Hospital 5141 Broadway @220 St NYC

    Featured Artists:
    Andrea Kornbluth, Arlene Schulman, Joana Toro, Paul Deo
    Guest Curator: Henone Girma (Art in Flux)
    OPENING & ARTIST TALK: Tuesday Oct 16, 2018 6-8pm
    ON VIEW UNTIL: January 7, 2019

    NewYork-Presbyterian, The Allen Hospital 5141 Broadway @220 St NYC

    Puerto Rico: Hope in the Dark – screening and panel discussion

    FREE and open to the public

    2pm screening of documentary bilingual (English/Spanish) with subtitles
    3pm panel moderated by: Charlie Vázquez

    A moving portrait of the strength, spirit and resiliency of the Puerto Rican people.

    FREE and open to the public
    September 23, 2018
    Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling
    898 St. Nicholas Avenue @ 155th St NYC

    Watch the trailer

    2pm screening of documentary bilingual (English/Spanish) with subtitles
    3pm panel discussion on the intersection of arts and disaster relief

    moderated by: Charlie Vázquez
    panelists: (bios below)

    • Gabriel Rivera (Associate Producer & PACE student)
    • Arnaldo J López, PhD (Managing Director, Pregones / PRTT)
    • Mónica Tavares (Hispanic Federation)
    • Reverend Dr. Damaris D. Whittaker and Sabas Hernan Flores Whittaker (Fort Washington Collegiate Church)

    A moving portrait of the strength, spirit and resiliency of the Puerto Rican people. This documentary is a production of students at PACE University PACE docs, led by Maria Luskay, EdD.
    A special thanks to Shirley Acevedo Buontempo, Latino U College Access and Prof Luskay.

    Award winner at the Best Shorts Competition, Silver Award at the Spotlight Film Awards and a selection at Mindie – Miami Independent Film Festival.

    September 23 is the last day of RELATIONAL UNDERCURRENTS: Contemporary Art of the Caribbean Archipelago exhibit at the Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art and Storytelling, showcasing Caribbean artists

    Puerto Rico: Hope in the Dark – Panelist Bios

    Gabriel Rivera served as associate producer on the documentary film Puerto Rico: Hope in the Dark. He was one of eighteen student filmmakers from Pace University PACE DOCS who traveled throughout the island to chronicle and tell the stories of the people of Puerto Rico following Hurricane María. Gabriel is of Puerto Rican descent and has family in the city of Ponce, Puerto Rico. He is a graduate of Pace where he attained his Masters in Media and Communications. Gabriel is currently an intern with the ABC program 20/20 and a freelance assignment desk editor with News 12 The Bronx and Brooklyn.

    Arnaldo J. López is an arts manager and development strategist with a Ph.D. in Latin/o American Literatures and Cultures from New York University. As Pregones/Puerto Rican Traveling Theater’s first Development Officer, and now its first Managing Director, he plays a key role in planning and fundraising for year-round arts programs in The Bronx and Manhattan. Mobilizing support for peer networks on the island, the company’s Hurricane María Relief Drive for Artists in Puerto Rico raised and distributed more than $100,000 in the form of no-strings, emergency micro-grants to practitioners of all creative disciplines. A second wave of support is underway.

    Charlie Vazquez is an author and cultural consultant from The Bronx. He was one of dozens of artists who contributed original written and visual works to create the graphic novel collection Ricanstruction, organized by artist Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez, the creator of La Borinqueña. To date, the anthology has raised over $150,000. Charlie served as the director of the Bronx Writers Center at Bronx Council on the Arts for nearly five years and was a festival coordinator for Puerto Rico’s Festival de la Palabra, which celebrated Puerto Rican literary culture and history, hosting award-winning authors and poets from around the world in public school classrooms in Puerto Rico and Uptown New York City.

    Reverend Dr. Damaris D. Whittaker is a United Church of Christ (UCC) minister. She was the first woman to serve as Senior Minister of the historic First Church of Christ, UCC, in Hartford, Connecticut. Dr. Whittaker is a public theologian at Ft. Washington Collegiate Church. She is deeply passionate about social justice advocating for racial justice, LGBTQ equality, immigration reform, women’s leadership, universal healthcare, and affordable housing. Dr. Whittaker believes she has been called to break down silos and sees intersectionality of faith as a place she can affect change. Dr. Whittaker is originally from Humacao, Puerto Rico and is married to Sabas Whittaker.

    Mónica Tavares is the Vice President of External Affairs at Hispanic Federation. She was previously Chief of Staff in the Office of Communications and External Affairs at the New York City Department of Education (DOE). Wheen Ms. Tavares was the Acting Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA), she managed One NYC One Nation, a two-year, $1 million civic engagement initiative designed to increase the participation of immigrants in New York City’s civic life. She was also the Bronx Borough Director/Latino Liaison for the Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit and for eight years did community and government relations at El Museo del Barrio, the city’s leading Latino cultural institution.

    Sabas Hernan Flores Whittaker was born in Puerto Cortes, Honduras. He recently published two books: Faith in the Field and Canto al Emigrante en Voz Latina. He’s participated in four humanitarian trips to Puerto Rico, aiding in the repairing of roofs and homes. Sabas is a holistic gardener and donated various organic seeds from his garden to Casa Solidaria, via Proyecto Matria, overseeing the planting of them in the mountains of Miraflores, Orocovis with a youth group. These efforts will stimulate pollination, enhancing natural growth usually provided by bees wiped out by the hurricane. Ft. Washington Collegiate Church’s mission is not only to repair homes but to stimulate economic activity by purchasing all materials from locally-owned businesses on the island, such as in Humacao and Orocovis.