Roberto Bedoya has consistently supported art-based civic engagement projects and advocated for expanded definitions of inclusion and belonging throughout his career. Bedoya’s tenure as executive director of the National Association of Artists’ Organizations (NAAO) from 1996 to 2001 included serving as co-plaintiff in the lawsuit Finley vs. NEA. His essays “U.S. Cultural Policy: Its Politics of Participation, Its Creative Potential” and “Creative Placemaking and the Politics of Belonging and Dis-Belonging” reframed the discussion on cultural policy to shed light on exclusionary practices in cultural policy decision making. Bedoya is also a poet, whose work has appeared in numerous publications, and an art consultant, with projects for Creative Capital Foundation, the Ford Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, and the Urban Institute. Bedoya is currently Cultural Affairs Manager of the City of Oakland.
Zoë Charlton creates drawings that explore the ironies of contemporary social and cultural stereotypes. She depicts her subject’s relationship with their world by combining images of culturally loaded objects and landscapes with undressed bodies. Her work has been included in national and international exhibitions including the Harvey B. Gantt Center (Charlotte, NC, 2015), Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art (Bentonville, AR, 2014), Studio Museum of Harlem (NYC, NY, 2012), Contemporary Art Museum (Houston, TX, 2000), the Zacheta National Gallery of Art (Warsaw, Poland 2006), and Haas & Fischer Gallery (Zurich, Switzerland, 2006). She is a recipient of a Pollock-Krasner grant (2012) and Rubys grant (2014), and was a finalist for the 2015 Janet & Walter Sondheim Prize. Charlton is an Associate Professor in the Department of Art at American University in Washington, DC.
Mina Cheon is a Korean-American global new media artist, scholar, and educator who divides her time between Korea and the United States. Cheon has exhibited her political pop art known as “Polipop” internationally and draws inspiration from global media and popular culture to produce work that intersects politics and pop art in evocative ways. While she creates work that ranges in medium from new media, video, installation, performance, and public projects to traditional media of painting and sculptures, the content of the work is in historic alignment to appropriation art and global activism art. In particular, Cheon has worked on North Korean awareness and global peace projects since 2004, and while assuming different artistic pseudonyms for the past twenty years such as Minaliza1000, M-1000, Jae Son, Cheon’s latest avatar and alter ego is a North Korean artist named KIM IL SOON who made her first international public appearance at the Pulse Art Fair NY in 2013. She is currently an interdisciplinary Professor at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore.
Hasan Elahi is an artist whose work examines issues of surveillance, citizenship, migration, transport, and the challenges of borders and frontiers. His work has been presented in numerous exhibitions at venues such as SITE Santa Fe, Centre Georges Pompidou, the Sundance Film Festival, the Gwangju Biennale, and the Venice Biennale. Elahi has spoken about his work to a broad range of audiences such as Tate Modern, Einstein Forum, the American Association of Artificial Intelligence, the International Association of Privacy Professionals, TED, and the World Economic Forum. His recent awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship, an Alpert/MacDowell Fellowship, grants from Creative Capital, Art Matters Foundation, the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, and he is a recipient of a Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment Award. He is currently Professor and Director of the School of Art at George Mason University.
LigoranoReese have dedicated themselves to the art of collaboration since they first met in Baltimore. Their earliest collaborations began in video art and performance. Over three decades the artists have embraced hardware and software art, limited edition multiples, videos, sculptures and installations using a range of materials, traditional and digital processes. In the late 2000’s, they began installing temporary public monuments during the political conventions a series called Melted Away. These sculptures of words carved in ice are filmed photographed and streamed as they melt away and disappear. They have received awards and grants including 3 NYFA fellowships as well as a NEA fellowship, two Jerome Foundation Fellowships, a Puffin grant and a number of artists residencies. They are represented by Catharine Clark Gallery and show edition work with Jim Kempner Fine Art.
Lee McIntyre is a Research Fellow at the Center for Philosophy and History of Science at Boston University and a Lecturer in Ethics at Harvard Extension School. He is the author of Post-Truth (MIT Press, 2018), The Scientific Attitude: Defending Science from Denial, Fraud, and Pseudoscience (MIT Press, 2019), as well as numerous other books and academic articles. His popular essays on science, reason, and defending facts and truth have appeared in such venues as the New York Times, Newsweek, Scientific American, The Boston Globe, Salon, The Times Higher Education Supplement, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and The New Statesman. He has given talks on post-truth and science denial around the world, including the United Nations, the Getty Center, NOAA, and the Union of Concerned Scientists.
Leanne Mella is a cultural producer specializing in contemporary art and the moving image. Most recently, she directed the Bronx Museum of the Arts three-year initiative to reproduce Anna Hyatt Huntington’s monumental equestrian sculpture of Jose Marti, presented to the people of Cuba as a gift from the people of New York. She is currently developing the exhibition Floating Cities, addressing issues of climate change and adaptation, with the architectural historian Anthony Fontenot. From 2001 to 2008, Mella served as the Visual Arts specialist in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. In that position she directed the Bureau’s support for, and managed the representation of, American artists at major international exhibitions, including those in Venice, Istanbul, Sydney, São Paulo, Dakar and Kassel, and developed traveling exhibitions of photographic and video works presented in all world regions. She is the founder and director of Cross Currents, a cultural exchange program.
Monica Montgomery is the Executive Director of Prince Georges African American Museum and Cultural Center. She is an arts and culture innovator using creativity and narrative as a means of bridging the gap between people and movements. As an independent curator, museum consultant and keynote speaker, she uses her platforms to be in service to society. As a museum activist, Monica advocates globally for social justice and relevance embedded in museum practice. She is a dynamic force for change. She is an adjunct professor who’s taught in Museum Studies graduate programs at Harvard University, Pratt Institute, and NYU and guest lectured at Princeton University, Columbia University, American University, Johns Hopkins University, University of Pennsylvania, CUNY, University of the Arts and dozens more.
Randall Packer is a multimedia artist, composer, writer and educator who has worked at the intersection of interactive media, live performance, and networked art. He has received critical acclaim for his socially and politically infused critique of media culture, and has performed and exhibited at museums, theaters, and festivals internationally. Packer is a writer and scholar in new media, most notably the co-editor of Multimedia: From Wagner to Virtual Reality and the author of his long running blog: Reportage from the Aesthetic Edge. He has taught multimedia at the University of California Berkeley, Maryland Institute College of Art, American University, California Institute of the Arts, and Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore where until recently he was an Associate Professor of Networked Art. Currently he is directing the Third Space Network (3SN), an Internet broadcast channel for live media arts and creative dialogue from his underground studio bunker in Washington, DC.
Tina La Porta has developed a body of work photographing the Pro-Choice movement in Chicago, Milwaukee, Washington D.C. and New York City. In 1992 she moved to New York’s East Village to pursue her Masters of Fine Arts Degree at The School of Visual Arts where she studied with Lisa Spellman, Sarah Charlesworth and Nan Goldin. During that time she interned at Pace/McGill Gallery and for Historian, Naomi Rosemblum while she wrote her book A History of Women Photographers (Abbeville Press). Her intial post-graduate work was immersed within the global internet art movement where she created several internet specific art works such as: net.works + avatars, distance and Re:mote_Corp@REALities. After 9/11 she focused her attention on mediated representations and coverage of war. Currently, her work explores symptoms of mental illness, side effects of prescription medications and the therapeutic qualities of the artistic process.
Douglas Rushkoff, named one of the “world’s ten most influential intellectuals” by MIT is an author and documentarian who studies human autonomy in a digital age. His twenty books include the just-published Team Human, based on his podcast, as well as the bestsellers Present Shock, Throwing Rocks and the Google Bus, Program or Be Programmed, Life Inc, and Media Virus. His book Coercion won the Marshall McLuhan Award, and the Media Ecology Association honored him with the first Neil Postman Award for Career Achievement in Public Intellectual Activity. Rushkoff’s work explores how different technological environments change our relationship to narrative, money, power, and one another. He a research fellow of the Institute for the Future, and founder of the Laboratory for Digital Humanism at CUNY/Queens, where he is a Professor of Media Theory and Digital Economics.
John Sipher is the co-founder of Spycraft Entertainment, a production firm providing content and talent to the entertainment industry. John is also a foreign policy and intelligence expert and social media influencer. His articles have been published in the New York Times, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, Politico, Foreign Affairs, Newsweek, Slate, Lawfare, and Just Security, among others. He regularly appears on the PBS NewsHour, CNN, NPR, MSNBC, BBC and speaks to corporate, academic and governmental groups. John retired in 2014 after a 28-year career in the Central Intelligence Agency’s National Clandestine Service. At the time of his retirement, he was a member of the CIA’s Senior Intelligence Service, the leadership team that guides CIA activities globally. He is the recipient of the Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal.
Will Stevens began work as the Deputy Consul General and Chief of Public Affairs at the U.S. Consulate General in Cape Town South Africa in July 2019. Prior to arriving in South Africa, Mr. Stevens was the Director of the Foreign Service Institute’s Public Diplomacy (PD) Training Division, where he oversaw the training of the State Department’s entire public affairs and public diplomacy corps. In 2014, he received the Edward R. Murrow Award for Excellence in Public Diplomacy, the State Department’s highest award for public diplomacy work, for his work leading the U.S. Government’s Interagency Task Force on countering Russian propaganda during the Ukraine crisis. Mr. Stevens is an experienced Foreign Service Officer with overseas experience in Russia, Turkmenistan, Israel, and Belarus, as well as experience in Washington in the Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs and the Bureau of African Affairs.
Renée Stout moved to Washington, D.C. in 1985 where she began to explore the spiritual roots of her African American heritage through her work and eventually became the first American artist to exhibit in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art. Inspired by the African Diaspora, as well as everyday life in her DC neighborhood and current events, she employs a variety of media, including painting, drawing, mixed media sculpture, photography and installation in an attempt to create works that encourage self-examination, introspection and the ability to laugh at the absurdities of life and ourselves. She is a recipient of the Women’s Caucus for Art Lifetime Achievement Award, Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize, a Joan Mitchell Award, and the Women’s Caucus for Art Lifetime Achievement Award. Her work is included is in numerous collections including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The National Gallery of Art, The San Francisco Museum of Fine Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and the National Museum of African American History and Culture, among others.
Siva Vaidhyanathan is the Robertson Professor of Media Studies and director of the Center for Media and Citizenship at the University of Virginia. He is the author of Antisocial Media: How Facebook Disconnects Us and Undermines Democracy. He also wrote Intellectual Property: A Very Short Introduction, and The Googlization of Everything — and Why We Should Worry. Vaidhyanathan directs the Center for Media and Citizenship at the University of Virginia, which hosts a Democracy Lab, produces several podcasts, and the Virginia Quarterly Review magazine. He has appeared in an episode of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart to discuss early social network services. Vaidhyanathan is a fellow at the New York Institute for the Humanities and a Faculty Associate of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University.