Dotan is a self-taught pianist who started playing piano at age 18 after being inspired by Miles Davis’ album “Kind of Blue”. In fact, Dotan has been immersed in the arts since he was a child. Growing up in New York his parents, who hail from Greece and Israel, always exposed him to a wide variety of music, theater, and fine art. In 2010, Dotan decided to start street performing in New York City by bringing his upright piano to city sidewalks and playing for passersby. He found such joy in bringing happiness to pedestrians that the following year, after honing his skills, he embarked on a journey across North America (together with his dog Brando) and has thus far played on the streets of more than 53 cities and in 8 National Parks. Dotan continues to perform on the streets and will travel to exotic locales around the world with his upright piano (and Brando). He hopes to bring live music to people who don’t have access to it and to inspire people wherever they are to follow their dreams and to do something truly remarkable with their lives. A 2008 graduate of the University of the Arts with a BFA in Acting, Dotan also attended The O’Neill: National Theater Institute in Connecticut.
Loren started experimenting in her mother’s kitchen in 2007 with truly wholesome cookie recipes after overcoming cancer. She was determined to maintain her lifelong passion for delicious, first-rate sweets while eating as natural, unprocessed ingredients as possible. In 2009, completely healthy, Loren wanted others to have the chance to sample them, entered a baking contest --and won. It was then she realized she might have the makings of a business. In December 2010 Loren launched Sweet Loren’s, her line of all natural ready-to-bake desserts. She sells her products frozen so they stay fresh without preservatives. Conveniently packaged, Sweet Loren’s makes it easy for anyone to bake delicious fuss-free desserts that also fit into a healthy lifestyle. In 2011, Loren entered the Next Big Small Brand competition, a contest that seeks to identify promising artisan food businesses, and won that too (including the People’s Choice Award). During this past year Loren was recognized by New York Cares as a 2012 Honoree, and appeared on the NBC Today Show. Most recently, Marie Claire magazine named her Top Entrepreneur in their Women on Top Awards where 16 women nationwide were selected. A native New Yorker, Loren is a graduate of the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School of Communication; Columbia University’s Columbia Business Program, 2010-12; and is a certified Hatha Yoga instructor. She has also completed the Master Class in Cooking at The New School in New York and studied with The Natural Gourmet Institute.
Blood, procured from a slaughterhouse, is the primary medium in Jordan’s works. Through his experimental, invented process, he encases blood in plexiglass and UV resin. This preservation technique permanently retains the organic material's natural colors, patterns, and textures. The works become relics of that which was once living, embodying transformation, regeneration and an allegory of death to life. Jordan uses various mark-making methods, including layering the blood at different densities as well as heating, burning, and aging the material. Copper, a conductor of electricity, is sometimes mixed with the blood, imparting a unique, fiery energy. Blood-soaked gauze, stretched over the surface, creates another textural layer that serves as a map of memory and homage to ancient wrapping rituals. In some instances, blood that has decomposed for years forms dense masses that are ground into dust and tossed into the works, as a sign of passing and change. When lit, the works become translucent, cast shadows, and project a glow, appearing as if they are illuminated from within. The materials and luminosity in these bodies of work relate to themes of corporeality, mortality, spirituality, and science—invigorating blood as sublime. A 1999 graduate of New York University, Jordan’s work has been exhibited extensively throughout the US and can be found in important collections throughout the country. The New York Times, Time Magazine, New York Magazine, the Huffington Post, Time Out Chicago, The San Francisco Examiner and countless other media outlets have featured Jordan and his striking paintings.
Elena began playing piano at age five in her native St. Petersburg, Russia, and gave her first public performance at the age of six. She moved to the US with her family in 1974 and settled in New York City where she attended the renowned High School for the Performing Arts, where she graduated with the B’nai B’rith Award for Outstanding Performance in Music, was named “Promising Young Artist” by the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts and was even chosen to play the piano for a cameo role in the MGM movie “Fame”. Elena continued her studies at The Juilliard School of Music, where she began at the Pre-College Division and subsequently earned her bachelor and master degrees and was the recipient of the prestigious Petschek Scholarship. Elena’s performance credentials are impressive -- she made her first appearance at Lincoln Center in New York as a high school student with the National Music Week Orchestra and performed her recital debut in New York to a sold-out audience in the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. Elena made her professional orchestral Debut performing for fifteen thousand people on the same bill as Itzhak Perlman with the Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra. Her solo recitals, orchestral appearances, and TV and radio performances have taken her across the world including her native Russia, where she performed with leading orchestras there including the Moscow State Symphony, the St. Petersburg Camerata and the Ural Philharmonic Orchestra. In fact, Elena was the first foreigner ever to open the annual "Moscow Stars" Festival in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory. Elena has played numerous concerts for various charities including Elizabeth Taylor’s “Concert for AIDS” in Helsinki, violinist Isaac Stern’s seventy-fifth birthday celebration for Ben Gurion University, and Moscow’s first Russian Orthodox Sunday School for Children. Because of her diverse background and firm grounding in the cultures of her two home countries, Ms. Klionsky was invited to serve on the Board of Directors of the American-Russian Young Artists Orchestra. Elena Klionsky lives with her family in New York City.
Rebecca Greenstein, is the Founder and Director of Opera Moderne. A Soprano herself, Rebecca holds two degrees in the arts, including a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a specialization in Musical Theatre from Texas State University. She has studied all aspects of music and theatre from stage lighting, costuming, hair and make-up to stage direction, theatre management and contract negotiations. Rebecca has performed with leading companies including The National Lyric Opera, Dicapo Opera Theatre and the National Theatre in Szeged, Hungary. In addition to Opera Moderne, Rebecca is also the Founder and Director of The Hot Box Girls -- New York City’s Premier All-Singing All-Dancing Burlesque Troupe. Given their engaging line ups and fresh productions, both Opera Moderne and The Hot Box Girls have been top critics picks from the New York Times, New York Magazine, and Time Out New York.
Tirtzah Bassel is an Israeli artist currently living and working in New York City. She works in oil, intaglio, digital sketch apps and duct tape! Tirtzah studied drawing and painting at the Jerusalem Studio School in Israel, and earned her Master’s Degree in Fine Arts from Boston University. Her work has been exhibited throughout the U.S. Europe and Israel and has been featured in the New York Daily News, ynet, Hyperallergic, Speaker’s Lab, and the Forward. She is the recipient of a 2011-2012 LABA Fellowship at the 14th Street Y in New York City and currently serves as a resident artist of the Chashama Visual Arts Program in Brooklyn.
Benjamin Lowy is an award-winning photographer based in New York City. He received a BFA from Washington University in St. Louis in 2002 and began his career covering the Iraq War in 2003. Since then he has covered major stories worldwide. In 2004 Lowy attended the World Press Joop Swart Masterclass, he was named in Photo District News 30 and his images of Iraq were chosen by PDN as some of the most iconic of the 21st century. Lowy has received awards from World Press Photo, POYi, PDN, Communication Arts, American Photography, and the Society for Publication Design. Lowy has been a finalist for the Oskar Barnak Award, a finalist in Critical Mass, included in Magenta Flash Forward 2007, as well as the OSI Moving Walls 16 exhibit. His work from Iraq, Darfur, and Afghanistan have been collected into several gallery and museum shows, and shown at the Tate Modern, SF MOMA, Houston Center for Photography, Invalides, and Arles. His work from Darfur appeared in the SAVE DARFUR media campaign. In 2011 Lowy's Iraq | Perspecitves work was selected by William Eggleston to win the Duke University Center for Documentary Studies/Honickman First Book Prize in Photography. The book is currently available in stores now. In 2012, Lowy was awarded the Magnum Foundation Emergency fund to continue his work in Libya. In the same year, he received the International Center of Photography (ICP) Infinity Award for Photojournalism. Lowy is based in New York City. He is currently editorially represented by Reportage by Getty Images.
Sophia Brittan graduated from Georgetown University in 2005, after which she moved to New York City in pursuit of a culinary education. She graduated from the French Culinary Institute in 2006, followed by the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. In 2007, Sophia founded KitchenCaravan.com, a healthy online cooking show, where she developed recipes and hosted the program. Four years later, she opened Victory Garden, where she serves goat milk soft serve ice cream made with local ingredients and an exotic flair. Sophia’s love of cooking, strong belief in healthy eating, and passion for travel, have all shaped Victory Garden into a place that blends local and foreign cultures.
Celebrated jeweler Daria de Koning formally trained as an artist and graphic designer at Washington University in St. Louis. She holds a Graduate Gemologist degree from the Gemological Institute of America, and cut her teeth with a world-renown Italian jeweler before launching her eponymous collection in 2006. Ms. de Koning’s refined designs are known for being both striking and graceful. Her eye for the unusual and her extensive resources for high-quality and unconventional gemstones are manifest in her sophisticated jewelry, including hand-rendered, one-of-a-kind creations. In addition to bespoke pieces and custom commissions, Daria de Koning designs and creates her eponymous fine jewelry collection, which has been featured in numerous publications, including The Financial Times How to Spend It, The Huffington Post, Brides, Elite Traveler, Lucky magazine, Marie Claire, Martha Stewart Weddings, New York Magazine, Marie Claire, O: The Oprah Magazine, Town & Country Weddings, Veranda and Women's Wear Daily.
Francisco Moya was elected to represent New York State’s 39th Assembly District in 2010, earning him the honor of being the first Ecuadorian-American ever elected to public office in the United States. A lifelong resident of Corona, Queens, Francisco began organizing in his community at age 15, when he and a group of concerned neighbors started the Corona Gardens Neighborhood Association. Francisco worked for the Queens Health Network at Elmhurst Hospital, where he was the Associate Director of Business Development. In this role, helped develop three new community-based health clinics, including a cutting-edge wellness center for seniors and the first clinic in Queens solely dedicated to women’s health. In 2003, Francisco was named Secretary to the Senate for Senate Minority Leader David A. Paterson, and became the highest-ranking Latino in state government. Francisco has successfully passed 5 bills in the New York State Assembly during his first term including the New York State DREAM Fund to provide private scholarships for children of immigrants to attend college.
The sap from evergreen bushes found on the Greek island of Chios is known as “mastiha” and has been used since ancient times for numerous purposes, from medicine to cooking. In the US, Artemis Kohas, Owner of Mastihashop NY has become Chios Mastiha’s Ambassador. With both parents hailing from Chios, Artemis has spent every summer on the island surrounded by mastiha. Coming from a lineage of mastiha growers, she was always passionate about the sap and its healing qualities. Artemis felt it her ancestral calling to be a mastiha advocate. In 2006, Artemis and her sister became partners in the Mastihashop on Mykonos and in December 2007 opened the first Mastihashop in the Americas, a lifestyle boutique on the Lower East Side of New York City where a variety of mastiha products can be found. Mastihashop has received recognition from from the New York Times and Vogue, and won the British Airways Face of Opportunity contest for small businesses in 2011. Artemis earned her BS from Lafayette College and an MA from New York University, both in psychology. She is a licensed mental health counselor, and worked with children and families affected by 9/11 at P.S. 150 in Tribeca.
Yaron pushes the boundaries of the visual world – both technically and aesthetically. Born in Jerusalem and now living in New York City, Yaron’s work investigates how the media and military power depict and often distort reality. A BFA graduate in photography from Israel’s Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Yaron has participated in several international group exhibitions including the Tokyo Wonder Site, the 9th Istanbul Biennial, and at the Lisson Gallery in London. His work is also part of the permanent collection at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. Additionally, through his Leshem Loft Yaron creates museum quality family portraits.
An Art Director/Designer based in New York City, Joe specializes in digital media. He graduated with distinction from the American University of Beirut with a BFA in Design and an MFA in Design and Technology from Parsons in New York. Joe believes in using the creative process to promote cross-cultural dialogue, leaving traces of Latin and Arabic typography and design wherever he goes. You can spot some across 3 continent and in such locales as Paris, Beirut, Italy, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Qatar, Dubai, both coasts of the US, and of course the infinite on-line universe. Heavily influenced on the diverse cultures and languages he was brought up with, Joe's favorite dish in fact is a stew of serifs and sans-serifs. As traditional Mezze goes, you can always drop by for a sampler. Find Joe on the 5th floor of Euro RSCG in New York.
Karan Gera is the Founder of Monsieur Singh Lassi. Born and raised in New Delhi, India, Karan moved to New York City in 2002 to work in advertising. While on assignment as a Strategist for a major yoghurt brand, Karan conceptualized the idea for Monsieur Singh Lassi. He realized the way yoghurt was being sold was not really as beneficial as claimed. Karan then reacquainted himself with Lassi, an Indian yoghurt drink and began traveling throughout India to learn more. Now, Monsieur Singh Lassi is on a mission to help people “have yoghurt the right way”. Karan lives in NYC with his wife, Shikha and daughter, Izar.
André’s resume includes the New York City Public Schools, The Ford Foundation, Miramax Films, Urbanworld, Film Movement, Universal, HBO, Picturehouse, and Dreamworks. His production credits include the 2007 BET Awards Post Show and “Starrbooty”, his project with RuPaul, a festival hit during the summer of 2007. He managed product placement & clearances for “Rocket Science” and his feature “Dirty Laundry” received the NAACP Image Award & GLAAD Media Award nominations. André directed and produced “The Prep School Negro”. He started touring with the educational version in 2009 visiting nearly 200 high schools, colleges, universities and conferences with workshops booked through 2013. Now living in New York City, the Philadelphia native serves as a consultant and advisor for Connecticut College's Mellon Undergraduate Research Program in the Arts and Humanities, as a member of the Advisory Board for Ready Willing and Able: The Doe Fund, Inc., on the Jury for the Academy Awards Student competition, the Blacksoil Film Festival and has served as a Reader for The Gates Millennium Scholars Program as well as a speaker at The Gates Millennium Scholars Program Leadership Conferences. André also serves on the Alumni Board of Directors of Connecticut College from where he received his BA. He also received his Master’s in the Art of Teaching from Tufts University.
Gregorio was born and raised in Bogota, Colombia. At 17 he decided to explore different Latin music genres by backpacking and performing in streets, buses and beaches around South America. After his adventure, Gregorio earned his degree from the Berklee College of Music in Boston. During his studies, Gregorio was influenced by Jazz which propelled him to create The Gregorio Uribe Big Band – a 16 piece musical experience that blends Afro-Colombian rhythms with funk grooves and powerful big band arrangements. Gregorio’s energetic and innovative approach to the music of his country has led him to share the stage with such renowned artists as Grammy-winners Ruben Blades and Carlos Vives, and to perform at venues including the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. In February 2012, Gregorio released his solo album, Pluma Y Vino, at the Blue Note. Gregorio performs with his Big Band the first Thursday of every month at Zinc Bar in the heart of Greenwich Village in New York City.
Mario heads up Nievera Williams, one of America's leading landscape architecture firms. Dividing his time between Palm Beach, New York City, and East Hampton, Mario and his business partner Keith Williams, have completed numerous high profile projects throughout the United States and the Caribbean -- and are currently working on projects in China as well. A Bachelor's degree holder in Landscape Architecture from Purdue University, Mario is actively involved with the American Society of Landscape Architects and donates his firm's design and consulting services for many non-profit organizations. Chances are, if you’ve leafed through the pages of Vanity Fair, Architectural Digest, or Elle Decor, then you’ve seen some of Mario’s sublimely designed outdoor spaces.
Mario is the Executive Director of The Happy Post Project, a social movement aimed at spreading happiness to create social change. Born next to an active volcano in Pasto, Colombia, Mario left his position heading anti-corruption programmes for Colombian President Alvaro Uribe and with no money, no English language skills, and no friends, moved to the United States. He did however have a sympathetic cousin in Boston on whose couch he crashed. After waiting tables and working as a valet parking attendant, Mario learned enough English and entered the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University in New York City from which he earned his Masters in International Affairs. A round-about path through the ups and downs working in finance and energy led Mario to create the Happy Post Project.
Christy is the Co-Founder and Director of Marketing for wanderly.com, a travel website that helps people discover new experiences around the world. The site, which has inspired millions of travelers globally, was named in 2011 as one of Entrepreneur Magazine's 100 Most Brilliant Companies and one of Time Inc.'s Top 10 Startups. A native of Massachusetts and now a Brooklyn resident, Christy earned her B.A. in Communications from the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School. A semester of study in London imbued in her a permanent love of overseas culture and travel. Prior to wanderfly.com, Christy was a Senior Brand Planner at Young & Rubicam Advertising, Strategy Director at design consultancy Pearlfisher and Co-Founder of the digital agency, Living Breathing.
Zaria’s enthusiasm for drawing began during her childhood when she and her family traveled to some of the world’s most remote landscapes, the subject of her mother’s fine art photography. A cum laude graduate in Studio Arts from Skidmore College, Zaria has exhibited extensively at galleries and venues throughout the United States and overseas. Zaria recently completed a series of drawings that will be the set design for the classic ballet "Giselle", premiering this October at the Grand Theatre of Geneva, Switzerland. In August 2012 she will lead Chasing the Light, an art expedition in Greenland, re-tracing the 1869 journey of American painter William Bradford and artistically documenting the rapidly changing landscape (www.kickstarter.com/projects/701351414/chasing-the-light). The expedition is dedicated to Zaria’s mother who was inspired by Bradford’s journey. A lovely backgrounder on Zaria and her work can be found at: https://www.artsy.net/artist/zaria-forman
Pun is a two-time Tony Award-winning Broadway Producer (Glengarry Glen Ross, Best Play Revival 2005 & Spring Awakening, Best Musical 2007). He received his MFA in Acting from the Yale School of Drama. As an Actor, Pun has appeared on Broadway, off Broadway and at regional theaters across the U.S. He has originated roles in world and regional premieres by playwrights including: Theresa Rebeck, AR Gurney, John Pielmeier and David Henry Hwang. In 2010, Pun received the Colorado Theatre Guild's Henry Award for Best Supporting Actor in a play. He has played guest star and co-starring roles on TV shows including Body of Proof, Without a Trace, White Collar, Nurse Jackie, and all Law and Orders (including Conviction). On the big screen, Pun can be seen in Michael Clayton, Burn After Reading and the upcoming Two Days in New York starring Chris Rock (August 2012).
Fred has interviewed Princess Anne and covered the Royal Wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton for radio stations throughout the United States while working as a Royal Correspondent for WCIU TV's "You and Me This Morning" in Chicago. Splitting his time between Chicago, Houston and London, Fred has a unique perspective on world events. With an expertise in "everything royal", Fred has built a reputation as "Chicago's Royal Watcher". An Emmy award winning TV Producer, Fred's time in London has afforded him the opportunity to observe and report on some of the most significant events to impact Europe during the last few years.
Katie is a Brooklyn based muralist, community artist and children’s book illustrator. Her work has enabled her to travel and create visual dialogues with Cuban children, Namibian teens, Japanese auto manufacturers and indigenous women inmates fighting for gender equality and non-violence within the prisons of Chiapas, Mexico. For many years, Katie led Voices Her’d, a public art program for young women (www.groundswellmural.org), where teen girls address critical issues in the form of large-scale public art. Additionally, Katie teaches art at Ballet Tech, the New York City Public School for Dance. She has illustrated two books and is currently completing Fish for Jimmy, as both author and illustrator. It is a story of two brothers in the Japanese internment camps of WWII. Katie earned her MFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York City.
At age 14, Chef Guerrieri became infatuated with the kitchen while working at Dante’s pizzeria on Long Island, New York. He established himself as a young restaurateur by his early 20’s, opening Mannino's -- a favorite stop for Hampton’s bound travelers. Soon after, Michael's Elegant Affairs opened, a catering company serving New York’s high society, and entertainment industry. A love affair with Portugal years later led Chef Guerrieri to open Mezzaluna Lisbon where he prepares gastronomic creations showcasing his artistic talents. Combining old fashioned Portuguese tastes, a splash of Italy and a touch of New York City, his latest venture in the heart of Manhattan, City Sandwich, provides affordable, personalized gourmet sandwiches for people on the go. (Photo courtesy of Patricia Andrade)
Olga Iserlis is the Director and creative force behind TWISE, a Singapore-based company specializing in high profile lifestyle event conceptualization, production and management. Whether they’re gala events, charity fundraisers, or musical soirees, Olga’s affairs are renowned for their originality, meticulous planning, elegant and unusual settings, and of course, plenty of glamour. Throughout the years, Olga has staged events for Audemars Piguet, Van Cleef & Arpels, Diane von Furstenburg and Black Centurion American Express Card among others. One of Olga’s most recent large-scale projects was a full Valentino Retrospective, held at Resorts World Sentosa Singapore, developed in conjunction with Les Arts Decoratifs Museum of Paris and with assistance from the House of Valentino in Milan. firstname.lastname@example.org