Board of Directors
Naomi Beckwith is the Marilyn and Larry Fields Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, focusing on conceptual practices in contemporary art. Her master’s thesis on Adrian Piper and Carrie Mae Weems earned Distinction from the Courtauld Institute of Art in London. Her exhibitions and work have been featured in The New York Times, Artforum, T Magazine, Uptown, CODE Magazine, and Ebony Magazine where she was recently listed as a Top 100 Leader in Arts and Letters. Beckwith was a fall 2008 grantee of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and was named the 2011 Leader to Watch by ArtTable. In addition to her curatorial work and service to The Laundromat Project, Beckwith has served on several host committees such as RUSH Philanthropic Gold Rush Awards, the BAMart Annual Auction, Triple Canopy and the Art for Africa auction for the Africa Foundation.
Tresell is an extremely passionate and accomplished retail strategist with a degree in Health Promotions and Disease Prevention Studies from the University of Southern California. She has worked in merchandising and planning roles for Ross Inc., Macy’s and the May Company utilizing product and financial analytics to create business solutions, and also serves on the Fashion Deli advisory board. She is an avid supporter of the arts and believes in its transformational ability to change and elevate the landscape of communities.
Stephanie Dinkins is a visual artist who uses the power and potential of images to investigate subjectivity and social equity through moving image, community-centered projects and installations. Her work is exhibited internationally and has been featured at renowned and community based venues, including Institute of Contemporary Art Dunaujvaros, Hungary; Herning Kunstmuseum, Denmark; Spellman College Museum of Fine Art; Contemporary Art Museum Houston; Wave Hill, Studio Museum in Harlem; Spedition, Bremen, Germany; and the corner of Putnam Ave and Malcolm X Blvd, Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. She is an alumna of the Maryland Institute College of Art (MFA), the International Center of Photography, and Syracuse University. She is also Associate Professor of Art at Stony Brook University where she teaches digital and interactive media.
Marcus Ellington is the Head of Industry for Media and Entertainment at Google, where his team oversees Google and YouTube’s cable television advertising business. Marcus has been in digital advertising for over a decade, helping marketers use digital solutions to tell brand stories, reach consumers and drive results. He began his career at CBS Television Stations in digital sales marketing where he developed campaigns for CBS On-air franchises such as March Madness, Grammy’s, and US Open Tennis. Marcus then worked at Radio One as Director of Ad Sales for Interactive One where he focused on helping brands reach multicultural consumers. Marcus is passionate about new emerging trends in media and technology and loves to work with partners that have this same drive to push the boundaries and try new innovative approaches. Marcus holds a BA in communications from Temple University and in 2015 graduated from Duke University’s Google Global Business Academy.
Dr. Erika Faust is an orthodontist practicing in midtown Manhattan. She is a graduate of Spelman College and Howard University College of Dentistry. Prior to making a full-time commitment to her dental practice, she served as a part-time attending dentist and clinical instructor at Bronx Lebanon Hospital Center. She is active with Operation Smile, an international charity organization that treats facial deformities in children, and New Yorkers for Children, a charity that assists foster children as they enter college. Her professional affiliations include the American Dental Association, and the American Association of Orthodontists. Dr. Faust is a native New Yorker, is an avid supporter of the arts, and has lent her support to such institutions as the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum, The Fashion Institute of Technology, and the New York Public Library.
Ali is the CEO and Founder of kpiReady, which streamlines data collection and reporting so that teams, investors, and other stakeholders align on company goals from Day 1. Additionally, Ali is an Advisor to GDPRsimple—a company focused on addressing the implementation and demonstration requirements for small and medium sized businesses of the EU General Data Protection Regulation. She has over 10 years of business development and client relationship management experience. Ali previously worked for world renowned institutions, including JPMorgan’s Private Bank, New York University, the University of Chicago, and The Armory Show. She has a MBA from NYU’s Stern School of Business, where she focused on Finance and Strategy, and a degree in non-profit administration from NYU Steinhardt. As someone who built her career on strategically problem-solving across sectors, Ali is a highly professional and successful leader with a track record of orchestrating large team and project management efforts. She is also an avid sports fan and passionate art lover and collector.
Rasu Jilani is an independent curator, cultural producer and social sculptor, who investigates the intersections between art, culture and civic engagement as a means of raising critical consciousness. The main objective of his work is to catalyze interaction between artists, cultural institutions, the local community and the wider public, in order to promote cultural awareness through exhibitions, public programs, and cultural events. Currently Rasu serves as the Director of Cultural Diversity and Strategic Partnerships at NEW INC, The New Museum’s creative entrepreneurship incubator for art, tech and technology. From 2013 through 2016, Jilani worked at MAPP International Productions as the Director of Community Programs.
Curtis Young is a New York-based arts and culture enthusiast with a profound interest in politics and education technology. His passion for politics began at Hampton University, when he served as a White House Intern in the Clinton Administration. He then went on to work with Congressman Bobby Scott, Virginia House of Delegates Member Mamye E. BaCote, and both Al Gore and John Kerry’s Presidential Campaigns. After years in politics, Curtis enrolled in NYU’s Wagner School of Public Service in 2005. This led him abroad where he taught English in France and the West Bank of Palestine, and volunteered for the award winning NGO Tostan International both in Senegal and Guinea, assisting in efforts to end the practice of female genital cutting. He has served on the Advisory Council for American Friends of the Louvre Museum Young Patrons Circle, Young Friends of the Dream Ball (American Cancer Society), Young Ambassadors of Malaria No More, and is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. and the Maynor Biggers Artist Fund. Curtis currently serves as the Executive Director of Artistic Noise, and previously worked as a Project Director at the Ross Institute for Advanced Study and Innovation in Education.
Barbara A. Bianco is a cultural anthropologist and independent consultant with a passion for interdisciplinary initiatives and savvy prose. She provides organizational, research, and editorial support for nonprofits, creative agencies, and international organizations.
A transplanted Midwesterner, Barbara received her PhD from New York University, managed Africa-based research and training programs at the Social Science Research Council, and taught at Vassar College on topics ranging from theory and methods to histories of medicine and public health.
A coeditor of The Archaeology of the New York African Burial Ground (Howard University Press, 2009), she has received awards from Fulbright-Hays, the Social Science Research Council, New York University, and Vassar College.
Amelia Brod is Development Manager at The Laundromat Project. Prior to LP, she was an Arts Specialist at Kickstarter, where she helped artists and institutions build sustainable support and community. Before that she worked on exhibitions and programs at SculptureCenter, Creative Time, and ArtTable. She also curates independently, including Order My Steps at BKSD (2018), and holds an MA in Curatorial Practice from the California College of the Arts.
Destinee Forbes is a recent history of art MA graduate of The Courtauld Institute of Art in London. She specialized in modern and contemporary art with a focus on identity and representation of the black body. She has worked with artists like Laolu Senbanjo. Her experience on branding, marketing, community engagement, public relations, and communications make her an amazing addition to our team.
Kemi Ilesanmi is the Executive Director of The Laundromat Project. Prior to joining The LP in 2012, she was Director of Grants and Services at Creative Capital Foundation. From 1998-2004, she was a visual arts curator at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. She is on the boards of Joan Mitchell Foundation, The Broad Room, NOCD-NY, EMC Arts, and the Visiting Committee of Smith College Museum of Art. She is a mayoral appointee to the NYC Cultural Affairs Advisory Council. In addition to her leadership roles, Kemi lectures extensively across the country and contributes to cultural scholarship. In 2017, she was honored by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She received her MPA from NYU Wagner and her BA from Smith College. Kemi is also a graduate of Coro Leadership New York and a member of the Sterling Network.
Ladi’Sasha Jones is an alumna of The LP’s Fellowship program (2013), and is also an accomplished writer, and curator. She has written for Aperture, Avery Review, IAM magazine, Houston Center for Photography, Temporary Art Review, and Recess among others. Ladi’Sasha was the Sophie Davis Curatorial Fellow for Gender and Racial Parity at the Norton Museum of Art. She held prior appointments at the New Museum’s IdeasCity platform and NYPL’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. As a founding board member of the I, Too, Arts Collective, Ladi’Sasha is a part of a group working to transform the historic landmark brownstone of American poet James Mercer Langston Hughes into a residency for Black writers. She holds a B.A. in African American Studies from Temple University and a M.A. in Arts Politics from NYU, Tisch School of the Arts. Ladi’Sasha will be working with the programs team and among many other things she will reimagine our alumni engagement strategies.
Giovannah is a writer, editor, artist, and entrepreneur. As the Founder and Editor of MinusTheBox.Org and TheWorthinessProject.Org, she blogs regularly on her struggles with depression, OCD, anxiety, and self image. Her interests include mental health, identity, culture and ethnicity, creativity, connectivity and wellness.
Hatuey Ramos-Fermín is an artist, educator, and curator based in The Bronx. He is the co-founder of meta local collaborative, a Bronx-based artist collective, and Boogie Down Rides, a bicycling and art project celebrating cycling in the Bronx. He has organized projects and made presentations at a security guard training school (in tribute to Fashion Moda), community centers, churches, restaurants, laundromats, as well as galleries and museums. He has mentored young adults at the Center for Urban Pedagogy, and The Bronx Museum of the Arts, where he also served as Curator of Education. Ramos-Fermín has also participated in the Elizabeth Foundation for the Art’s Shift Residency, and The Laundromat Project’s Create Change Public Artist Residency. He received his BA from the University of Puerto Rico and his MFA from St. Joost Art and Design Academy.
Ayesha Williams is an art professional with over a decade of experience working with visual artists, presenting programs, and generating funding for both commercial galleries and nonprofit institutions. From 2010-2016, Ayesha managed Visual Arts at Lincoln Center, a comprehensive program that provides visual art offerings and experiences to Lincoln Center’s audiences and supporters. Prior to joining Lincoln Center, Ayesha was the Director of Kent Gallery. In addition to her professional experience, Ayesha is on the boards of the Marcus Garvey Park Alliance and The Possibility Project. She also served as a Steering Committee member of the UN Women’s Conference 2016. Ayesha received her Master’s degree in Visual Arts Administration from New York University and Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from University of Southern California, Los Angeles.
Our first full-time Community Engagement Manager, Cievel Xicohtencatl is a multidisciplinary artist and cultural organizer who lives and works in New York and Mexico. As a second generation migrant, her work often explores themes identity-based politics and culture. She graduated from CUNY Hunter College and served as Community Relations Coordinator for Friends of the High Line.
Tendaji joins The LP as Kelly Street Fellow through the Center for Neighborhood Leadership (CNL) apprentice and focuses on supporting community-led decision making and activism. A Bronx Native, Tendaji, even from a young age has a passion and drive for activism and advocacy, focusing on issues like Black Liberation, LGBTQ+ Rights, and Environmental Justice. He/They have been part of organizations like PSOL & BxMpowerment and is continuing to work alongside impactful community organizers to bring about significant change.
National Advisory Board
The National Advisory Board a diverse brain trust of creative, talented, and highly accomplished leaders who help amplify our work as we continue to equip, empower, and embolden artists and neighbors to serve as creative change agents in their own communities.
Museum of Modern Art
Susana Torruella Leval
Director Emerita, El Museo del Barrio and Arts Activist
Senior Curator, MoCAD and Co-Founder Art Noir
Make the Road New York
Tiana Webb Evans
Founder, ESP PR
Dr. Deborah Willis
Artist and NYU Tisch
School of the Arts
Teaching Artists & Faculty
The Laundromat Project works with professional teaching artists, primarily from our three anchor neighborhoods: Bedford-Stuyvesant, Harlem, and Hunts Point.
The Black School
Ebony Noelle Golden
Ahmed Tijay Mohammed
Dennis Redmoon Darkeem