JOHANNA DE LOS SANTOS has been the Executive Director of Art Start since July of 2007. Prior to joining the Art Start family, she spent years revolutionizing the indie film industry’s release platform by pioneering the “Social Outreach Campaign” for two major motion picture film releases, Favela Rising (2005) and The Hip Hop Project (2007), taking conscious, independent film on nationwide tours through under-served communities, homeless shelters and juvenile detention facilities as a part of their distributor’s traditional release campaign. From 2003-2005, Johanna served as Manager of Community Partnerships for the New York International Latino Film Festival and holds three years of corporate business planning expertise from the multinational Briggs & Stratton Corporation.
Johanna received a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin (1998) and a M.A. from New York University in Latin American Studies (2007) where she focused on art and music as a social movement in communities oppressed by systemic violence. In 2010, Johanna was awarded “Non-Profiteer of the Year” by the New York Association of Non-Profit Professionals. Johanna’s pride lies in her journey from an at-risk teen to the woman she is today, in large part due to her parents who relentlessly inundated her with music, sewing, art, Shakespeare, and most importantly, theunconditional creative freedom to express herself – a gift she hopes to pass on to her own children.
As a veteran of Art Start for over ten years, beginning as a workshop volunteer, then teaching artist, later promoted to Director of Programs and now, Co-Executive Director, Brooklyn-raised HANNAH IMMERMAN oversees all of Art Start’s various programs, teaching staff and volunteers, and Art Start’s programming partnerships. Hannah graduated from New York University in 2009 with a Bachelor’s degree in Urban Design and Architecture Studies and is currently earning a Masters of Science in CUNY Hunter’s Urban Affairs graduate program on the Non-Profit Management track.
JAZMIN DELGADO graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with her BFA in Design and Visual Communications where shortly after she moved to NY to join the Art Start family. Jazmin originally started off at Art Start as a Graphic Design Intern designing content for the organization during her last semester of college and later became the Office & Programs Coordinator/Graphic Designer. Jazmin is excited to be apart of the Art Start family and hopes to gain as much experience as she can from the organization.
NINA SPIERER started with Art Start in 2010 as an intern, Van Amson fellow, and later as a volunteer with the Portrait Project. They are excited to return to the team as the development and marketing manager to continue to share Art Start's stories. Nina comes to Art Start with a strong background in relationship building, youth development, and social justice programming. They have worked with various non profits including iMentor, Lead for Diversity, and the 14th Street Y. Nina earned their B.A. from Barnard College and is currently pursuing an M.A. in Sociology of Education at New York University.
MARIAM ARYAI RIVERA manages Art Start’s SONYC program at Nelson Residence in the Bronx which offers academic enrichment and art workshops 5-days a week for middle school youth living at the shelter. As the onsite director she leads a team of interns, teaching artists, and the HYOP Associate Program Director. Rivera, a multi-media artist fluent in both English and Spanish, has been working with Art Start for one-year and comes from a long history of working as a community organizer and workshop facilitator.
CHARLES DAVIS has been a part of Art Start HYOP workshops since 2010 beginning as a volunteer and recently becoming a Visual Arts Teaching Artist. He earned a B.S. in Psychology from the University at Buffalo and a M.S. degree in Urban Affairs from CUNY Hunter College. He also works as an Assistant Teacher for students diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and volunteers his free time to several youth-based projects. Recognizing his affinity and commitment to empowering young people of our communities, Charles continues to center both his interests and efforts on ventures that promote self-discovery, self-expression and self-improvement.
SHANÉE SMITH, recent Master of Science in Social Work graduate Columbia University, is a vivacious agent of social change committed to combatting the invisibility, misrepresentation, and suppression of young people of color through the arts. As a social worker for Day One, an organization committed to addressing the issue of teen dating violence in NYC, as well as a teaching artist for the Homeless Youth Outreach Program at Art Start, Shanée has explored ways of introducing and infusing contemporary social issues into her scope of work. In doing so, Shanée has worked to encourage participants to identify the ways in which art, in it's many forms, can be used as a tool of healing, storytelling, resistance, and power within and between communities.
DANNY COEYMAN earned his MFA from Parsons the New School for Design in 2006 with a full scholarship from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation. He has taught art, literacy, and life skills in museums, homeless shelters, galleries, universities and the public school system for over a decade. He is overjoyed to teach for Art Start, where he blends his training as a fine artist with his experiences in improv comedy and Soto Zen.
VICTOR " THE KID GLYDE" ALICEA is a prominent and inspirational dancer/b-boy in the hip-hop community who has been teaching dance classes at Art Start for 2-years. Hailing from Queens, NY, Kid Glyde is the president of the Dynamic Rockers, a legendary NYC break dancing crew and has won titles at major battles such as the Rock Steady Crew Anniversary Battles and Eurobattle. He has appeared in acclaimed dance movies such as Step Up 2 & 3, Bumper, Pressure and All Out War.
Raised in Harlem, TYRONE OSBORNE-BROWN is an arts activist, teaching artist, writer, photographer, and multimedia artist. His artwork investigates the challenges people face in forming and maintaining their individuality while embracing their non-conformity. He has exhibited domestically and internationally at the University of Cambridge, Photoville, The Time/Life Gallery, MOCADA, and The International Center of Photography. Since 2004, Tyrone has taught visual arts at several youth-based art organizations including LEAP, East Harlem Tutorial, Hip Hop for life, and YWCA. At Art Start he develops curriculum and leads visual arts workshops for court-involved youth.
JC CARTWRIGHT is a drummer from Brooklyn. He’s toured both nationally and internationally with numerous jazz and hard core bands. He first came to Art Start as a volunteer in 2013, teaching hand drumming at Life Shelter on the Lower East Side. He is currently a Teaching Artist in an after school program at a Bronx school that serves court-involved youth. He received his BA in Political Science from Baruch College at the City University of New York. He is currently finishing his MSW at the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College. JC likes Red Vines over Twizzlers, and likes to augment his conversations with air punches.
ISAAC KATALAY DIALLO originates from the Democratic Republic of Congo where he learned dancing and drumming under the wings of his late great grandmother. As a student of International Criminal Justice at John Jay College, he began teaching in underprivileged schools using arts, music, dance, drumming, and painting to foster personal development. In 2012, Isaac founded a dance class and concept called CONTEMPTRA, that teaches contemporary and traditional dances from Congo. He also founded the band, “Life Long Project,” which highlights central Africa’s culture and history. At Art Start, Isaac currently teaches hand drumming to court-involved youth in the Bronx.
MIKY SOLANDO first joined Art Start in 2008 as a justice-involved youth. After 2-years of participating in the One Mic music-recording program, he was accepted and graduated from EAR in 2010. After volunteering at Art Start for 3-years, he was hired as an Assistant Music Teaching Artist. He is a master freestyle artist who can put into verse the day-to-day challenges of a young man rising from the streets of Brooklyn. In between verses, Miky is an inspirational presence for students and shows undying commitment to his ever-expanding role at Art Start.
AMIR THORNELL has worked with underserved youth for more than 15 years using Hip-Hop culture to engage youth, develop their voice, build confidence, and explore their identity. Amir earned a Bachelors of Fine Arts from Rhode Island School of Design and a Masters of Social Work from Hunter College. At Art Start he infuses Hip-Hop culture into his visual arts workshops for court-involved youth at an alternative-to-incarceration program in Harlem. In addition to being an arts educator, he is an independent director and documentary filmmaker.