President and CEO
In 1997, I co-founded BuildaBridge International with Eastern University colleague Dr. Vivian Nix-Early. This community service organization grew from a vision to bring hope and healing to vulnerable children in tough places of the world, and to train and engage artists and community workers in the power of the arts to transform lives. In 2000, BuildaBridge was incorporated as an arts education an intervention organization and received a 501(c)3 designation by the IRS. Since 1997, BuildaBridge has trained over 350 personnel through the annual BuildaBridge Institute. Students come to the Institute from the Philadelphia region, nationally, and internationally.
BuildaBridge has provided arts experiences and programs to thousands of children in Philadelphia, Salish and Kootenai Americans, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Kenya, Rwanda, and Egypt. In 2002, BuildaBridge partnered with the Homeless Children's Initiative of the School District of Philadelphia and currently provides ongoing after school programming in seven homeless shelters. Our annual Diaspora of Hope project is a catalytic arts camp conducted in some of the world's informal settlements (slums) that engages children, local artists and community organizations in building capacity for arts-based community development.
The BuildaBridge Institute, now in its 10th year, partnered with Eastern University in 2005 to pilot an Arts in Transformation concentration of the MA in Urban Studies Program. The first Central American Institute is planned in Guatemala for 2011. BuildaBridge provides training for community arts as part of Diaspora of Hope and at the invitation of organizations in Europe, Asia, African, the Middle East and Latin America.