Amina Re

AMINA RE is a visual artist whose work illuminates the shadows of the human psyche. Exhibited and published nationally and internationally, her themes include issues of female sensuality/ sexuality, trauma, motherhood, and patriarchy. Over her 25 years painting, Amina has continually traversed the delicate edge between trauma and bliss, exposing their proximity and the human potential for change. In addition, Amina Re is a licensed mental health counselor, licensed massage therapist, and contact improvisational dancer/teacher. Integrating art, movement, and touch, Amina works with individuals and groups to facilitate the healing of relational trauma.

Read More

St. Mary's Gospel Choir with Roberto Malpica

The ST. MARY'S GOSPEL CHOIR is based at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, in Harlem, a church with a strong history of activism for justice and peace. The Choir sings often at demonstrations and at the United Nations, and has performed many times on What a Neighborhood! programs, including in Ishmael Wallace’s cantata, The West Harlem Christ, which was based on oral histories from its members. They are joined by the Neighborhood Composers’ Chorus. The choir will perform a song that was composed by a neighbor named Ijeoma who stopped at a What a Neighborhood! songwriting table on West 126th Street, on the sidewalk outside St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, and was written down by Elizabeth Adams. Its inspiration was a man who came by selling items for $1, pushing a baby in a carriage. This little song, that is closing TEDxWashingtonSquare, sums up an entire understanding of life in its few lines.

ROBERTO MALPICA is a songwriter, writer, and painter, originally from Cuba. He has composed many songs, most not yet performed. He will perform a love song that was written down and harmonized by Ishmael Wallace.

Read More

Michael Albert

MICHAEL ALBERT has been creating ART since his college days at New York University, where he studied business (Management & International Business).

His art has evolved from doodles and Pen & Ink, to serious wax oil drawings, to the cubist mosaic collages he makes from the cardboard packages of famous consumer brands including cereal, cookies, crackers, tea, etc which he has become known for. In the past several years he has been creating large scale "Epic" collage works that can take him months and years to create, on various themes including historical, biblical, literary, musical, lyrical, botanical, mathematical & geographical.

Since the publication of his first book, an artist's autobiography titled, “An Artist’s America” (Henry Holt, 2008) and over the past decade, he has developed a traveling collage workshop program he calls the “Modern Pop Art Experience” where he teaches about his 25 year journey of art & business which he has brought to over 500 venues in the USA & Europe including schools, libraries, museums and festivals for people of all ages.

He is also the founder/owner & artist for the Sir Real brand of refrigerated juices found in upscale grocers & specialty food markets throughout the northeast USA with distribution centered in the greater NY Metro area.

Photo by Roger Barone

Read More

Ishmael Wallace

ISHMAEL WALLACE is a composer, pianist, baritone, concert presenter, community animator, vocal coach, and workshop leader. With his sister, Vita Wallace, he co-founded and co-directs What a Neighborhood! – a series of concerts and workshops celebrating the Creative Spirit among their neighbors in West Harlem, Morningside Heights, and Manhattan Valley. What a Neighborhood!, which was founded in 2013, has helped local composers from a variety of backgrounds to realize cherished dreams.  In his many activities, Ishmael’s concern is to walk with the creative germ from darkness into light. Ancient stories have been a major influence, and Ishmael has often led workshops on mythology; he was also deeply affected by participation in Thich Nhat Hanh’s Plum Village tradition of Buddhism from 2001 to 2014. His opera, The Mountain and the Valley, will receive its premiere in November.

Read More

Bibi Calderaro

BIBI CALDERARO is an interdisciplinary conceptual artist and researcher whose work is seen internationally since 1995. Her participatory sensorial walks have been part of Open Engagement, New York, The Isabelle Stuart Gardner Museum, Boston, MA and Fud, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Her latest projects incude Walking as Ontological Shifter,  a multi-format performance-based research project and We Weave and heft by the River, (Schumacher College, UK;) Unearthing, Re-earthing, (Entitle Conference, Sweden,) both with the CoastalReadingGroup ( Other projects include the curatorial collaboration Notations, the Cage Effect Today at Hunter College Galleries, NY; What Mushroom? What Leaf? and Surfing on Sand, Climate in the Expanded Field. Her performances were shown at PS1 Moma and MinusSpace, NY; her films featured at the Flaherty Film Seminar, among other venues. Bibi holds a Nature and Forest Therapy Guide Certification, and is pursuing a degree in sustainability and education. She lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.

Read More

New York Guitar Circle

THE NEW YORK GUITAR CIRCLE is an eclectic mix of amateur, semi-professional, and professional musicians, crafts a music on the acoustic steel-string guitar which springs from the collective experience of the group as much as the individual voices. The NYGC grew out of the players' experience with Guitar Craft, an international program founded by Robert Fripp (of King Crimson) in 1985 which aims at what might be called a "holistic" approach to music and performance. Members of the NYGC have recently participated in tours with Robert Fripp and the Orchestra of Crafty Guitarists on the East and West Coasts, including at St. Mark's Church in the Bowery. Reviewers have noted the "singular sound" (Scott McLennan, Boston Globe), and praised "a light rain shower of sound" (Chris Cowan blog).

Participants on October 15th will be:

Read More

Matt Goldman

MATT GOLDMAN is the board vice chair and co-founder of Blue School. He co-founded Blue Man Group, which opened Off-Broadway at the Astor Place Theatre in 1991, and continues to play there today. Blue Man currently also has sit down shows in Germany and Tokyo, three world tours and five sit down shows in the U.S. Throughout their long association, the founders of Blue Man Group have been fascinated by the interconnections between learning, creativity and community, and how, combined with new teaching techniques, the educational experience can be enhanced. It is these interests that led them and their life partners to start Blue School. Matt Goldman also sits on the Clark University LEEP Advisory Board to reimagine liberal arts undergraduate education, and on the Advisory Board of BlinkNow/Kopila Valley School in Surkhet, Nepal.

Read More

Sharon Salzberg

SHARON SALZBERG is a meditation teacher and New York Times best-selling author. She is the co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts, and has played a crucial role in bringing Asian meditation practices to the West. Sharon has been a student of meditation since 1971, guiding retreats worldwide since 1974. She is a weekly columnist for On Being, a regular contributor to The Huffington Post and the author of many books including Real Happiness, and Lovingkindness. For more information please visit her website at

Read More

Gretchen Steidle

GRETCHEN Ki STEIDLE s the founder and President of Global Grassroots, an international non-profit that works with women and girls in post-conflict East Africa through a mindfulness-based leadership program and social entrepreneurship incubator. Gretchen is also a certified Integrative Breathwork practitioner and teaches about conscious social change globally. She is a producer of the thrice Emmy-nominated documentary on the Darfur crisis, The Devil Came on Horsebackand co-author of the memoir of the same name. In 2007, Gretchen was honored by World Business Magazine and Shell as one of the top International 35 Women Under 35. In 2010 she was chosen as a CNN Hero working in Haiti after the earthquake. In 2011 she was chosen one of seven Remarkable Women of the World by New Hampshire Magazine. She holds an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College and a BA in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia.

Read More

Alice Wells

ALICE WELLS is the founder of One Breath Circle, a Brooklyn, NY, based organization that offers classes and programs dedicated to healing, personal growth and spiritual development. Alice has practiced as an Integrative Therapist for over 30 years, and is  on the board of the Global Professional Breathwork Alliance. She is a co-founder of Fairhaven School in MD, a Sudbury Model School dedicated to self-initiated learning in a democratic setting.

Read More

Nasrin Jafari

NASRIN JAFARI is dedicated to the endless and intertwining processes of teaching and learning. As a student, educator and TEDx organizer, she seeks to engage her community by inspiring thought-provoking conversations, sharing stories and exchanging ideas.

At New York University, Nasrin is the President of TEDxNYU. She has extensive experience coaching speakers to refine and communicate their ideas on the TEDx stage. With the committed efforts of her team, TEDxNYU hosts monthly Community Events, bi-annual student “Pitch” Competitions and an annual TEDx conference in the spring. Each event aims to shine a spotlight on the diverse ideas and voices of the NYU community to facilitate deeper conversations about the pressing topics facing today’s changing world.

Nasrin was a former participant in the NYU Leadership Fellows, a year-long leadership development program that equips undergraduate students with the leadership skills needed to create a shared vision and take action with others to achieve meaningful results. As an alumni of the Leadership Fellows program, Nasrin currently serves as a mentor for the 2016-17 cohort.

Nasrin is pursuing a degree in Education Studies and Politics and has experience teaching students from kindergarten through twelfth grade. She served as a head teacher at The GO Project, a nonprofit that that provides academic and extracurricular support to students struggling in New York City public schools. Upon graduation, she plans on pursuing a Master’s degree in Education Leadership with the vision to found a K-12 public school in New York City.

Read More

Hannah Atchison

HANNAH ATCHISON is a relationship builder and native Oregonian who gets jazzed about the development of individuals, organizations, and groups of people. Whether it is building girls of courage confidence and character at the Girl Scouts of the USA - or in her current position - developing the next generation of public service leaders at NYU Wagner's Graduate School of Public Service, she has had the opportunity to work at a number of organizations that build the capacity of individuals to make the world a better place. Hannah recently graduated from NYU with a Master’s in Public Administration in International Non Profit Management and Policy. As a student, she worked as the Production Director for TEDxNYU and is excited to be joining the team at TEDxWashingtonSquare. Hannah’s an avid hiker, gardening enthusiast, and wannabe chef. 

Read More

Sara Overton

SARA OVERTON is an artist based in New York City. Her visual art is often meditative and influenced by the natural world. Sara conceived of the Awake in the Wild Experience (AWE), a mindfulness-in-nature art project currently in development for New York City and Los Angeles. AWE is inspired by the mindfulness practices of meditation teacher Mark Coleman, who is the author of the book Awake in the Wild and collaborating on the project. Sara's work is frequently influenced by her interest in Buddhism, and she has had a Buddhist meditation practice for more than a decade. She received a master's degree from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism and previously worked in media, including as a producer for public broadcasting at San Francisco's KQED Radio, where she worked on many live events and discussions.

Read More