Board of Directors
Cindy Maguire is Professor in the Department of Communications at Adelphi University. She also is the Co-Director of ArtsAction Group. Before joining Adelphi, Cindy was a Senior Research Associate at the Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University, as well as an adjunct faculty member in Pratt Institute and New York University’s Art Education Programs. Maguire also taught visual arts education in the Los Angeles City Schools for over eight years. Her research interests include human rights and social justice education, play, STEM to STEAM, and the role of collaborative and socially engaged art in personal and social transformation. Maguire received her PhD in Art Education from New York University, MA in Studio Art and Art Education from California State University Long Beach, and her BA in Art Education from the University of Kansas. Working with a range of media, Maguire’s primary focus in her own art is collage and printmaking. In addition to creating work as a solo artist, she also designs and produces community-based collaborative art with children and youth. Her collaborative work has been exhibited in Los Angeles and the New York City Metro area as well as internationally.
Rob McCallum (PhD - New York University) is an Art and Design Education educator and the Director of Creative Art Start, an after-school and summer arts program for K-8 children and youth. McCallum is also Co-Director of ArtsAction Group and former Art Educator at the Allen-Stevenson School in New York City. Prior to coming the USA, McCallum was Head of the Department of Fine Art and then Dean of the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture at the University of Johannesburg. As Dean he was involved in the transformation of the institution away from apartheid structures. McCallum received his PhD in Art Education from New York University, MA in Art Education from Ohio State University as a Fulbright Scholar, and BA Art from Cape Town University, South Africa. McCallum is also a practicing artist and has exhibited his work at numerous solo and group shows in South Africa including the Karen McKerron Gallery, Market Theatre Gallery, and the University of Durban-Westville Gallery. His work has been published in the Creative Arts Diary based in Cape Town and is in public collections including the Anglo American Foundation, Market Theatre Foundation, University of Durban-Westville Collection and Provident Fund Corporation in South Africa. His art has been reviewed in numerous publications and television media in South Africa. McCallum also designs and produces community-based collaborative art with children and youth in New York City as well as internationally.
Devika Coles is an educator who is passionate about the arts and about yoga. She holds a Masters of Art in Art Education from New York University and a 200-hour yoga teaching certification recognized by Yoga Alliance. Devika previously taught media arts in Los Angeles and for six years in a public high school in New York City that served Latino immigrant youth who were English Language Learners (ELLs). Devika used documentary photography, video, and multi-media to help her students explore different social justice issues and develop English language literacy. She believes that all people should have access to creating art and practicing yoga because these processes enable individuals to cultivate deeper connections between the body and mind that can lead to personal empowerment and societal transformation. Devika currently lives and teaches yoga in Geneva, Switzerland with her husband and two children.
Ann Holt, Ph.D. teaches in Art and Design Education as an Adjunct Instructor at Adelphi University and a Visiting Instructor at Pratt Institute. Ann is interested in issues of marginalized historic narratives as well as access to knowledge and understanding of the past. Her research encompasses interests in archives and marginalized histories of art education. She sees archives as social spaces for experiential pedagogy, feminist scholarship, and activism, and her work with archives seeks to expand on notions of using archival materials as both forms of information and things to experience. Ann holds a B.F.A. in painting from the San Francisco Art Institute and an M.A. in art education from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. Holt completed her doctoral work in art education with a minor in women’s, gender and sexuality studies at Penn State University. Her dissertation titled "User Experience with Archives and Feminist Teaching Conversations with the Judy Chicago Art Education Collection" explores a feminist transdisciplinary orientation to the Judy Chicago Art Education Collection housed at Penn State and broadens understanding about engaging and encountering art education archival records. Ann’s current research is collaborative and focuses on social justice issues- one project is a participatory observation involving the documentation and archiving of the material history of Arts Action Group; another project looks at the impact of online pedagogic encounters with social justice art.
Director - ArtsAction UK
Janine Simpson, MA, Director of ArtsAction Group UK, holds a degree in Art Psychotherapy from the University of Hertfordshire. Janine has 10 years’ experience working with Looked After Children in a London based charity specialising in residential care and therapeutic engagement. In her consultancy role, Janine uses art therapy theory and practice to facilitate art-based reflective practice sessions for children’s workers and home managers. Passionate about mental health and wellbeing she has two years’ experience as a neophyte art therapist in NHS adult community mental health services and later NHS forensic services. As a director of her own art therapy business and winner of the Santander ‘Flare’ Business Awards for ‘Best Business Idea’ Janine brings creative business acumen to the global work of ArtsAction Group. As Director of ArtsAction Group UK Janine believes in ‘wellbeing for all’ and promotes a collaborative, side by side approach when working with individuals, communities and organisations on a local and global scale. In her spare time these themes continue in her work as an abstract expressionist artist where intersubjective theories are explored visually in a painted series named ‘The Space Between’.
Refki Gollopeni MFA received his degree from the University of Prishtina where he studied graphic design. He is Culture Coordinator in the Municipality of Suhareka and the Director for Arts Education at the Fellbach-Haus Centre for Creative Education in Theranda-Suhareka, Kosovo. Refki also directs the International Art Colony Festari and the Animation Film Festival in Suhareka. Refki’s paintings are in numerous private and public collections and his graphic design work has been recognized by the National Bank of Kosovo, first place for a poster recognizing the 100th anniversary of the independence of Albania. A 2018 graduate of the Global Institute and Cities of Peace, Refki is recognized as a Global Visionary Leader.
Tiffanie Hardbarger is an Instructor in the Cherokee & Indigenous Studies department at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, OK. She is from the Stilwell/Tahlequah, OK area and a citizen of the Cherokee Nation. Her interest in sustainable tourism and community development led to a Bachelor's degree in Hospitality & Tourism Management (Northeastern State University, 2002), a Master's in International Relations (University of Oklahoma, 2009) and a PhD in Community Resources & Development (Arizona State University, expected 2016). Her professional work experience includes the meetings and travel industry, economic development and marketing. Tiffanie's teaching and research interests are related to self-determination movements and sustainability in community development and tourism with a specific focus on Indigenous communities. Her current research includes the use of arts and culture as a tool for community development, nation building and non-violent activism (Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic), and a participatory action research project using the method of photovoice to explore community and cultural sustainability from the perspective of Cherokee young people (Tahlequah, OK).
Karmit Zysman has for most of the past twenty years called Prishtina, Kosovo her home where she has worked with educational and psychosocial programmes during, and after, conflict and war. She is a cultural and social historiographer and epistemologist, and youth educator.
Social Media Coordinator
Sofia Fazal is a student at Adelphi University who will graduate in May 2020 with a BA in Communications and Media Studies. She first got involved with ArtsAction Group through the Adelphi study abroad program and fell in love with the type of collaborations ArtsAction Group advocates for. She strives to use her experience overseas as a way to connect communities and build strong relationships with the individuals she works with on site.