CRNY’s Artist Employment Program (AEP) is a 2-year program that will fund employment for 300 artists working in collaboration with community-based organizations across New York State.
Alba Enid García Rivas is an international award-winning Puerto Rican director. She is currently finishing her 4th film, "Dangerously Ever After", a stop-motion film based on the award winning picture book.
In 2018, she completed "Dak’Toká Taíno" (I am Taíno), which is a story about the aftermath of hurricane María in Puerto Rico, and how Abuela Yaya helps her grand-daugther, Marabelí, understand their history, their Taíno culture and how to cope under the desperate situation they are in. Heather B. Henson (Jim and Jane Henson’s daughter from IBEX Puppetry), is the Executive Producer. This film was shown at the Smithsonian Museum, The Museum of Moving Image, and Newark Museum. Dak’ Toká Taíno qualified to run for the 2019 Oscars and is currently on HBO MAX.
Alba is a Director, Sculptress, Animator, Writer & Concept Designer. Her art creature dolls are in private collections all over the world. Alba is a member of the Association International Du Film D’Animation, Women in Animation, POFA (Puppeteers of America), and the MOMI Museum of Moving Image. Alba opened FANTASIATION Studio in the Summer of 2008. She worked on Celebrity Deathmatch, and MTV as an Animator.
Ana "Rokafella" Garcia is a NYC native who has represented women in hip-hop dance professionally over the past three decades. She co-founded Full Circle Prod Inc--NYC's only non-profit break dance theater company with her husband, veteran b-boy Kwikstep, generating theater pieces, original poetry and local dance related events. In addition to directing the documentary about b-girls, "All the Ladies Say", she premiered a new dance work "Beauty Meets Beast" to help explore the duality of women in street and club dance. She is hired internationally to judge break dance competitions based on her knowledge of the classic hip-hop dance style. She teaches unique workshops aimed at celebrating the roots and history as well as the technique of classic hip-hop dance styles, and has hosted breakin sessions at various locations in NYC since 1997 including The Point CDC, The Door, High Bridge and Alfred E. Smith. Presently an adjunct professor at The New School and a Hip-hop Dance Instructor at NJPAC, she motivates aspiring dancers to understand and to learn the business side of being an independent artist.
Jasmine Patrice White (she/her) is an African-American writer and producer. Jasmine first garnered attention for her work on the digital series, "Hotline", where she launched and raised over $15,000 to complete production. "Hotline" is a drama about a lawyer who begins working at a suicide call center. "Hotline" boasts about it's almost all queer, trans and non-binary cast and crew. The series is highly anticipated and is expected to release Fall 2022. Jasmine joins BronxNet after leaving A+E Networks, where she worked as a Junior Executive in Programming & Development on the Lifetime Original movies team. Jasmine has helped shepherd numerous projects from inception to screen, and looks forward to bringing her experience to BronxNet. Jasmine graduated from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse, where she majored in Television, Radio, and Film with a dual degree in English and African-American studies.
Jon Frier is an animator and model maker specializing in in stop-motion animation, based in Brooklyn, NY. He has worked for brands, bands and more. He has also produced his own stop-motion short films which have shown at many renowned film festivals such as Fantastic Fest, the Brooklyn Film Festival (twice), the Maryland Film festival (also twice)--and many others.
Kervin Peralta is an actor, puppeteer, and percussionist from the Bronx. He is a proud Lehman College graduate. He trained at the Actors Studio Drama School and has gained an MFA in Theater from Sarah Lawrence College. He currently works at the Swedish Cottage Marionette theater in Central Park. He has been involved in many off-off Broadway productions and independent films in his two-decade career.
As the Founder, CEO and Director of Photography at Anibok Studios, Kobina is actively creating and building a catalogue of 100 films to shape the story-telling narrative of Ghanaian and Ameri-African culture. The guiding tenet of Kobina’s career is to establish a solid body of diverse work through collaboration and innovative ways of filming. Anibok Studios is a production company that develops content for Film, TV, and Streaming under the leadership of Kobina.
Born in Tema, Ghana, Kobina’s movie-watching pastime morphed into a lifelong passion for directing, producing, editing, and photography where the first time he was on a film set became a pivotal moment of his career. Kobina’s entrepreneurial approach to creativity means not merely focusing on creating content or film, but includes: first, understanding the business of art to create a sustainable venture and second, creating opportunities for other Creatives in Ghana.
The expediency of having a voice that leaves a positive impact on Ghanaian culture is what led Kobina to dig deep into communication, creative, and leadership capabilities to make the transition from Accountant to Director of Photography. It was through the mundane everyday activities of working out, reading, and watching movies that Kobina further appreciated that he connected with the art of telling stories and film in a deep way that would not allow him to stay on the sidelines. Of particular interest to Kobina is the narrative surrounding violence against women, women’s empowerment, and support for the deaf and blind community.
Kobina’s body of work extends from Ghana to New York, where his short films in particular are an eclectic treat of African culture interpreted through the lens of contemporary reality. Fuelled by the personal inspiration of his father who defied a myriad of financial and geographical odds to succeed both as an individual and family man, Kobina’s goal is to turn dreams into films. This he has put into play by building a company from the ground up, and working with clients including Vogue Espana, where he served as Editor for projects for Brussels Airlines, Centric TV, Essence, and Shea Moisture.
Kobina’s favorite memory from his career has been filming backstage at the 2016 BET Awards and seeing talents such as Samuel Jackson, Snoop Dogg, Stevie Wonder, Jamie Fox, and Beyoncé.
Marthalicia Matarrita was born and raised in Harlem, New York City. Marthalicia has many art disciplines such as drawing, sculpting, painting and creating large murals, and is always expanding in new mediums. Marthalicia's early art interests were: "black books", graffiti art journals, as well as comic books as a pasttime. Encouraged by faith to pursue the art form, Marthalicia attended La Guardia High School of Performance and the Arts; and upon graduating high school, she enlisted in the Army National Guard. She later enrolled in S.U.N.Y. New Paltz for a B.F.A. in Fine Arts. Her art journey continued in many live art performances after graduating. Her current area of art dialogue is based on educating people about the harmony between animals and humans in many unique visual presentations. Marthalicia has broadened her art experiences to build with her community and others.
Paola Poucel (SAG-AFTRA) is an actress, singer, and voiceover artist and is a graduate of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City. Her career began in Mexico at the Theater Company of the State of Puebla in classics like Fuenteovejuna, Otelo, and "The Would Be Gentleman". Other favorite credits include: "Fame" (Serena) and "Notredame de Paris" (Fleur du Lys). Paola has starred in original new works like the opera rock, "Amusia", in Salamanca Spain, and the experimental plays, "Esperadoras and Losers". She moved to New York where she has participated in numerous theater projects including: "De Novo" (Kim Salinas), "Cinderella" (Cinderella), "Interpreting a Dream" (Ivania). Overseas productions include: "El Sexo del Che" in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and the Spanish version of "De Novo" in San Salvador, El Salvador. After several short films, her feature debut Ilegales premiered at the 2010 HBO Latino Film Festival to great reviews. Furthermore, Paola has developed a distinctive voiceover career working for brands such as Kmart, Smirnoff, TD Bank, Nickelodeon’s Dora the Explorer, Payless, Neutrogena, Nintendo, Subway, DSW, Arts Media Engine and Microsoft. A native Spanish speaker from Puebla, Mexico, she’s able to do the following Spanish dialects: Mexican, Latin American neutral, Colombian, Argentine, and Castilian. Paola is also a member of IFP, NYWIFT and HOLA. She is managed by Tsu Tsu Santon.
Trish Classe Gianakis is an award-winning artist and published poet. Her art works have been exhibited internationally, across the East coast and Arizona. With a Master’s Degree in Computer Art Installation from the School of Visual Arts in NYC, she has always been on the forefront of digital art and technology. Creating immersive art experiences and combining technology with her physical sculptures is her passion.
After Gianakis’s cancer diagnosis in 2015, she spent the following six years concentrating on her art, touching on healing themes of nature, humanity, peace incorporating physical art with digital art. Since March of 2021, she is known for turning her physical art into NFTs, 3D animations, Augmented Reality and creating Metaverse Art Galleries.
A word from Gianakis: “This is a very exciting time for the digital artist, it is the new renaissance. Now artists finally have a way to sell their digital art as a valued medium.”
Will Roberts is an award-winning NYC-based XR Director and immersive experience designer whose longtime interest has been exploring the intersection of technology, modern folklore, and the human experience. Will is a former football player at the University of Oklahoma, where he earned his B.A. in African Studies and later earned an M.F.A in 3D Animation and Interactive Art from Southern Illinois University.
While earning his M.F.A, Will got his start in VR as a researcher, entrepreneur, and virtual world builder in the OG VR platform “SecondLife”. With his passion for technology and storytelling, Will also has designed for the film, technology, gaming and publishing industries.
Will is the Founder and Creative Director at Augmented Pictures, a NYC-based immersive design and animation studio. Augmented Pictures primarily produces interactive and edutainment content for augmented and virtual reality. Outside of world building, Will cherishes time building up underprivileged youth. From documenting the lives of Liberian war orphans to leading youth empowerment programs in New York City, connecting and giving back to others is his ultimate purpose.