Mary-Mitchell Campbell, Founder and Co-Executive Director
Mary-Mitchell has had an extensive career as a musician and humanitarian. In 2005, she founded ASTEP and is the Co-Executive Director, overseeing the fundraising and strategic direction of the organization. She has taught AIDS education in rural India, healthy hygiene in South Africa, and promoted the values of dreaming big to children in the United States. She has conducted many shows on Broadway, performed at the White House, and won awards for orchestrating on Broadway. She is currently music directing Mean Girls on Broadway, and frequently tours in concerts. She is passionate about the power of arts education to transform the lives of children and break cycles of poverty.
Davinia Troughton, Co-Executive Director
Davinia has worked in the nonprofit sector for fourteen years and currently oversees ASTEP’s operations, programs, and financial management. She came to ASTEP from the NoVo Foundation, where she worked on grants management, strategic planning, and in the Women and Girls Initiative, focusing on funding efforts to end violence against girls and women around the world. Davinia is also a New York State certified sexual and domestic violence crisis counselor at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital in New York City where she trains and mentors new crisis counselors. She is dedicated to social justice and supporting the voices of women and children worldwide.
Yazmany Arboleda, Associate Director of Communications
Yazmany Arboleda (b. 1981) is a Colombian American artist based in New York City. An architect by training, Yazmany’s practice focuses on creating “Living Sculptures,” people coming together to transform their experience of the world through the co-creation of art. His work is motivated largely by political, cultural, and social constructs. Over the past decade he has created public art projects with communities in India, Japan, Kenya, South Africa, Afghanistan, Spain, Colombia, and the United States. He lectures at UNC, MIT, and other institutions internationally about the power of art in public space. His work has been written about in the New York Times, Washington Post, UK’s Guardian, and Fast Company. In 2013, he was named one of Good Magazine’s 100 People Making Our World Better. Yazmany is the co-founder and chief creative officer of limeSHIFT, a creative agency that brings artists into communities (both public and private) to shape and elevate culture. He is also creative director of the Brooklyn Cottage and a co-founder of the interdisciplinary performance collective Shook Ones. As the associate director of communications for ASTEP, Yazmany leads our overall marketing and communication efforts.
Katherine Nolan Brown, Director of Development
Katherine comes to ASTEP from Environmental Defense Fund, with ten years in non-profit fundraising, and a lifetime in the arts. Prior to EDF she worked at the Public Theater, the 52nd Street Project and as a volunteer with many other organizations working towards social change through proliferation of the arts in all communities. Originally from Atlanta, New Orleans, and college in Boston, she has always been focused on the ways that theater and the performing arts can bring new and differing voices to the forefront – and is excited to continue that work with the community at ASTEP.
Samantha Pistoresi Manfredi, Manager of Programs
Samantha is an artist activist and performer who recently moved to New York after growing up, going to school, and working throughout California. After graduating from Santa Clara University with a degree in Theatre and Dance, she discovered her passion and vocation for all things social justice. Over the past four years, she has acted as Program Manager for the Arts for Social Justice Program at Santa Clara University, Artistic Director at The Audacity Performing Arts Project, Inc., and has been a professional performer and teaching artist at various theaters throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. She is honored to be working with ASTEP, an organization that has continually been a source of inspiration for her and her work, and she is excited to see where this journey will lead!
Lizzy Rainer, Director of Programs and Evaluation
Lizzy is the Director of Programs and Evaluation at Artists Striving to End Poverty (ASTEP). Lizzy studied Activism Through Artistry at the Gallatin School of New York University, and holds a Masters in Nonprofit Management from Northeastern University. Before joining ASTEP, Lizzy brought dance and movement to students in Ghana, Colombia, Indonesia, and India, as well as throughout the US. In her current role, Lizzy builds and develops relationships with partner organizations and helps to develop and evaluate the effectiveness of curricula for each ASTEP’s programs. She works closely with ASTEP Teaching Artists, partners, and volunteers to bring the transformative power of the arts to students around the globe. Lizzy loves being onsite, and is happiest when she is working (and playing) with the youth ASTEP serves!
Alejandro Rodriguez, Artistic Director of Artist as Citizen Conference
Alejandro is a poet, playwright and performing artist, as well as the founding Artistic Director of ASTEP’s Artist as Citizen Conference. Over a decade working at ASTEP, he’s been a volunteer teaching-artist, program facilitator, recruiter, trainer, handbook editor & general goodwill ambassador. His first full-length play, Sorry, premiered at the LaGuardia Performing Arts Center and enjoyed a sold-out run in early 2016. His second play, Tropical Storm Warning, is currently in development with Crowded Outlet. His poems — many inspired by experiences working with ASTEP — have been featured in collaborations with choreographers, filmmakers & musicians from Toronto, Canada to Frankfurt, Germany. Performance credits include the premiere of Ghetto Babylon (National Latino Playwrights Award), the world premiere of Jorge Ignacio Cortiñas’ Bird in the Hand (New York Times Critics’ Pick), King Lear opposite Tony-winner Billy Porter, and the title role in Romeo & Juliet for The Acting Company. Regionally, he’s worked at The Kennedy Center, the Guthrie Theatre, Denver Center Theater, Baltimore CenterStage and the Humana Festival of New American Plays, among several others. Film and television credits include Nurse Jackie (Showtime), Dates from Hell (Discovery ID), and the feature film Emoticon. A graduate of Juilliard.