OUR TEAM

Who We Are

We are experienced educators and urbanists creating programs for young people seeking educational, meaningful and transformative experiences in the “Living City” of New York.

We see experience as deep learning. The city is our classroom, lab and canvas. In cities we share our skills and talents, grappling with the world’s biggest challenges, and caring for each other in times of crisis.

We center learning in the urgent challenges facing NYC and the world. A public health crisis, economic crisis, systemic racial inequality, and climate change all demand a relevant, frank and change-oriented curriculum.

We believe in personalization and collaboration. While rooted in a shared set of collective field experiences, our programs integrate the passions, needs and interests of individual participants. 

 

We commit to creating a diverse, equitable and inclusive community. Our program draws participants from neighborhoods throughout the city, country and world, with diverse backgrounds and experiences. We establish a loving community that values difference and cultivates empathy, respect and inclusion.

 
Leadership & Staff

Co-Founder Tanya Gallo is an urban planner and educator with a focus on resilience, public space and educational access. At 100 Resilient Cities, she led a global network in resilience strategy development in collaboration with cities. Tanya was a consultant with HR&A Advisors, managing urban development projects including the NY Rising Community Reconstruction Program, the community rebuilding plans in hard hit coastal communities across NYC after Hurricane Sandy. Tanya designed and led DreamYard’s ACTION program, an award-winning arts and social justice program for Bronx high school students. She received her MSc in Urbanization and Development at the London School of Economics and was a 2008-9 recipient of the Charles H. Revson Fellowship at Columbia University, awarded annually to ten city leaders in New York City. Tanya has published articles on public space in Beirut and lectured at the Pratt Institute, AIA and Columbia University Summer Program.  Tanya is a graduate of Bronx Science High School, Hampshire College and the London School of Economics.

AM Street Art.jpg

Co-Founder Andrew Meyers has dedicated over 30 years to high school and college education, specializing in urban history, college guidance and experiential learning. Andrew taught and served in leadership for 23 years at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School, one of the NY area's finest independent schools, where he was History Department Chair, Interdisciplinary Studies Director, College Counselor, history teacher, and Founding Director of the City Semester Program. For 8 years at "City Sem," a renowned urban semester program, he supervised a team of 6 teachers working with 30 students, exploring NYC though expeditionary learning. Later, as Chair of Education Design and Head of Experiential Learning at the Whittle School & Studios, he designed and implemented the core educational program for a growing network of global schools dedicated to educational innovation and ethical citizenship, working on campuses in NY, Washington DC, and China. Andrew has taught at Columbia University, Connecticut College and Empire State College. He is a graduate of Princeton, Yale and Columbia Universities, with degrees in history, architecture and urbanism.

Truly Siskind-Weiss

trulypsw@gmail.com

Andrew Meyers Curriculum Vitae

Director of Social Media and Theater Specialist Truly Siskind-Weiss is a professional theatre artist, with experience in acting, playwriting, and arts education. She has worked with the Cherry Lane Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Club, the Berkshire Playwright’s lab, Cherry Picking Annual Playwright’s festival, and the Colonial Theatre of Rhode Island where she taught students age 5-18. She is the director of communications for BOLD, a not for profit organization teaching media literacy to middle school girls. She is a graduate of Fieldston High School, and Connecticut College where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a BA in Theatre and American studies

 

Partners and Memberships

 

Tanya and Andrew work with a team of experienced educators, urbanists, planners, community organizers, policymakers, artists, city government officials, architects, designers, entrepreneurs and civic partners, to provide educational and experiential programs for students in New York City. We are members of the Gap Year Association, Independent School Experiential Educators Network, Association of Experiential Educators, and the National Association of College Admissions Counselors.

Our partner organizations include: 

  • Global Citizen Year: An organization providing programs designed to launch the leaders our world needs now, selecting talented students who represent society’s diversity and equipping them with the empathy, agency and global network to drive impact.

  • NYC Mayor's Office of Recovery and Resiliency: The city agency that adapts NYC to the unprecedented challenge of climate change, creating a more resilient, equitable and vibrant city for the New Yorkers of today and generations to come.

  • NYC Department of Transportation: The city agency that provides for the safe, efficient and environmentally responsible movement of people and goods in the City of New York, enhancing the infrastructure crucial to the economic vitality and quality of life of NYC. 

  • Bronx River Alliance: A non-profit organization working to protect, improve and restore the Bronx River corridor so that it can be a healthy ecological, recreational, educational and economic resource for the communities through which the river flows.
     

  • Leroy Street Studio: An award winning architectural studio inspired by innovation in design, the craft of construction, and a collaborative approach that places clients at the center of the design process.

  • Waterfront Alliance: non-profit that works to protect, transform and revitalize our harbor and waterfront, creating an accessible coastline for all communities.\​

  • Urban Archive: Urban Archive is a platform for Cities, Museums, Libraries, and Urban Explorers. They create technology that enhances collection engagement and digital storytelling, helping our participants use archival resources to tell neighborhood stories.

  • Lower East Side Partnership: A not-for-profit economic and community development organization, contracted by the City of New York to enhance the unique and diverse character of the Lower East Side by improving overall quality of life and supporting the continued growth and vitality of the local economy. 

  • Chinatown BID/Partnership: A not-for-profit economic and community development organization bringing residents, business owners and community groups together to preserve the neighborhood's unique culture while ensuring its vitality in the future through strategic positioning.

  • 34th Avenue Open Streets Coalition helps facilitate safe open space on the 34th Avenue Open Street in Jackson Heights. Every day at 8 AM volunteers come out and put out barricades and at 8 PM remove the barricades, to create a popular linear community plaza. The Coalition supports a variety of programs and events throughout the day.

  • StreetLab is a nonprofit that creates and shares extraordinary programs for public space across New York City—pop-up reading rooms, open-air drawing studios, and more, to improve the urban environment, strengthen neighborhoods, and bring New Yorkers together. 

  • Delicious Hospitality Group: Based in New York City under the helm of Chef Ryan Hardy, the Delicious Hospitality Group focuses on creating memorable hospitality experiences featuring an inventive culinary style and an extraordinary wine program.

  • La Morada Restaurant: A Mexican restaurant in Mott Haven, owned by Natalia Mendez and Antonio Saavedra and managed by Marco Saavedra, specializing in Oaxacan cuisine and famous for its many molé dishes, with a lending library & a Poet in Residence. La Morada supports community action on immigration policy and runs a mutual aid program providing free meals to those in need.

  • Community Fridges: Mott Haven Community Fridge & Moms Feed The BronxMHCF is the first community refrigerator in Mott Haven, with the motto, "Take what you need, give what you can." MFTB partners with the community to feed their Bronx neighbors. They are both part of a loose network of mutual aid and non-profit organizations addressing food access and food justice in NYC.

  • Hunter College Food Policy Center: The Hunter College New York City Food Policy Center develops intersectoral, innovative and evidence-based solutions to prevent diet-related diseases and promote food security in New York City and other urban centers.

  • Noel Quiñones is an AfroBoricua salsero. He is a 2016 CantoMundo Fellow, 2015 Watering Hole Fellow, and 2015 John Russell Hayes Poetry Prize winner. His performances have been featured on Button Poetry, Vibe, Flama, and Blavity.

  • Gabriela Salazar is an artist and teacher. Through sculpture, drawing, writing, and site interventions, her projects investigate the relationship between human-made spaces and structures and the unpredictable or invisible forces (the shifting of land, the pressures of gravity, the passing and layering of time) that act upon them. 

  • Annabel Capper is an actor, teacher and coach. A graduate of the 3 Year Classical Acting Program at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA), she has worked extensively in theatre, film, television and radio both in the UK and the US.

  • Nom Wah Tea Parlor: A vintage dim sum parlor dating back to 1920, Nom Wah is based in New York's downtown Chinatown. It is renewed for it's dim sum, and for owner Wilson Tang's innovative approach to expanding the reach of traditional Chinese cuisine.

  • SL Green Realty Corp., Manhattan's largest office landlord, is a fully integrated real estate investment trust, or REIT, that is focused primarily on acquiring, managing and maximizing value of Manhattan commercial properties.

  • S. Katzman Produce: Located in the Hunts Point Terminal Market, Katzman’s serves a wide range of businesses,  including retailers, independent supermarkets, gourmet outlets, food service distributors/purveyors, caterers, and restaurants.

  • Mosner Family Brands is one of the pioneers of the local food movement, having promoted New York State and regional farms dedicated to animal welfare and sustainability for more than twenty years.

  • Blue Ribbon Fish offers an extensive selection of seafood products, serving retail fish shops, restaurants, supermarkets, and more. Decades-long relationships with the world's most sustainable fisheries ensures the highest quality without harming natural ecosystems.

  • Audrey "ByteGirl" Connelly: A life long photographer Audrey, known on the streets as Bytegirl, got her first camera at the age of four. An award winning landscape and street photographer. Bytegirl has walked the streets of New York City since 1995.

  • Socrates Sculpture Park is a community engaged New York City waterfront park dedicated to supporting artists in the production and presentation of public art.  In 1986, a coalition of artists and community members transformed an abandoned riverside landfill into this open studio and exhibition space for artists.

  • The Pellettieri Stonecarvers’ Academy is dedicated to offering training in the traditional techniques of stone carving and promoting awareness and appreciation of stone carving.

  • Phipps Houses: The oldest and largest not-for-profit developer, owner, and manager of affordable housing in New York City
     

  • Bronx Defenders: A public defender nonprofit that is radically transforming how low-income people in the Bronx are represented in the justice system and, in doing so, is transforming the system itself.
     

  • Hot Bread Kitchen: A non-profit collective helping women, immigrants, and people of color thrive as workers and entrepreneurs within the food system, helping to make the system more conscious and equitable for all.
     

  • New York Restoration Project: A non-profit organization driven by the conviction that all New Yorkers deserve beautiful, high-quality public space within ready walking distance of their homes. 
     

  • Hester Street: An urban planning, design and development nonprofit that works to ensure neighborhoods are shaped by the people who live in them.

  • Design Trust for Urban Space: A non-profit organization dedicated to the future of public space in New York City.

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