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.

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Leadership & Staff
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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.

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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.

Zoe Fruchter 

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Zoe Fruchter's interests and experience lie at the intersection of urbanism, the arts, and education. A third-generation Brooklynite, Zoe is deeply excited to return to NYC after time "abroad" in Iowa, where she recently worked to open The James Theater. As the manager for Operations & Community Engagement at The James, Zoe combined her lifelong pursuit of cultivating artistic community with a structural focus built from roles with Business Improvement Districts in New York and Iowa. She is a graduate of Grinnell College, where she studied architectural history, and Bard High School Early College in Manhattan. Jane Jacobs' work on the living city ignited Zoe's passion for urbanism, so she is thrilled to join Tanya and Andy in engaging with New York City as a classroom, studio, and community.

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Partners and Memberships

 

We 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: 

  • Rockaway Initiative for Sustainability & Equity (RISE) provides civic engagement and youth development programs that advance social equity and the physical well being of the vibrant coastal neighborhood in Queens, New York. 

  • South Bronx Unite brings together neighborhood residents, community organizations, academic institutions, and allies to improve and protect the social, environmental and economic future of Mott Haven and Port Morris. 

  • La Morada Restaurant owned by Natalia Mendez and Antonio Saavedra and managed by Marco Saavedra, and specializing in Oaxacan cuisine, La Morada supports community action on immigration policy and runs a mutual aid program providing free meals to those in need.

  • Friends of Brook Park is a community garden in Mott Haven overseen by Danny Chervoni. The organization is driven by community leaders and strong advocates for environmental and racial justice, waterfront access, and green space development. 

  • Waterfront Alliance works to protect, transform and revitalize our harbor and waterfront, creating an accessible coastline for all communities.

  • WEACT's mission is to build healthy communities by ensuring that people of color and/or low income residents participate meaningfully in the creation of sound and fair environmental health and protection policies and practices. 

  • 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. 

  • Leroy Street Studio is 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.

  • The American Dream Charter School is based in Mott Haven and develops academic excellence in both Spanish and English for grades 6-12, preparing students to excel in college and become leaders in their communities. 

  • 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.

  • NYC Mayor's Office of Climate and Environmental Justice is a city agency that works to ensure that NYC is prepared to withstand and emerge stronger from the impacts of climate change. 

  • NYC Department of Transportation is a 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.
     

  • Sam Schwartz is a leading engineering, planning, and consulting firm that works across the disciplines of transportation and environmental planning, transit, civil engineering, and community engagement.

  • One Architecture & Urbanism is an award-winning design and planning firm with offices in Amsterdam and New York and is led by founding principal Matthijs Bouw. One is a global leader in large-scale climate adaptation and waterfront infrastructure planning.
     

  • The Trust for Governors Island was created by the City of New York and is responsible for the planning, operations, and ongoing development of Governors Island.
     

  • Regional Plan Association (RPA) develops and promotes ideas to improve the economic health, environmental resiliency and quality of life of the New York metropolitan area.

  • Bronx River Alliance is 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.

  • Chinatown BID/Partnership is an economic and community development organization led by Wellington Chen that brings residents, business owners and community groups together to preserve the neighborhood's unique culture.

  • 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.

  • Joey Parnes Productions produces, executive produces and general manages theatrical productions from the commercial and non profit worlds, both on and off broadway, internationally, and on the road.

  • Barnard Zine Library holds one of the largest collections of zines, located at Barnard College and focusses on both personal and political publications. 

  • 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 is based in New York City under the helm of Chef Ryan Hardy, focusing on creating memorable hospitality experiences featuring an inventive culinary style and an extraordinary wine program.

  • Mott Haven Community Fridge is the first community refrigerator in Mott Haven, with the motto, "Take what you need, give what you can."

  • Hunter College 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.

  • The Climate Museum is dedicated to climate change and climate solutions in the United States. Its mission is to inspire action on the climate crisis with programming across the arts and sciences that deepens understanding, builds connections, and advances just solutions.

  • Hawthorne Valley Farm, a diversified, 900-acre Biodynamic farm in upstate New York, healing the planet through regenerative agriculture, connects children and adults with the land and local food, opening a dialogue about our environment, our economy, and ourselves.

  • GrowNYC seeks to improve New York City's quality of life through environmental programs- including greenmarkets, community gardens and recycling- that transform communities and empower New Yorkers to secure a clean and healthy environment for future generations.

  • Teens for Food Justice is catalyzing a youth-led movement to end food insecurity in one generation through high-capacity, school-based hydroponic farming, supporting innovative farming technology, integrated health education, healthy food distribution and advocacy.

  • Loisaida Inc. addresses the disenfranchisement of low income Latinx residents with employment and training opportunities, youth development initiatives, and neighborhood revitalization activities that highlight the rich culture, heritage, and contribution of the Puerto Rican and Latin American community in NYC.

  • The Corbin Hill Food Project supplies fresh food to those who need it most. As a values-driven organization, they achieve this through the distribution of local, farm fresh food to communities throughout New York City.

  • Qiana Mickie is a New York City based food systems leader and speaker who uses food as a driver of enterprise, innovation, and equity.

  • Katz's Delicatessen is an iconic, family owned and operated delicatessen, a landmark in New York City's Lower East Side. Each week both locals and visitors from around the world go to Katz's to dine on the most delectable sandwiches, platters and meats, especially the pastrami.

  • Teamsters Local 202 represents workers in many industries the largest being the fresh food industry. Teamsters Local 202 is based in the Bronx and represents members throughout the tristate area. Daniel J. Kane, Jr., President; Leo Servedio, Vice President.

  • 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 that act upon them. 

  • Nom Wah Tea Parlor is 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 is located in the Hunts Point Terminal Market, and 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.

  • Union Docs is a non-profit center for documentary art that presents, produces, publishes, and educates, bringing together a diverse community of activist artists, experimental media-makers, dedicated journalists, big thinkers, and local partners.

  • Socrates Sculpture Park is a community engaged New York City waterfront park dedicated to supporting artists in the production and presentation of public art. ​​

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

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

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