Making A Cultural Impact
Schondra Aytch, Jason Cathcart, Akasya Crosier, Yuki Numata-Resnick, Ineil Quaran, Emily Ebba Reynolds
An all-star panel will join together to tell their stories and share their insights on how the arts can make a significant impact on the future of the communities in and around Buffalo. These top leaders and changemakers have all made significant contributions to the arts and cultural community in Western New York and this panel is not to be missed!
During this session, attendees will:
Hear unique perspectives about how these changemakers are making an impact on their communities
Get inspired to take part in Buffalo and WNY's cultural renaissance
Schondra Aytch is a Buffalo, NY-based content creator and writer who covers all things music and culture. Most known for creating the burgeoning hip-hop and r&b blog, Sneakvibing, Schondra's work aims to highlight overlooked talent in Buffalo and abroad. Schondra has written for multiple publications within Western New York like Cornelia Magazine, Buffalo Magazine, Beau Fleuve Music + Arts, and Buffalo Spree, among many others. Schondra is a current contributing writer for The Challenger News. Learn more about her at Sneakvibing.com
Jason M. Cathcart is the Equity & Outreach Director of DOPE Collective. As Equity & Outreach Director Jason has been able to be a conduit between community members in the creative, non for profit, and educational space to help build a bridge of opportunities, and resources for historically underserved communities. Jason is also a DEI workshop facilitator and developer, that helps illustrate and explore oppressive patterns that develop in career, as well as in Organizing spaces in attempt to make these spaces intellectually, physically, and emotionally safer for all members of those communities.
Akasya Crosier is a mixed media artist and graphic designer based in Buffalo, NY. After graduating from the University at Buffalo in 2017, Akasya began her career as a graphic designer at Shea's Performing Arts Center for three years. Since then, she has been running her own business designing for local clients and creating products out of her digital illustrations - notably, a Buffalo-themed coloring book which is now in 4 local stores and Barnes and Noble. Additionally, she works as a children's art instructor for Locust Street Art, a nonprofit organization located in the fruit belt that provides free and low cost art classes to the public. Her goal is to enlighten others about the fulfilling - and secure - career paths that can come from pursuing the arts, especially in a time when resources to that knowledge can be tough to navigate. For more info about Akasya and to see her work, visit akasyacrosier.com.
Yuki Numata Resnick is a violinist, nonprofit leader, and educator. Originally from Vancouver, BC, she is passionate about her adopted home in Buffalo, NY, and ensuring that all youth in Buffalo have equitable access to music education.
Yuki holds violin performance degrees from the Eastman School of Music and the University of Michigan. She also holds a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Duke University. As a violinist, Yuki has performed on stages from the Sydney Opera House to Carnegie Hall and is a passionate advocate for new music. In 2016, she released For Ko, her debut solo record featuring brand new works by living composers and has concertized throughout Europe, Australia, Asia, and North America. A versatile musician, Yuki has also played with and recorded for bands such as The National, Beirut, King Princess, Lisa Hannigan, and Arcade Fire. Most recently, Yuki recorded for Taylor Swift and can be heard on Swift’s Midnights, Folklore, Evermore, Fearless (Taylor’s Version) and Red (Taylor’s version). She is also a featured musician on Ed Sheeran’s upcoming record, (Subtract).
Yuki held the position of Assistant Professor of Music at the University at Buffalo from 2013-2016. During this time, she co-founded Buffalo String Works, a music program focused on leadership development and social change. She held the Executive Director position from 2019-2023, steadily growing the organization’s capacity to serve over 150 refugee, immigrant, and historically-marginalized youth. At the time of her departure, Buffalo String Works employed 22 staff and faculty and had a budget of nearly $1M. Yuki is currently the Director of Arts and Culture at the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo. Her role interacts closely with the Raph C. WIlson, Jr. Foundation’s $100M commitment to transform the long-term viability of Western NY’s arts and culture community through the establishment of an endowment that will support the sector now and forever. Yuki is honored to be entrusted with leading this critical funding initiative and is dedicated to ensuring that the values of equity and inclusion are lifted up throughout Western NY’s arts and culture community.
Ineil Quaran is an arts organizer, graphic designer, and aspiring animator. Born in Buffalo, New York, Ineil has utilized graphic design to launch several projects, designing work for: Erie 1 BOCES, Planned Parenthood, Squeaky Wheel Film and Media Arts Center, Ujima Company Inc., and New Era Cap with The Martin Group. In 2015, he co-founded D.O.P.E. Collective (Dismantling Oppressive Patterns for Empowerment), a project collaborative and community bulletin that creates alternative resources and cultural events such as: Deconstructing Masculinity, Artbox, Animate the Culture, and the Annual Cree Summer Chalk Walk. Learn more at dopewny.org and follow on IG: @dopewny and @artboxbuffalo
Emily Ebba Reynolds is a curator based in Buffalo, NY. She is the co-founder and executive director of the Buffalo Institute for Contemporary Art (BICA) and Cornelia Magazine, and curatorial partner in PLAY/GROUND; marketing manager for University at Buffalo Art Galleries; and community curator for Starlight Art Studio. She has organized, curated, and collaborated on exhibitions across the country, and was a founding partner of Bass & Reiner Gallery, a commercial art gallery in San Francisco. With a professional interest in community and audience building, Emily has also worked in marketing for museums and cultural institutions including the University at Buffalo Art Galleries, Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center, and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. She holds a master’s degree in Exhibition and Museum Studies from the San Francisco Art Institute and a Bachelor's in Art History from the University of Colorado, Boulder. (Headshot by Nando Alvarez-Perez)