Mission & History

Media Art Xploration expands live performance through science and technology. We bring together storytellers, performers, scientists, and creative technologists to make music, dance, and immersive performance that raise awareness and spark constructive dialogue about the constant innovation around us. We illuminate scientific innovation through artistic expression and broaden artistic expression through scientific insight to create shared experiences and build a more informed democracy.

In MAXlive 2019: A Space Festival and MAXlive 2021: The Neuroverse, MAX’s recent biennial festivals, we worked with over 150 artists and scientists to bring dozens of  performances and  presentations and 14 museum installations to over 15 ,000 audience members across 3 cities in partnership with 10 premiere venues including the Exploratorium, California Academy of Sciences, Carnegie Hall, New York Live Arts, ONX Studio, MASS MoCA, and the Norton Museum.

Diversity Equity & Inclusion Statement

Media Art Xploration is committed to increasing the accessibility of science, technology, and the arts.
We aim to reach a diverse public through presentations that defy disciplinary boundaries without sacrificing nuance, rigor, or meaningful debate. We strive to scrutinize the apparatus of scientific research and technological development as we expand the tools of artistic expression by fostering collaborations between artists, technologists, and scientists. We work to cultivate an artistic presentation environment and workplace where all staff, volunteers, artist residents, and partners feel welcome and free to be their full selves. We are committed to supporting a diverse and inclusive space that reflects the communities in which our work is presented and cultivated.

Media Art Xploration is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Our organization does not discriminate on the basis of an individual’s race, sex, age, color, creed, ethnicity, national origin, citizenship, socio-economic background, disability status, religion, marital or partnership status, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, past incarceration status, veteran or military status and any other attributes protected by law.

Meet the Team

Kay Matschullat

Founding and Artistic Director


Kay Matschullat is an accomplished performing and media arts director, producer, educator, and founder whose work is dedicated to deconstructing barriers and exploring inventive collaborations. In 2013, Matschullat set her sights on driving innovation in performing arts through the intersection of technology and the arts by founding Scriptopia, the first software application for collaborative, online script development. After successfully launching Scriptopia, Matschullat secured funding for Media Art Xploration (MAX), a non-profit dedicated to the cultivation and presentation of performing and media arts with the goal of increasing artistic exploration and humanistic inquiry into the light-speed advances in science and technology. She most enjoys creating space for artists and scientists to change the world and to that end, she curated MAX 2019: A Space Festival.


Also in 2019 she produced  We Chose to Go to the Moon, two evenings at Carnegie Hall chronicling the Apollo mission to the moon with St. Luke’s Orchestra in collaboration with America In the Balance.


Directing credits include the classics Threepenny Opera, All’s Well That Ends Well, Skin of Our Teeth, and Love’s Labour’s Lost;  She has directed premier productions by renowned writers including former Czech Republic president and playwright Vaclav Havel (The Conspirators), Nobel Prize-winning Caribbean playwright Derek Walcott (To Die For Granada, Pantomime), Pulitzer Prize winner Ariel Dorfman (Widows), and Carson McCullers Talks About Love with Tony Award-winning composer Duncan Sheik and songwriter Suzanne Vega (nominated for a Drama Desk Award).


Matschullat founded the new play program at The Williamstown Theater Festival and InTheRaw at Red Bull Theater. A magna cum laude graduate of Harvard College and recipient of a Master of Arts degree from NYU, Matschullat’s awards include an NEA Directing Fellowship, a TCG Fellowship, a Rubin Foundation Production Grant, a Fulbright Senior Fellowship, and Harvard’s Rudolf Arnheim Award for Interdisciplinary Work. As an artist and educator, Matschullat served on NYU’s Tisch full-time faculty for over two decades, taught in Princeton University’s Theater and Dance program and has held artistic residencies at Dartmouth College, Harvard College, Calarts, SCAD, Duke University. She was a guest lecturer at Harvard College in 2019. 

Asia Szczepanowska

Internal Accounting Officer


Asia has been working in accounting for 18 years.  

Jessie Kilguss

Director of Development and Strategic Partnerships


Jessie Kilguss, Director of Outreach,  is passionate about making the arts accessible to all. She served as the Executive Director of Musicambia, an organization that provides music education inside prisons and jails, from 2019-2023. She joined the Musicambia team in 2017 as a freelance grant writer. In 2018, she became Musicambia’s first-ever full-time employee, thanks to a grant from the New York State Regional Economic Development Council. In 2019, in recognition of her contribution to the organization, she became Musicambia’s Executive Director. She stepped down from this role in 2023 and now serves on the organization’s board of directors.

Prior to Musicambia, Jessie served as both the Director of Development and Public Relations at Art Start and subsequently, the Development Director and Program Manager at Arts For All.
She’s a current member of the Advisory Board for the Adolph Busch Award, an annual award granted to one nonprofit that uses music to address social injustice, inequity and lack of opportunity.
In addition to her work in the non-profit sector, Jessie is also a singer/songwriter and a former actress. As a singer/songwriter, she has released six albums, toured throughout Europe with Freddie Stevenson, opening for the Waterboys and performs and produces concerts regularly in New York City. Acting highlights include the London and Sydney productions of The Black Rider, a musical written by Tom Waits and William Burroughs, directed by Robert Wilson, a UK production (and subsequent UK & US tour) of As You Like It, directed by Royal Shakespeare Company founder, Sir Peter Hall and the film adaptation of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, starring Daniel Day Lewis and Winona Ryder.

Ryan Gedrich

Associate Producer


Ryan Gedrich is a freelance producer and theater administrator. Most recently, he was the Advancement Director for the downtown new play incubator Clubbed Thumb, where he worked for over 6 years in various roles and was involved in the development of over 50 plays, including the Tony-award nominated What the Constitution Means to Me. He is also the Operations Manager for Immediate Medium. As both freelance producer and dramaturg, he has produced and developed work at the Public Theater’s Under The Radar festival, NYTW Next Door, the Tank, JACK, the Bushwick Starr, BRIC Arts Media, the Collapsable Hole, Dixon Place, University Settlement, the Lewis Center for the Arts, and the McCarter Theater; and has worked with artists including Tara Ahmadinejad/Piehole, Eliza Bent, Annie Tippe, Bailey Williams, Sarah Blush, Agnes Borinsky, Rinne Groff, and New Saloon, among others. B.A. Princeton University (Anthropology).
Mariam Suffrand Headshot

Mariam Suffrand

HR and Administration Manager


Mariam Suffrand is a bilingual, Kean University graduate with a BS in Business Public Management with a focus in media marketing. She participated in Kean University’s 2019 Research Day, presenting a collection of studies in pertinence to international business culture. 

Jerome Allen-Smith

Marketing Associate


Jerome Allen-Smith is a working Actor and Theater Marketeer, dedicated to both creating groundbreaking work and supporting it. Following his graduation from The New School with an M.F.A. in Acting, he has worked with New York Theatre Workshop within the Marketing Department, where he was able to receive in-depth mentorship from the community. Continuing on, he has now landed a new home in the wonderful world of MAX. When Jerome is not marketing, graphic design-ing, or communications-ing, he can be found at a concert, in a national park, or on the next plane to somewhere new in the world.

Iryn Delim

Website Developer and Communications Associate


Iryn Abigail Delim is a third-year student at NYU Tandon, with ample experience in digital design, graphic media, web development, and various software applications. With a passion for social advocacy and improving digital accessibility, Iryn aspires to implement her technical skills to public services throughout her career.

Board of Advisors

Dr. Carl Schoonover


Dr. Carl Schoonover is an Associate Research Scientist at Columbia University where he studies the neural mechanisms that underlie olfactory learning, with the aim of applying insights from biological intelligence to next-generation algorithms for artificial intelligence. He is the author of Portraits of the Mind: Visualizing the Brain from Antiquity to the 21st Century, a co-founder of NeuWrite, a collaborative working group for scientists, writers, and those in between, and has written for The New York Times, Le Figaro, and Scientific American. He hosts a radio program on WKCR 89.9FM, which focuses on opera, postwar classical music, and occasionally their relationship to the brain.

Vero Bollow


While researching the Bay Area’s start-up culture for her upcoming comedy film on AI, Vero Bollow came to the conclusion that there should be a place for artists, scientists, and engineers to hang out, be curious and launch new ventures together, so she decided to found Stochastic Labs. Vero’s first feature film, The Wind and the Water, was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival before playing to sold-out audiences at festivals worldwide and eventually breaking box office records in Panama, it’s country of production. A graduate of UC Berkeley, she holds master’s degrees from MIT and the Columbia School of Journalism. She is also the director of the Minerva Foundation.

Rachel Chanoff


Rachel Chanoff is the founder and director of THE OFFICE performing arts + film, her New York City-based programming, consulting, and production company. She is the Curator of Performing Arts and Film for the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA), Director of Programming of the CenterSeries at the ’62 Center for Theater and Dance at Williams College, Consultant to the Feature Film and Theater Programs for the Sundance Institute and to the RAWI screenwriters lab in Jordan, Curator of The New York Jewish Film Festival and The Margaret Mead Film Festival, and the Artistic Director of the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival. Rachel is proud to serve on the board of the 52nd Street Project and Working Films.

Dr. Sanjoy Som


Dr. Sanjoy Som founded Blue Marble Space Institute of Science, a non-profit virtual research institute with an interdisciplinary approach to studying the relationship between Earth system science, space exploration, and the future of humanity. Dr. Som also serves as a research scientist at NASA Ames.

Dr. Jack Mostow


Jack Mostow is a Research Professor Emeritus of the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. As of 2017 he leads the RoboTutor team (www.robotutor.org), a $1M Finalist in the Global Learning XPRIZE Competition. RoboTutor expands on prior work on Project LISTEN’s Reading Tutor, which listens to children read aloud, to teach writing and numeracy as well. RoboTutor offers exciting opportunities for interdisciplinary work in intelligent tutors, educational data mining, graphic design, speech technologies, cognitive and motivational psychology, human-computer interaction, computational linguistics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning.

Lucia Pietroiusti


Lucia Pietroiusti is Curator of General Ecology at the Serpentine Galleries (London) as well as the Curator of Sun & Sea (Marina) by Rugile Barzdziukaite, Vaiva Grainyte and Lina Lapelyte, the Lithuanian Pavilion at the 58th Venice Biennale, 2019, awarded the Golden Lion for Best National Participation. She is the curator (with Filipa Ramos) of the durational festival on interspecies consciousness, The Shape of a Circle in the Mind of a Fish (2018-19) ​as well as the research, publication and performance project, PLANTSEX, on erotics and botany. Since 2013, she has programmed and produced research projects, artist commissions and performances, as well as film and collaborative partnerships, at the Serpentine Galleries. Pietroiusti was the co-curator of the 2018 (Work), 2016 (Miracle), 2015 (Transformation) and 2014 (Extinction) editions of the Serpentine’s yearly Marathon festival of art, science and technology; and the co-curator (with Kay Watson) and co-presenter (with Victoria Sin) of The Serpentine Podcast. Previously, Pietroiusti has been Assistant Curator at the Irish Museum of Modern Art (2007-2009) and Associate Editor of the journal of the arts and letters, Boulevard Magenta (2008-2010). Pietroiusti is currently researching more-than-humanism, ecology, interspecies consciousness, species extinction, plant intelligence, botany and myth.

Robert Cowan, MD, FAAN


Robert Cowan, MD, FAAN is Professor of Neurology and Chief of the Division of Headache Medicine at Stanford University. Prior to coming to Stanford he was ta senior clinical research scientist in molecular neurobiology at Huntington Medical Research Institutes (Pasadena, CA). Dr. Cowan attended University of Southern California, Keck Medical School, completed a residency program at USC Department of Neurology and served on faculty there until 2000. He is Board Certified in the areas of: Psychiatry and Neurology and Pain Medicine. He also holds subspecialty certification in Headache Medicine. Dr. Cowan is widely published in various scientific journals, including the Journal of the American Medical Association Cephalalgia, and Headache. He has authored book chapters lectures both nationally and internationally on a variety of headache topics, and has appeared on NBC, CBS and has been featured in articles ranging from the San Francisco Chronicle to Vogue Magazine. Dr. Cowan has held several nationally elected positions, including chair of the sections on Chronic Daily Headache and In-office Patient Education for the American Headache Society. He is immediate past President of the Headache Cooperative of the Pacific, is a fellow of the American Academy of Neurology and the American Headache Society. He is on the boards of the Alliance for Headache Diseases Advocacy, the Headache Cooperative of the Pacific, the American Headache and Migraine Association, and the American Council for Headache Education. He is a reviewer for several peer-reviewed journals, including Headache and Cephalalgia. He is an editor for Headache Currents. Dr. Cowan is the author of The Keeler Migraine Method (Penguin/Avery, 2008). Along with Dr. Alan Rapoport, Professor of Neurology at UCLA School of Medicine, Dr. Cowan co-founded BonTriage which develops computer-based tools to aid in the diagnosis, education, and care of people with chronic medical conditions. Dr. Cowan’s primary research nterest is the pathophysiology of chronic daily headache, utilizing functional imaging, body fluid analysis and deep phenotyping. He has been the recipient of NIH, foundation, industry and individual grants and gifts for his research.

Dr. Penelope Boston


Dr. Boston works in the fields of micro- and astro-biology, having pioneered collaboration between the two fields. She explores the deepest caves to find the microscopic clues to which planets could harbor recognizable life and detect the presence of such life. Dr. Penelope Boston plunged into the wonders of exobiology at a very young age. She grew up traveling the world with parents who were traveling performers, frequently delves into deep caves to do research, has worked with Dr. Carl Sagan on a project and serves on several scientific advisory panels with Dr. Frank Drake, A current professor at New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, author of over 150 publications, and co-founder of the National Cave and Karst Research Institute and organizer of multiple conferences, Dr. Boston has devoted her career to teaching and understanding overlapping scientific disciplines.

Dr. Felipe Orduña Bustamante


 Dr. Felipe Orduña Bustamante is a senior researcher of the Acoustics and Vibrations Group, ICAT-UNAM. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Physics (UNAM, 1987), a Master’s and Doctorate in Sound and Vibrations (University of Southampton, England, 1990 and 1995). He works on acoustic instrumentation and measurements, digital signal processing, musical acoustics, and music technology. He is the author of many articles, reports and patents included in international academic indexes. Tutor and graduate professor in Engineering and Music, initiator of the areas of Instrumentation and Musical Technology.

Maxwell Neely-Cohen


Maxwell Neely-Cohen is the author of the novel Echo of the Boom and Editor-at-Large for The Believer.

His essays and non-fiction have been featured in places like The New Republic, Ssense, and BOMB Magazine.

His experiments with literature and technology have been acclaimed by The New York Times Magazine, Electric Literature, The Financial Times, and Google.

In 2019 he was an artist-in-residence at Pioneer Works and CultureHub, and part of the Fall cohort at the School for Poetic Computation.

Sam Gershman Photo

Dr. Sam Gershman


Sam Gershman received his B.A. in Neuroscience and Behavior from Columbia University in 2007 and Ph.D. in Psychology and Neuroscience from Princeton University in 2013, where he worked with Ken Norman and Yael Niv. From 2013-2015 Gershman was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT, working with Josh Tenenbaum and Nancy Kanwisher. He currently is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology and Center for Brain Science at Harvard. His research focuses on computational cognitive neuroscience approaches to learning, memory and decision making. 

Dr. Tom Griffiths


Tom Griffiths is the Henry R. Luce Professor of Information Technology, Consciousness and Culture in the Departments of Psychology and Computer Science at Princeton University. His research explores connections between human and machine learning, using ideas from statistics and artificial intelligence to understand how people solve the challenging computational problems they encounter in everyday life. He has received awards for his research from organizations ranging from the American Psychological Association to the National Academy of Sciences, and is a co-author of the book _Algorithms to live by_, introducing ideas from computer science and cognitive science to a general audience. 

Sally Katz


Sally Martin Katz is Curatorial Assistant of Photography at SFMOMA and Ph.D. candidate in Art History, focusing on History of Photography, at the Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne. Before moving to the Bay Area, she lived in Paris, where she completed a Master of Arts degree in Art History as well as a Master of Fine Arts degree in Photography, both from the Sorbonne. While living in Paris, she served as assistant to the director and the head of exhibitions & communications at the Foundation Henri Cartier-Bresson and worked on the photographic archive of the Greek, Roman & Etruscan Antiquities Department at the Musée du Louvre.

Sam Cuddeback


Recently retired after 25 years as Head of Drew School in San Francisco and 20 prior years as an English teacher and administrator at Tabor Academy (MA) and Lick-Wilmerding (CA).  A former member of the Executive Committee the California Association of Independent Schools. AB, MALS Dartmouth College. Sam is currently a Dartmouth class officer for ‘71. He has served as a trustee on three independent schools’ boards and for the Teach With Africa organization. He reads avidly, rides a Bianchi and journals daily.

Paul Roossin


For the past several years Paul Roossin has been the principal technologist for two medical company start-ups whose suite of products leverage modern Artificial Intelligence techniques to automate diagnostic and therapeutic processes. Prior to this work, Paul was the Science Director of Nanotronics Imaging, Inc., a New York-based microscopy, computer vision, AI, and robotics company that designs and delivers automated inspection and analysis solutions to the semiconductor, pharmaceutical, and materials industries. Paul trained as a neurobiologist at The Rockefeller University where he performed pioneering investigations into the neural substrates of memory consolidation and recall. His interest in artificial intelligence led him to join IBM’s TJ Watson Research Center, where he and his team created the world’s most accurate machine translation system, first used for translating French texts into English. The statistical and information theoretical techniques they pioneered have become the basis for the methods used by all modern translation software. At IBM Research he also designed, produced, and marketed MedSpeak Radiology, the world’s first commercially available continuous speech, large vocabulary speech recognition system. This system and its progeny are currently used to automatically transcribe nearly all radiology reports in the US. As an entrepreneur, he and two colleagues founded ConsumerSearch.com, a consumer product meta-review website; it grew to be one of the largest shopping sites on the web and was sold to The New York Times Digital in 2007. Other prior experience includes CTO positions at the technology startups Tribeca Software and Revonet, Inc., and he was a founder and general manager of Blueshift Ventures, LLC, an early-stage life sciences and technology venture capital firm based in New York City. He is also the founder and CEO of Mental Machinery, Inc., a science and technology consulting firm.

A member of the New York Academy of Science and the Society of Sigma Xi, Paul’s active interests include medical and science policy, the development and use of artificial intelligence technologies, and educational outreach. He was featured as one of the 100 smartest individuals in the New York City area in a New York Magazine cover story. Paul received a B.A. cum laude from New York University in biology and computer science and from 1980 to 1985 was a Ph.D. Fellow at both The Rockefeller University and the Courant Institute of Mathematics.

Wendy Ettinger


An award-winning producer and director, Wendy Ettinger co-founded Chicken & Egg Pictures and Gamechanger Films, an equity fund dedicated to financing feature films directed by women. Through Gamechanger, she was the Executive Producer of Land Ho; through Chicken & Egg Pictures, she was the Executive Producer of Pariah, directed by Dee Rees. Wendy was also the Executive Producer for The War Room, the Academy Award®-nominated documentary directed by Chris Hegedus and D.A. Pennebaker. She produced Eye of God (Sundance Film Festival, 1997) and Hotel Gramercy Park (Tribeca Film Festival, 2008), and produced and directed Baby I’m Yours (Tribeca Film Festival, 2003). As a casting director, she worked with Ken Loach, Ang Lee, Hal Hartley, and James Lapine. Wendy believes deeply in the power of change through media, education, and the arts. She serves on the board of Working Films, The Educational Foundation of America, Imagine Science, the 52nd Street Project and MAX.

Anne Kreamer


Anne Kreamer is the author of “It’s Always Personal: Navigating Emotion in the New Workplace” and “Going Gray: What I Learned About Beauty, Sex, Work, Motherhood, Authenticity, and Everything Else That Really Matters.” Her latest book, “Risk/Reward: Why Intelligent Leaps and Daring Choices Are the Best Career Moves You Can Make,” decodes what it takes to get ahead and achieve satisfaction in today’s unpredictable new workscape.

Anne has also worked as a columnist for Fast Company and Martha Stewart Living, and has written frequently for Harvard Business Review. Her work has appeared in Time, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Real Simple, and Travel + Leisure. Previously, Anne was Executive Vice President and Worldwide Creative Director for the television channels Nickelodeon and Nick at Nite and part of the team that launched SPY magazine. As the Associate Director for the International Television Group for Sesame Workshop, she was integral to building Sesame Street into the pre-eminent global children’s brand.

In 2019, with her daughter, Lucy Andersen, Anne launched Wild & Rare (wildandrare.com) an accessories business showcasing endangered wildlife. By shining a light on individual plants and animals, they hope that Wild & Rare products will function as miniature billboards, focusing our attention on the smaller, more manageable parts of the environmental crisis. 100% of the profits go to organizations working toward the same goal.

Anne graduated from Harvard College and lives in Brooklyn with her husband, the writer, Kurt Andersen.

David Bianciardi


David Bianciardi is founder and principal of AV&C, an experience design studio creating digital landmarks in the physical world.

David started his career as a composer and sound designer, using software and technology to make things “talk to each other” to create designed experiences. Today, his transdisciplinary team of artists, designers, technologists, engineers, developers and producers create responsive and expressive media installations in the built environment that foster relationships between storyteller, place and audience.

Gabriel Gaster


Gabe Gaster is a Senior Software Engineer at Google, where he works on Local Search to help users find information to navigate the world around them. Gabe focuses on linguistic challenges particularly affecting multilingual voice search for the next billion users. In the past, Gabe has consulted with companies like the Detroit Pistons and Motorola with the data science company Datascope (now part of IDEO). Besides figuring out the right problem to solve (and solving it), Gabe also does and teaches math. He was a founding teacher of the Math Circles of Chicago and solved a $100 problem posed by Paul Sally.

Jared Goldberg


Originally from starry Southern California, Jared Goldberg received his B.A.’s in Physics and Philosophy from Claremont McKenna College in 2016, and his Ph.D. in Physics from UC Santa Barbara in 2022. He currently is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Flatiron Institute’s Center for Computational Astrophysics, where research focuses on using simulations to understand the structure and evolution of stars, and the light produced in their explosions as supernovae. Jared’s love for the physics of celestial objects grew from a love of music, and his mother loves to tell the story of how his first science project ever was about sound waves in musical instruments (wait until Kindergarten-Jared hears that sound waves travel through stars, too!). Non-professionally, Jared also loves hiking and nature, martial arts, exploring the city and its culture and cuisine, puzzles, and puns.

Adaora Udoji


Adaora is an award-winning storyteller, producer, and media executive with expertise in emerging technology and media. She helps corporations build products, creatives understand how this new tech works and produces media across platforms: digital, video, film, radio, podcasts, virtual reality and augmented reality Her work has premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, Google and has been featured on CNN, ABC News and public radio. ((Imbd profile).
She is on the board of NEW INC, serves as an advisor for SXSW Pitch, Knight Foundation 360 Challenge, an advisor to the Broadway Accelerator, as well as a juror for the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival Storyscape Prize (Immersive).Previously, she was an executive at RLab and ran a media-tech startup, News Deeply. Before she covered some of the most compelling stories of our time as a broadcast journalist as correspondent and anchor, winning many awards including recognition by The National Academy of Television Arts, and Sciences and the Alfred I. duPont–Columbia University Award for reporting on the Afghan war and Hurricane Katrina respectively.
She is an adjunct professor at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program at the Tisch School of the Arts and graduated from the University of Michigan and received a J.D. from the UCLA School of Law. She holds dual American and Irish Citizenship and has lived on four continents.

Dr. David Haskell


Dr. David Haskell is a writer and a biologist. His latest book, Sounds Wild and Broken, explores the story of sound on Earth and is an Editor’s Choice at the New York Times. His previous books, The Forest Unseen and The Songs of Trees are acclaimed for their integration of science, poetry, and rich attention to the living world. Among their honors include the National Academies’ Best Book Award, John Burroughs Medal, finalist for Pulitzer Prize, Iris Book Award, Reed Environmental Writing Award, National Outdoor Book Award for Natural History Literature, and runner-up for the PEN E. O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award. Haskell received his BA from the University of Oxford and PhD from Cornell University. He is a Fellow of the Linnean Society of London, a Guggenheim Fellow, and William R. Kenan Jr. Professor at the University of the South in Sewanee, TN, USA.

Kathryn Arffa


Kathryn is a co-founder and Head of Experience at Sagra – an agritourism based business. She has developed mission-based brands that operate within the human experience of hospitality. She is passionate about bringing communities together and educating people through live experiences. She advises MAX on production and brand experience and articulation. She received her MBA at Yale School of Management and a B.A. in Economics from Dartmouth.

Dr. Andrew Farnsworth


Andrew Farnsworth is a Senior Research Associate in the Center for Avian Population Studies at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Andrew began birding at age 5 and quickly developed his long-standing fascinations with bird migration. He has been fortunate to travel extensively, in the western hemisphere in particular, leading tours for many years and pursuing birds whenever and wherever possible; however, in the last two decades his primary focus has shifted from mostly birding to mostly science. His current research efforts apply rapidly advancing technologies to study bird movements across space and time including weather surveillance radar, audio and video recording and monitoring tools, citizen science datasets, and machine learning techniques. Andrew received his BS in Natural Resources from Cornell, MS in Zoology from Clemson University, and PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Cornell University. Andrew is also a musician, and he lives in Manhattan with his wife Patricia and two daughters Aja and Elle.

Thank you to our Board

We thank our Board of Directors, David Bianciardi, Nancy Eswein, Wendy Ettinger, Carol Klein, Carl Schoonover, Dale Matschullat, Elizabeth Grayer, and Kay Matschullat.

Special Thanks to The Office, Integrated Media and Design Department, NYU and Paul Weiss.

Our Sponsors & Venue Partners

Venue, Educational, and Program Partners