2009 Artist + Community Council

Rashida Bumbray joined the staff of The Kitchen in 2006, where she is Associate Curator. She previously served as Curatorial Assistant and Exhibition Coordinator at The Studio Museum in Harlem (2001-2006). While working at SMH, she co-organized exhibitions such as African Queen;HRLM: Pictures;Seeds and Roots: Selections from the Permanent Collection, co-curated with Thelma Golden; and Energy/Experimentation: Black Artists and Abstraction 1964-1980 with Kellie Jones, among others. She co-founded the well-known tap dance jam series Hoofers House, which is now co-produced by The Kitchen. Rashida also co-curated Studio Sound, the Studio Museum’s lobby music installation. At The Kitchen, she recently curated solo exhibitions by Jamal Cyrus, Elodie Pong and Rodney McMillian, as well as performances by Kalup Linzy, Rashaad Newsome, Sanford Biggers, and Keith & Mendi Obadike. She earned her BA in both African American Studies and Theater & Dance from Oberlin College; and is completing her MA in Africana Studies at New York University.
Martha Diaz is the president of The Hip-Hop Association (H2A), and producer of the H2O International Film Festival and Hip-Hop Education Summit. She is the co-creator of the Hip-Hop Education Guidebook Series, and is releasing her second book entitled, Fresh, Bold and So Def: Women In Hip-Hop Changing The Game in September 2009. Martha created the Ladies First Fund, the first grant for women in Hip-Hop dedicated to fostering the next generation of social entrepreneurs. She also launched H2ONewsreel, the first Hip-Hop media and education resource distribution label catering to the education market. She is Co-founder and Director of the Hip-Hop Education Center for Research, Training, and Evaluation, a partnership with the H2A and the Metropolitan Center for Urban Education Reform at NYU. Martha is currently working on her Master’s Degree in Hip-Hop as a tool for Human Rights and Social Change at NYU’s Gallatin School for Individualized Study. Martha is the recipient of the Catherine B. Reynolds Scholarship; Black Lily Emerging Leader Award; and the Mary Chung Nia Award.
Andre Lancaster is a playwright, stage director and Artistic & Managing Director of Freedom Train Productions, a black queer-inspired political theatre company. He has written four full-length plays: Hope Courage; The Trumpet Man; Descendants of Freedom: a futuristic queer hip hop odyssey; and I Am Not A Hero. Andre's work has been developed and staged at HERE Arts Center (New York City), BRIC Studio (Brooklyn), Freedom Train Productions (Brooklyn), Esperanza Peace and Justice Center (San Antonio), Hyde Park Theatre (Austin), UT Theatre and Dance Reading Series (Austin), and New Works Festival (Austin). In 2004 his Descendants of Freedom was selected into HERE Art Center’s Queer@HERE Festival; and in 2006, he directed the premiere productin of Andrea E. Davis’s A Love Like Damien’s at WOW Cafe Theatre. Andre studied Playwriting at the University of Texas at Austin.
Rudy Shepherd is a painter, sculptor and an alum of The Laundromat Project's Create Change program. Rudy’s 2006 Create Change project took the form of a larger-than-life drawing cart, which was rolled into a parking space outside one of Harlem’s busy laundromats. As a way of getting to know his neighbors, he invited passersby and those doing their laundry to sit-down and draw.

Rudy is based in Harlem, NY and received a BS in Biology and Studio Art from Wake Forest University and an MFA in Sculpture from the School of Art Institute of Chicago. He is currently represented by Mixed Greens Gallery, NY. Shepherd is an artist in residence at Location One and has a two-person exhibition from May 9 – June 20, 2009 at Paperwork Gallery, Baltimore, MD.