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Arts Education 2.0: Exploring Alternative Education Models

There is a real grassroots movement happening in re-thinking education at all levels – especially in higher education – spurred on by DIY culture, mounting student debt, and new digital platforms. Community-organized education programs offer hands-on, real world alternatives and these people-powered programs provide business training and facilitate peer-to-peer learning to a wider global audience than ever before.

This meetup will look at how alternative education pertains to the arts in particular, and will showcase some of the most engaging and innovative projects happening in and around NYC. From open online courses, to arts mentorship programs, and decentralized exhibition spaces, we'll hear from artists and education innovators who are truly disrupting arts pedagogy as we've known it.

For a primer on these "Educational Outliers," you can reference these texts assembled by presenter Michael Mandiberg, detailing the actions and intentions of 13 programs:


7:00pm – Doors

7:30-8:30pm – Presentations and question-and-answer session

8:30-10:00pm – Conversation continues over wine & snacks 


Dr. Steven Zucker is dean of art and history at Khan Academy. He works with leading museums to bring their content to new global audiences and acquires, edits, and publishes short essays on art and history by leading academics. Previously, he was chair of history of art and design at Pratt Institute where he strengthened enrollment and lead the renewal of curriculum across the Institute. Before that, he was dean of the School of Graduate Studies at the Fashion Institute of Technology, SUNY and chair of their art history department. He has taught at The School of Visual Arts, Hunter College, and at The Museum of Modern Art. Dr. Zucker is a recipient of the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. He has co-authored, with Dr. Beth Harris, numerous articles on the future of education and the future of museums, topics he regularly addresses at conferences around the world. Dr. Zucker received his Ph.D. from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. 

Dr. Beth Harris is dean of art and history at Khan Academy. She works with leading museums to bring their content to new global audiences and acquires, edits, and publishes short essays on art and history by leading academics. Before joining Khan Academy, she was the first director of digital learning at The Museum of Modern Art, where she started MoMA Courses Online and co-produced educational videos, websites and apps. Before joining MoMA, Beth was Associate Professor and director of distance learning at the Fashion Institute of Technology where she taught both online and in the classroom. She has co-authored, with Dr. Steven Zucker, numerous articles on the future of education and the future of museums, topics she regularly addresses at conferences around the world. She received her Master's degree from the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, and her doctorate in Art History from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

Taeyoon Choi makes art with electronic circuits, drawing, storytelling and interventions in public space. Taeyoon often collaborates with other artists and activists to realize socially engaged projects and participatory experiences. He has served as a committee member for The Public School New York and fellow at Eyebeam Art + Technology Center. He is the co-founder of School for Poetic Computation , an artist run school with the motto “More Poems, Less Demos” based in New York City, where he teaches electronics and other topics. Recently, he has curated exhibitions and education programs for the Anyang Public Art Festival in South Korea, where he directs Making Lab, a makerspace focusing on artist-community collaboration.

Abigail Besdin, Head of Content at Skillshare. Abigail has a long, love-hate history with the education system. A Philosophy PhD dropout, she joined Meetup to experience a system that -- far, far from academia -- is totally decentralized. After working on the Brand Partnerships team there for nearly 2 years, Abigail joined Skillshare to marry her passion for education with some of the bottom-up, people-powered lessons she learned at Meetup. For the last 2.5 years Abigail has worked alongside teammates at Skillshare to truly leverage the internet in figuring out what learning could look like in the 21st century. She now heads up Skillshare's Content Team, defining Skillshare's pedagogy while building out Skillshare's course catalog. 

Michael Mandiberg is a interdisciplinary artist, designer and scholar whose work employs each of these methodologies, in part to investigate the significance of their overlap. He creates conceptual art projects, design objects, and publications that explore themes that include environmentalism, systems of exchange, pedagogy, software art, collaboration, Free Culture, and appropriation. He sold all of his possessions online on Shop Mandiberg, made perfect copies of copies on, and created Firefox plugins that highlight the real environmental costs of a global economy on He is co-author of Digital Foundations and Collaborative Futures. He is the editor of The Social Media Reader. A recipient of residencies and commissions from Eyebeam,, and, his work has been exhibited at the New Museum, Ars Electronica, ZKM, and Transmediale. A former Senior Fellow at Eyebeam, he is currently Director of the the New York Arts Practicum, Associate Professor at the College of Staten Island/CUNY and a member of the Doctoral Faculty at the CUNY Graduate Center. He lives in, and rides his bicycle around, Brooklyn. His work lives at

Or Zubalsky is an artist, musician, and programmer born in Israel and working in Brooklyn, NY. He is part of the collectives Fantastic Futures and Trade School, and music projects Juviley and The Youngest. His work and collaborations have been supported by The New Museum, Rhizome, Eyebeam, iLand, Culture Push, Vox Populi, PNEM Sound Art Festival, and Sheila C. Johnson Design Center. Zubalsky presented collaborations and projects at TedX, College Art Association, CUNY Grad Center, and Maker Faire. He performed at the MoMA PS1, X-Initiative, Thierry Goldberg Gallery, as well as music venues around the world.

Caroline Woolard graduated from the only tuition-free art school in the country with a strong commitment to the solidarity economy and to conceptual art. After co-founding and developing resource sharing networks and for five years, Woolard realized that without affordable space, wise civic engagement is impossible. Now facilitating New York City To Be Determined and, Woolard aims to create and support truly affordable, community land trusts for cultural resilience in New York City so that she can stay put for the next 60 years.

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  • Tharit Firm Reed T.

    Meetup app's direction map guided me to City Hall...

    May 21, 2014

  • Rachel E.

    sounds wonderful, wish i could go! will you guys be recording it or streaming it online?

    May 16, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    looking forward to meeting everyone.

    May 14, 2014

  • Lauren Lacey S.

    Very excited to listen to and speak with all of you!

    1 · May 13, 2014

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