RuckusRoots believes in the power of the creative process to affect positive change in the world.

We’re working with groundbreaking innovators to give young people in Northeast Los Angeles a chance to express themselves creatively and sustainably. We’re proud to collaborate with the following artists, organizations and schools:

Artist Mentors

rainbow tunnelJames Peterson is an LA-based artist, and the mastermind behind Art Contraptions, a fabrication house that specializes in everything from large scale, interactive sculpture to innovative  furniture and web design. James was our artist mentor for the Chimes for Change program, featured at Soundwalk 2013. RuckusRoots and Art Contraptions are collaborating on designing interactive sustainability learning tools that directly address the needs of schools and communities. Art Contraptions recently debuted one of its biggest works to date at the 2014 Coachella Music and Arts Festival. To learn more about this piece, called CryoChrome, check out the Art Contraptions website.

church trap

Rebekah Waites  Rebekah’s latest art piece, The Church Trap, was a 2013 Burning Man honorarium winning art installation that has been featured in Rolling Stones Magazine, IMAX 3D, and LA Weekly. Rebekah was the brilliant mind and artist mentor most recently during the TRASHformation program with Academia Avance middle school students in Highland Park.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASteven Speciale is a pianist, conductor, and educator. He currently teaches Electronic Music, AP Music Theory, and Choir at Loyola High School. Steven reinvented the music curriculum, offering project-based portfolio classes at Loyola. His students have written iPhone apps as standalone music compositions, built reactive music tables, invented Qr-code music trees, and many other electronic music/multimedia projects, including facilitating the Chimes for Change program at Loyola.

robin artcar Robin Banks is the founder of  Art Customs, an LA-based design and fabrication house specializing in everything from large scale, interactive sustainable sculptures to innovative costume and commercial prop design. Robin’s work has appeared in festivals, commercials, TV shows and music videos, with clients ranging from EDC and Coachella to Snoop Dogg and Twitter. Robin has been an artist mentor on multiple TRASHformation programs and helped develop our art based programs.

Matt Moldover is a San Francisco-based electronic musician and artist, and creator of the Octamasher. The Octamasher is an interactive music installation that connects eight unique instruments to one computer brain and allows virtually anyone to jump right in, play samples, tweak loops, interact with other people, and have fun!



avanceAcademiaAvance combines rigorous academic preparation with the development of real-world skills. This is combined with the application of learned concepts via projects, internships, and multi-cultural experiences. As a small public charter school, Academia Avance offers an excellent tuition-free education in a safe nurturing environment, and is operated and governed with community input.

legacylogoFounded in 2007, Legacy LA is a community based non-profit organization focused on youth development.  Its mission is to make positive interventions in the lives of young people by offering alternatives to gangs and violence.  Legacy has partnered with RuckusRoots to offer TRASHformation programs to East LA youth.

2012-10-11_13-29-30_559Nightingale Middle School is located in Cypress Park in East Los Angeles. It is home to the D3 Lab, where RuckusRoots has implemented TRASHformation programs for its student body of 6-8th graders. Due to budget cuts, Nightingale MS is unable to offer many visual arts classes to its students, so RuckusRoots TRASHforamtion helps fill this void.


The D3 Lab is a collaboration between the Pearson Foundation’s New Learning Institute and Nightingale Middle School. It is a space and learning model that inspires students to Dream It, Design It, and Do It. RuckusRoots is running a TRASHformation program through D3 Lab with students at Nightingale Middle School, which entails everything from devising a system for collecting trash and recycling items, to hosting a student-run waste audit and designing and building a functional, sustainable art piece out of campus-generated waste items. Learn more.






Recent Blog Posts

Two Birds, One Stone: Holiday Shopping That Supports RuckusRoots!

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Posted on: December 10, 2014

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Posted on: November 24, 2014

Join us Today at the Holiday Bazaar!

Join us Today at the Holiday Bazaar! »

Posted on: November 22, 2014

Happy Halloween from RuckusRoots!

Happy Halloween from RuckusRoots! »

Posted on: October 29, 2014