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Meet the Team - RuckusRoots

Meet the Team

crisp meet 1

Christine Spehar, Executive Director & Operations Manager

Christine holds a BA in art and creative writing from the University of Colorado, Boulder. She worked as a freelance writer and artist for several years before founding RuckusRoots in 2009. Her written work focuses on art, music, natural living and sustainability, while her visual art comprises large scale, interactive installations made from recycled materials. She is a lover of art, music, Jason Bentley, and the written word.

christine at ruckusroots dot org

steph meet 1

Stephanie Spehar, Director of Sustainability & Education

Stephanie holds a PhD in Anthropology from NYU. She’s currently the Sustainability Leadership Fellow at the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh, as well as the Sustainability Coordinator for the new general education program.  She is on the forefront of sustainability & education research. She designs curriculum for programs that incorporate current and effective sustainable arts practices for students and communities.

stephanie at ruckusroots dot org

Artist Mentors


Nino Alicea

is a muralist, painter and sculptor. His background is in graphic design and design production for television and film. For several years he was a Design Producer for NBC’s American Dream Builders, and in 2014 he was part of the team that installed Pae White’s “Woven Walk” at LAX International. “My ultimate goal is to inspire others to continue creating and dreaming big,” says Nino. Nino just completed his first Burning Man art piece, called “Got Framed!

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.


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.

rob and stephRobin 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.