Meet the Team

Christine Spehar, Founder & Executive Director 

Christine is an artist, writer and activist who founded  RuckusRoots in 2011. Her written work focuses on art, music, natural living and sustainability, while her visual art comprises large scale, interactive installations made from recycled materials.  Her two great loves are art and our planet and she strives to inspire others to embrace and stand up for the beautiful world around them. 


Allegra Bick-Maurischat, Program DIRECTOR

Allegra received her BFA in Painting from the San Francisco Art Institute and studied Anthroposophy/Waldorf Education at the Rudolf Steiner College in Fair Oaks, CA. She divides her time between art-making, behind-the-scenes action to help RuckusRoots run smoothly, freelancing in social media management, teaching the occasional art class, and volunteering with various groups across Los Angeles. She spends her free time hiking, cooking and/or catching up on sleep. 


Blaze Bautista, Program Assistant

Blaze Bautista (she/her) is a visual arts activist who graduated from UCLA with a B.A. in World Arts and Cultures, Arts Activism and a minor in Visual and Performing Arts Education. With her passion for community arts programs, she has developed and facilitated youth workshops that educate on using the arts for social justice and healing. As a painter and digital illustrator, Blaze uses captivating visuals to engage audiences in social issues such as mass incarceration and the impact of technology. 




Stephanie Leah, a garden coach and founder of The Root Pause, has extensive experience in developing and implementing eco-valuable services and solutions that create environmental impact reductions, connect people with the natural environment and their higher selves. Stephanie has masters in both Urban Sustainability and Spiritual Psychology. She has learned that integrating her expertise in sustainability with her love for people creates an experience that produces transformational results, which is a valuable and necessary response to climate change.  


Sara has been gardening and teaching for almost ten years. She got started through her interest in food, and recently began incorporating worm-composting, beekeeping and orchard management into her home garden. She is a certified University of California Master Gardener with the goal of expanding food education and urban access to fresh produce in community gardens in Los Angeles.



Kimble Deleon is a certified Master Gardner, Certified Naturalist through the University of California ANR program, in Regenerative Agriculture and Permaculture.  He has created the programming and garden layout for three Community Gardens located in Lancaster in low income housing areas, working with seniors, youth, recently incarcerated, disabled, past unhoused and Veterans. Kimble represents the Master Gardener program on the California Urban Farm initiative, and he sits on the board of a the Urban Farm Collective as well as the CAFF Black Farmers Committee representing Urban Farmers.



Hennessy & Sofia of Studio Tutto create public artwork inspired by stories found in local nature. Their design process is rooted in up-close observation of surrounding ecosystems. MuralKits offer this learning-through-painting experience to kids – inviting them to notice native plants and creatures, name them, and see them as a part of an interconnected whole. MuralKits teach kids about their local environment through an interdisciplinary mural project, while empowering them to make artwork for their communities to enjoy. Painted at Hungry Gardens Urban Farm as part of RuckusRoots’ Garden Magic program, the mural will highlight our shared dependence on pollinators for the food we eat and the native habitat pollinators need to survive. Studio Tutto seeks to expand ecological literacy through MuralKits, the same way they’ve expanded their own through mural painting.



Jamia Weir is a multi-disciplinary artist-teacher who often playfully explores the chaos of waste and recyclable materials, both in her own work and with her K-4 artist-students. Jamia received an MA of Art Education from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2014. Her thesis work about Arts Integration and Eco-Art Education was published in 2016 in the national journal Art Education.

Julio Munoz: ARTS FACILITATOR (Wild Art 2019/2020)
Julio graduated in 2018 with a Bachelor’s in art history from California State University San Bernardino with honors. He has worked at numerous non-profits including: Boys and Girls Club, Prison Arts Collective, Tierra Del Sol, ArtworxLA and the Los Angeles Music and Art School. He currently lives in Los Angeles, where his artistic practice is based in painting.
Miguel ORDEñana: Wildlife Expert, Natural History Museum

Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County wildlife biologist and educator, Miguel instructs students about the vast array of wildlife that lives in Los Angeles and how their actions can help protect it for our program, Wild Art. 


Teresa Flores is an interdisciplinary artist based in Los Angeles. Her work examines identity and wellness and includes drawing, video and social practices. She holds an MFA in Public Practice from Otis College of Art and Design and most recently completed a fellowship with The Woman’s Building in Los Angeles.
Alison Garcia, Carly Brock and Luís Angel Zepeda: TEACHING ArtISTS (Wild Art 2018/2019)

Three art school graduates who all specialize in youth education, painting and sustainability, these local artists recently served as educators in our Wild Art program.


Sarah Farmer: Teaching Artist (Kites For A Cause, 2019)

A San Francisco native, Sarah received her BFA in Illustration from Rhode Island School of Design, and is currently based in Los Angeles. Her expertise in multiple media ranges from traditional oil techniques, drawing, sculpting, and printmaking to ceramics; metal casting and fabrication, and fiber arts.



rainbow tunnelJames Peterson: Materials, Design and Fabrication

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. Art Contraptions has showcased works at Coachella Music and Arts Festival, Art Basel, Maker Faire and upcoming Meow Wolf.


Erinn Bone: music

is a freelance musician and music educator living in Los Angeles. He has a BA in Music Education and a Masters degree in Jazz Pedagogy from CU Boulder. Erinn acts as music mentor for RuckusRoots’ Chimes for Change program, teaching students music theory, music composition, sound recording and electronic music-making software.


Raquel Natalicchio: Photojournalism

is an international photojournalist whose extensive travel has influenced her distinct style of street and urban photography. Raquel (or “Rocky”) strives to “bring a positive light into social photography that would give hope and inspire people.” She recently worked as an arts mentor to aspiring young photographers through the Las Fotos Project, released the publication Spray for Peace, and continues to show throughout the US. Rocky is currently working with us in our newest program, the Community Listening Project


Regina Clemente: activism

is the Director of Campaigns for Brave New Films, and a board member for RuckusRoots. A native Angeleno, she has been working as a professional activist for the past 15 years doing movement building, community organizing, fundraising, lobbying, messaging research, and managing legislative and electoral campaigns around social and racial justice issues. She mentors RuckusRoots student in local change-making initiatives. 


church trapRebekah Waites: SCULPTURE and INSTALLATIONS  

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.


rob and stephRobin Banks: recycled art

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.


Board of Directors

steph meet 1Stephanie Spehar, BOARD PRESIDENT

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. 


ninoNino Alicea

NiNo is a muralist, painter and sculptor. His background is in graphic design and design production for television and film. He is currently the art director for Ricky Martin’s international music tour. He has also acted as 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. Nino was the first Puerto Rican Artist to receive a Burning Man Honoraria Grant for his 32′ sculpture, MÚCARO in 2017. 


Scott Froschauer

likes making things, from large scale sculptures designed to awe with their size, to small scale pieces intended to memorialize moments of connectedness and everything in between. Scott is a RuckusRoots artist mentor for the Chimes for Change program, with a specific focus on Art as Activism and guerilla art. Scott also fabricated RuckusRoots’ Wild Art sculpture, which featured at the LA Zoo in 2016.  


Tommi Iten – Secretary 

Danielle Marquez – Treasurer