Meet the Team

Christine Spehar, Founder & Executive Director 

Christine is an artist, writer and activist who founded  RuckusRoots in 2010. 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. 

steph meet 1Stephanie 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. 

Allegra Bick-Maurischat, Program Coordinator

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. 

CURRENT TEACHING Artists

Julio Munoz: TEACHING ArtIST for 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.
 
Alison Garcia, Carly Brock and Luís Angel Zepeda: TEACHING ArtISTS for Wild Art 2018/2019

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

 

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. 

 

Sarah Farmer: Teaching Artist for Kites for A Cause

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.

 

Alumni TEACHING ArtistS

ninoNino Alicea: Visual Art & Design

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 is about to complete his second Burning Man Honoraria art piece, called “MÚCARO”!

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

Scott Froschauer: public art & fabrication

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.  

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

Stephanie Spehar – Board President

Tommi Iten – Secretary 

Danielle Marquez – Treasurer

NiNO Alicea 

Scott Froschauer

Advisory Committee 

Cecilia Brandt 

Ruby Roth 

Ariya Kelly