Nina Barbuto, Executive Director
Nina’s passion for art, new media and social learning led her to found Assemble, a community space for arts + technology, in 2011. On her own, Nina works in a variety of media including architecture, film, sound, and installation and often explores the idea of recycling noise into a system or elevating the vernacular to the spectacular. Nina co-founded I Made It! Market in 2007. An idea based on urban acupuncture, this nomadic market partners with community, arts and non-profit organizations to raise funds and awareness to assist in improving their communities while allowing local artists and crafters to sell their wares. Nina holds degrees in architecture from Southern California Institute of Architecture and Carnegie Mellon University, where she is also adjunct faculty.
Contact: nina (at) assemblepgh (dot) org
Adeshewa Metzger, Platform Program Manager
With over 15 years of experience developing programs that benefit the community, Adeshewa Metzger, the Platform Program Manager at Assemble specializes in nonprofit strategic planning and S.T.E.A.M. curriculum research and development. She is a graduate for the other C.M.U. Central Michigan University with a degree in Business Management and has minors in both Art and General Science. Adeshewa Metzger is married, has two young girls, and enjoys reading science fiction and gardening.
Contact: adeshewa (at) assemblepgh (dot) org.
Anny Chen, Teacher + Camp Coordinator
Anny Chen is a teaching artist with a background in media arts, technology and architecture. She is a textile artist focused on slowing down with simple techniques based on traditional sewing, reusing and reinventing materials, and limiting equipment. She volunteers at Prototype; a transgressive maker-space that focuses on providing access to women and marginalized members of the Pittsburgh community. She lives in an attic with her partner, three cats, two guinea pigs and a fish.
Contact: anny (at) assemblepgh (dot) org.
Brian Suh, Teacher
Brian is an aspiring classroom educator, with a Biology degree from Haverford College. With professional culinary experience ranging from sushi to Mediterranean tapas, he hopes to combine his loves of science and cooking in the classroom to engage and enable learners of all ages. In his free time, Brian is usually reading, cooking, or looking at dog adoption websites.
Contact: brian (at) assemblepgh (dot) org.
Erin Higgins, Teacher
Erin Higgins is a recent graduate of the University of Pittsburgh with degrees in Computer Engineering and Film and Media Studies. She hopes to share her love of creating and innovating using technology with the learning community of Pittsburgh. She is very interested in using technology in art and to improve the lives of all individuals. When she’s not teaching, she can be found pursuing a graduate degree or hanging out with her cat.
Contact: erinh (at) assemblepgh (dot) org.
Jarrett Krause, Teacher
Jarrett Krause has been teaching since 2015 after graduating from Pitt with a bachelor’s in fiction writing, film, and children’s literature. A lot of his his free time in college was spent hosting a WPTS Radio show, playing in the Pitt marching and pep bands, co-founding and running a video production club called the Sprocket Guild, and writing screenplays for the Redeye Theatre Project. Jarrett’s cultivated a lifestyle of embracing self-discovery in the funnest way possible, and wants nothing more than to spark that passion in other people. He likes video games, Dungeons & Dragons, playing the saxophone, eating good food, hearing a good joke, doodling cartoons, supporting the local music and arts scene, and learning new things! Jarrett is also a Master’s of Secondary English Education student at the University of Pittsburgh.
Jayla Patton, Teacher
Jayla Patton is a Teaching Artist and Arts Educator living in the city Pittsburgh. She enjoys creating comics and illustrations using traditional mediums and digital ones such as Photoshop. She is also an animator, and wishes she had more hours in the day to sleep. While she’s not making art, she’s teaching in a different section of the city almost every day of the week.
Contact: jayla (at) assemblepgh (dot) org.
Joanna Beres, Teacher
Joanna Beres earned a bachelor of arts in urban studies from the University of Pittsburgh, and a Master of Architecture, concentrating in Planning and Preservation, from the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. She specializes in research, writing, outreach and development endeavors. Joanna also loves to share her passion for cooking, gardening, and singing.
Contact: joanna (at) assemblepgh (dot) org.
Shannon Thompson, Teacher + Teacher Board Liaison
Shannon Thompson is a practicing artist and educator. Her teaching practice is informed by a strong background in social justice and activism. She believes that fostering supportive, collaborative creative learning environments is vital to the health of all communities. Shannon has a Masters of Education in Community Engagement from Merrimack College.
Contact: shannon (at) assemblepgh (dot) org.
Tom Ndiaye, Teacher
Tom Ndiaye is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University’s College of Fine Arts, specializing in illustration and animation. Though he is originally from New York City, he grew up in several African countries, and so loves to bring to focus the topic of multiculturalism through his art pieces. He’s ever-ready to help learners challenge their assumptions about the world and its people. He’s also dabbled in the field of politics, working as a field organizer for U.S. Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut.
Contact: tom (at) assemblepgh (dot) org.