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

Adeshewa Metzger loves teaching science. Before moving to Pittsburgh, she worked at the Michigan Science Center. She is a graduate from Central Michigan University with a major in Business Management and minors in both General Science and Art. 

Contact: adeshewa (at) assemblepgh (dot) org.

Hannah Sauder, Place Operations Manager

Hannah Sauder is a photographer and visual artist who appreciates storytelling through art. Hannah organizes Assemble’s Queer Craft Market, a local craft market that features queer makers in Pittsburgh. They studied communication, graphic design, and international studies at Goshen College.

Contact: hannah (at) assemblepgh (dot) org.

Anna Azizzy, Teacher

Anna Azizzy is a performance artist, video artist, and experimental musician from Pittsburgh. Azizzy’s work creates a space where laughter leads to learning, and they strive to process their identity by performing absurd exaggerations of their life. In addition to teaching at Assemble, Azizzy organizes DIY art and music events, is a gymnastics/ aerial silks coach, and loves to play dress up and tell jokes.

Contact: annaa(at) assemblepgh (dot) org.

Anny Chen, Teacher + Camp Support Leader

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.

Claire Tiffany-Appleton, Teacher

Claire Tiffany-Appleton recently moved to Pittsburgh from the California Bay Area, where she received a degree in Applied Mathematics from UC Berkeley and served as an Americorps VISTA at a local school, supporting the growth of their making program. Claire is interested in exploring new ways to experience math and technology through art and making, and she is excited to grow creatively at Assemble! In her spare time, she enjoys exploring her new home, cooking, and most importantly, chilling with her fluffy pup Rollo.

Contact: claire (at) assemblepgh (dot) org.

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.

Mimi Platt, Teacher

Jameelah “Mimi” Platt is a Pittsburgh native and graduate of the Pittsburgh School for the Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA). She attended the University of the Arts in Philadelphia for 3 yrs. She has grown an interest in investigating the playful nature of color. She is also interested in exploring different methods used to illustrate the interactions of color and its relationship to the content presented. She enjoys creating visual narratives that allow the viewer to nurture an innocent almost childlike curiosity. When she is not painting she can be found studying the vast species of flora, adorning spaces with plant life and writing poetry.

Contact: mimi (at) assemblepgh (dot) org.

Sarah Birmingham, Teacher + Birthday Party Planner

Sarah moved here in 2011 for school and fell in love with Pittsburgh when she found out that the Birmingham Bridge was named after her. Although her primary interest is space geology, she’s also interested in exploring botany, zoology, mathematics, and how art and science can overlap and help us grow our appreciation for and understanding of the other. As an educator, she wants to focus on inspiring curiosity and a passion for learning as an end in itself. You can also find her tutoring ESL, climbing up a rock, or telling you to keep it down in the library.

Contact: sarah (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.

Vania Arthur, Teacher

Vania Arthur has found herself in positions of teaching and mentoring, whether that be as a Big Sister for Big Brothers Big Sisters organization, at Urban Pathways in Downtown Pittsburgh or as a child care assistant at the YMCA. Besides finding joy in working with children, Vania also finds herself as a photographer, finding joy in capturing the organic moments that go unnoticed. When she’s not working with children or out photographing you can find walking through nature, painting, or channeling her inner grandmother with tea, a good book and wearing a knitted oversized sweater.

Contact: vania (at) assemblepgh (dot) org.