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 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.

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.

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, Saturday Crafternoon 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.