I’m an artist, game designer, and writer dedicated to creating for and with community in public spaces and working towards a justice-driven capitalism 2.0. I got my MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design (2003-5) and was grateful to receive a Fulbright Scholarship to study in India in 2006.
Recent blessings include a City Artist Corps grant; commissioning grant and individual artist grant via the Queens Council on the Arts, resulting games on the Brooklyn Grange LIC Rooftop Farm and Sunnyside’s Bliss Plaza; and installations at the Brooklyn Museum, Dumbo Arts Festival, Digital Games Research Association, and Propelify Innovation Festival. I was also named an Award Finalist (2nd Place) for SXSW Eco’s 2016 Place By Design Competition and worked with the Asian American Arts Alliance (A4), to gather voices of Asian American artists and NYC residents to inform the City’s first-ever cultural plan. As circlefor, Purvi Shah and I were also nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2015 by Nonbinary Review for our short story, “Mirrored Women.”
I’m currently working part-time as Senior Advisor, Partnerships, at Prime Coalition, a nonprofit that partners with philanthropists and other mission-driven investors to catalyze, deepen, or accelerate solutions that we believe will massively reduce greenhouse gas emissions. I’m also co-founder of Make Justice Normal (MJN), a nonprofit collective fiscally sponsored by Moore Philanthropy that seeks to build community and support collective action among people that are working toward a world in which capital, a proxy for structural power, embodies justice. MJN was formed by members of the Steering Committee for the Reconstruction, where I was a regular contributing writer in 2021.
Before 2021, I was Vice President of Knowledge & Communications at Mission Investors Exchange, a network dedicated to advancing practices of foundations and philanthropy in impact investing; Director of Communications for JUST Capital, a nonprofit that measures how US corporations perform on the issues that matter most to the American public; and Director of Knowledge & Communications for Nonprofit Finance Fund, a community development financial institution. I was also an Americorps Vista Volunteer at the Massachusetts Housing & Shelter Alliance and have worked as a writer for leading museums and performing arts centers nationwide.
- Fulbright Grant, Fine Arts. India, 2005. Created artwork & participated in gallery exhibitions, panels, lectures, and community activities.
- Rhode Island School of Design, Masters of Fine Arts, Painting. 2003-2005. Teaching Certificate I (Emphasis On Collegiate Teaching), Sheridan Center for Teaching and Learning, Brown University.
- Amherst College, Bachelor of Arts, Double Major in English & Fine Arts. 1997-2001. Graduated summa cum laude.
- Collaborator and Partner. Present. I’m grateful to be working with several luminescent souls in impact investing, including the teams at Make Justice Normal, Prime Coalition, and more.
- Mission Investors Exchange, Vice President, Knowledge & Communications. 2017-2021. Mission Investors Exchange is the leading network all of foundations engaged in building the field of impact investing. I’m particularly proud of my work curating and writing a library of resources on racial equity and, within that, a list of funds, CDFIs, advisors, and accelerators led by BIPOC.
- Collaborator, Open Society Foundations, Asian American Arts Alliance, Nonprofit Finance Fund, and others. 2017. Served as a consultant in communications, website design, research writing, survey and workshop development, and more.
- JUST Capital, Director, Public Engagement/Communications. 2016. JUST Capital (justcapital.com) is a nonprofit that measures how the largest publicly traded companies in the US perform on the things that matter most to the American public.
- Nonprofit Finance Fund, Director, Knowledge & Communications. 2008-2015. (Promoted: Sr. Associate, to Mgr., to Assoc. Dir., to Dir. NFF (nff.org) is a nonprofit community development financial institution and consultant dedicated to improving how money is given and used to achieve social impact.
- 2022: Co-Author, From Capital To Community-First Mindset In Impact Investing, with Fair Food Fund
- 2022: Co-Author: Impact Methodology Landscape, with Project Frame
- 2022: Co-Author: An Introduction to Assessing Planned Greenhouse Gas Impact, with Project Frame
- 2021: Contributing Author, to Kresge Foundation’s Betting Big: Kresge’s $350 Million Commitment to Social Investing
- 2021: Reconstruction: The legacy of Black Wall Street and the Tulsa Race Massacre
- 2021: The Reconstruction: The Indigenous wisdom of lending based on character, not collateral
- 2021: The Reconstruction: Redressing the past with climate-smart infrastructure for a just transition
- 2019-2020: Writing, editing and curation for multiple impact investing resource libraries, including on racial equity
- 2017: Writing & Design: NYC’s First-ever Cultural Plan: Creating Space for the Voices of Asian American Communities
- 2015: Pushcart Prize Nominee for collaborative short fiction with Purvi Shah.
- 2014: Writing & Design: State of Arts & Culture Nonprofit (2014 Survey)
- View design samples
LaPlaca Cohen, Copywriter. 2007. An advertising and marketing firm for leading US cultural institutions, including The Met, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and more.
Rhode Island School of Design, Instructor of Record and Writing Tutor, with an Emphasis on Graduate Programs (Writing Center); Instructor of Record and Teaching Assistant (Painting Department). 2003-2005.
Executive Media Corporation, Journalist/Staff Writer. 2003. Business/Trade Magazines.
Massachusetts Housing and Shelter Alliance, Americorps Vista Volunteer. 2002. A coalition of housing and shelter organizations addressing systemic challenges and policy at the state level.
- circlefor: a social practice collaborative between Anjali Deshmukh and Purvi Shah with the mission to foster space where art emerges through connection, participation, and community-building. 2021.
- 2 Minutes to Midnight and Glass Hours, Public Participation Lab and Installation w/ funding from Queens Council on the Arts Individual Artist Grant and Sunnyside Business Improvement District. 2019.
- Propelify Innovation Festival: Public participatory Installation featured on the Hoboken Piers. 2017.
- LMCC Studio: Make Yourself Meek/Make Yourself Vast. Public participatory installation in collaboration with poet Purvi Shah. 2017.
- The Future of Arts & Culture in NYC: Survey and creative workshop to inform NYC Cultural Plan, made possible by the Asian American Arts Alliance. 2017.
- SXSW ECO Place by Design Award Finalist, 2nd Place. 2016
- Ars Continuum, Group Show, Amelie A. Wallace Gallery (NY). 2016.
- Bending the Universe, Public Installation, Brooklyn Grange Rooftop Farm. Queens Council on the Arts Commissioning Grant. 2015.
- Water, Group Show, Gallery Gitanjali, Goa (India). 2015.
- Random Generators, Dumbo Arts Festival (NY). 2014.
- Blank Arcade. Digital Games Research Conference Exhibition (Snowbird, UT). 2014.
- Brooklyn Museum’s First Saturday (NY). SAWCC group show: “Sublime.” 2014.
- Dumbo Art Festival (NY). SAWCC group show. 2013.
- Gallery Espace (New Delhi, India). Group show. 2012.
- Erasing Borders. Queens Museum (NY), Hammond Museum (CT), Flushing Town Hall. 2012.
- Transcendence of Self to Absolute. Akus Gallery (CT). Curator Neeta Omprakash. 2012.
- Radiate. Windsor Art Gallery (Windsor, CT), Gallery 400 (Chicago, IL). Curator Kathryn Meyers. 2012.
- Can You See Me? Engendered Gallery (New Delhi, India). Curator Myna Mukherjee. 2012.
- Erasing Borders. Queens Museum/ Asian Contemporary Art Week (NY), Charles B. Wang Center, SUNY (NY), Aicon Gallery (NY), Jorgenson Gallery (CT). Curator Vijay Kumar, Indo-American Arts Council. 2011.
- Art4Barter. Tamarind Art Gallery, Tria Gallery (NY), 12 Gates Gallery (PA). Featured in BBC News, WNYC Radio.
- Erasing Borders. Queens Museum of Art (NY), Elizabeth Foundation Project Space (NY); Dowd Fine Art Gallery (NY); Asian Contemporary Art Week/Crossing Art (NY); Gallery at Penn College (PA). Curated by Vijay Kumar, IAAC. 2008.
- Where You Want to Be. Solo show, Higher Bridges Gallery. Fermanagh, Ireland. 2008.
- Finite in/finite. 3-person, Amelie A. Wallace Gallery. SUNY Westbury, NY. 2007.
- Solo exhibiton, Habitat Center. Delhi, India. 2006.
- Art Internationalism, sponsored by Hindustan Times and Elle (India). Delhi, India. 2006.
- Volunteer, Diversity Plaza, Jackson Heights: this is one of New York City’s efforts to create public spaces (2016-2020)
- Board, Greater NY Fulbright Alumni Association (2014-2018)
- Games for Change Festival: Presenter on measuring impact in games
- By-lines in Chronicle of Philanthropy, Philanthropy NorthWest Blog, JUST Matters; mentions in articles by art historian Joyce Brodsky and in media including the Times of India and Asian Age.
- Nonprofit Finance Fund: Webinars on Nonprofit Trends (Annual Survey Findings)
- Fulbright Sponsored Panel: Quantifying the Impact of the Arts
- Panel discussions and/or lectures sponsored by organizations including the Asian American Studies Institute, Chennai Museum (India), India Habitat Center (India)
KNOW-HOWS, LEARNED BY DOING
Adobe Creative Suite (Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop, Dreamweaver); Web Development Project Management (RFP development, budgeting, planning); Tech Doer (HTML, Squarespace design/implementation, WordPress management; Invision); Graphic Design softwares (Pagemaker, CorelDraw, Photopaint, Quark Xpress, GIMP, Adobe PDF Pro); Email Marketing (Pardot, Constant Contact, Campaign Monitor); Microsoft Suite (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Publisher).
WordPress (including creating and self managing this site using GreenGeeks and opensource WordPress) & Drupal (implementation); social media tools/platforms (e.g., Prezi, Tweetdeck, HootSuite, Sprinklr); Google Analytics; iMovie; Salesforce; Email marketing platforms; Web development (CSS);Tableau Public.