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Artists Spotlight

Creatives Rebuild New York Artist Employment Program

In 2022, CUMEP won a state wide grant from Creatives Rebuild New York’s Artist Employment Program to hire 8 local artists for 2 years!  Out of only 300 artists chosen statewide, 8 of them are here in Ithaca & at CUMEP!  By winning one of the 98 grants awarded throughout the state (including New York City!) CUMEP is bringing over $1,000,000 in jobs to our local economy!

Here are the eight artists CUMEP is employing through Creatives Rebuild New York:

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Dr. Nia Nunn

Poet, Choreographer, Educator, CUMEP Grant Writer

Dr. Nia Nunn is a professor and poet. Creating curriculum, presenting arts programming for youth & offering performance lectures to people of all ages, the entire community is Dr. Nia’s classroom.  Nunn creates innovative curriculum for youth/artists/teachers to feel joy and a sense of belonging when they’re expressing and discovering themselves through art.

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Maryam Adib

Multimedia Artist, Clothing Designer, Muralist

Maryam creates wearable screen-printed art for people to feel empowered when they are moving about the world, in their daily lives.  She creates through oil painting, illustration, mural painting and screen-printing.


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Cyepress Brathwaite

Multimedia Artist

Cyepress creates multimedia art for Black Queer radicals to feel connected when they're embodying pleasure activism.


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Resana Malone

Photographer & Filmmaker

Resana is a life-long Ithacan who grew up in the magic of Southside Community Center.  She uses her photography & video skills to document CUMEP, and the work she does as a leader and mentor in Southside's Black Girl Alchemy

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Daraisi Marte



Ms. Daraisi's goal is to influence and empower the next generation of leaders via Hip-Hip Dance and Culture education.

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Mr. Fe Nunn


Fe Nunn began his musical career in his original hometown, Buffalo NY, where the culturally diverse, vibrant music scene was, and still is, rich with world class jazz, classical and R&B music, all of which greatly impressed and influenced him. For the past many decades he’s been sharing music with Ithaca audiences. His album, "We Can Make It” , offers an in-depth view of his unique jazz and R&B expressions.

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Nicole-Bethany Onwuka

Actor, Director, Theater Artist

Nicole-Bethany creates experiences for multi-generational audiences to feel transformed when they’re pursuing radical healing in their lives.  Her artistic skills range from performing; Acting and Singing, to producing; Writing and Directing for both the screen and stage.


Harry Smith

Musician, Sound Engineer, Music & Podcast Producer

Ithaca native, community organizer, and founder of Black Hands Universal.


Annemarie Zwack

Visual Artist

Annemarie creates vehicles for Planet Lovers and Liberated Co-creators to feel HOPE & JOY while aligning with Higher TRUTH.  Facilitates collaborative, self-determinative, public art projects. She worked with Black Girl Alchemy on mural projects on the front of Southside Community Center, and at the Downtown Ithaca Children’s Center.


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More Amazing CUMEP Artivists


Meek Adams

Multi-Disciplinary Artist

Meek is a poet, pianist, story-teller, and comedian who frequents open mics and hosts events for artists in the Tompkins County area. He is also an educator, with a passion for getting kids involved in the arts.

G-Quan Booker


G-Quan Booker is a dancer, poet, rapper and actor.  Through his work as a teacher of Hip Hop Arts, he has provided guidance to many youth in the upstate New York region as well as during his 6 months in Thailand. G-Quan is one of the founders of the Hip Hop group GCF (Greatest Common Factor). In the past few years, he has taught at CUMEP, Jillian’s Drawers, The Finger Lakes Residential Center & the Auburn Public Theater and Wells College.  G also works with youth in the After School program at Southside Community Center, a historical center of the vibrant Black neighborhood that was part of the Underground Railroad in Ithaca, NY.


Jess Brock

Theater Artist

Jess Brock (she/her), rooted in Ithaca as an artivist, leverages her expertise in acting and dance, along with her commitment to community involvement, to ensure theatre is accessbile for all. Utilizing CUMEP and the Village at Ithaca's resources, she engages with the community in a transformative way. 

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Ramsey "DJ EvoEvolution" Fulcher

Recording Artist

"A one-of-a kind DJ Pop Performance Artist, Ramsey "Lightyear" Fulcher. He has evolved through a variety of influences such as Rick Rubin, Pharell Williams, TIMBALAND, and Andre 3000 into his own unique flow and sound." -

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Lushima Lumumba-Kasongo

Writer, Illustrator & Martial Artist

Lushima is a local artist raised in Ithaca, NY.  He has lifelong experience in martial arts, creative writing, music, and drawing.  These have grown since his early days in town.  He hopes to cultivate these artforms in others and help them express themselves through art.



Chef Laurel Tilton

Culinary Artist

Chef Laurel is a local farm-to-table chef with 10 years experience.  She currently teaches culinary arts at TC3/Coltivare.  When she isn’t teaching, she does plated dinner events as a private chef.  In her spare time, Chef Laurel hones her culinary skills in her home kitchen, and is working on writing a cookbook.  It’s impossible to tell whether or not she is more passionate about cooking or teaching! 

Laurel manages the TC3 Teaching Kitchen located in downtown Ithaca.

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Sheila Wallis

Vocal Artist

Sheila Wallis (she/her) is a theatre educator, performer, and voice teacher from Mexico, NY. She holds B.A. degrees in both Music and Theatre Studies from Ithaca College’s School of Music, Theatre and Dance. Sheila is currently the Apprentice Voice Teacher at Flight performing arts and a teaching artist for Project 4 with the Hangar Theatre. She is so excited and honored to join CUMEP through their first ever Winter Theatre Intensive!

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