We are a group of six women from three generations united by A DESIRE TO LEARN, feel, see, and experience MORE ABOUT OUR WORLD AND OUR FELLOW CITIZENS. WE CREATED THIS GRASSROOTS FESTIVAL TO carve out space in our lives to dive deeply into global issues that affect us all as a global community. We cannot afford to be bystanders today. THE FESTIVAL, LIKE A ROADMAP, WILL TAKE US ON A JOURNEY THROUGH DIFFERENT MEDIUMS AND EXPRESSIONS TO GROW OUR MINDS AND OUR HEARTS.
Tanya was born in Hong Kong to a Japanese mother and English/Danish father. She is a concert pianist and co-founder and Artistic Director of Alpenkammermusik chamber music festival held annually in Austria. Tanya has a passion for connecting humanitarian crisis with her talents and has helped raise $100,000 for classical music in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and after Japan's devastating tsunami collaborating with Paul Cox to create fundraising concerts and a live recital CD with all proceeds for given to Oshima.
Xheni is a classical pianist and producer born in Tirana, Albania. She studied music both in her native country and in France. She is the co-founder of the Ossia Symphony Orchestra, and Music in the Heights. Xheni has always maintained an interest in producing events of an artistic and humanitarian nature. She strongly believes in the transformative power of artistic expressions, providing a mean for the human understanding.
Alexia is the Director of Branding and Communication at Pembrooke & Ives, the founder of her own interior design firm, Alexia Valentina, and the cofounder of a Baltimore-based real estate development company, Hough Development. Alexia believes that complex problems are best solved through a creative, design-thinking, collaborative lens.
Isabel is the Director of Development at non-profit tech startup Library For All, where she and her team are building a digital library to make books accessible to readers in developing countries. Isabel's passion has always been education, specifically girls' education, as a way of enabling people to lift themselves out of poverty.
HELEN TSANOS SHEINMAN
Helen is British-born Greek Cypriot currently residing in New York. She is a yoga teacher and the author of a Greek-Cypriot cookbook Love Laughter and Lunch, telling the story of her family and upbringing through the lens of food. Helen has always been committed to volunteering her time in areas relating to human rights, education and the arts, and sits on the boards of such non profits.
Yong has been involved in the fields of international development, medicines policy and the humanitarian sector in both Australia and in New York City. For the last 12 years, she has been an Overseer of the International Rescue Committee, a humanitarian aid organization specializing in refugee issues. She has visited IRC programs in refugee settings in Asia and Africa and IRC resettlement programs helping refugees start their new lives in the US.