Livia Alexander

Livia Alexander is a curator, writer, and Chair of the Department of Art and Design at Montclair State University. Her work is focused on examining the relationship between art infrastructure and artistic production, urbanity, cultural politics of food and art, and contemporary art from the Middle East and Southeast Asia.

Her numerous art and film programs, exhibitions and events, include: Embedded, Embedding: Artist Residencies, Urban Placemaking and Social Practice (commissioned by Residency Unlimited, in collaboration with The New School/Parsons, NYC); Customs Made: Quotidian Rituals and Everyday Practices (Maraya Arts Cenre, Sharjah, UAE); Mapping Subjectivity: Experimentation in Arab Cinema (MoMA, New York; Abu Dhabi Film Festival, Tate Modern, London); and CinemaEast Film Series. Alexander is co-producer of the research-based interactive documentary, Jerusalem, We Are Here(Canada/Palestine/Israel, 2016), directed by Dorit Naaman.

Her award-winning scholarly writing has appeared in the Journal of Visual Anthropology, Framework, MERIP, and as book chapters and catalog essays. She regularly contributes to Hyeprallergic and Harpers Bazaar Art Arabia and founded the online publication ArteEast Quarterly. She is the editor of a year-long series commissioned by the online platform centered on artist residencies at the nexus of urban placemaking and social practice.

Alexander served as an advisor to a variety of art organizations and galleries, including Tirana Open, Residency Unlimited, Sapar Contemporary, Al Riwaq Art Space, New Rochelle BID, Asian Contemporary Art Week, and the Art & Patronage Summit. She is the co-founder of ArteEast, a non-profit organization established in 2003 to support and promote artists from the Middle East, North Africa and its diasporas, which she directed until 2013.

Dr. Alexander holds a Ph.D. from New York University in Cinema and Middle East Studies and teaches art criticism and theory, visual culture and professional practice at Montclair State University.

Lena Diab

Lena Diab is an art collector and currently runs My Pick LLC, a New York-based company that identifies and promotes emerging labels in the ready-to-wear and fashion accessories space.  Born and raised in Nazareth, Lena is a graduate of Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Lena moved to the United States in 1994 and has lived in Washington, London and York City where she currently lives with her husband, Salah Saabneh, and her two children, Amir and Yara. Lena is an art enthusiast and collects art from around the world.

Karim Mostafa
An Egyptian-American philanthropist who is a doctoral candidate in Reading, Writing, and Literacy at University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education. While working to complete his dissertation on the interplay of text and image in Arabic and Arab-American children’s picture books, he has been assisting in teaching a course at Penn on Multicultural Issues in Education for three years. Prior to pursuing his doctorate, Karim worked in New York City for nine years as a journalist and an elementary public school teacher. From 1997 – 2002, Karim reported on the online newspaper industry as Associate Editor of Editor & Publisher Online, the online edition of Editor & Publisher magazine. From 2002-2006, he was a New York City Teaching Fellow, requiring him to teach grades 4-6 in Spanish Harlem and to complete a Masters in Elementary Education at Hunter College in 2004. For his undergraduate degree, Karim studied Near Eastern Languages & Civilization, focusing on medieval Islamic thought, at the University of Chicago (1995). Since 2006, Karim has been an active board member participating in the management of Nimos Engineering & Agricultural Development Co., (Cairo, Egypt), while studying at University of Pennsylvania. As an Egyptian-American who has lived in both Egypt and North America, each for 20 years, Karim now divides his time between residences in Cairo and New York City.

Katherine Precht
Katherine Precht is a development professional currently at Friends Seminary and previously at the American University in Cairo who brings professional experience to support ArteEast development efforts.