ASTEP is pleased to announce that Laura V. Chittick, Steven Farkas, and Gabrielle Speaks have joined our Board of Directors!

Laura V. Chittick, an Executive Director at J.P. Morgan, earned a BA from Columbia University and holds a graduate degree from Yale University. She lives with her family in New York City and is excited to work towards arts education for all children.

Steven Farkas, a member of the $20 billion Global Equity Team within BlackRock’s Alpha Strategies Group, graduated cum laude with a BS in Finance from Tulane University in 2008. An early start in the arts solidified his interest in the profound effect it can have on all children. 

Gabrielle Speaks, Director of Board Relations and Special Liaison to the President & CEO at Community Service Society of New York, holds a BA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Master’s degree in History from Howard University. Gabrielle works towards alleviating poverty on a policy and structural level, and is thrilled to be a part of the work ASTEP is doing. 

We look forward to working closely with our new Board members and welcome them to the ASTEP community!




unnamedASTEP is pleased to announce George Wilkinson has joined our Board of Directors!

George is a Senior Manager at Satori Consulting, working within a Fortune 100 pharmaceutical company to ensure the company’s regulatory compliance and inspection readiness. George earned an MBA from the University of Cape Town, Master of Science in Human Biology from the University of Western Australia and Bachelor of Arts in Integrative Biology from the University of California, Berkeley.

In addition, George is an accomplished contemporary artist. For 15 years he lived in various parts of the world including Australia, California, South Africa, and India.   He attributes world residency to having inspired his fascination with the Urban Organism.

George’s hand painted cities are like a biologist’s field drawings, cities as living beings. Despite their appearance, most of George’s subjects are imagined. If a real location is painted, it is an abstract, idealized vision of the future.

The love for cities conveyed through George’s work is derived from his belief that human nature is fundamentally misunderstood and misrepresented by biologists as an unnatural, destructive imposition upon the Earth.  George’s view: Impossible; no portion of physical reality doesn’t count in the story of life on Earth.

George is fascinated by the fact that Earth is glowing and emitting matter. His message:  We belong here.

We are thrilled to work closely with George and welcome him to the ASTEP community — together, we are introducing the transforming power of the arts to the children we serve!


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