Cassandra Reid, Executive Director
Cassandra believes that collaborative mosaic-making offers tremendous possibilities for personal transformation and community-building. She loves to hear the stories people tell, and she enjoys facilitating ways for people to translate their ideas, histories, hopes, and dreams into works of art. She has worked with people ages 4 – 95 in neighborhoods, community centers, schools, treatment centers, and shelters. She holds a BA in Studio Art from Wesleyan University and an MFA in Sculpture from the University of New Mexico. In addition to making public art, she has exhibited her work in galleries nationally and internationally.
Margarita Paz-Pedro, Operations Director
Margarita has had a relationship with clay since 1999. She received her BFA with an emphasis in Ceramics in 2003 at the University of Colorado-Boulder and her MA in Art Education in 2008 at the University of New Mexico. She has worked as a lead artist with the Mayor’s Art Institute since 2009. She is also a full time Art teacher at La Academia De Esperanza Charter High School. Both of these positions bridge her passion for working with community and youth in the arts.
Vanessa Alvarado, Outreach Director
Vanessa considers herself to be a painter happily trapped in a ceramic world. At the University of New Mexico, She received her BFA in Studio Art: Painting, but has worked in Ceramic Tile Murals since 2006 and takes pride in bringing the painterly aesthetic to tile mosaic. She was born, raised, lives and still works in the South Valley of Albuquerque. In addition to working for ALMA, she continues to work as a teacher at La Academia de Esperanza and is also the Art Director for the South Valley Dia de los Muertos Marigold Parade. A driving force in her life has always been a need to give back and improve her community, she believes that art is the perfect vehicle for teaching, uniting and healing.
Staci Drangmeiser, Finance Director
Staci is a tile mosaic artist, arts educator, and arts administrator. She has been creating public ceramic tile work since 2009 and also enjoys small scale bronze casting, painting, and is currently learning web design. She is an Albuquerque native and holds a BA in Art Studio from UNM.
Susan McAllister, Administration
Susan has nearly twenty years experience in nonprofit management and arts administration. As (former) director of the Harwood Art Center, Albuquerque’s largest community art center, she developed, procured funding, and managed an extensive array of arts based education, youth employment and community outreach programming. She is editor of The Harwood Anthology and Looking Back to Place published by Old School Books, and A Bigger Boat published by The University of New Mexico Press. From 2003-2006, she served as financial director for the wildly successful National Poetry Slam held in Albuquerque. Susan holds a BA in Creative Writing and Literature from the State University of New York, New Paltz, an MA in Parks and Rec Administration from the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, and completed the Robert O. Anderson School of Management Nonprofit Certification program.