Cynthia is a media artist, archivist, and oral historian whose interested in creating interactive, participatory stories documenting social change. Using video to restore voices of collectivity, she casts a critical lens on political and societal norms surrounding identity, space, and community. Cynthia is a highly skilled and engaged producer, adept in oral history project design, digital project planning and management. Her interests include: producing compelling public history digital projects; merging socially-engaged art practices with participatory action research; community-based archiving and storytelling; and documenting social movements and student activism. Cynthia is an accomplished facilitator who brings together scholars, technologists, and artists to engage as a team in the planning and designing of open source, public history teaching and learning tool prototypes.
Cynthia has shared her extensive knowledge as an archivist, librarian, educator and oral historian at esteemed cultural heritage and higher education institutions such as the Center for Puerto Rican Studies (Centro) at Hunter College, the New York Public Library, Museum of the City of New York, Brooklyn Historical Society, Vera Institute of Justice and Pratt Institute. Currently, she is the Head of Archives at Bronx Community College, which is establishing its first Archive. This new Archive will document the vibrant history and mission of the college: to expand opportunities in higher education for the diverse Bronx community. This will include planning for the collection of oral history interviews, documents, and images from the community, as well as promoting the use of this content to the public with the creation of digital humanities initiatives and collaborations with local community organizations.
Cynthia is the founder of the WRI Oral History Project, which is documenting the Welfare Rights Initiative (WRI), a grassroots student activist and community leadership training organization located at Hunter College that fights for equal access to higher education for welfare recipients. Working on this project set her on her path, which combines interests in storytelling, oral history and documenting activism, while also addressing trends in open access and media technologies. Since then she has also collaborated with the Occupy Wall Street Archives Working Group, where she conducted life history interviews with OWS occupiers, as well as with the Brooklyn Historical Society on “Crossing Borders, Bridging Generations,” an oral history project that analyzes mixed-heritage issues, cultural hybridity, race, ethnicity, and identity.
Cynthia’s current projects focus on issues arising from the lack of affordable housing in Brooklyn and on access to public higher education for first generation college students. She is also the recipient of the 2016 Create Change Residency from the Laundromat Project and the 2016-2017 Engaging Artists Residency which will be focusing on Housing Justice. Cynthia received her Master’s degree in Political Science from New School University and her Master’s degree in Library and Information Science, with a certificate in Archival Management, from Pratt Institute.
For more on Cynthia’s varied professional pursuits and interests, feel free to connect via LinkedIn.