Lola Ibrahim | Founder/Director
Once an aspiring artist herself, Lola Ibrahim founded ArtUnited to merge her passion for visual art with her professional background in social justice activism. After serving for almost two decades in the nonprofit sector in various capacities including youth & community engagement, arts-based activism, human rights, gender, and social justice philanthropy, she recognized the need to engage and activate the critical intersection of the visual arts and the social justice sector in a truly global way. She has a particular interest in the ways in which contemporary art can challenge institutions, system behaviors, and culture; and enable us to make sense of complex diasporic and transcultural identities in the global era. Believing that art is the solution, she felt compelled to create a channel that vividly communicates the critical role of the arts in bridging social divides and opening up new pathways for understanding, resistance, and solidarity. Lola lives and works in New York City.
Lexi Balfour | Director
Lexi first witnessed the power of the arts ability to heal and catalyze social change, at a young age living in West Africa in the aftermath of the civil war, witnessing her parents run an art therapy program for ex-child soldiers. Lexi went on to study performing arts in the UK, that led to a tour through Spain and performance at the London Palladium. She decided to apply this passion to social justice work, while living back in Africa for over three years working to develop a network of local artists such as rappers in slums, to showcase their message to vulnerable youth on topics such as gender equality and HIV/AIDS. While in Africa, Lexi also worked as the sole representative for a philanthropic consulting firm focused on supporting grassroots organizations in human rights, disaster relief and health initiatives. Over the last seven years, Lexi has continued to work at the intersection of social entrepreneurship, arts and philanthropy to build and support local organizations and artists to spark collective systemic social change and positively transform societies.
Cindy Trinh | Resident Photographer
Cindy Trinh is a photographer and photojournalist who is passionate about art and social justice. Her work has been published and featured by popular media, including Bloomberg Businessweek, The New York Daily News, .Mic, Hyperallergic, AlterNet, Culture Trip, Epoch Times, Lomography, Angry Asian Man, The Indypendent, and much more. She is the creator of the popular blog Activist NYC, a documentary photo project about activism and social justice movements in New York City. A selection of work from her blog is currently exhibited at the Museum of the City of New York.
Cori Baer | Research Assistant
Cori is a graduate of Clark University with a major in International Development and Social Change. She has a strong interest in activism and social action, and a deep appreciation for art and its capacity to heal, bring joy, and connect people across diverse cultures. From 2015 – 2016 she served as an Americor’s Tenacity fellow and Literacy Coordinator. She currently supports ArtUnited’s curatorial and research efforts.
Anthony Jones | Research Assistant
Tony is a graduate of Long Island University’s Global Studies Program. He is highly involved in global hip hop culture and is interested in how art can transform and shape political perspectives. An avid world traveller, Tony is currently based in Marseille, France. As a Research Assistant at ArtUnited, Tony connects the organization with artists all around the world.