Gilbert Escalante (Production Associate). Gilbert Escalante is the artist known as Guru Snow aka Gill. His childhood in the Bronx was like others whose hardworking immigrant parents came here to make a better life.  He was a latch key kid early on, and believes that fueled his vivid imagination as an artist today. Never one to color inside the lines, he always chose to step outside the box. As a young African American male, rather than conform to the music and dress of his peers, he followed bands like The Cure, The Clash, and Kraftwerk, while sporting a Mohawk, leather jacket, and combat boots. His early artwork reflects the time and culture that surrounded him: graffiti type pieces (not always on paper).  At the High School of Art and Design, he trained in most “classical” art forms, while maintaining his “outside the box” style.  He has a deep passion for technology and computers, surfing the web before most of us even knew it existed.  
His love of art and technology led him to degrees in graphic art and computer IT. He works in these fields: as a graphic artist doing print work for advertising and IT work for high profile companies.  
    Gill continues to grow as an artist, taking up oil painting, and digital photography.  Those who know Gill can attest to the fact he never steps lightly into anything, but jumps in, body and soul, and believe this is reflected in the pictures he has taken.

David Bernstein (Director of Photography and Videography). David Bernstein is a noted photographer whose work is exhibited around the country in galleries and museums—including one-man shows in Pamplona, Spain; New York World’s Fair, and more—and is in permanent museum collections. His photographs also appear in newspapers and magazines nationwide. He earned a BPA degree from Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, California, and a BA from University of Alaska and the New School in New York, and went on to teach photography for many years. He began his study of Aesthetic Realism with its founder Eli Siegel in 1962, and continues his studies with Ellen Reiss, the Aesthetic Realism Chairman of Education. He is a founding member of the Aesthetic Realism Photographers. His writings on the oneness of opposites in photography and in life are published in newspapers, professional journals, and in books, including Aesthetic Realism: We Have Been There (Definition Press). His  essays on photography in relation to Native Americans, Bronzeville in Chicago, the African Burial Ground, and more, appear in Aesthetic Realism and the Answer to Racism (Orange Angle Press). As director of photography and videography for the nonprofit Alliance of Ethics & Art he has videotaped hundreds of interviews for “The Force of Ethics in Civil Rights” oral history project and educational performance events.

Rachel Bernstein (Production Associate). Rachel J. Bernstein is a New York City teacher who has worked in Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Manhattan, and taught all grades and subjects, using the arts whenever possible. She says, “I am grateful for my education as a student of Aesthetic Realism, as an artist, photographer, teacher and person.  I am proud to have begun to work with AEA to utilize my creative skills in photography and videography in behalf of its urgent mission which strengthens my love and passion for Civil Rights and ending Racism.”
   She has worked in grassroots activism since 2015, registering voters and educating people about $15 minimum wage, green energy resources, and saving the environment, equal pay for women, the importance of unions, fighting against private prisons, and ending homelessness.  In 2016, she was nominated and elected by 33,000 voters on New York’s Lower East Side, as a Bernie Sanders delegate to the DNC convention, after traveling to 5 states to inform people about Bernie’s message.  
   In 2017, she was elected as a Democratic County Committee member, and is passionate about Medicare for All and Single Payer Health Insurance.  She says, “I enjoy meeting and working with people from many cultures and diverse geography, to help create a better world!”

Mary Fagan (Production Associate). Mary Fagan has a BA from Radcliffe College and an MA from Teachers College, Columbia University. She enrolled in a program in anthropology and education there after working as a teacher with children aged 6-12 in NYC elementary schools. In Samaná, DR, rural people of African American descent helped her in a study of social organization and religion that she is still learning about through the principle stated by Eli Siegel: “All beauty is a making one of opposites, and the making one of opposites is what we are going after in ourselves.” Ms. Fagan began her study of the Aesthetic Realism of Eli Siegel in 1980, including anthropology with Arnold Perey, Ph.D., Columbia. Her interest in language learning and literacy intensified during her fieldwork, and she has taught ESL for a year in a Bronx elementary school, worked as part of an adult literacy team for the Queens Public Library, and completed a post-masters certificate in Bilingual Education at Queens College, CUNY. Her passion for photography began in Samaná, and her work as an artist now includes printmaking and painting, encouraged by her study in the visual arts classes taught by Nancy Starrels, Chaim Koppelman, Dorothy Koppelman and Marcia Rackow of the Aesthetic Realism Faculty. She has published letters on the value of Aesthetic Realism in Long Island newspapers. Ms. Fagan is a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer, and she most recently worked as part of a team supporting computer users at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. She provides web and computer support to AEA.

Glenn Mariano (Performer - Rev. DeLaine). Glenn Mariano discovered his love of acting on his native island of Guam. He moved stateside to attend college, where he earned a BA with a major in Theatre Arts from Seattle University. He currently works as a paralegal at a New York City law firm and has a 100-ton Coast Guard Master’s License and pilots a 19th century sailing schooner in New York Harbor. He says, “I am proud to be part of this important presentation. Playing Reverend DeLaine, a man of great faith and strength, has been an honor and I am grateful for the direction of Anne Fielding. Understanding that my purpose as an actor is to see and present the depths of another person, a character, has made me a deeper person. There is nothing more important than learning from Aesthetic Realism how to see people aesthetically, as being both the same and different from ourselves, and learning that contempt is the beginning cause of injustice.”

Allan Michael (Speaker and Performer - William Ragin), is a photographer, an Aesthetic Realism Associate, and one of the earliest Maritime Captains of color in the New York Harbor, and the first on New York’s Circle Line Cruises, for 27 years. His photographs have appeared in Essence magazine and in gallery exhibitions in New York, including the Terrain Gallery in SoHo, BWAC in Brooklyn, and in Martha’s Vineyard. His photographs also appeared in "Art against Apartheid," the traveling exhibition at major progressive colleges and universities. He is a contributor to the book, Aesthetic Realism and the Answer to Racism, and his articles on that subject have appeared in many newspapers. Mr. Michael studies in the class “Acting, Life, and the Opposites,” taught by Anne Fielding, the director of the Aesthetic Realism Theatre Company. He made his acting debut in 2009 as William Ragin in the production of “The People of Clarendon County”--A Play by Ossie Davis, & the Answer to Racism! at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Jersey City, NJ, and has repeated this role at numerous events, including in the Congressional Auditorium in Washington, DC. As a retired Captain he gave 2 talks at the New York Harbor School in 2016— on maritime & portrait photography; and also on the Maritime Industry, at the behest of Director Captain Singh. In 2017 he was the Keynote and Honoree Speaker at the Organization of Black Maritime Graduates Annual Dinner at SUNY Maritime College in NYC. The Alliance is grateful to Mr. Michael for his efforts to identify Maritime Captains of Color who are unsung pioneers, which resulted in their being interviewed for this new branch of “The Force of Ethics in Civil Rights” oral history project. He has also participated as a videographer for these interviews, and on-camera in discussions with his fellow mariners. .