Riverzedge staff share a vision with the board, volunteer corps, and youth for success, innovative capacity, a commitment to materials and resource conservation, and boundless energy to provide hope and contribution to others.

 Karen Barbosa, Executive Director

A self described “teacher-nerd”, Karen has dedicated her career to deepening her understanding of the “art of learning”. Receiving her MEd from Vermont College in 2006, with a focus on social justice and adolescent racial identity development, her learning journey has taken her from Colorado, to Vermont, to Boston, Massachusetts, before settling in Rhode Island. She is a passionate supporter of experiential education and is excited to see Woonsocket serving as a model for innovative hands-on learning programming in the state and nation.


 Shanikqua Dandy, Arts & Business Program Director

Dandy has been an “Edgster” since 2005, first as a Media Works program participant, then as an alumni, and now as a full time staff member. A believer in “paying it forward”, Dandy seeks to provide current participants with stable, creative programming that will expand youth vision and voice in this community; components she herself benefited from as a teen. She is currently taking this drive for giving back to the community a step further, starting her own arts social empowerment organization, Cre8tive, that focuses on coordinating events that builds community by practicing the art of upcycling.

Katie Gui, Public Art Lab Studio Director

moved to Providence in 2007 and has since called Rhode Island home. She attended RISD where she studied printmaking. Over the past few years she’s found so much joy working with emerging artists in and around Rhode Island. She loves working through artistic blocks and celebrating artistic triumphs with her students and pals. Gui works between mediums and her work evokes a bit of humor and a bit of something else.

Angello Rodriguez, Public Art Lab Assistant

Angello graduated from Woonsocket High School in the summer of 2016. He has worked at Riverzedge Arts since his sophomore year of high school as a participant and has since been promoted to Public Art Lab Assistant. His passions include traditional and digital drawing, music, and tattoos. Angello is pursuing coursework in design and hopes to attend an art college in the near future.

Simon Slowinski, Print Works Studio Director

Simon is a printmaker living in Providence, Rhode Island. Simon has studied computer-aided design at the Community College of Rhode Island and attended The Fab Academy, a digital fabrication intensive at the AS220 Labs in Providence. In 2011, he graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design with a BFA in Printmaking.

Irene Su, Media Works Studio Director

Since graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design, Irene has had the opportunity to collaborate with a number of cool people and organizations from all over the world. At Riverzedge, she works with participants to find new and creative ways to share stories through video and photography. Irene is passionate about exploring media, and investigating how media can be used for social change. In her free time, Irene enjoys listening to live music for inspiration for her visual work, playing with how to translate sound into something physical.

Michelle Carrasquillo, ELO AmeriCorps VISTA

Michelle studied Dance and Psychology at Dean College in Franklin, MA where she received her BA in 2017.  During her undergrad, she completed her internship at The Dance Studio of Orange, MA, serving as their Co-Creative Director. In the summer of 2016, she made the move from Massachusetts to Rhode Island, and is now excited to join the Riverzedge Arts family as ELO Program Assistant/VISTA Volunteer. Michelle considers herself a lifelong learner, and in her free-time enjoys all types of creative activities."

Lenny Vazquez, ELO Director

Lenny is a University of Rhode Island Graduate with a BS in Textiles, Fashion Merchandising and Design. She is fluent in Spanish, English and understands Portuguese and Creole. She enjoys all things fashion and travel.

Christopher Fagbayi, Design Works Studio Director

Chris was born in Paris, France and was raised in the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe before residing in the states 28 years ago. A Freelance Graphic Designer from Roxbury, MA who now resides in Rhode Island. His journey of working with the youths started as a volunteer to an employee at the Boys and Girls Club of Woonsocket six years ago before moving onto being a Design Works Studio Director at Riverzedge Arts.  Chris is a passionate Graphic Designer who has worked at corporate companies in the Greater Boston area; an art educator at an alternative school in Woonsocket where he has taught basic art and design to Pre-K, Elementary and High School Students. He believes that sharing his artistic knowledge with the youths will enable them to discover their own creative paths and talents and appreciation for the arts. He received an Associate in Graphic Design from Bunker Hill Community College and a Bachelors of Fine Arts with a concentration in Graphic Design from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Ryan Rosenberg, Arts and Business AmeriCorps Vista

Ryan recently graduated from Brown University where she studied Literary Arts and Modern Culture & Media. This past summer she facilitated a poetry/diorama-making art camp at CityArts in Providence, RI. She loves to write, read and support creative spaces for youth.