Multi-instrumentalist, singer, composer and instrument designer Mark Stewart is the founding Artistic Director of Guitar Mash. Since 1998 he has recorded, toured and been Musical Director with Paul Simon. A founding member of the Bang on a Can All-Stars and the comic duo Polygraph Lounge with Rob Schwimmer, Mark has also worked with artists from a wide diversity of genres including Steve Reich, Sting, Ornette Coleman, Bob Dylan, Meredith Monk, Stevie Wonder, Philip Glass, Bruce Springsteen, Joan Baez, Jimmy Cliff, Julie Taymor, Elliot Goldenthal and David Byrne. He is the inventor of the WhirlyCopter, a bicycle-powered Pythagorean choir of singing tubes and the Big Boing, a 24 ft. sonic banquet table Mbira that seats 30 children playing 490 found objects. Mark is a Visiting Lecturer at MIT and a Curator at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art. Raised in the dairylands of Wisconsin, Mark divides his time between Brooklyn & North Adams, MA making a living playing and writing popular music, semi-popular music and unpopular music whilst building and restoring instruments that anybody can play.
Founder, Executive Producer
Rebecca Weller is a passionate and longtime advocate for the participatory, with over 25 years creating in the arenas of music, food and world culture. Weller founded the Midsummer Night Swing festival at Lincoln Center; Winter’s Eve at Lincoln Square; and the Harmony in the Kitchen series featuring renowned artists cooking and storytelling.
Founding Artist Co-Chair
Tom Colicchio (Founding Artist Co-Chair) is the chef and owner of Crafted Hospitality, which currently includes New York’s Craft, Riverpark and Temple Court; Los Angeles’ Craft Los Angeles; and Las Vegas’ Heritage Steak and Craftsteak. Born in Elizabeth, New Jersey, Tom made his New York cooking debut at prominent New York restaurants including The Quilted Giraffe, Gotham Bar & Grill and Gramercy Tavern before opening Craft in 2001. Outside of his fine dining restaurants, Colicchio opened ‘wichcraft – a sandwich and salad fast casual concept rooted in the same food and hospitality philosophies as Craft – in New York City in 2003.
In an effort to broaden his long-standing social and political activism by increasing access and affordability to nutritious food for all Americans, Tom co-founded Food Policy Action in 2012 in collaboration with national food policy leaders. FPA holds legislators accountable for their voting record around food by issuing an annual scorecard, coordinating lobbying efforts by chefs from all 50 states and running effective campaigns to increase consumer awareness and action around food system reform.
Tom and his restaurants give back to the community by serving on the boards of Children of Bellevue, City Harvest, Wholesome Wave and Food Policy Action. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife Lori Silverbush and their three sons. When he’s not in the kitchen, Tom can be found tending to his garden on the North Fork of Long Island , enjoying a day of fishing or playing guitar.