Unfettering Artists' Productivity and Impact


Bree Kessler

Bree Kessler (she/her) is CCI’s Assistant Director, Research to Impact Lab. She is a community organizer, researcher, and educator who includes creative practice in her work. She began her career working with Unite HERE Local 100 in New York City, on educational justice campaigns in the South Bronx, and with the urban farming movement in Detroit. As an academic, Bree specializes in applied research and participatory processes. Her research has examined gendered experiences of climate change in Honduras, the redesign of public markets in New York City, everyday resistances of workers in Nike's contract factories in Thailand, health education materials for sex workers in India, how the reality TV is used to promote neoliberal politics, and do-it-yourself urbanism in the Circumpolar North. As an educator, she has taught courses in equity-centered research methodologies, environmental justice, public health, urban studies, and gender studies at universities around the country and as traveling faculty with the School for International Training program in "Health, Culture, and Community." As faculty in public health and civic engagement at University of Alaska Anchorage, Bree initiated the "Urban in Alaska" movement to test the "publicness" of space. For her efforts in creating partnerships between the university, municipal government, artists, and tribal associations to co-facilitate design interventions into public spaces, she earned the university-wide community builder award. During this time, Bree also served as a panelist with ArtPlace America, a grant reviewer with the National Endowment for Arts, and an evaluation consultant with Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge. Her writing on topics such as culinary justice, national parks, and pop culture have appeared in publications such as Alaska, Bitch: A Feminist Response to Pop Culture, and Gastro Obscura. She is the author of the travel guidebook Moon: Big Island of Hawaii and The New York Times featured her family’s life above the Arctic Circle in “52 Places We Love in 2021.” She completed her MPhil in psychology from The Graduate School of the City University of New York and is a very long-time PhD candidate in the field of Environmental Psychology, the study of the interaction between humans and their environments. From the University of Michigan, she received a MSW in community organization, a MPH in health education, a MS in natural resource management, and a BA in religion. She also completed a certificate in online instructional design.

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