Emoti-Con! 2017


Emoti-Con is NYC’s biggest showcase for young designers, makers, technologists, and tinkerers who believe in digital innovation as a tool for positive change in the world around them.

  • WHEN: Saturday, June 17th, 11AM - 4:30PM
  • WHERE:

Celeste Bartos Forum
The New York Public Library,
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building,
42nd Street between 5th & 6th Avenues (Entrance on 42nd Street)
New York, NY 10018

What’s Emoti-Con like? Watch this video from last year’s event:

EMOTI-CON 2016 from Urban Arts Partnership on Vimeo.

Find answers to common questions about Emoti-Con! on our FACEBOOK FAQ >


  • BEST PITCH: Onagawa Neighborhood Quest

    BEST PITCH: Onagawa Neighborhood Quest

    Global Kids

    We took an international trip abroad with our youth organization, Global Kids, and we collaborated with Japanese youth to learn about the impact of the 2011 Tsunami and Earthquake. We designed a geo-locative (location based using GPS) game for local youth to learn disaster response strategies, and included real stories, important places, and other cultural aspects, to make a fun and valuable game for the local kids. Based on our discussions, local tours, workshops, and feedback sessions with local Japanese youth and tsunami survivors, we got ideas about what to include in our game using a “human centered design process”.The end user is local youth in the town of Onagawa who weren’t old enough to remember the 2011 tsunami, but need to learn about what happened and how to be prepared for the future.

    Team Members:
    Christian Melendez, Patience Boateng, Sabeha Ahmed, Victor Salinas, Zamani Davis
  • MOST ENTERTAINING: Dance and Technology: Lights, Camera, Action!

    MOST ENTERTAINING: Dance and Technology: Lights, Camera, Action!

    STEM From Dance

    Our students have created wearable circuits. They sewed lights and a microcontroller to shirts using conductive thread to create the circuit and coded the circuits with the intention of using them in a dance performance. At their table, they will display their wearable circuits and the code they uploaded to the circuits. In addition, they created choreography for a performance in which they would wear their shirts.

    Team Members:
    Rosindy Harris, Summer Renee, Daneilla McEwan


    Halsey Mouse Squad - Halsey JHS 157 Q

    PROJΣCT S.I.G.M.A. is a robot that is made to help make daily tasks for the elderly, people with disabilities, or just about anyone, easier. The inspiration of this project was the idea of having a pet like robot in someones house for companionship, that has evolved into a “servant” like robot. We will use an EV3 mindstorm and an Arduino.

    Team Members:
    Amar M, Attila H, Benjamin B, Bryan W, Christian D, Hannah R, Ishita G, Mabel C, Ryan E,


    Girls Who Code

    I created a web-app called Help-me. It provides resources to victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, and human trafficking. I was inspired to create HelpMe after watching a college student protest against her college for trying to hide her sexual assault case. I will be presenting the whole schematics of my web app and its origins.

    Team Members:
    Burlyn Andall-Blake
  • POINT OF VIEW: Salvage Adaptable Clothing

    POINT OF VIEW: Salvage Adaptable Clothing

    Mouse Design League

    Salvaje Adataple Clothing is a line of jackets and other clothing designed for people with limited mobility and people in wheelchairs to allow them to put on and take off their outer layers with more ease.

    Team Members:
    Anthony Winston, Avijit Paul, Josue Villanueva, Omar Ramirez, Rafia Alamgir, Samantha Sanchez


    Global Kids

    High School students from Curtis High School in Staten Island and John Adams in Queens will be presenting games on different topics around girls’ and women’s rights. The game topics are: the gender gap in STEM, statistics about women’s rights, catcalling/harassment, gender stereotypes, standards of beauty, and tampon tax.

    Team Members:
    Chloe Newland, Genesis Rodriguez, Homalyah Narine, Lershaun Ferdinand, Varshnie Narine, Cheyenne Cuthbertson, Evelyn Massaquoi, Mary Massaquoi, Vanessa Perina, Yewande Dawodu


  • Kweighbaye Kotee

    Kweighbaye Kotee

    Kweighbaye Kotee is Founder & CEO of Bushwick Film Festival (BFF) and MCCG; and host/creator of Indie Cinema New York on BRIC TV. Now in it’s 10th year, BFF is hailed as one of Brooklyn’s most celebrated events; recognized for its contribution to the borough’s artistic and economic growth. MCCG is a boutique public relations firm that specializes in media/tv programming, film production, event producing and content management/creation. ICNY airs on BRIC TV and invites industry leaders to discuss upcoming releases and events. Guests include Oscar Winner Caroline Waterlow (OJ.: Made in America), Oscar Nominee Raoul Peck (I Am Not Your Negro) and Oscar Nominee Sam Pollard ( 4 Little Girls). Dedicated to her community and the arts, she is the Executive Director of two Brooklyn-based non-profit organizations and is a Bushwick Community Board member serving on the Arts & Culture and Land Use Committees.Born in Liberia, she and her family immigrated to the U.S. at the brink of the Liberian Civil war. She attended public school in Newark, NJ where she was awarded a scholarship from the Wight Foundation to attend Blair Academy. She moved on to receive her B.S in Media, Culture and Communications from New York University. She has been featured in Huffington Post, Fox News, Brooklyn Magazine, Indiewire and Tribeca Film and currently lives in Brooklyn.

  • Tina Kang

    Tina Kang

    Tina is a 22 year old tech enthusiast from SUNY: Maritime. She is used to being the only Asian female engineer from her class. Instead of being discouraged, she created a Society of Women Engineers chapter in her school and is currently in our Intro to Tech Entrepreneurship program where she will learn the basics of front-end web development, entrepreneurship, Adobe Software Photoshop, Illustrator, and After Effects, and UX/UI. She is extremely excited to be part of Emoti-Con.

  • Rudy Blanco (the Emoti-Con 2017 Host & Emcee)

    Rudy Blanco (the Emoti-Con 2017 Host & Emcee)

    Rudy worked as a Special Education teacher at the DreamYard Preparatory School for 3 years before taking on the role of Director of Digital Learning at the school through the DreamYard Project. As Director of Digital Learning, Rudy is responsible for coordinating, integrating and implementing digital and technological initiatives at DYP. By collaborating with teachers across all grades and departments, Rudy has a unique opportunity to see what the technological needs of the teachers and of the students are. Currently, Rudy is collaborating on a Learning Portfolio project with DreamYard Project, DreamYard Preparatory School and Parsons The New School for Design where he serves as the liaison between the educators and the Portfolio design team.


  • Abigail Adams

    Abigail Adams

    Abby is a learning and play designer who strongly believes that both play and learning can be evident and successful in a single product. From 2015-2017 she was a Product Manager at Toca Boca, a digital toy studio delivering delightful experiences that empower kids to be creative and playful. As the product owner of Toca TV, she managed the intersection of user experience, visual design, usability research, and technology. Before Toca Boca, she worked on digital products for other successful kids’ tech companies like Tinybop, Tiggly, and Sesame Workshop. She was a Peace Corps volunteer, and she loves the Green Bay Packers and Chipotle.

  • Anke Stohlmann

    Anke Stohlmann

    Anke Stohlmann is a designer and entrepreneur, passionate about education and design. She is the principal and creative director of Li’l Robin, a strategic design consultancy that works at the intersection of print & digital, and the founder of Li’l Stories, a language arts framework that nurtures creative thinking, cooperative learning, and digital literacy in the elementary school classroom.

  • Anthony Yim

    Anthony Yim

    Anthony grew up in Hong Kong and came to the United States for college. He studied Computer Science at Columbia University and works at Venmo as a software developer fighting fraud. In his spare time, Anthony likes making short documentaries and taking photographs. He’s helping on a project to document the lives of Jewish refugees in Shanghai during the Japanese occupation in WWII. Anthony also thinks, without a doubt, that the dress is blue and black.

  • Bang Geul Han

    Bang Geul Han

    Bang Geul Han (b.1978 in Seoul, Korea) is an interdisciplinary artist working between moving images, performance, text and code. Han creates artworks that examine digital manifestations of activities often associated with the feminine: talking about love, emotions, confessions, journal writing, eavesdropping and gossiping. Her work explores the limits and possibilities of technological and linguistic frameworks in relation to women’s voices and their stories. She is currently Assistant Professor at the College of Staten Island and lives in Brooklyn, NY.

  • Ben Whitla

    Ben Whitla

    As a creative and design director with over 10 years’ experience, Ben Whitla focuses on the place where brands and digital meet – effectively building and managing brands in emerging companies of all sizes. His career began as a letterpress printer, but an interest in design led to stops at Ride Snowboards, followed by a handful of emerging boutique design studios in Boston. After that it was all digital – Whitla was Creative Director at Beam Interactive where he led the award-winning redesign of MINIUSA.com’s digital properties, followed by Design Director at Yahoo, and now Creative Director for Great Big Story, where he oversees all digital products, branding, marketing, video aesthetics and motion graphics. During his career he’s been fortunate to work with prominent brands including MINI, Yahoo, Mattel, Lord Hobo Brewing Co., Hasbro, Dreamworks, Jibo, Daniel Boulud, Mapkin, Lucasfilm, Sage Restaurant Group and Nike.

  • Bex Hurwitz

    Bex Hurwitz

    Bex Hurwitz is a co-founder of Research Action Design, a worker owned cooperative that uses community-led research, collaborative design of technology and media, and secure digital strategies to build the power of grassroots social movements. Bex works with changemakers to design and use media, technology, and security for social justice. They have worked domestically and internationally in media and technology research, security and digital rights, design and development in and across issues including human rights defense, international criminal law, government accountability, agricultural development, domestic violence services, racial justice, immigration justice, and lgbtqi rights. Prior to RAD, Bex was the Codesign Facilitator and Community Organizer with the MIT Center for Civic Media (2012-2014).

  • Christian Howard

    Christian Howard

    CHRISTIAN HOWARD is a fiction writer and narrative designer working in games, organizational strategy, and interactive media. His creative practice is rooted in designing evolving playful systems with strong intersectional relationships. He is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Technology, Culture & Society at NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering, serves as Education Director at the Rap Research Lab, and is Narrative Design Lead at Hidden Level Games.

  • Dan Butchko

    Dan Butchko

    As CEO & Founder of Playcrafting, Dan Butchko oversees all operations globally and carries out planning and execution of all education and events in New York. His passion is to help game developers succeed, whether brand new or industry veterans. A graduate of New York University, Dan is the former Creative Director & Events Manager of Help For Children, where he worked for six years to help raise millions to prevent and treat child abuse. Dan brings years of experience in marketing and event management as well as his passion for games to Playcrafting as he works to grow developer communities across the United States. Tweet him @DanButchko and tell him your favorite games to play and your dream game you’d love to make!

  • Dyalekt


    Brian ‘Dyalekt’ Kushner moved from St. Croix to New York to study acting and law. He also liked to rap. After witnessing civil rights injustices at the law firm he worked for, he dropped both the job and the law classes, pursuing the arts instead. Performances at the Nuyorican led him to Hip Hop Theater, writing plays that have been performed on stages across the world. He didn’t sleep on the rapping either, releasing music and touring internationally. His first album/one man play Square Peg Syndrome helped him get named to the Public Theater’s Emerging Writer’s Group. He has been a mainstay in NYC’s theater and Hip Hop scenes, rocking everywhere from the Bowery Ballroom to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, with one jam ending up a theme song for an MTV show. After researching Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences, Dyalekt designed curricula lining up the elements of Hip Hop with each learning style. Through Hip Hop, or rather, by Hip Hopping, students could assess their learning tendencies and use them to their benefit, while the community aspects of Hip Hop show students how to be responsible citizens, peer mentors, and advocates for justice. Dyalekt brought this curriculum, along with his album/play (Square Peg Syndrome) back home to St. Croix, rocking with 17 orgs and over 400 students. They produced 2 books of poetry, an album, and a documentary. He also now teaches teachers how to MC in a classroom. Dyalekt had been an entrepreneur since his teenage days, and has rapped, written, and performed every freelance gig available to his skill set. He ran rap based Lincoln-Douglas debate/battles to teach youths how to prepare and present at a job interview. He linked up with Pockets Change to help students find freedom in expression, understanding, and finances. He’s the host of Bondfire Radio’s Brunch & Budget podcast, and is preparing his upcoming album/play Broken Clock Theory.

  • Evan Silberman

    Evan Silberman

    Mr. Evan Silberman is the Director of Information Technology at the New York University Silver School of Social Work and a recipient of the Campus Technology Innovator of the Year Award for leadership. Previously, he was the technical consultant to the United Nations Institute of Training and Research (UNITAR), where he developed and implemented IT strategy for the UNITAR New York Office, and lead a privately funded, Computer Information Technology Training (CITE) programme for 192 permanent missions to the U.N. He is a certified Project Management Professional and is a candidate for an EdD in Higher Education Administration at the New York University, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.

  • Gerad O'Shea

    Gerad O’Shea

    Gerad is an applied researcher and co-founder of Applied Curiosity Research. He has an extensive background developing and evaluating educational games, programs, curriculum, TV, and strategic messaging for children and families. His work has spanned a variety of topics, including research to help develop and evaluate educational apps for the US Department of Education, interactive TV episodes for Nickelodeon, nutrition curriculum for the US Department of Agriculture, and a summer program to help NYC youth develop career skills for the NYC Office of Community Schools. Before becoming a researcher, Gerad was also the Assistant Band Director at The Boston Arts Academy.

  • Jeff Stern

    Jeff Stern

    Jeff cares about how technology can improve learning experiences. As the Director of Product Innovation at Girls Who Code, Jeff manages the tensions of student needs with organization strategy to deliver new products such as a mobile app for the alumni community, a learning platform for our Clubs program, and an upcoming book series. With the support of these products, Girls Who Code delivers programs for middle and high school girls that are closing the gender gap in tech. Jeff currently lives in New York City.

  • Jessy Jo Gomez

    Jessy Jo Gomez

    Jessy Jo Gomez, or as the kids call them; Mz. Gamez, is an educator who believes that young people have the power to change the world. They use game design as a tool for social change, and encourages everyone to unapologetically be themselves. Jessy Jo graduated from Parsons The New School for Design with a BFA 
majoring in Design & Technology and minoring in Japanese Studies. They are passionate about creating safe spaces for young people, 
especially in the context of gender/sexual identity and mental illness. Jessy Jo lives in Brooklyn. In the morning, they work 1-on-1 with special needs children in Queens, then teaches game design and social justice during after school with Manhattan Youth. Jessy Jo is sensitive, empathetic, loves their 3 cats, and the color pink.

  • Jonah Brucker-Cohen

    Jonah Brucker-Cohen

    Jonah Brucker-Cohen, Ph.D., is an award winning researcher, artist, and writer. He is an Assistant Professor of Digital Media and Networked Culture at Lehman College / CUNY in the Bronx. He received his Ph.D. in the Disruptive Design Team of the Electronic and Electrical Engineering Department of Trinity College Dublin. His work and thesis entitled “Deconstructing Networks” includes hundreds of creative projects that critically challenge and subvert accepted perceptions of network interaction and experience. His work has been exhibited and showcased at venues such as SFMOMA, Canadian Museum of Contemporary Art, MOMA, ICA London, Whitney Museum of American Art (Artport), Palais du Tokyo, Tate Modern, Ars Electronica, Transmediale, and more. His project, “Bumplist”, is included in the permanent collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art. His writing has appeared in publications such as WIRED, Make, Gizmodo, Neural and more. His Scrapyard Challenge workshops have been held in over 15 countries in Europe, South America, North America, Asia, and Australia since 2003.

  • Juliana Lew

    Juliana Lew

    Juliana earned her BFA in Art & Design from the Stamps School at the University of Michigan and her MS in Historic Preservation from Eastern Michigan University, then held positions including prototype artist, exhibit designer, and marketing director before returning to the Stamps School in her current role as Recruiting Coordinator. Juliana’s creative work aims to highlight the subject of gender-inequality in both the private and public sectors, and includes overtones of satire mixed with museum exhibition and historic architectural references. She founded Triangle Worship in 2016 as a collaborative lifestyle label that experiments with discursive design and creates non-gendered products celebrating color and material, with a humorous nod. In her free time, Juliana enjoys drinking tea, watching QVC, and spending time with cats.

  • Kim Bartolome Francisco

    Kim Bartolome Francisco

    Kim Francisco - Immigrant. Womxn. Creative Innovator. Kim is a former Mouse alum and one of the first Mouse Corp Legacy project presenter for Emoticon. Right now, Kim is a People Lead at Lifion by ADP, a special venture within ADP in building the next generation of Human Capital Management software and tools. As a People Lead, Kim enjoys enhancing user and interaction experience, driven by Human Resources initiatives. Kim is a coffee aficionado, gamer, loves eating and cooking diverse foods, social justice digital activist and human centric behaviors and designs.

  • Liza Stark

    Liza Stark

    Liza Stark is a designer, playmaker, and educator based in New York. She creates game-like learning experiences, sculpt circuits out of fabric and paper, and works hand-in-hand with communities to make epic things. During the day, she is the Senior Manager of Learning & Engagement at littleBits where she collaborates with educator communities and designs challenge-based learning experiences. At night, she nerds out on sewing, knitting, and crafting eTextiles. She teaches Computational Craft in the MFA Design and Technology program at Parsons The New School for Design. Other past adventures include designing games with teachers at the Institute of Play, hosting a web series on DIY electronics for families; and co-founding gagdITERATION, a series of student-centered, hands-on workshops focused on creative engagement with electronics. Her work has been featured in Maker Faire, Open Hardware Summit, CIANT, ACM Conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interfaces Conference, Moulins Paillard, and more.

  • Matthias Brown

    Matthias Brown

    Matthias Brown is a freelance artist specializing in black and white animation. He has worked with such brands as Converse, MTV, NBC, Tate Modern, Adidas, BuzzFeed, Ghostly International and others. Matthias has a BFA in Graphic Design from SCAD and is currently participating in a new media residency at Mana Contemporary.

  • Molly Lafferty

    Molly Lafferty

    Molly Lafferty is a product and motion designer based in New York City. As Design Director at This Also, she partners with companies to help shape the next generation of digital products. Molly has lead design and strategy for clients including Google, Xbox, and HBO GO. She holds a master’s degree in interaction design from Carnegie Mellon University, where she researched health information management and developed tools for the chronically ill.

  • Molmol Kuo

    Molmol Kuo

    With a background in documentary filmmaking, Molmol Kuo began to focus on conversations and storytelling as a young art worker. With a penchant for “doing weird things with electricity,” she builds tools that help tell stories and make art that breaks the barriers between human and object in a whimsical and surprising way. Her ongoing research focuses on designing interactive art for public spaces with children. She is developing a series of children’s workshops and exhibitions around this research. Kuo received an M.P.S. from the Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU. She is a partner at YesYesNo Interactives. Websites: www.YesYesNo.com www.molmolk.com

  • Nathalie Leon

    Nathalie Leon

    Nathalie is a confident and enthusiastic competitive student programmer focused on expanding her experience and training in technology. She blends a passion for computer science, visual art, photography, entrepreneurship, and music, with strong creative problem solving and analytical skills. She continually champions the mission of technology-focused organizations such as Girls Who Code, NCWIT AiC, and Major League Hacking. In the past, Nathalie was selected to be a student ambassador, visiting over eighteen countries in Europe and Asia. To this day, she ventured to over thirty countries all over the world and proficiently speaks three other languages: Spanish, German, and Japanese. In the upcoming fall, Nathalie will be a freshman at the University of Rochester.

  • Pamela Capalad

    Pamela Capalad

    Pamela Capalad is a Certified Financial Planner™ and has been in financial services since 2008. She founded Brunch & Budget to give adults who felt ashamed or embarrassed about money a safe and friendly place to talk about their finances and make real financial progress. She is also passionate about empowering youth to understand and master their relationship with money and co-founded Pockets Change, where she co-facilitates hip hop + finance workshops for kids, teens, and college students across the country. Catch her & her husband on their weekly podcast on personal finance & social justice at brunchandbudget.com/podcast.

  • Pilar Perez

    Pilar Perez

    Pilar Perez is a welder and she has been working on general construction for the past 5 years. She has certifications on HVAC electrical and Automotive . Also is a current student at Fashion Institute of Technology where she is studying to become an electrical engineer. Her current job is at Beam center as Fab Lab coordinator at Brooklyn International High School.

  • Roy Vanegas

    Roy Vanegas

    Roy is an educator and software engineer. He works as a freelancer and is part-time faculty at Queens College and BMCC. He’s worked in the non-profit sector for schools such as Columbia University and NYU, and in the private sector for business such as IBM. As an educator, he’s taught at Parsons School of Design and Rhode Island School of Design, where he teaches in the summer. He’s earned degrees in music, math, computer science, and interaction design.

  • Steve Lucin

    Steve Lucin

    I’m a professional designer and animator from New York City. I own Halucinated Design, where a couple of awesome creatives and I focus on design and animation for the entertainment and nightlife industry. I founded Support Creativity, an organization dedicated to providing scholarships for passionate creatives. During the day, I animate comic books and create VR videos at 451. At night, I like to VJ (animate and mix video live) to electronic dance music. When I am not creating, I am biking, swimming, or doing something crazy.