Andy, Sales Manager
Andy is one of the newer additions to the SCW staff, having come in August 2014. A longtime community organizer, Andy uses those skills to build our wholesale business as well as work on marketing.
Before coming to SCW, Andy spent two years working on the Two Row Wampum Renewal Campaign, an inspiring project for Native American rights and environmental protection, which is featured on the cover of the 2015 Peace Calendar. Before that Andy worked on the staff of the Syracuse Peace Council, playing a key role in the revitalization of the oldest, local, independent peace and social justice organization in the country (also the organization out of which SCW was born).
A war resisters since his teen years, Andy lives in Syracuse with his partner Cheri and their 11 year-old son Eli. He loves spending time outdoors, hiking, cross country skiing, playing basketball, ultimate frisbee and futbol. Andy enjoys gardening, cooking and baking.
Geared up with headphones, Chris loves to walk -- he walks to class, and here to work every day! Chris says it gives him time to listen to his music. Pursuing higher education, and working part time at Syracuse Cultural Workers, Chris still has the energy to attend Kenpo Jutsu Karate classes (something that comes in handy when asking people for favors at SCW). Chris is a brown belt, and says his favorite thing about karate is helping others and making new friends. Chris' good humor is contagious, as is his pride in being part of SCW.
Dik, founder and owner of Syracuse Cultural Workers (SCW), grew up in Central NY and admits to having had an anti-authoritarian attitude early on, fueled by injustice in his high school. By his second year in college, influenced by parents of a roommate, he had begun to think more critically about the world. In 1964 he decided to give up his college deferment from the draft and oppose the Viet Nam war. It was clear that he didn't intend to serve US foreign policy in the military. He refused to accept the legitimacy of the Selective Service System and ultimately did two years in three different federal prisons. By the time he was released in December, 1968, some federal judges were congratulating resisters for opposing the illegal, immoral war. Times were changing.
His parole plan was to work at a local pharmaceutical company but after several months, his parole officer, sympathetic to his anti-war stance, allowed him to get a job he really wanted. He began working in the Syracuse Peace Council (SPC) collective in 1970. For eleven years one of his main interests there was to create the Peace Calendar. He knew the calendars were a great year-long educational vehicle, so it was possible to include pieces about the Viet Nam war and in a larger sense, on US militarism, imperialism, racism, sexism and more.
In 1982 he and a few friends, including Art Director Karen Kerney, began what was then called the Syracuse Cultural Workers Project (SCWP) to continue publishing the Peace Calendar. Dik had left the SPC staff in 1981 and the Peace Council had discontinued publishing the Peace Calendar after 11 editions. SCWP, under Dik's leadership, expanded the publishing to posters, notecards, holiday cards, postcards and bookmarks. Over the years T-shirts have been included, along with buttons and bumperstickers, books and more. The company was housed in various locations before moving to its current building, a former Italian restaurant owned by 3 sisters in a beautiful gay and lesbian-friendly neighborhood on the near northside of Syracuse.
Dik has lived collectively for most of his adult life. He has helped to raise six children, including his own beloved daughter Cora who was born in 1994. Other members of his collective include his partner Karen Mihalyi, Jack Manno and Cindy Squillace. Extended neighborhood family includes Pam Walker and Mary Rosa Morris-Walker, and Marie Summerwood who also works at SCW.
A new project of Dik's and SCW is the CORA Foundation, whose first offering is ArtRage - The Norton Putter Gallery. ArtRage, which opened in 2008, is no ordinary gallery. Its mission is to exhibit progressive art that inspires resistance and promotes social justice. It challenges preconceptions and encourages cultural change. It doesn’t stop there. Each exhibit is in collaboration with one or more community organizations in an effort to expand the traditional viewing “audience,” to offer support and become a catalyst for organized action among working people. By 2010, ArtRage had become an integral part of the progressive Central NY community.
Looks like Dik will be at it for a long time to come – rabblerousing for peace and justice.
Donna, Book Editor
Donna was born in Rome, NY. She worked in corporate America for 15 years and disengaged from that world by joining a remarkable whole grain bakery and women’s collective (On The Rise) in 1993. She came to Syracuse Cultural Workers as a temp holiday worker in the fall of 1997, was first wholesale sales manager, then associate publisher, and now book editor. She still finds the work absorbing. In her spare time she likes to bake (e.g. Irish Soda Bread currantly, pun intended) & enjoys jazz violinist Stéphane Grappelli. These two things may or may not be done simultaneously, though Grappelli's music more often conjures up wonderful memories of old & vodka tonics. Donna has moved to Buffalo, NY but continues to help us produce the Peace Calendars and Women Artists Datebooks.
John, Business Manager
Imagine the ‘buttoned up’ Business Manager. ‘Buttoned up’ doesn’t describe John but he is the strong, silent type with a wicked-cool sense of humor. Devoted to his family, he shepherds his daughters to school each day and coaches their sports teams.
John keeps an eye on SCW’s utility bills and recycling, reducing our office carbon footprint. He is the “go to guy” for computer fixes and is a darn good cook! Not bad!
Karen, Art Director
An SCW founder, organic farmer, artist and activist, Karen enjoys the opportunities for collaboration and community that SCW affords. Among the chorus of voices here, hers always speaks for the small-scale, hands-on solution to any problem.
She lives with her farm family growing organic fruits and vegetables in the beautiful Butternut Creek valley, south of Syracuse, where she lives out the mantra of "building the world we want to live in", one growing season at a time.
Her talented hands and open heart have created moving and inspirational artwork for untold numbers of community groups working for change over the past 30 years.
Kimberley is a graduate of Syracuse University with a degree in Art History. She is very much involved in the Syracuse arts. When she is not at SCW she is working and organizing at ArtRage Gallery. Kimberley enjoys making cupcakes and we enjoy when she shares them with us!
Lisa, Framer/ Shipperations
Lisa is our wonderful in-house framer. Our customers appreciate her framing talents so much, they often send notes to thank her. Lisa has many cool interests. She has entertained our staff at parties with her hot Argentine Tango dancing, and the portrait she painted of her cat, Mona (get it? Mona Lisa), which was featured in the 2008 Women Artists Datebook. Lisa also painted Sportee, the "Horses On Parade" horse in front of the Syracuse Chiefs home stadium.
Everyone at SCW appreciates all of Lisa's artistic talents and creativity, especially her hand made office supplies. Look for her signature cat on your invoice when you order a frame!
Marie, Marketing/Design Assistant
Marie, marketing and art studio assistant, loves SCW's Bread 'n Soup Fridays. An avid cook on at least one of those Fridays, she has adjusted her part-time schedule so as not to miss them!
Marie is also a massage therapist and writer; two original sitcoms need a television agent! She can often be found wild-harvesting herbs and other wise woman remedies. (She is a treasure trove of information and wisdom on self-care) Marie has published 2 CDs of her original music - women's sacred chants. The first CD is titled "She Walks With Snakes"
Randy started out as a temporary SCW employee in the Shipping Department over 18 years ago. He was the Shipping Dept Supervisor for 15 years before stepping down to Shipping Assistant. Thanks to Randy, customers’ packages get shipped safely and quickly (most of the time) and he has kept SCW green by using mostly recycled boxes and packing materials.
Randy is an artist and activist, and has been vegan for over 15 years. He paints and plays his drums (which now includes a set of way cool Tabla drums)every day. He also rides his bike everywhere he goes. He has an extensive music collection and could tell you anything you want to know about just about every movie ever made. He’s backpacked his way through most of the National Parks and another of his many travels involved a month in Siberia performing with Open Hand Theater.
Richard, Web Master
Richard started working at SCW years ago as a seasonal temp in our shipping department. In 2013, he rebuilt our website and is currently working as a consultant/developer for SCW.
Rose, Shipperations Manager
Rose has worked at SCW since 1997. She is the operations supervisor who handles all the little snags and conundrums that befall customers from time to time. Her reassuring laugh and good nature help customers through moments of panic that their packages won't get there in time.... Her friendly voice has been heard by the multitude of SCW supporters over the years and now she is overseeing web orders to make sure all goes smoothly.
Rose's favorite color is "all colors" and she loves chocolate ice cream almost as much as she loves Elvis. Which is saying alot, since she has traveled to Graceland every August for "Elvis Week” ...for the past 20 years!! She considers herself a very private person and has an adorable cat, Velvet as well as two goldfish named Graceland & Gladys! Crocheting is a relaxing pastime, as long as the project is " a square thing". And last but not least, she is the proud collector of ten pairs of Birkenstocks!
Teresa, Design Associate/ Production Coordinator
Teresa (known as Tree) is a local girl who has lived most of her life in the Westcott Nation. A seeker, she shines with the light of compassion and empathy, and has a gift for making beauty. She loves to garden and to bake.
In the SCW art studio, she presides over press sheets and artist contracts, coordinates datebook and catalog production, and attempts to hold Dik’s feet to the fire regarding deadlines.
"I like to play my banjo and listen to Pete Seeger and other folk musicians."
Zeke has been working and helping out at Cultural Workers for over ten years. He especially enjoys lunch and our annual staff picnic and holiday party.