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About Us

 

The Art and Walkability Project is a local group of residents and business owners promoting walkability using a strategy of incorporating art on surfaces and structures in the public realm.

Margaret K. Rifkin
Core Group Lead, The Art and Walkability Project

Margaret is an Urban Designer and Planner whose mission is working with communities to make neighborhoods more walkable and business districts more successful though Creative Placemaking.

 She previously worked for the Montgomery County Planning Department. She has lived within walking distance of Downtown Wheaton for over twenty years.

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Wendy Howard
Core Group, Adviser & Volunteer, The Art and Walkability Project
Executive Director, One Montgomery Green

Wendy is the Executive Director of One Montgomery Green, a local non-profit formed to promote Montgomery County, Maryland as a “visibly green” sustainable community. In her role, Wendy has been instrumental in increasing One Montgomery Green’s outreach and promoting Montgomery County, Maryland as a “visibly green” sustainable community. In 2020 Wendy received and was recognized as one of the first 40 certified Climate Change Professionals certified by the State of Maryland. She is a Montgomery County native from the Wheaton area.

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Tina Mwebaza
Core Group, Adviser & Volunteer, The Art and Walkability Project
Co-Owner, Hakuna Matata Grill

Tina is the co-owner of Hakuna Matata Grill, an authentic East African cuisine restaurant and bar in Wheaton, Maryland.  She is also a Manager at Deloitte and has expertise in project management and economics. She lives in Montgomery County and is originally from Uganda.

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Kristy Daphnis
Core Group, Adviser & Volunteer, The Art and Walkability Project
Community Advocate, Transportation Safety and Equity

Kristy is a 15+ year resident of Wheaton, Maryland, who is a vocal advocate for transportation safety and equity across Montgomery County and the State of Maryland. She is the Co-Founder of Open Streets Montgomery and Montgomery County Families for Safe Streets, a Girl Scout Troop Leader, and currently serves as the Chair of the Montgomery County Pedestrian, Bicycle, and Traffic Safety Advisory Committee. She also works for the Federal Government.

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Mariela Garcia-Colberg
Core Group, Adviser & Volunteer,  The Art and Walkability Project
Vice-Chair, Wheaton Urban District Advisory Council

Mariela is a long-time Wheaton resident, originally from Puerto Rico, who is an active leader in the community through her service on the Wheaton Urban District Advisory Committee and many other community organizations. She  works for the Transportation Research Board on transit policy. 

Selection Committee

*Selection Committee Members who joined the Core Advisory Group above, in 2022.

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Dave Thagipour*
 

Dave grew up inspired by his parents’ perseverance and all the adversity they had to overcome to start over in their new lives after leaving Iran when he was a child.  While he was still in high school he helped in the family business. He earned a Bachelors in Business from the University of Maryland.  He continued with the family business as a as small business owners in Wheaton. In 2009, Dave founded All Eco Design Center. It was one of the first Certified Green Businesses in Montgomery County, and an industry leader in the DMV area.  All Eco Design Center offers environmentally conscience, design/build, remodeling, construction, and general contractor services for residential home improvement projects. Dave is one of the original One Montgomery Green board members.

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DiAngela Payne*
 

DiAngela Payne (she/her) is an African American Portrait Photographer and Archival Digitization Specialist born and raised in the Washington, D.C. area. She was educated in Montgomery County Public Schools and is a graduate of the Art Institute of Washington with a BFA in Photographic Imaging. As a visual arts enthusiast since childhood, she was able to gain experience in the public arts when she was an apprentice for The Silver Pass pedestrian walkway installation located on Georgia Avenue in Downtown Silver Spring. A resident of Downtown Wheaton for the past 15 years, she has watched the landscape grow while still maintaining a diverse, vibrant culture. She is excited to be a part of the beautification of one of her favorite enclaves in Montgomery County!

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Lenny Greenberg

Lenny founded the Greenhill Realty Company and the Wheaton Arts

Walls Foundation, Incorporated. Greenhill continues to have a strong presence in Wheaton and operates throughout the region.  Lenny has been recognized for his contributions to public art in Bethesda where several of his buildings include artful tromp l'oeil murals.  Lenny grew up in Wheaton and Silver Spring.  As a boy he frequented Reds Hobby Shop in the Triangle Shopping Center in Wheaton. Lenny attended Montgomery County Public Schools as well as Staunton Military Academy in Virginia.  After studying at Montgomery College he graduated from the University of Maryland. 

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Luis Estrada Cepero

Luiu is an experienced architectural and urban designer with a demonstrated history of working in both the public and the private sectors.  Professional with a strong background and interest in architecture, community development, and social services. Skilled in architectural design and in urban planning for retail and mixed-use. Luis is currently leading the Wheaton Downtown Study (2022)  at the Montgomery County Planning Department (M-NCPPC) headquartered in Wheaton. Luis is orginally from Puerto Rico.

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Sally Wern Comport

Sally owns and operates Art at Large, Inc.  which is a full service art consulting and production company specializing in custom large-scale creative solutions for interior and exterior spaces. She works closely with each client to understand their mission
and needs, and provide a custom solution suitable for their
environment in collaboration with our expert partners. Her areas
of skill include dimensional exhibition, visual experience design,
public art, illustration, and graphic design for print and web use.

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Ty Boland*

Ty Boland-Reeves is an artist with a background in sculpture, fabrication, metal casting, filmmaking, and art education. Originally from Austin, Texas, Ty is studying studio art at the University of Maryland College Park and working as a stay-at-home father for his 5-month-old twins. In 2020, Ty was a committee member for the Contemporary Arts Purchasing Program of the University of Maryland and was responsible for collecting art from emerging artists in the DC/Baltimore area for the university's ever expanding art collection. He lives in the Wheaton area and is an ardent supporter of community centered arts outreach.

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Stephan Allotey-Addo*

Stephan Allotey-Addo is a 32 year old Ghanaian-American who immigrated to the United States with his family when he was 8 years old. Although he completed his elementary and middle school education in DC, he attended Montgomery Blair High School and got his high school diploma from John F. Kennedy High School. Stephan has been a Montgomery County resident for a majority of his life and is currently a resident of downtown Wheaton. He works as a Community Engagement Manager for a physics nonprofit in College Park, MD and loves to draw in his spare time. Art runs in his family, learning how to draw from his older sister and having brothers who draw as well.