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The Power of Connectivity and Collaboration Through Art

With Subject Matter Experts

Rusty Zimmerman - Portrait/Poster Artist
Matt Sitter - CEO, AFN

"Everyone is longing to connect."
~Rusty Zimmerman

Join us for an extraordinary event featuring Rusty Zimmerman, the Founder/Artist of the Free Portrait Project. Rusty has taken the art form of portraiture and changed its conventional usage to create tremendous impact and build new networks.

In his project, Rusty Zimmerman created individual portraits and recorded oral histories of 200 neighbors in one year. Rusty’s project served as a unique network to connect the Crown Heights (a neighborhood in Brooklyn) community and comment on how it's changing. "It's about painting a portrait of this place through its people by documenting who we are now, amid gentrification and rapidly shifting demographics, to document a cross-section of the community and, in doing so, quietly upend the tradition of portraiture just being reserved for a wealthy few," he said.

And now, AFN is thrilled to host Rusty to discuss his incredible work and the unique ways community connections are forged. We believe in the power of connectivity and collaboration - and this project embodies all these values. Through a different medium and type of subject matter expert, we reconsider how our networks are built and attain resilience.

The Power of Connectivity and Collaboration Through Art

April 27, 2023

Rusty Zimmerman


Rusty is a portrait/poster artist. His 200 portraits from life and recorded oral histories of Crown Heights have been exhibited at the Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Children's Museum, Brooklyn Borough Hall, and the permanent collection of Poster House NYC.

Zimmerman's work has been featured in London's New York Times, CityLab, and Saatchi Gallery Magazine. He has lectured at Wellesley and Long Island University and was offered an Ellson grant at Harvard. Zimmerman lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.

Shmuel Silverman Headshot - Formal_edited.jpg
Portrait/Poster Artist

Matt Sitter


Matt focuses on helping organizations approach, develop and execute co-creative solutions to strategic challenges of all kinds. A veteran visual thinker and consultant, Matt works shoulder to shoulder with leaders and their teams to provide the insights, skills and tools to keep pace with increased complexity and accelerated change. He is also a co-author of The Art of Opportunity (John Wiley & Sons), a practical guide to identifying, developing and seizing growth opportunities through strategic innovation.

Matt’s clients have included: American Express, Coca-Cola, Elsevier, Intel, Intercontinental Hotels Group, Microsoft, Mozilla, Nike, Oracle, the Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development, RackSpace, Red Bull, Under Armour, UNESCO, and VF Corporation.

Shmuel Silverman Headshot - Formal_edited.jpg


Shmuel Silverman Headshot - Formal_edited.jpg
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