Phyllis Labanowski was born in rural upstate NY, and currently lives in western MA. She has an M.A. in education, and has taught in rural, urban and suburban communities both in the U.S. and in Latin America. She worked for over 25 years as a public school teacher, and as an educational activist with administrators, teachers, and parents. She co-created a leadership program for activists and organizers nationwide, and helped write several guides including A Guide to Working in Diverse Groups.
After recognizing how powerfully art could support the work of activism, Phyllis went to the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston at age 50, and now uses art in the service of social justice. She is the resident artist for several non-profits, including Class Action (Boston, MA), where she co-authored Created Equal, a curriculum on class and classism for secondary students. She currently co-directs ARTeens, an out-of-school program, and runs a graphic messaging business. She also creates contemporary public ceremony through Water Dances and Land Rituals. To see more of what she does go to her on-line portfolio at: www.phyllislabanowski.com
Phyllis’s Money Story: As the working class daughter of a Polish fur trapper and trader, wheeler-dealer, auctioneer and flea marketeer, Phyllis Labanowski grew up scrappy. She’s the first generation in her family to go to college and has since become the very people she was taught to be wary of – the overly educated. As a result of her father’s mental illness (he was an extreme hoarder who died from his hoarding) she received an inheritance that she dips into to supplement her income as an art worker.