Maria Furgiuele is the Executive Director of the Community Design Center Rochester. She is licensed as an architect and as a real estate salesperson, with experience as a small business owner and a special interest in urban planning and community building. Through programs and exhibits at the CDCR, she has been exploring ways to use participatory art as a way to bring people of differing backgrounds, ages and experiences together.
When asked why she wanted to be involved with MMDR she said, “I truly believe that although it is human nature to seek out like-minded people, our best opportunities for growth occur when we interact with those that are different from us. There are few things that have such universal appeal and that transcend racial, cultural & economic barriers. Music is one of them. The others that I can think of off the top of my head are Art and Food. Anyone can make art. Anyone can make music. Everyone likes to eat! Rochester has amazing resources when it comes to music and art! I love that this is something that anyone and everyone can participate in and in so doing, create a way to share information, knowledge and experience, making our community richer & stronger.”
Monika Reifenstein is a recent graduate of Smith College, where she received dual bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and the Study of Women and Gender. She is also a musician and incredibly passionate about social justice. Monika is spending her post-grad time singing (with Rocappella and Concentus) and consulting & volunteering with non-profit corporations. She is particularly thrilled about her work with the CDCR where she helped launch Rochester’s first ever Make Music event in 2017, and is vigorously working on making sure the 2020 event goes off without a hitch!
When asked why she wanted to be involved with MMDR she said, “I wanted to be a part of Make Music because I believe that music plays an irreplaceable role in community development, especially when free and accessible as is the case with this event.”
Julie Ellen Schnepf describes herself as a cheerleader for Rochester revitalization, small business owner (Bernunzio Uptown Music), event organizer, dog lover, mother, and grandma.
When asked why she wanted to be involved with MMDR she said, “Make Music Day is a natural fit for me – I love bringing people together to enjoy and play music, especially in an urban setting. The happiness they experience sharing music is a real perk for me. Plus Make Music Day allows me to work with really cool people who share my love of Rochester and the desire to see it reinvented into a vibrant and exciting place to live, work and play.”
Maggie Symington is a community volunteer and activist, with a passion for the performing arts. Music has been a part of her life since early childhood, when years of piano lessons prepared her for her eventual role as audience member. An amateur singer, Maggie currently directs a women’s a cappella group (Rocappella) that performs at nursing homes and non-profit organizations, and is also a member and on the board of Concentus Women’s Chorus. She is a trustee at the Geva Theatre Center and the Rochester City Ballet, and is chair of the Advisory Council for the Horizons Program at the Warner School at the University of Rochester. She also holds an MBA from Columbia University, and was a CFA until she retired from her career in financial systems at MetLife and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
When asked why she wanted to be involved with MMDR she said, “When Maria mentioned this international phenomenon to me, I was immediately on board to help kick it off here in Rochester. We are a city rich in music, and this just seemed like a natural fit. I particularly liked that this is an event is open to everyone – performers and attendees alike – with no auditions or tickets. I just hope it doesn’t rain!