about us

Marisol Villanueva
mä creative inc. Director/Co-Founder
Grandmothers Wisdom Creative Director/Photographer

Born and raised in Puerto Rico. She received a BA in Visual Arts at the Universidad del Sagrado Corazón in Puerto Rico in 1992. Her interest in photography moved Villanueva to continue her education in the United States at the San Francisco Art Institute, where she participated in a study abroad program at the China National Academy of Fine Arts in Hangzhou, China. She later moved to New York City and completed her studies at the School of Visual Arts, where she received a BFA. Since the mid-1990’s, Marisol’s work has been dedicated to photographing indigenous people and their threatened ways of life and habitats.  These photographic essays range from self-assigned projects to specific collaborations with the Smithsonian Institution.

Her first long-term documentary photography project, The New Old World: Antilles – Living Beyond the Myth, opened at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in 2002 and later became a traveling exhibition. The exhibition included lectures, panels and an extensive educational program, serving as a vehicle for participants to engage and learn about the cultures represented. Villanueva’s first three publications,  The New Old World/El nuevo viejo mundo, Bread Made From Yuca and Cazabi: Gift of the Americas, came out of The New Old World’s archives.

In 2003, Marisol began to work with the Center for Sacred Studies in the organization of the first gathering of the International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers in Phoenicia, New York. In 2004, Villanueva became the still photographer of the Thirteen Grandmothers’ film For the Next Seven Generations and is currently the official photographer and photo archivist of the Grandmothers Council.

Angelina Nasso
mä creative inc. Co-Founder
Grandmothers Wisdom Project Collaborator

Born in Australia. While living there, she worked in media, communications, and advertising. She has a BFA in Fine Art, and has been exhibiting in the USA and Europe for over 15 years. Since 1996, her interest in comparative religion, plant medicines, and different ways of prayer has taken her to fields of study with teachers around the world. Since 2003 she has been travelling to the Amazon, developing relations with the people of the forest. She has also has worked closely with Native elders in North America. Angelina is actively committed to preserving the traditions of Indigenous peoples and supporting the sustainability of their communities in North and South America.

William Meyers
Grandmothers Wisdom Project Collaborator

William Meyers has been writing for years about indigenous cultures, alternative religions, shamanism, vision quests, altered states, Vajrayana Buddhism, the Dalai Lama, the decline of songbirds, the loss of biodiversity, and the threatened state of the natural world. His love of fine typography combined with the rise of the desktop-publishing computer led to his involvement in book design and production, which he has been learning and practicing for the last twenty years, working for Columbia University Press. He just recently released his own first book, in collaboration with Robert Thurman, Man of Peace: The Illustrated Life Story of the Dalai Lama of Tibet.

Joanna Cartagena
Grandmothers Wisdom Project Collaborator

Joanna Cartagena has been able to combine her academic studies, a BA from NYU in Comparative Literature, with her businesswoman’s savvy to pursue her interests in social entrepreneurialism.

Joanna was editor to the laureate novel Barataria by Juan López Bauzá, a nine hundred pages long novel published in 2012 which received the Premio de las Américas and the PEN Club Puerto Rico awards.

More recently, she was the Executive Director the 7th International Congress of the Spanish Language in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Milenda Nan Ok Lee
Grandmothers Wisdom Project Collaborator

Milenda Nan Ok Lee is a book designer for Columbia University Press. An award-winning designer, she was the creative director for the University of New Mexico Press, designed books for St Martin’s Press, and numerous academic and scholarly presses.

Janet Kroboth-Weber
Grandmothers Wisdom Project Collaborator

Born in New York. She has a BFA in Communication Design, with over twenty five years experience in graphic design, fine art and photography, and has taught fine art, design and environmental arts, from Pre-K through college levels.

With art and travel as pathways to other cultures and spiritual traditions, Janet began to apprentice with indigenous elders in the mid 1990s, supporting ceremonies and assisting in cultural presentations for various groups.