Alison Rutsch is an artist and educator from Silver Spring, Maryland. She spent the past seven years in Providence, RI where she moved for the Brown/RISD dual degree program, studying Illustration and Education. Much of her education happened outside of college, working with children and youth at after school and summer programs including a radical studio space for teens called New Urban Arts. Working on the fringes of Providence's segregated public schools made her wonder about what public school is for. She spent a year interviewing Providence public school students about how they would like to see their schools change and making art about “dream schools” together. While many of the young people she's worked with experience marginalization in school and beyond, she sees art as a crucial tool for youth agency--a way to think critically about the world, imagine different possible futures, and act to create change. In her own art practice, Alison draws the world the way she wants it to be, creating surreal, utopian images of her neighborhood where people are brave, wild, and care for one another. She paints, prints, cartoons, and is the editor of the New Folklore Anthology, an annual comics collection featuring dozens of artists. She recently moved to Brooklyn and is so excited to continue her work with young people here and to be part of the beautiful, powerful projects Groundswell does all over the city.