founder & executive creative director
Born in Sant’Arsenio, one of the eighteen towns that make up the Vallo di Diano, Pietro Costa planted the seed of a future BACAS when in 2003 he realized a major installation of his work titled Torri e Colonne di Luce at the Certosa di San Lorenzo in Padula and invited the poet Denver Butson to contribute his poetry and collaborate on the project. Pietro Costa immigrated with his family to New York in 1972. He has been making art since 1978 and has shown his work in one-person and group exhibitions in the U.S. and in Italy, and in two exhibitions (2003 and 2006) at the Certosa di San Lorenzo in Padula. His work is part of the Guggenheim collection and has been reviewed by Italian and American publications. Costa has worked alongside numerous artists and curators (1982-1996) at the Guggenheim Museum installing hundreds of exhibitions world-wide as well as working on the realization of the Guggenheim Museum SOHO and Guggenheim Bilbao, and spent three years with Richard Serra assisting him in the production, engineering, and exhibition of his large-scale works. He received a New York Foundation for the Arts Individual Artist Fellowship in 2003, the same year he founded Luquer Street Projects, a not-for-profit - 501(c)3 - to promote interdisciplinary activities among artists, ultimately inspiring the founding of BACAS.
creative director of literary programs - usa - 2018
Denver Butson co-founded the literary programming for BACAS. From 2003-2018 he was involved in conceiving and strategizing BACAS’s evolving model and co-curated the literary programs of its launch in 2018. He stepped down in the Fall of 2018. Butson has published four collections of poetry, including the sum of uncountable things in 2015 and has a fifth book, The Alibis of Scarecrows, slated for publication in 2018. Over one hundred poems have appeared in literary journals, including The Yale Review, The Ontario Review, and others, and high-profile literary anthologies, including those edited by Billy Collins, Garrison Keillor, and Agha Shahid Ali. Regularly featured on National Public Radio, Butson has been thrice-nominated for the Pushcart Prize and is a New York Foundation for the Arts Individual Artist Fellow. He frequently collaborates with musicians, visual artists, filmmakers, actors, and others in an attempt to bridge gaps between artists working in different disciplines and in order to bring poetry off the page. Butson has taught literature and creative writing for universities, for public grade schools, and for his own writing studio, WritersWriting, in New York City. He has curated art exhibitions, reading series, and salons, and has served as Creative Director for non-profit arts' organizations. He lives with his wife and daughter in Brooklyn, New York.
tiziana rinaldi castro
creative director of literary programs
Tiziana Rinaldi Castro is an Italian novelist, short story writer, poet, and Classics professor and co-founder of literary programming for BACAS. A native of Sala Consilina, one of the eighteen towns that make up the Vallo di Diano, Tiziana has lived in New York since 1984. She teaches Ancient Greek Literature at Montclair State University. She has published three novels in Italian, Il lungo Ritorno (2001), Due cose amare e una dolce (2007), e Come della rosa (2017), a book of poetry, Dai morti (1992), and several short stories in literary anthologies both in Italy and the US. She has just completed her first novel in the English language. Tiziana is married, has two daughters, and lives in Brooklyn, New York.
creative director of architecture programs
Rossella Siani is an architect with primary interests in digital fabrication and parametric design and co-founder of architecture programming for BACAS. A PhD in Architectural Technology, she is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Naples Federico II and is the associate editor of the international scientific journal SMC (Sustainable Mediterranean Construction). Rossella’s work has transcended the strict confines of the “architecture” field and has expanded into inter-disciplinary channels of design and systems analysis, often taking the forms of innovative furniture, systemic installations and cross-genre work. Rossella is the author of several scientific articles in prestigious journals and international conferences. She is currently working on the VAHA project, to enhance the digital fabrication: www.vaha.it.
Brandon Ross is a New York City-based guitarist/composer/singer/songwriter. As a performing and recording artist, Ross has collaborated with many innovative voices in modern music, such as Lawrence D "Butch" Morris, Wadada Leo Smith, Cassandra Wilson, Henry Threadgill, Me’Shell N’degeocello, Cassandra Wilson, Bill Frisell, Me'Shell N'degeocello, Arrested Development, Archie Shepp, Muhal Richard Abrams, and many others. Ross also leads For Living Lovers, his Chamber Music for Improvisers acoustic duo with acoustic bass guitarist, Stomu Takeishi, and is a co-leader of the power trio Harriet Tubman (with bassist Melvin Gibbs and drummer JT Lewis). Ross is a 2014 Chamber Music America New Jazz Works grantee, an ASCAP Foundation commissioned composer, Rockefeller Foundation MAP Grant recipient, NYSCA Composition grant recipient, and ASCAP writer and publisher member.
Born in Naples, photographer Laura Razzano is a graduate of IED (the Istituto Europeo di Design) in Rome. She spent 9 years covering international events, as a photojournalist. Among her assignments were the war in the former Yugoslavia, the exodus in Rwanda, and the 2001 Israeli election. Laura moved to NYC in 2002, after covering the 4th of July (American Independence Day) celebration following the attacks of September 11, 2001. Her passion to tell stories through the camera steered Laura’s career towards work in social documentary, music projects and portraiture.
angelo a. costa
Born and raised in Brooklyn, Angelo is currently working in real estate and project management. He graduated from Stony Brook University with a degree in in oceanography and marine science, with a concentration on how marine ecosystems react to an array of anthropogenic impacts. After graduation Angelo worked with a not-for-profit in the New York City public schools, teaching environmental literacy and consciousness with particular focus on the effects of plastics pollution in marine ecosystems. After spending numerous summers visiting family in the Vallo di Diano , Angelo joins BACAS to deepen his love for the region and to be immersed in an environment striving to retain its history and ecologically-minded relationship to its rich natural resources and beauty.
A native of Brooklyn, Sophie is a graduate of MIT in Boston and has recently completed one year working in neuroscience labs in Switzerland and France. As she plans for her next step, she has assisted with curationand installation of photography exhibits for VESPA Projects Gallery in Brooklyn. Fluent in Spanish and French, Sophie now adding Italian to the languages she is learning. A lover of arts and literature, she is thrilled to be helping BACAS prepare for its July launch in Italy coordinating research, creating and executing website design, and developing and running administrative systems.