Derek hasn’t let degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering and Computer Science or years of IT and Business Process consulting sway him from his delight in teaching. He led the community in building the Asylasaur laser cutter and managed the Digital Fabrication Lab prior to taking the helm of the Asylum. As President and Executive Director he hopes to educate, inspire and enable the community while evolving business operations to ensure the long term success of the institution.
Derek has been a SCUBA instructor, award nominated set designer, film financier and world traveler and teaches a variety of Asylum classes.
Phone: 617-284-6878 x 102 | Email: president@
Office Hours: Wednesdays 4:30-6:30pm Sign up here!
Rob is an engineer, technician, and educator with a passion for fighting robots and clean aisles. He owns and operates Black Swan Robotics, LLC, and teaches several types of fabrication and digital design. Rob also competed on Comedy Central’s BattleBots three times, and has produced and run several robotics competitions (including several US FIRST Robotics competitions and a home-brewed robot combat event called Pound of Pain). Most recently, he worked at Paperless Parts and Rapid Sheetmetal, serving as an equipment technician and production engineer. He joined the Artisan’s Asylum team as Facilities Manager in March of 2013, and stepped up to take on additional executive and management functions as Operations Manager in April of 2014.
Phone: 617-284-6878 x 104 | Email: facilities@, maintenance@
Office Hours: Thursdays, 6-8pm. Sign up here!
Jessica Muise is a rockstar arts administrator, dance artist and educator interested in creating space for transformative educational experiences. As Member Services Manager, she is thrilled to provide the administrative and systems support that enables the membership to do what they do best: make. She has worked for almost ten years in administration and development for arts and social justice focused non-profits, including DNAWorks, Green Street Studios, OnStage Dance Company, Waltham Fields Community Farm and Permaculture FEAST. Her recent professional experience includes customer service, supplier operations and human resources for the Boston-based e-commerce start-up Wayfair, and operations management for the Massachusetts College of Art and Design’s Admissions Office. Outside of the Asylum, she is currently the artistic director of Intimations Dance and on the Artists Committee of National Choreography Month.
Phone: 617-284-6878 x 103 | email: member-services@
Office Hours: Wednesdays 6-8pm, every other Thursday 1:30-3:30pm and by appointment. Sign up here!
Judith Klausner is a Somerville MA artist and Arts Education Administrator with a love for small, intricate, and overlooked things. She received her degree in Studio Art from Wesleyan University in 2007 after constructing her thesis primarily out of insects, and has since continued to search the details of her surroundings for inspiration. Judith has worked in arts administration facilitating educational programing at a number of institutions in the Greater Boston Area, and is passionate about expanding access to innovative education. She enjoys playing with her food, both recreationally and professionally.
Phone: 617-284-6878 x 105 | email: teach@
Office Hours: Every other Tuesday, 5-6:30pm, by appointment: Sign up here!
Kate is honored by the opportunity to be joining the Artisan’s Asylum team as part-time Operations Coordinator – her passion for assisting people fulfill their higher potential is auspiciously aligned with the mission of the Asylum. There are many moving parts in the administration of the Asylum – her background of almost a decade of bartending in NYC informs her professional administrative skill set with paramount chaos management capabilities. Fellow inmates will recognise her from 2 years of regular Front Desk Volunteership and institutional membership within the Friendship and Unicorn Creative Collective. She has enjoyed taking many classes at AA including Jewelry, Watercolor, and Screenprinting. She’s assisted in representing the Asylum at the World Maker Faire 2014 (pictured – on top of the world), Amanda Palmer’s “The Art of Asking” book tour event in Boston last November as well as working the past in-house Open Studio and Science Fair events.
Derek Seabury, President
Jonathan Card, Treasurer
David Markowitz, Secretary
More information on current directors and board activities available On Our Wiki.
Emily Garfield, Director
Emily is a Somerville based artist who creates intricate maps of imaginary places that explore the origins of cities and the function of maps themselves. She received her BA in Visual Arts from Brown University, where she also pursued studies in the brain’s response to art and aesthetic beauty through the Cognitive Science department. She has participated in exhibitions throughout the greater Boston area as well as New York and Philadelphia. Her work is in the collection of the Kamm Teapot Foundation as well as numerous private collections. Emily was the 2014 coordinator of Somerville Open Studios.
Paul Kassebaum, Director
Paul is a member of Artisan’s Asylum, where he organizes public events such as the Autonomous Fighting Robots Design Challenge, creates 3D printed mathematical structures, and teaches classes such as Introduction to Robotic Control Systems with Arduino and Simulink. Outside of Artisan’s Asylum, he works at MathWorks to engage the worldwide maker community. He holds a Ph.D. in Physics, M.S. in Physics, and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, as well as a Bachelors of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering from the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art.
Tom Sanfilipo, Director (Chair)
Tom’s professional background is software engineering, where for over 20 years he managed groups of up to 50 engineers, and have lead collaborative software projects between as many as 15 universities concurrently. He was the CTO for the Ohio State University, a research scientist for the Open Software Foundation Research Institute, and most recently a development manager for several products in the Microsoft Office suite. As a member of the Asylum Tom has worked to restore a scanning electron microscope to working order.
Drew van Zandt, Director
A Somerville based engineer and an artist, Drew also serves on the Board of the Firefly Arts Collective. He enjoys teaching electronics classes to folks of all ages and volunteers for various charities including the Animal Rescue League. Drew is on the staff of the Arisia, a large local convention, and Pi-con.
William Zimmer, Director
Bill has a background is in math and computer science and studied at the Art Institute of Chicago whiletrying to figure what to be when he grew up. He build furniture and software with equal enthusiasm and is currently working on a robot that balances on a basketball. Bill has worked in different management roles in fortune 500 and smaller companies since the 1970’s and founded one of the pioneering Usability Research groups at Digital Equipment Corp. He feels his greatest accomplishment is one he had the least control of: his children and grandchildren.