COPE NYC Founder and Director, Vida Sabbaghi is a curator, historian, designer, and educator with 15 years of experience in the arts. COPE NYC provides an innovative approach to promoting social relations through art and design, community art projects, exhibitions, conferences, and round table discussions; and works with senior citizens’ centers, rehabilitation centers, K-12 public and private schools, and post-secondary schools.  

Vida Sabbaghi completed two years of Industrial Design and earned her Bachelor Degree in Theory, Criticism, and History of Art, Design, and Architecture at Pratt Institute. She earned her Master’s Degree in Art & Design Education at Pratt  Institute, and graduated with distinction. She is the recipient of The Pratt Circle  Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement and the Certificate of Excellence Award for Outstanding Merit in Graduate Art Education. She currently works at the Queens Museum as an Art Access Educator, and has curated exhibits at the Queens Museum, Macy Art Gallery at Teachers College, Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning, and the Skylight Gallery in NYC. As an art consultant for AHRC NYC, she creates digital art inventory management and art programming, and curates group exhibitions. With COPE NYC, Vida created several partnerships including Queens Public Libraries, museums, schools, collegiate institutions, and senior centers where her teaching artists facilitate art and design programming which she developed.   

Also under COPE NYC and its travelling exhibit, An Inclusive World, she initiated several local, national, and international partnerships, including Kim Foster Gallery, Ricco Maresca Gallery, Adelson Galleries, Queens Museum, American Folk Art Museum, Valerie Goodman Gallery, and InSEA. Her most recent installation, An Inclusive World Project, at Times Square Port Authority was featured on Good Day New York. Vida is a leader on matters of equity, inclusion, and social justice. She is an educator who works with children and their families. She designs curricula for all ages including students with varying emotional,  physical, cognitive, and intellectual abilities.  

Inspired by COPE NYC’s mission to bridge communities, Vida organized the 2015 USSEA (United States Society for Education Through Arts) Regional Conference and curated an exhibition of Repsychling - both at the Queens Museum. The conference brought together local, national, and international presenters and attendees. In 2016, USSEA awarded Vida the USSEA Ziegfeld Service Award;  and the New York City Art Teachers Association awarded Vida the Art Advocate of the Year Award. Vida is a member of the Queens Council of the Arts and the NYC Museum Educators Roundtable.  

In 2016 she curated a group exhibit, Overlap: Life Tapestries at A.I.R. Gallery which will travel to Penn State in 2018. She is also the Director of COPE NYC’s first artists in residence project at the historic Pfizer building in Brooklyn with a theme of adaptive reuse. She invited college students and commercial artists to participate in this multitiered project which culminated in a group exhibition in November 2016. In conjunction with the other Pfizer projects, Vida also presented COPE NYC’s An Inclusive World Project’s third major installation of Repsychling.