This site was developed to help folks explore the varied wanderings of an avid multi-tasker. Over the past thirty years, Rees Shad has wandered the world exploring his creative interests and developing ways in which others could do the same. From singer/songwriter and graphic designer, to installation artist and game developer, to educator and curriculum designer; he is always elbow deep in building things and expressing himself... and if given the slightest encouragement will drag all innocent bystanders along for the ride.
A number of audacious collaborations are ongoing...
Rees' work designing and implementing the Media Design Programs for CUNY’s Hostos Community College has yielded some incredible results. The programs in animation, Audio, game design, and graphic design are incredibly popular, and provide artistically motivated students with a trajectory toward success in the related fields that combine a student’s passions with a viable vocation.
These successes inspired Rees to organize Shad & Associates. The group is currently developing media and design curriculum for several colleges and after school programs as well, with a directive to develop more holistic education experiences rooted in cross disciplinary explorations of STEM through the arts - STEAM.
Much of this has also been inspired by his work with colleagues Professor Catherine Lewis and the Colmena Design Group (formerly Hostos Hive Cooperative) on the National Science Foundation funded Game-Framed Math & Science Initiative. Here the professors developed systems of incorporating game play and game design with traditional teaching methodologies in science and mathematics to engage math and science phobic high school and college students with the disciplines. The project has involved the production of 14 tabletop games (board, card, and LARP games), as well as associated syllabi and curriculum.
The resulting games can be downloaded as PDFs and printed by educators, parents, and students for free, but full production versions are on sale at GameCrafter. Proceeds from sales of these units will benefit the Ravenfox Scholarship fund that Rees started at Hostos Community College.
The Colmena Design group went on to incorporate and is directed by and made up of a number of Hostos Media Design Program alumni. Colmena has developed a number of interesting tabletop games focusing on education since their projects with the NSF, and the group is one of the first participants in another of Rees’ projects - the Hostos Media Business Incubator (HMBI). The Incubator is located in the South Bronx, just blocks from the Hostos campus, and was developed in part with help from a NY State 20/20 grant funded to Hostos Community College, Lehman College, and the MaCauly Honors College.
On the creative front, Rees has just released a new album ‘Songs for Isaac’ recorded with the help of his collaborator/son Dylan Shad, and mixed by Joe Blaney. Music pals Tony Aielo, John Arrucci, Edwin Garcia, Don Harris, Juliet Kleber, Rob Kovacs, Robert Metcalf, & Jay Turner all joined forces to help get the music done.
Rees is hard at work arranging an opera called ‘The Watcher,’ which he will be work-shopping with eight vocalists and a string quartet soon, and his new Unstrung Band is a powerhouse group of musicians featuring only horns, drums, and percussion behind a slew of new Rees Shad songs. You can get the latest on these projects at the Facbook page for Rees Shad Music
When he has a couple of moments in between all these projects, he can be found tinkering in his basement building a wide array of acoustic and electric instruments as well as custom hand wired amplifiers. Someday when he “retires,” perhaps Roeboy Guitars & Amplifiers????
Currently Acting Chair of the Humanities Department at Hostos Community College, where he is a tenured associate professor teaching game design, music production, and media history courses. His focus is on developing new curriculum and pedagogy to engage students of all ages in STEAM.
Shad is also a creative. A songwriter, designer, and filmmaker, he produces a wide array of projects out of his Stressless Sound Recording Studio. He is constantly exploring unique intersections of his varied interests in the arts, design, communication, gaming, and academics.