Alexis Mena is a two-spirited multidisciplinary farmer, chef , and artist, born in Brooklyn, NY and identifies as Afro-Taino. Their roots After graduating high school Alexis skipped college and obtained his real estate license and practiced both real estate and mortgage finance until 2008. In 2011, Alexis and a team of artists opened Kustom Journey, a business incubator that served the Bushwick and Bedstuy artists and the local community as an event space and consignment-based retail shop.
In 2014 Alexis served as the project manager of Mi Tierra, a grassroots initiative that transformed a 10,000 sq. ft. vacant lot in Brooklyn into a vibrant green space which was built with sustainable practices, and included a miniature golf course, a stage, zen garden, and an outdoor gallery. Since 2010 Alexis has co-organized several placemaking projects that range from the creation of four community gardens ( Including El Jardin Del Pueblo, Ashford Farmer’s Garden, Ujima Farmer’s Garden and Success Garden), two school gardens ( Juan Morel Campos Middle School, & Eagle Academy), over a dozen community murals, several professional development trainings directed at the creative community, as well as anti-gentrification and immigration reform actions throughout NYC.
For the past 8 years, Alexis has focused on facilitating programming and workshops with a focus on culturally-centered urban farming practices, nutritional culinary arts programming, and public art curricula with the Brooklyn Museum, the MoCADA, Groundswell and a dozen other NPOs/Arts institutions around NY, MA, CA, Japan, and Holland. In 2017 Alexis serves as the Public Art Manager of Arts East New York managing several successful projects such as CivLabs, and curating the Arts ENY Gallery space. Alexis is also the Creative Director of Artrepreneurship, an art and design worker-owned Co-op.
Alexis is the co-founder of Back to Black, a Farming and Wellness Worker-owned Cooperative. Alexis currently manages a Hydroponic farm located inside of Brownsville Collaborative Middle school for Teens for Food Justice and Brownsville Multiservices & Family Health Centers In 2019 Alexis launched the first Aquaponic Farm and Food Hub located in East New York, Brooklyn, based in principals of food sovereignty and green job creation. Transforming two 5000 sq Ft buildings into a closed-loop Food Hub that follows a hub and spoke model, growing over 400 lbs of food and fish