Dr. Britta B. Wheeler, Ph.D. is the Founder and Executive Director of the Children’s Institute of Fashion Arts.


She holds a bachelor's in Textiles, Clothing and Design from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, a Master's of Fine Arts from Goddard College, and a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California at Santa Barbara.  She was the Faculty Fellow in Art Worlds at New York University's Draper Program, and has taught at the Art Institute of New York City, Hunter College, CUNY Guttmann, Monroe College, and New York Institute of Technology. 

Britta teaches both adults and children in the fields of sociology, culture, and fashion design.  Her vision for the CIFA stems from her unending curiosity about the relationship between art and society that is driven by her lifelong excitement for creativity and the processes involved in designing with textiles, color, fashion, art and costume. 

John Powell received his undergraduate degree in Art and Philosophy from Wesleyan University in 1985 and his Masters in Architecture degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1990.  He practiced architecture in Philadelphia, Hong Kong and New York for 25 years.  In 2015 he left the practice of architecture and joined the facilities department of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals in Tarrytown New York where he is leading efforts to create and manage accurate and up-to-date documentation of their facilities and to implement software to integrate that documentation with computerized facility management solutions.  John brings to the CIFA years of senior level project management experience, a broad outlook on world culture and social concerns and a long history of creative innovation.

KL Headshot.jpg

Kathryn Littlefield is a consummate maker and development professional.  She is currently consumed with homeschooling her bright young children while social distancing and will give us her real bio soon! A graduate of Bryn Mawr, Kate comes to the CIFA with a career in non-profit development in major New York City institutions such as the Guggenheim, the Brooklyn Historical Society, and the Queens Museum of Science.

Mary Grieco is an attorney and partner at the firm of Olshan Frome Wolosky LLP in New York City. Mary has been an attorney for thirty years and works in the fashion industry managing all aspects of “branding” and brand protection for fashion companies large and small.  She represents both the sellers and purchasers of intellectual property rights, and routinely negotiates and prepares all types of intellectual property agreements.  Mary started her career in Los Angeles, where she represented entertainment clients in their intellectual property matters and came to New York in 2000.

Mary is licensed to practice law in New York, California, and Washington D.C.  She is a member of Fashion Group International and the International Trademark Association.