Lower Manhattan’s Explorer In Chief | Downtown Alliance Explorer In Chief

Lower Manhattan’s Explorer In Chief

The Explorer In Chief contest was originally created at a time when COVID-19 didn't exist. Then the world changed overnight, and so did the job.

As a result, Explorer In Chief Josh Katz will embark on a revised mission for the Downtown Alliance — one that includes documenting the recovery of a major urban neighborhood through the stories of Lower Manhattan's people and businesses.

Katz is a savvy street photographer who has captured the attention of over a half-million followers since uploading his first video at age nine. 


Out of 716 applicants, 15 semi-finalists were selected.  

More than 700 videos were created by potential Explorers in 40 states and 30 countries across the globe. Among them were inspiring tales of travel, triumph and perseverance. Meet the top 15 semi-finalists.     

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Valerie Joy Wilson, aka Trusted Travel Girl, finalist
Molly McDonald, finalist
Jená Utley
Charlie Stephens
Ciarán Spence
Courtney Payne
Starla Stampaco
Tiara Kelly
Marissa Papapietro
Dakota Beard
Joshua Morales
Tre Jackson
Aaron Shoemaker
Jen Nilsson