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  FY17 NYSCA Panelists

If you are a panelist and would like to inform NYSCA of any changes, please contact the webmaster.


Architecture + Design

Deborah Alden: Deborah Alden is the Managing Director at the Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator, an initiative launched by Pratt Institute to provide resources to designers to turn their ideas into successful businesses. With more than 15 years of experience as a designer, strategist, educator and intrapreneur, her work has ranged from innovation and brand consulting for Fortune 100 companies to launching new models and initiatives around design and entrepreneurship. At BF+DA Alden leads the mentorship program for designers. She has taught visual communication and human-centered design at universities in Mexico and Singapore, served as a Visual Information Specialist at the Smithsonian and worked for the firm ZGF Architects in Seattle as Business Development, Urban Designer and Architectural Programmer. Alden holds degrees in Architecture and Communication Design and was the Inaugural Chair for Pratt’s BFA in Visual Communication.

Sarosh Anklesaria: Sarosh Anklesaria is an architect and educator who maintains dual interests in architectural practice and research. Currently a Senior Architect at Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Anklesaria has also been an Assistant Professor of Architecture at Syracuse University’s School of Architecture. A practicing architect for almost 15 years, Anklesaria has worked in offices in Switzerland, the United States and India. He was the founding partner of the firm Ant Hill Design, a collaborative practiced based in Ahmedabad, founded upon winning the Mahatma Gandhi International University design competition. He worked as a senior architect with Skidmore Owings and Merrill, Chicago and was the project manager for Herzog and deMeuron’s Kolkata Museum of Modern Art (KMoMA). He has been an invited juror at Syracuse, Cornell, University of Pennsylvania, Pratt Institute and Temple Universities. His work with the artist Vasudha Thozhur has been exhibited at the Kunst Museum in Berne.

Michael Boodro: Michael Boodro is the editor in chief of ELLE DECOR, a position he assumed in August 2010, after serving as executive editor. Prior to joining ELLE DECOR, he served as editor in chief of Martha Stewart Living, Culture and Travel, and Garden Design. He was also an editor at The New York Times Magazine and was features editor of Vogue for 11 years. Boodro is the author of the ELLE DECOR book The Height of Style:  Inspiring Ideas from the World’s Chicest Rooms (Abrams). His articles have appeared in many publications, including The New York Times Magazine,Art News, Town & Country, and House Beautiful. Prior to his career in magazines he worked extensively in the non-profit art world, including stints at the Museum of Modern Art and the Grey Art Gallery of NYU. For 18 years he served on the board of the Housing Works Thrift Shops, acting as chairman for several years. Boodro holds a BA from Yale University in Art History.

Martin Hogue: Martin Hogue teaches landscape architecture in the College of Environmental Science and Forestry at the State University of New York, where he has worked since 2010. Trained as an architect and landscape architect, and working primarily with analytical drawings as a mode of inquiry, his research explores the notion of site as a cultural construction — specifically, the mechanisms by which locations become invested with the unique potential to acquire the designation of "site.” Hogue’s research has been supported with residencies at the MacDowell Colony, the Center for Land Use Interpretation, the Canadian Center for Architecture, and the University of Nebraska, where he served as Hyde Chair. He is the recipient of a NYSCA Independent Projects grant. His forthcoming book, Thirtyfour Campgrounds, will be published by The MIT Press in 2016. Hogue's work has been displayed in solo exhibits at over 25 venues across the United States.

Joyce Hwang: Joyce Hwang, AIA, NCARB, is an Associate Professor of Architecture at the University at Buffalo, SUNY, and the Director of Ants of the Prairie. She is a recipient of a 2014 Emerging Voices Award from the Architectural League of New York, a 2013 New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) Fellowship, grants from the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) and Awesome Without Borders, and a residency at the MacDowell Colony, where she was selected as a National Endowment for the Arts Fellow. Recent projects and writing have been featured Good, Praxis, Azure Magazine, Architect Magazine, AV Proyectos, Bracket, MONU, Volume Magazine, and Next Nature. Her projects were exhibited at the International Venice Architecture Biennale in both 2012 and 2014, and the International Architecture Biennale in Rotterdam in 2014. She is a co-organizer of the Hive City Habitat Design Competition and the 2012 Martell Symposium.

Julie Iovine: Architecture reporter, critic, editor, and author Julie Iovine writes the architecture column for The Wall Street Journal. From 2007 to 2012, she was executive editor of The Architect’s Newspaper, an award-winning news source in print and on the web with editions in New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. Iovine spent over a decade at the New York Times and the New York Times Magazine. Her books on design and architecture include Civic Action, Provoking Magic:  Lighting of Ingo Maurer, Michael Graves:  Design Portfolio, and Modern Americana.

Aidan O’Connor: Aidan O’Connor is the Director of Strategic Initiatives at AIGA, the professional association for design, where she leads national efforts including Women’s Leadership, Diversity & Inclusion and Design Ed K12. Before AIGA Aidan was a Design History consultant for Pernod Ricard in Paris, a Guest Curator for Vandalorum, Centrum for Konst och Design in Varnamo, Sweden. O’Connor has worked in a number of museums including the Museum of Modern Art where she was Curatorial Assistant in the Department of Architecture & Design. At the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum she assisted the Director of the National Design Awards and worked as a Curatorial Fellow in Product Design.

Alphonse Pieper, P.E.: Alphonse Pieper, P.E. is the Executive Director of Historic Ithaca where he previously served as the Director of Preservation Services. Pieper also worked as Program Manager for Significant Elements, the architectural salvage program at HI. Pieper established and managed his own Architectural Salvage Company, worked as an engineer both in Rochester and Seattle, and as a professional carpenter in Rochester for many years.

Warrie Price: Warrie Price is the President and Founder of The Battery Conservancy. She has led the redesign and rebuilding of the 25-acre park at the tip of Manhattan. Price spearheaded The Battery’s dramatic transformation through excellence and innovation, setting a new design standard for public space. In addition to her role as President of the Battery Conservancy, Warrie serves as New York City’s Battery Administrator and New York State’s Harbor Park Director. Previously, she was Founding Director of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and has championed the protection of New York waterfronts through serving on the Manhattan Borough President’s Waterfront Taskforce and on the boards of Scenic Hudson and the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance. Price began her career in government in U.S. Foreign Service as Assistant Cultural Attaché in Santiago, Chile.

Denise Ramzy: Denise Ramzy is the Founder/Principal of Field Dimension, a research and design practice focused on sustainable design and redevelopment. She is also a Lecturer in Cornell University’s Department of Design and Environmental Analysis. Ramzy helped launch Parsons Paris, and has taught at Parsons The New School, Pratt Institute, New York University and Columbia University. As a Project Manager/Designer for Pentagram she worked with clients including Philip Johnson’s Glass House. Ramzy is accredited by the U.S. Green Building Council as LEED AP BD+C.

Susana Tejada: Susana Tejada is Curator for Frank Lloyd Wright’s Darwin D. Martin House. Previously she spent over ten years as the Head of Research Resources for the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. Tejada has also worked with the SUNY-Buffalo Libraries, the New York State Documentary Heritage Program, the University of Michigan’s Bentley Historical Library, the University of Southern California’s Department of Special Collections and the New York Public Library’s Manuscripts and Archives Division. A graduate of the Getty Leadership Institute’s Next Generation Program, Tejada is active with a number of professional organizations including the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy.

Erin Tobin: Erin Tobin is the Preservation Director at the Preservation League of NYS, where she has worked for the past 8 years with increasing responsibility. She was the past Executive Director of the James Marston Fitch Charitable Foundation, Director of Preservation Services at the Historic Albany Foundation, Manager of Grants and Technical Services at the New York Landmarks Conservancy, Preservation Planner for the Massachusetts Historical Commission and architectural staff for Vitetta, a historic preservation studio in Philadelphia, PA. Tobin has served on the Board of Directors for the Association for Preservation Technology, Northeast Chapter and held the position of Vice-President for three years. She received an MS in Historic Preservation from the University of Pennsylvania.

Frampton Tolbert: The Director of Development and Communications for CUP – the Center for Urban Pedagogy – Frampton Tolbert has worked for more than 15 years with arts and architecture organizations. Previously, he was the Deputy Director of the Historic Districts Council, the advocate for New York City’s historic neighborhoods and worked as an Associate Campaign Manager at the Brooklyn Museum and as Membership Associate at the Philips Collection in Washington, D.C. Tolbert is on the board of the Victorian Society in New York and Vice President of the Recent Past Preservation Network. He is the recipient of a NYSCA Independent Projects grant for documentation of regional and vernacular modern architecture in Queens.

Sandra Wheeler: Sandra Wheeler is the Co-Director and Founding Partner of Matter Practice, a firm which encompasses architecture, exhibition design, installations, furnishings and proposals for civic engagement within a public environment. Current projects for Matter Practice include the design of the permanent exhibition “In Pursuit of Freedom,” and Bloomcanopy, an urban shade structure in Phoenix, AZ. Wheeler previously served as Designer and Project Architect for Anderson Architects; as a Designer and Junior Architect for Christoff: Finio Architecture, both in New York and as a Project Architect, Designer and Fabricator for Cranbrook Architecture Office in Bloomfield Hills, MI.

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Arts Education

Elizabeth Bennett: Elizabeth Bennett is a dramaturg, arts education manager, journalist, and arts administrator. She currently works as the Associate Dir. of Institutional and Foundational Relations at Columbia Univ. School of the Arts. She was formerly Manager of Institutional Giving at Park Avenue Armory and held the position of Grants Manager (Foundations) at 92nd Street Y. From 2006-2012, she was the Director of the Program Services Unit in the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs where she was part of the team managing the application process to distribute annually approx. $31M in public funds to cultural organizations throughout NYC. She was the primary manager of and a strong advocate for the Cultural After-School Adventures Program, through which $5.1M was awarded annually to cultural organizations providing cultural after-school activities at 255 schools in all five boroughs.

Cliff Bird: Cliff Bird has been the principal (and remains so) of the Abram G. Lansing School, an arts-rich elementary school on James Street in Cohoes, NY. Over his 25-year tenure, the school has developed deeper relationships with arts institutions throughout the capital district. As New York schools have been asked to focus more and more on standards and assessments, this school has realized the importance of integrating the arts. Cliff has been a speaker advocating the arts in education in a variety of venues.

Kathleen Christie: Kathleen A. Christie joined Bethel Woods Center for the Arts in Sullivan County in the fall of 2014, bringing with her nearly two decades of experience in the educational and arts education fields by both a practitioner and an administrator. Inspired by time spent teaching children and adults, from Boma N’Gombe, Tanzania to Harlem, New York, she is driven to instill high expectations both from and for the communities she works by strengthening systems, through evaluation and development, and empowering individuals. She has extensive experience building collaborative approaches, with partners ranging from the Brooklyn Public Library to Mannes College of The New School, from UPS to UPI, from the Federal Office of Juvenile Justice to the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation to ensure the educational needs of all are met. She has presented at conferences throughout the United States, played a role in national and regional advocacy efforts.

Jennifer Clarke: Jenny Clarke, Managing Director of the NYC Arts In Education Roundtable since January 2014, is an arts administrator, development consultant and grant making professional with broad experience in NYC arts. Organizations she has worked with include Symphony Space, Queens Museum of Art, Chamber Music America, and Girls Write Now, among others. She has served on panels for the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, where she also assisted on panelist placement in spring 2012 and 2013. Jenny is also founding Executive Director of a successful ongoing music organization. She has a Masters from NYU Gallatin School of Individualized Study and a B.A. in Music and English from Leeds University, U.K.

Eric Tyrone Crittenden: Eric Crittenden is quickly emerging as one of Buffalo’s premier educators. He’s done everything from puppetry and acting to writing sound tracks and producing records and events, and has even served as an adjunct professor. Eric’s journey into education began in the 1990's when he was asked to fill in for a friend in a bind at the Daniel Webster Magnet School in New Rochelle while on tour with the jazz band The Waz in New York City. In 2003, Eric co-founded the IMAGE Urban Arts Workshop, a life-mentoring program built on a bed of hip-hop music. Since then, his dedication as a teaching artist, a New York State certified teacher, and a student advocate has enabled him to work with some of the most cutting-edge cultural leaders of the region.

Sean Donaher: As Executive Director and Curator of CEPA Gallery, Sean Donaher manages a highly regarded exhibition and residency program that brings together the brightest local and international contemporary artists, as well as an incredibly vibrant year-round education program that serves over 1,000 children through extended engagement in-school, after-school, and summer programs. Mr. Donaher has also held the position of Executive Director/Curator of Big Orbit Gallery in Buffalo since 1995. Big Orbit is a 20-year old not-for-profit multidisciplinary art center with nationally known programs in visual arts and an internationally known experimental music program called Soundlab. He has also sat on a number of boards and panels including the Visual Arts Panel at the New York State Council on the Arts (Chair - 2007).

Jessica Fenster-Sparber: Jessica Fenster-Sparber is a literacy professional working with incarcerated and detained youth in New York City. Jessica has Co-Founded the Nonprofit Literacy for Incarcerated Teens, and has spent a number of years developing and providing stewardship for partnerships between an NYCDOE school program and arts organizations in NYC. She holds Masters degrees in Teaching and Adolescent Literacy from The New School and City College and works as a School Librarian at Passages Academy.

Reg Flowers: Reg Flowers has been a theater professional and teaching artist since 1987. He’s done plays across the US, on and off- Broadway. He’s also made several guest starring television appearances. As a director he’s worked in NYC and at Freedom Theater in his hometown of Philadelphia. Reg is also a produced playwright, a producer in his own right and is the founder of Falconworks Artist Group a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) that uses popular theater techniques to build capacities for civic engagement and social change. In 2007 He received the BAX10 Award for Arts Education. Since 2009 Reg has been a Theater of the Oppressed practitioner, working in collaboration with theater of the Oppressed Laboratory, Theater of the Oppressed New York, Julian Boal and other TO practitioners from around the world. Reg is currently a faculty member at Montclair State University in the Department of Theater and Dance and has been a guest teacher and lecturer at Pace University among others.

Wéma Harris: Wéma Harris is an access programs coordinator, museum educator and performing artist. Wéma manages access initiatives and develops programs supporting children of all abilities at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum. Ms. Harris served as the project manager for the Museum’s Sensory Room, which opened in October, 2012, and currently facilitates initiatives for children of all abilities throughout the museum. Ms. Harris developed new Family Access Programs and school programs in the Sensory Room. She also collaborated with community partners to host a widely successful annual museum-wide event at BCM, I Can! Kid-Abilities Day. She has presented for the Leadership in Arts and Disabilities Conference in Chicago, Accessibility in Practice at MoMA and at NYCMER’s Annual Conference, discussing the Brooklyn Children’s Museum’s Sensory Room and Access Initiatives. A deep love for the arts has brought her talents to audiences around the United States as well as abroad.

Sobha Kavanakudiyil: Sobha Kavanakudiyil has a strong commitment to quality and accessible arts education. She is a faculty member in The Graduate Program in Educational Theatre at The City College of New York where she enjoys teaching and managing the Harlem Children’s Theatre Festival for the Harlem community. Sobha has been the recipient of the Colin Powell Fellowship in Service Learning at City College. She is on the Board of Directors for the New York City Arts in Education Roundtable where she is a Co-Chair for today’s one day event, the Face to Face Conference, the Teaching Artist Affairs Committee and the Diversity Task Force; Board of Directors for the Association of Teaching Artists; and President of the Board of Directors for Spellbound Theatre (NYC’s only theatre company dedicated to theatre for the very young). She has been a presenter at conferences including:  Face to Face, AATE, APAP, NJEA Convention, and NYU Educational Theatre conferences to name a few.

Jennifer Koch: Jennifer Koch, the Executive Director of the Community Music School of Buffalo, is a successful and knowledgeable non-profit professional with sixteen years comprehensive experience encompassing leadership roles in the region’s cultural, health services and higher education environments. Extensive and effective experience building constituency relations, representing an organization and its goals to the public, and managing a staff with a variety of responsibilities. Additional attributes that would bring value include outstanding communication and interpersonal skills, a comprehensive understanding of the role of Foundations in non-profit support, and a proven ability to create strategic partnerships to achieve institutional success.

Jeff Langley: Jeff Langley, Professor of Music Emeritus at Sonoma State University (1997-2014), Chair/Director of SSU’s Departments of Performing Arts and founding Artistic Director of its new Donald and Maureen Green Music Center in California’s Sonoma County wine region, is a composer, pianist, teacher and arts administrator with a broad experience that spans an unusually wide musical and theatrical spectrum. His varied history as collaborator/pianist with singer/activist Holly Near (1972-76; 1984), Juilliard graduate (B.M., 1979; M.M., 1980; D.M.A, 1984) and member of its Literature and Materials of Music faculty (1979-86), New York-based opera and music theatre composer, and Director of Entertainment for Knott's Berry Farm (1990-93) speak to his ongoing fascination with the American story as expressed in its culture, art and entertainment. His popular lecture course on American Music enjoyed the highest enrollment at Sonoma State University—700 students each academic year.

Patricia Lannes: Patricia Lannes has worked in the fields of visual literacy and museum education for over 20 years. She is the Founder and Director of CALTA21 (Cultures and Literacies through Art for the 21st Century) a model initiative originally funded by a National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS.) CALTA21 builds the capacity of art museums and community based organizations and higher education partnerships to engage and empower adult English language learners by strengthening their academic, social, cultural and civic capital. It was identified by the Center for the Future of Museums, a division of the American Association of Museums, as a replicable and self-sustaining model that addresses national demographic trends, can have national impact, and can be used by other institutions for improving services and performance. Through her work with CALTA21, Lannes was nominated for the White House Champion of Change Award.

Greg McCaslin: Greg McCaslin, for the past 35 years, has worked in education as a classroom teacher, a teaching artist and an arts administrator. Employers have included Lincoln Center Institute, NY Foundation for the Arts, the Center for Arts Education and the Roundabout Theatre Company.

Edgar McIntosh: Edgar McIntosh is a passionate advocate for meaningful arts integration in schools. He has worked as an elementary school teacher, middle school principal, instructional coach, and as K-12 Director of Instruction and Human Resources for The Briarcliff Manor Union Free School District. Through all his roles, he has celebrated the essential value of a well-rounded arts experience for all learners.

Geoffrey Navias: Geoffrey Navias has served as the Artistic Director of Open Hand Theater in Syracuse NY since 1982. He has performed in professional theaters in England, Russia, and Off-Broadway and has directed productions including The Magic Flute with Syracuse Opera and A Midsummer Night’s Dream with the Skomorokh Theater of Tomsk, Russia, being the co-recipient of Best Directors Award for this bilingual production at the 1994 International Puppet Festival of Siberia and the Near East. Geoffrey has written and directed over ninety original theater productions, with his most recent production to be premiered at the Mukamas 2014 International Puppet Theatre Festival in Tampere Finland this spring.

Alison Paul: Alison Paul has been involved in arts organizations since 1982. Her experience includes seven years as Exec. Dir. of the Pelham Art Center. She was Director of Ed. at the South Street Seaport Museum and the Hudson River Museum. She coordinated a NYSCA Empire State Partnership program that was a collaboration between an alternative high school and Soho arts organizations. In 2002, she founded and continues to run a summer arts camp which provides programming in viusal arts, music, theater and movement. She also co-founded an organization that provides private music lessons to underserved youth. She teaches grantwriting at Westchester Community College and has taught at the graducate level in museum education at The College of New Rochelle. She has been a grants panelist for ArtsWestchester, and managed their Arts Partners Challenge Grant program. She was a panelist for the 21st Century Community Learning Center grants. She is on the gallery committee for ARC of Westchester.

Lori Sherman: Lori Sherman has been involved in the arts and education arena throughout her career. She joined The Center for Arts Education in 2008 and since then has worked to devise, implement and assess programs and advocacy efforts. She began her career as a dancer with the New York City based Rod Rodgers Dance Company and as a teaching artist in schools and community centers. Following her years as a performer and educator, Sherman earned a Masters in Arts Administration from New York University, after which she joined the staff of the Off-Broadway WPA Theatre where she became Managing Director – producing more than 40 new American plays and musicals. Sherman has led the development efforts for Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and Eos Orchestra, and has consulted with The Joyce Theater, A.R.T. / NY, MCC Theatre, and The Museum of the History of Polish Jews as well as CAE. She currently serves on the Board of More Art and is a New York City public school parent.

Ellen Sinopoli: Ellen Sinopoli founded the Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company in 1991, after settling in the Capital Region from Boston and NYC. As the Artistic Director of ESDC, the resident company at The Egg Center for the Performing Arts in Albany NY, Sinopoli has choreographed over 70 new works and has received choreographic commissions from The Arts Center of the Capital Region The Egg, St. Cecilia Orchestra, Saratoga City Ballet, The Arts Center, Schenectady Museum, Schenectady Symphony Orchestra and Union College. Beyond her role as artistic director and choreographer, Ellen Sinopoli is also noted for her talents as a master teacher and for her efforts to educate young people about dance. She is on the teaching faculties of Russell Sage College. She has taught at Skidmore College, Siena College, Union College, Albany Berkshire Ballet, Saratoga City Ballet and Guilderland Ballet, among others.

Allita Steward: Allita Steward is an award-winning visual artist and production wardrobe specialist. Allita is a long-standing member of the Board of Directors for the Western New York Minority Media Professionals. In this capacity, she has helped to promote the restoration of the historic Broadway Theatre (anticipated completion fall 2015) and has co-produced television programming through youth mentoring. She is currently the organizer and Committee Chair for the 2015 Queen City Black Film Festival to be held on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. As a Co-founder of Wisteria School of Buffalo, she created Wisteria Art Gallery. The school's Distinguished Speaker Series brought International Parisian artist Nu Barreto to Buffalo, NY to take part in a 14-day residency program which was sponsored by the BENTEN Institute of Guinea Bissau.

Richard Stout: Rich Stout, Conductor, a resident of Washington Heights in NYC, has guest conducted on the “Friends and Enemies of New Music” series, and has been principal conductor of the Turnpike Camerata, conducting several world premieres. Guest conducting includes the Delaware Valley Philharmonic orchestra, the Adirondack Chamber Orchestra, Broadway Bach Ensemble and New York Symphonic Arts Ensemble in Manhattan. He has led the Cornerstone Chorale, a community-based chorus in Washington Heights, since 1996. In NY educational venues, Richard has guest conducted ensembles at the Lucy Moses School, and the Opus 118 Harlem School of Music, and is former conductor of the Third Street Music School Settlement Chamber Orchestra. He was conductor of the Sinfonia Orchestra of the Mannes College of Music Preparatory Division. Richard conducted the orchestras for pop legend Anne Murray at the National Arts Centre in Canada, and for Canadian jazz singer Holly Cole.

Jacqueline Terrassa: Jacqueline Terrassa has been the Managing Museum Educator for Gallery and Studio Programs at The Metropolitan Museum of Art since 2011. She currently serves as director of the National Art Education Association’s Museum Education Division, a term that concludes in spring 2015. She has led public programs at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; served as Head of Planning at the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; and worked in various leadership capacities at the David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art, University of Chicago. She has taught museum studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago; written and presented on art and art education; and served on advisory groups and panels for several distinguished agencies including the National Endowment for the Arts, the Illinois Arts Council, the MacArthur Foundation, and the Terra Foundation for the Arts.

Jason Yoon: Jason Yoon is the Director of Education at the Queens Museum (QM) in New York City where he oversees the museum's visual arts education programs both at the museum and in community settings around the borough of Queens. Jason also is an adjunct faculty member in Goucher College's MA in Cultural Sustainability program where he teaches a course on art and social change. Prior to joining QM, Jason served for five years as the executive director of New Urban Arts, a nationally recognized non-profit art studio and gallery for high school students and emerging artists in Providence RI. He was a teaching artist and museum educator at the Brooklyn Museum; founded and directed his own youth arts mentoring program 7ARTS which was featured on NY1 News; and worked as a grant writer and Development Associate for the DreamYard project. Jason is a proud graduate of Cooper Union's free visual arts high school outreach programs.

Elizabeth Zunon: Elizabeth Zunon was born in Albany, NY and grew up in the Ivory Coast (Cote d'Ivoire), West Africa. Surrounded by the bright,vibrant colors of everyday West African fabrics and tropical vegetation, Elizabeth’s love of color and pattern grew, lingered, and is a fixture today in all of her works in drawing, painting and illustration. After returning to the United States, Elizabeth attended the Rhode Island School of Design and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Illustration in 2006. Her illustrated picture book The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (Dial Books) was chosen as one of Amazon’s Best Children’s Books of 2012, among other awards. Elizabeth now lives in Albany, NY, where she explores a multicultural world through painting, beading, sewing, and collage:  in fine art paintings from her own imagination and published children's books where she brings to life others'stories.

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Dance

LaRue Allen: LaRue Allen, Executive Director, came to the Martha Graham Center in 2005 when she assumed responsibility for retiring a $5 million deficit and returning the Center to a sound financial footing. She accomplished these goals within two years of her arrival and turned her attention to building an effective plan for transforming the Martha Graham Dance Company into the leading repertory group it is today, increasing the budget by 200% and providing a successful structure for the creation of new work, important historical reconstruction, and an extensive touring program supported by earned income. Her principal accomplishments include rebuilding the Center’s Board of Trustees, attracting important funders, launching the largest dance archive in modern dance, and restructuring the Center’s historic School. She came to the Center from the North Carolina Dance Theatre where she created a new touring initiative and brought the company to New York’s Joyce Theater for the first time.

Bob Bursey: Bob Bursey is a seasoned arts manager with 17 years’ experience in contemporary dance in New York and abroad, including 10 years as the producer for Bill T. Jones, producing director of Dance Theater Workshop and New York Live Arts, production manager of the American Dance Festival, and production manager of the Pina Bausch company. Now Senior Producer of the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts in the mid-Hudson Valley, he focuses on the development and presentation of contemporary dance and theater while overseeing annual presenting seasons including opera, classical music, world music, and humanities events, including the acclaimed SummerScape festival.

Martín Goldin Santangelo: Martín Santangelo (Artistic Director) founded Noche Flamenca. He studied with Ciro, Paco Romero, El Guito, Manolete and Alejandro Granados. He has performed throughout Spain, Japan and North and South America, appearing with Maria Benitez’s Teatro Flamenco, the Lincoln Center Festival of the Arts and Paco Romero’s Ballet Espanol. He also appeared in Julie Taymor’s Juan Darien at Lincoln Center. He choreographed and performed in Eduardo Machado’s Deep Song. He choreographed a production of Romeo and Juliet at the Denver Theater Center. He has directed and choreographed Bodas de Sangre, The Lower Depths, La Celestina, A Streetcar Named Desire, amongst many other productions in Spain and Buenos Aires. Martín has been blessed to have worked with Lee Breuer, Luis Valdez and Jerzy Grotowski. He has collaborated with many, many artists, but his most fulfilling collaboration has been with his wife, Soledad Barrio and his two wild daughters, Gabriela and Stella.

Maura Keefe: Maura Keefe is a contemporary dance historian. In addition to being an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Dance at The College of Brockport, she is a scholar-in-residence at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, where she writes about, lectures on, and interviews artists from around the world. Based on these interactions with dancers and choreographers, she is working on a collection of essays on contemporary dance forms and cultures. Other research interests include the relationships between dance and sports. Ms. Keefe has given lectures at Princeton University, UCLA, the Goethe Institute, New York Live Arts, the Joyce Theatre, and New York’s City Center, and served on the board for the Congress on Research on Dance. She holds an M.F.A. in choreography and performance from Smith College and a Ph.D. in dance history and theory from University of California, Riverside. Ms. Keefe teaches dance history and theory and choreography.

John F. Meehan: John Meehan has been a member of the international dance world as performer, teacher, choreographer, adjudicator and artistic director for the past 46 years. Meehan studied at The Australian Ballet School, joined The Australian Ballet in 1970 and was promoted to Principal Dancer in 1974. John joined American Ballet Theatre as Principal Dancer in 1977 where he danced leading roles in all of the classics as well as contemporary works by many of the world’s leading choreographers. He was also a frequent guest artist with the New York City Ballet and the National Ballet of Canada. In 2005, John was invited to teach at Vassar College before traveling to Hong Kong where he was appointed Artistic Director of the Hong Kong Ballet in July 2006. He returned to Vassar in 2009 to join the faculty as Professor of Dance and Director of Vassar Repertory Dance Theatre. In 2013 Meehan was named to the Frances Daly Fergusson Chair in the Humanities at Vassar College.

Nicasio (Nicky) Paraiso: Nicky Paraiso, currently Programming Director for The Club at La MaMa and Curator for La MaMa Moves! Dance Festival celebrating its 11th season in May 2016, has been a downtown mainstay for the last four decades, whether as a champion and presenter of other artists' work as he often is now, as well as presenting his own complicated, intimate solo pieces, or collaborating with living legends of innovation and audacity like playwright/actor Jeff Weiss & visual artist Carlos Ricardo Martinez, composer Meredith Monk, or choreographer Yoshiko Chuma's School of Hard Knocks, among many others. His first professional job as an actor was at La MaMa in 1979 in Jeff Weiss's 5½ hour play, Dark Twist. He has performed with both Ma-Yi Theatre Company and National Asian American Theatre Company.

Jan Schmidt: Jan Schmidt has worked at the Jerome Robbins Dance Division of the NYPL for the Performing Arts for over 25 years, and was appointed as the chief curator in 2008. In this capacity, she provides the leadership, vision, and direction of the Dance Collection. Over the years, her duties have included overseeing and managing the acquisition, preservation and access policies; original documentations of hundreds of dance performances by companies ranging from ballet and modern dance to ethnic and social dance; and the organization and presentation of public events and programs. She has published several articles, served as a lecturer and panelist for numerous events, both nationally and internationally, and was the Chair of the Dance Heritage Coalition from 2012-2014. Ms. Schmidt holds an M.A. in Art from San Francisco State University and a B.A. in English from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Paul Scolieri: Paul Scolieri is an Associate Professor of Dance at Barnard. Paul's research interests include global dance studies, American modern dance history, movement theory and analysis, and performance studies. He is affiliated with Barnard’s Center for Critical Interdisciplinary Studies and the Department of Africana Studies, for which he served as Acting Director in 2007­08, and been on the boards of the Society of Dance History Scholars, the World Dance Alliance—Americas, and the Congress on Research in Dance. He has also served as a panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. In 2014, he was awarded the Oscar G. Brockett Book Prize for Dance Research for Dancing in the New World:  Aztecs, Spaniards, and the Choreography of Conquest. Professor Scolieri earned his B.A. (Dance & English) at Columbia College, Columbia University and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Performance Studies from Tisch School of the Arts, New York University.

Elizabeth Streb: Elizabeth Streb has dived through glass, walked down London’s City Hall, allowed a ton of dirt to fall on her head, and set herself on fire, among other feats of extreme action. She founded the STREB EXTREME ACTION COMPANY in 1985 and established SLAM (STREB Lab for Action Mechanics) in Brooklyn, NY in 2003. She has received numerous awards and fellowships including a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation ‘Genius’ Award in 1997, a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1987 and a Doris Duke Artist Award in 2013. In 2010, Feminist Press published her book, STREB:  How to Become an Extreme Action Hero. She is the subject of two recent documentaries:  Born to Fly, directed by Catherine Gund (Aubin Pictures) and OXD, directed by Craig Lowy, which follows STREB at the 2012 London Olympics. In the spring of 2015, Streb was the subject of Alec Wilkinson’s “Rough and Tumble” in The New Yorker magazine.

Denise Warner-Limoli: Denise Warner Limoli, an Associate Professor at Skidmore College, specializes in Classical Ballet training, repertoire and history. She has showcased her dancers in performances with the Skidmore Orchestra at the Zankel Music Center. Prior to Skidmore, Ms. Warner Limoli performed internationally as a featured dancer with American Ballet Theatre. She was also a regular ABT company teacher and an assistant to the Ballet Masters. Denise served as Ballet Mistress for several professional companies and was ballet faculty at both the University of Cincinnati College/Conservatory of Music and at the North Carolina School of the Arts. Since 1970, she has been Senior Ballet Mistress for the Nutmeg Ballet Conservatory in Connecticut. Ms. Warner Limoli has taught for the American Ballet Theatre Summer Intensive Program and the Kaatsbaan International Dance Center.

Edisa Weeks: Choreographer Edisa Weeks formed DELIRIOUS Dances to empower people through the immediacy of dance. Weeks creates intimate environments that merge theater with dance, to deliriously explore our deepest desires, darkest fears and dearest dreams. Edisa has a BA from Brown University, and received a full fellowship to attend New York University's TISCH School of the Arts, where she obtained an MFA in Choreography.

Kevin Wynn: Kevin Wynn is an Associate Professor at the Conservatory of Dance at Purchase College, and is also on the faculty of the Alvin Ailey/Fordham University BFA Program. He danced with Limon, Mel Wong, Daniel Nagrin, and Warren Spears, among others. His work has been performed at the Joyce, Danspace, Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors, Symphony Space, City Center, etc. He has taught and choreographed internationally.

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Electronic Media & Film

Nicole Fenichel-Hewitt: Nicole Fenichel-Hewitt is the Executive Director of Spark Media Project. Nicole brings a wealth of experience and expertise to her roles as the Chief Administrator of a community-based media arts/education organization. She has led Spark Media Project for the past eight years, where she has transformed the organization from a local, project based youth media collaborative to a full service regional, media education organization whose programs and partnerships extend to area school systems, libraries, colleges, and county government youth employment programs.

Renate Ferro: Renate Ferro is a trans-media, cross-disciplinary, conceptual artist who toggles between the creative skins of old and new technologies. Her hybrid artistic projects embrace physical, social and theoretical paradigms of the body. Her digital work has received fellowships and awards from New York State Council for the Arts, Women Direct, the Experimental Television Center, and the Mellon Central New York Humanities Corridor. Most recently her work has been featured at The Freud Museum (London), Brief Histories (the United Arab Emerites), The Dorksy Gallery (NY), The Hemispheric Institute and FOMMA (Mexico), and The Janus Pannonius Museum (Hungary), Hemispheric Institute and FOMMA (San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapis, Mexico). Free University of Berlin (Berlin), Chicago City Arts (Chicago), Tsing Hua University (Beijing China), Hang Zhou Museum of Fine Arts (China), LACDA (Los Angeles), AWOL Gallery (Toronto), and numerous galleries and museums across North America.

Anneka Herre: Anneka Herre is an Artist, Art Educator, and Curator. She is the Director of Urban Video Project at Light Work and teaches in the Transmedia Department at Syracuse University. She has a keen eye for what makes strong work and a healthy organization.

Kathy High: Kathy High is an interdisciplinary artist working in the areas of technology, science, speculative fiction and art. She produces videos and installations posing queer and feminist inquiries into areas of medicine/bio-science, and animal/interspecies collaborations. She hosts bio/ecology+art workshops and is creating an urban nature center in North Troy (NATURE Lab) with media organization The Sanctuary for Independent Media. High is Professor of Video and New Media in the Department of Arts, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY. Since 1988 High has taught video art and documentary production and theory at institutions and universities including the UCSD, School of Visual Arts, New York University, The School of Art at Cooper Union, Princeton University and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI). Now High's practice includes classes on art and biology, and working with living systems.

Athena C. Holbrook: Athena Holbrook is an audiovisual archivist dedicated to the history, presentation, and preservation of media and performance art. A graduate of the Moving Image Archiving and Preservation program at New York University, Athena has gone on to work with a variety of cultural heritage institutions, private art collections, and time-based media artists. She is the Collection Specialist in the Department of Media & Performance Art at the Museum of Modern Art.

Justine Nagan: Justine Nagan is the Executive Director of American Documentary, Inc., and an Executive Producer on its two signature series, POV (PBS) and America Reframed (World Channel in partnership with WGBH). POV is the longest running independent documentary series on television. She is a strong believer in the important role of public media in a democracy; diversity and independent voices in popular culture and of documentary as a tool for civic dialogue, new thinking and social change. Prior to coming to AmDoc, Justine led Kartemquin Films as Executive Director for seven years, as well as being an Emmy Award-winning Executive Producer on all KTQ films including Life Itself and The Interrupters by Steve James and The Trials of Muhammad Ali by Bill Siegel. Justine successfully transitioned to the ED role in a historic founder-led organization, and under her leadership the organization significantly expanded its programs to assist documentary filmmakers.

Kylie Pierce: Kylie Pierce has worked in the field of arts development since 2007, writing and reviewing various grant application as well as assisting others in their own grant writing. She has served on several decentralization grant panels for CNY Arts. Because of the current capital project that her organization is undertaking, Kylie has had extensive experience in various arts funding fields, and has written several grants resulting in 6-figure grant awards.

Scott F. Propeack: Scott Propeack is responsible for permanent visual arts and archival collections, all on-site and off-site exhibitions (including traveling exhibitions) and works on loan. He is also accountable for collections and acquisitions, and the Western New York Arts Legacy Project, in which the museum’s entire visual arts and archival collections are being brought online for full access by the public, at no cost to users (it also includes the Living Legacy component in which living artists help compile video, audio and other elements of their online autobiographies). Propeack also manages the curatorial department staff that includes nine staff members; together, they curate more than 20-24 onsite and offsite exhibitions in a full range of media every year. He also develops and manages the department’s budget and participates in donor development and fundraising around curatorial projects.

Wenhua Shi: Wenhua Shi is a New Media Artist, a NYFA fellowship recipient and member of the New Media Caucus. Wenhua creates audiovisual installations and various time based media (sound, film & video). His recent installation "Singing to the Sky" was awarded New York State Council on the Arts finishing grant. He also was a Juror for the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation in 2010.

Allita Steward: Allita Steward is an award-winning visual artist and production wardrobe specialist. Allita is a long-standing member of the Board of Directors for the Western New York Minority Media Professionals. In this capacity, she has helped to promote the restoration of the historic Broadway Theatre (anticipated completion fall 2015) and has co-produced television programming through youth mentoring. She is currently the organizer and Committee Chair for the 2015 Queen City Black Film Festival to be held on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. As a Co-founder of Wisteria School of Buffalo, she created Wisteria Art Gallery. The school's Distinguished Speaker Series brought International Parisian artist Nu Barreto to Buffalo, NY to take part in a 14-day residency program which was sponsored by the BENTEN Institute of Guinea Bissau.

Orinne JT Takagi: Orinne Takagi has been working as a filmmaker, sound recordist, teacher and as the production coordinator/business manager of Third World Newsreel for two decades. Orinne has completed 12 films, of which 2 aired on POV, another on PBS Select, 2 on local WNET and all are in distribution. She has several in production at this time, is adjunct professor at the City College of NY and SVA in film/media and is also currently serving as the interim executive director of Third World Newsreel (Camera News Inc.)

Rose Vincelli-Gustine: Rose Vincelli Gustine has been a vital member of the IFP Programming staff since 2007, serving on the selection committees for all IFP's programs:  for documentary & narrative feature works in progress, as well as for screenplays. Rose previously managed grants for IFP, including grant partnerships with Calvin Klein, the Fledgling Fund, and the Adrienne Shelly Foundation. She managed IFP's Fiscal Sponsorship program from 2008-15. Rose serves on the selection committee for the Venice Biennale Cinema College, and previously, for the Southern Circuit Tour & the Silverdocs Festival. She is an ideal candidate for the NYSCA film & media arts grant selection, has a thorough knowledge of independent film, is a clear-headed events producer so therefor knows the value of a grant and how to allocate it, and is a champion of filmmakers and artists.

Jenni Wolfson: Jenni Wolfson is the Executive Director of Chicken & Egg Pictures, which supports women non-fiction filmmakers whose artful and innovate storytelling catalyzes social change. Jenni was previously the Managing Director of WITNESS, the international human rights video advocacy organization co-founded by musician Peter Gabriel. She has worked for UNICEF, protecting the rights of children affected by armed conflicts and natural disasters. She has also served in numerous posts around the world for the UN, including the UN International Civilian Mission in Haiti and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Rwanda as a human rights investigator. Jenni wrote and still performs a solo play, RASH, about her experiences as a human rights activist. Jenni has a Masters Degree in Human Rights and an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Strathclyde.

Rebecca Ruige Xu: Rebecca Ruige Xu currently teaches computer art and animation as an Associate Professor at Syracuse University. She received a M.F.A. in Computer Graphics from Syracuse University, NY; and a B.S. in Industrial Design from Beijing Institute of Technology, China. She also studied Cinematography at Beijing Film Academy. She has worked professionally in the fields of computer animation, film visual effects, digital imaging, web design and user interface design in China and the United States. Her artwork and research interests include experimental animation, visual music, artistic data visualization, interactive installations and virtual reality. Her work has been included in many exhibitions and won awards in both the US and abroad. She also served three years as a panelist on the Electronic Media Arts Advisory Panel for the Missouri Arts Council.

Aminah Yoba: Aminah Yoba has had many years of experience in the production and management of film and media. Aminah stays current with practitioners in the field, particularly independent films and documentaries, and with emerging technology developments. For the past 10 years, she has been a Program Officer at UMEZ, where she has demonstrated excellent skills at grant development, financial analysis and grant management.

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Facilities

Rebecca Buntrock, P.E.: Rebecca Buntrock, P.E., LEED AP BD+C, is a Senior Engineer with Robert Silman Associates, where she works as a project engineer specializing in historic structures. Buntrock served as the Silman Fellow with the National Trust for Historic Preservation where she produced conditions surveys and feasibility studies for Trust properties nationwide. In New York State some of her work has included a structural study for the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, structural investigation for the New York Public Library and exterior facade survey for the New York Architectural Terra Cotta Works Building. She is a licensed structural engineer.

Keri Butler: Keri Butler has nearly 20 years experience as an arts administrator in New York and Chicago. For the last ten years, she has worked closely with New York City agencies on the development and design of capital projects with a particular focus on cultural institutions. She also works closely with various agencies to conserve the City's art collection, ranging from the City Hall portrait collection, to WPA abstract murals, to the Central Park Obelisk. Extremely knowledgeable and well-spoken about art and art history, Keri serves as an advisor for the City's Percent for Art artists selection process and collaborates closely with Public Art Fund and Creative Time on temporary exhibitions in and around City Hall.

Elizabeth Chaney: Elizabeth Chaney has taught theatre design and technology at Borough of Manhattan Community College/CUNY for over ten years, as both an adjunct and a full time professor. She has just received tenure and promotion to Associate Professor. Prior to this, she was the Technical Director for the BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center and a freelance lighting technician. Her twenty year design career has taken her to such diverse places as San Francisco, Italy, Alaska and New York City, where she currently resides. Her designs have been seen at The Central Park Zoo Wildlife Theater, Abingdon Theatre, Roulette, The Whitney Museum, The Alaska Theatre of Youth, The New Orleans Shakespeare Festival and the SconfinArti Festival in Bolzono, Italy. In 2012, Elizabeth adapted, designed and produced Dark Hollow, an Appalachian Woyzeck at the New York International Fringe Festival. Elizabeth holds a BFA and an MFA from Tulane University in New Orleans.

Kyle Chepulis: Kyle Chepulis is the Founder and Principal Designer for Technical Artistry. Chepulis works as a set and lighting designer on theatrical productions and events. He created the production design of the first Tribeca Film Festival, and is a co-founder and designer for The Flea Theater in Tribeca. Chepulis has been a lighting designer for a number of theaters and museums across the country. He has experienced as a panelist, including service for New York City’s Department of Cultural Affairs.

Tammis Groft: Tammis K Groft is the Executive Director of the Albany Institute of History and Art, where she has worked for nearly 40 years. As Deputy Director and previously Chief Curator Groft was involved in the museum’s major capital expansion and collections storage improvements. She serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University at Albany and is a board member of the Williamstown Art Conservation Center.

Mark Hage: Mark Hage, P.E. is the Principal of Hage Engineering, a structural engineering firm which has completed many projects for arts organizations including Lincoln Center, the Guggenheim Museum, Isamu Noguchi Museum and Sculpture Center. Hage’s firm has collaborated with leading architects and artists and won multiple American Institute of Architects (AIA) and Society of American Registered Architects (SARA) awards. He lectures on structural systems at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design and at Yale University. He is a critic on sustainability at Columbia University and a visiting critic at Cornell University. He is also an adjunct professor at New York University. Hage is also a visual artist.

Debra Inwald: Debra Inwald, AIA, LEED AP is the Founder and Principal of Works-in-Progress Associates, a firm that offers comprehensive owner's representative and technical assistance services. A New York State registered architect, Inwald has been a Project Manager for many non-profit organizations including strategic design planning for the Brooklyn Children's Museum and Jamaica Performing Arts Center; she has also led workshops at the Louisiana Council on the Arts, the Nonprofit Finance Fund, and the Design and Change Symposium at Parsons The New School of Design. A former Project Manager for the Division of Design and Construction, New York City Courthouses, Inwald is experienced in different stages of design and construction.

Warren Antonio James: Warren Antonio James was born in Arecibo, Puerto Rico. Warren was educated at Cornell University where he received his Bachelors Degree in Architecture, and at Columbia University where he received his Masters Degree in Architecture and Building Design. He also studied architecture design at Harvard University and at the Ecole Speciale d’Architecture in Paris. In 1988 he founded Warren A. James Architects + Planners, in New York City, a 100% Latino-owned architecture and urban design firm. Based in East Harlem/El Barrio the firm has worked on the National Latino Museum, in Washington DC, La Marqueta Internacional for the East Harlem Business Capital Corporation, the Master Plan for the Julia de Burgos Cultural Center, the Museum of the City of New York and Museo del Barrio. The firm also designed the original community-based Master Plan for Sherman Creek a new waterfront neighborhood in Upper Manhattan which incorporates a riverside malecón on the Harlem River.

Luke Johnson: Luke Johnson is an architect at Cannon Design in Buffalo, an educator and a board member of the Buffalo Architecture Foundation.

Ann Kalmbach: Ann Kalmbach is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of Women’s Studio Workshop. In this role she has helped hundreds of artists print portfolio editions and artists’ books. She has also been a resident artist at Visual Studies Workshop, University of Southern Maine, and the MacDowell Colony. Kalmbach has managed multiple capital projects at WSW. She holds an MFA from Rochester Institute of Technology and a BFA from SUNY New Paltz.

Rodney Leon: Rodney Leon is the Founder and Principal of Rodney Leon Architects. He is the designer of the African Burial Ground Memorial in New York City. He developed a Master Plan for the National Hip Hop Museum and is designing the new Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Art in Brooklyn. Mr. Leon has also developed and partnered with manufacturers to design and implement "green" housing development models for emerging global economies. He has been a Visiting Design Professor at Pratt Institute School of Architecture, and currently serves as Adjunct Professor of Advanced Design at Pratt.

Amanda Lewkowicz: Amanda R. Lewkowicz, RA, LEED AP is a project architect at John G. Waite Associates, Architects specializing in the restoration, preservation, renovation and adaptive use of historic buildings. She is a registered architect in New York State. Ms. Lewkowicz has worked on such major projects as the rehabilitation of the Rotunda and the historic structure report for the Music Shed at the Yale Summer School of Music as well as smaller projects including the Norfolk Library in Norfolk, CT and East Range Roof Replacement at the University of Virginia. Previously, she was the Preservation Program Coordinator for the Preservation League of New York State. Ms. Lewkowicz is a graduate from the University of Washington with a Master degree in Architecture and a Certificate in Historic Preservation.

Susan Meyers: Susan Meyers has served as the Director of the National Dance Residency Program, a grant program of the New York Foundation for the Arts sponsored by the Pew Charitable Trusts, Executive Director and Development Director of the Trisha Brown Dance Company, Director of Development of The Kitchen and Story Editor for Walt Disney Productions. In addition, Meyers has worked in television and video production. Meyers has been an advisor, consultant and panelist to a variety of organizations including the National Endowment for the Arts, the New England Foundation for the Arts and the Association of Performing Arts Presenters, the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation and the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund. She has served on the boards of Dance/USA and Movement Research. In 1995, Meyers formed MEA MGMT, in partnership with long-time colleague Cathy Einhorn.

Mark Nerenhausen: Mark Nerenhausen is Professor of Practice and Founding Director of the Janklow Arts Leadership Program, Syracuse University. Nerenhausen previously managed numerous performing and visual arts organizations as well as capital projects. He served as President/CEO of the AT&T Performing Arts Center in Dallas, TX; President/CEO of the Broward Center for the Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale, FL; Executive Director of the Maui Arts & Cultural Center, Oshkosh (WI) Grand Opera and Bijou Theater Center of Knoxville, TN.

Daria Pizzetta: Daria Pizzetta, AIA, LEED AP, is a Partner with H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture. Daria has 25 years experience as an architect. At H3 Daria has been responsible for the overall planning and design effort for many cultural projects including:  the Brooklyn Academy of Music Fisher Building, ImaginOn-Children's Learning Center in Charlotte, NC the Maritime and Seafood Industry Museum in Biloxi, MS, Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis, MN, and major public library expansions including the Grand Rapids (MI) and Cleveland Public Libraries. Daria is the lead author of the third edition of "Building Blocks for Planning Functional Library Space" and skilled in transforming difficult architectural ideas into understandable communications. Prior to H3 Daria worked for Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer Associates, Soo Kim Associates. Ferrenz, Taylor, Clark (all in New York) and Shaw Walker Architects in Gulfport, MS.

Stephen Reilly: Stephen F. Reilly is a licensed architect, AIA member and LEED Accredited Professional with 24 years’ experience working on some of the most important historic structures in the United States. He has a strong materials conservation and technical background, and is particularly experienced with projects involving preservation, restoration, adaptive reuse and contextual additions. Stephen holds Bachelor of Architecture and Building Science degrees from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and is a partner at Lacey Thaler Reilly Wilson Architecture & Preservation, LLP. Previously he was a senior associate and project director with EYP Architecture & Engineering since 2007, and before that worked for the architecture firms of John G. Waite Associates Architects PLLC, Ann Beha Associates, and Mesick Cohen Waite Architects. Stephen has been an adjunct faculty member for undergraduate and graduate level courses at RPI’s School of Architecture since 2001.

Bevin Savage Yamazaki: Bevin Savage Yamazaki joined Gensler in 2010 with professional experience in base building architectural design and interiors for a wide range of cultural and institutional clients. Her work springs from her passion for the arts, culture and physical environments that affect people on an innately human level. On multiple projects for the New Museum of Contemporary Art in Manhattan, Bevin has collaborated with diverse artists and architects to create unique experiential installations and permanent spaces. Bevin has written about the relationship between art and architecture for Gensler’s “GenslerOn Cities” blog series, and in 2013 she organized and moderated a panel at the New Museum called interdisciplinary Dialogues:  Synergy Between Creative Forces, which explored how cross-discipline artistic collaboration can create strong and meaningful design projects. This past year she lead a year long research project which tracked current and future trends in museum audience engagement.

Orah Weisberg, P.E.: Orah Weisberg, P.E., LEED, AP is Principal of SRW, a firm focused on engineering and construction management. Weisberg consistently finds innovative solutions to problems before they delay the project and impact the budget. She has over 15 years of experience in project management of both new construction and renovations to existing spaces, and has worked with a wide range of clients, including schools and public libraries. Weisberg holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University and is committed to energy efficiency and sustainable design.

Alicia West: Alicia West has worked with New York City agencies for ten years on the development and design of capital projects, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Lincoln Center plaza designs, the Culture Shed, BRIC & Urban Glass, and A Theatre for a New Audience. In her current position at the Department of Environmental Protection, she works closely with engineers and architects to ensure that the city's critical infrastructure not only functions to provide clean drinking water and wastewater management but also offers significant aesthetic improvements to the surrounding neighborhoods.

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Folk Arts

Polly Adema: Polly Adema directs the folk arts program of Arts Mid-Hudson. She has produced folk arts presentations and artists in the schools programs in Nevada, Wyoming, South Carolina, Washington D.C., the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Texas. In her work for Arts Mid-Hudson, Polly researches and documents traditional forms of creative expression practiced within Mid-Hudson Valley area cultural, ethnic, religious, regional or occupational communities. Polly holds a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin and a Masters from the Folklore Institute at Indiana University. She is actively involved in a number of national and international professional organizations as well as some closer to home such as the New York Folklore Society. In addition, Polly is a culinary anthropologist whose work includes public speaking and writing on food and food history topics.

Ray Allen: Ray Allen has been affiliated with HISAM since 1993. Ray is trained in folklore, ethnomusicology, and American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania where he received his PhD 1987. His research has ranged from African American gospel, Caribbean Carnival music, and the folk music revival to the works of composer’s Ruth Crawford Seeger and George Gershwin. As a Senior Research Associate at HISAM, Professor Allen co-edits American Music Review with Jeff Taylor. Professor Allen teaches courses on music of the United States and New York City, as well as cultural studies courses in Brooklyn College’s American Studies program which he directed from 1998-2010.

Varick A. Chittenden: Varick A. Chittenden is Professor Emeritus of English in the Department of Humanities at SUNY Canton, where he taught English, folklore and American rural studies. In 1986, he was the founding director of Traditional Arts in Upstate New York [TAUNY], and continues today as an adviser on special projects. He currently is doing extensive research on historical and contemporary folk art from the northern New York region in anticipation of publishing. His other research interests include vernacular architecture, foodways oral traditions, and regional identity. He has curated numerous exhibits, published in scholarly journals and popular magazines and produced several series of documentary features on regional folk culture for North Country Public Radio. A native of St. Lawrence County, he holds a B.A. and an M.Ed. from St. Lawrence University and an M.A. in American folk culture from the Cooperstown Graduate Program of SUNY Oneonta.

Cecily Cook: Cecily Cook is Director of Programs at the Asian Cultural Council, where she is responsible for program development and management, strategic planning and administering the grants program of this foundation. She previously served as the Co-Director of the Cambodian Artists Project, directed the Refugee Arts Group in Allston, MA and administered the folk arts apprenticeship grant program of the New England Foundation for the Arts. Cook is a specialist in Asian traditional arts. She holds a MA in Folklore from the University of North Carolina.

Julia Gutiérrez-Rivera: Julia Gutiérrez-Rivera is a dancer and arts administrator who serves as a Teaching Artist, bookings Coordinator and performer for Los Pleneros de la 21. She is a highly regarded performer of bomba and plena dance and teaches dance to men and women of all ages. In addition to her work as principal dancer of Los Pleneros, she also dances with Alma Moyo and The Legacy Women and is the Administrative Manager of MAPP International Productions. Ms. Gutiérrez-Rivera has expertise in Afro-Caribbean music and dance traditions.

James C. Hall: James C. Hall has a Ph.D. In American Studies from the University of Iowa (1992). He’s the author of MERCY, MERCY ME:  AFRICAN AMERICAN CULTURE AND THE AMERICAN SIXTIES (Oxford, 2001) and has written broadly about African American Studies, American musics, and issues related to culture, memory, and history — including work on cultural tourism and heritage sites. From 2004-2012, he served on the Board of Directors of the Alabama Folklife Association and from 2008-2010 was the organization’s President. During that time, AFA developed traveling exhibits about Alabama folklife, including textile arts, Sacred Harp and other musical traditions, work-lore, and ethnic regional traditions, including foodways, woodcraft, and cemetery practice, in addition to developing a Community Scholars program. Currently, Hall is the Executive Director of the Center for Multidisciplinary Studies at Rochester Institute of Technology.

Gabrielle Hamilton: Gabrielle Hamilton is Director of Education and Public Programs at Flushing Town Hall. She has been Project Director at the Center for Traditional Music and Dance, where she directed a community cultural initiative, and Repatriation Research Specialist at the National American of the American Indian. She has taught on the Navajo Reservation and in American Samoa, and has carried out folklore residencies in schools, prisons and museums and for arts councils. She is currently the Board President of the New York Folklore Society. Ms. Hamilton has expertise in Native American and immigrant cultural traditions.

Deirdre L. Hollman: Deirdre Lynn Hollman is the Director of Education and Exhibitions at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, a division of the New York Public Library. She formerly directed the Dr. Bevery J. Robinson Community Folk Culture Program at Mind Builders Creative Arts Company., which trains adolescents to document and present the folklife of their community. As the Schomburg she is responsible for engaging teachers and learners of all ages with the Schomburg’s collections through year-round programming for youth and teens; professional development workshops for teachers; school day programs for K-12 students; curriculum development partnerships with schools and community organizations; public lecture series for adults, and providing educational advisement for exhibitions.

Mira Johnson: Mira Johnson is the Education and Outreach Manager at the Pelham Art Center. Johnson previously served as the Folk and Traditional Arts Program Director for Jump Street, which manages state folk arts programming for the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. A specialist on refugee and immigrant traditions, she has carried out extensive field research with these communities. She has curated exhibitions of traditional art, managed the Pennsylvania Folklife Archive, administered a folk arts apprenticeship program and presented traditional artists in a variety of settings. Johnson is the President of the Middle Atlantic Folklife Association and the co-convener of Preserving America’s Cultural Traditions, a national organization of non-profit folk arts organizations. She holds a MA from the University of Oregon in Interdisciplinary Folklore.

Maria Kennedy: Maria Kennedy is the Folk Arts Coordinator at The ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes in Corning, New York. She previously worked at Traditional Arts Indiana, producing exhibitions and editing its magazine. Kennedy has also been a Historic Interpreter at Connor Prairie Living History Museum, taught folklore at Indiana University/Purdue University in Indianapolis and interned at WJFF Radio Catskill and the Institute for Digital Arts and Humanities at Indiana University. She is a specialist in agricultural traditions and the folklore of the Catskills and the Southern Tier. Kennedy completed her joint MA in the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology and the School of Journalism at Indiana University and is currently a PhD Candidate in Folklore at Indiana University. In 2007 she placed third in a New York Press Association’s competition for her coverage of agriculture.

Edward Y. Millar: Edward Millar is the Curator of Folk Arts at the Castellani Museum. He was previously curatorial assistant for Long Island Traditions and Educational Programs Assistant at Fosterfields Living Historical Farm. Millar is a specialist in the folklore of Western New York, material culture, maritime folklore and cultural tourism. He has curated exhibitions and organized public programs about such topics as Native American beadworking, Fillipino traditions and maritime folklore. Millar holds an MA in Folklore from Memorial University of Newfoundland.

Virginia Scheer: Virginia Scheer is the Folklorist for The Catskills Folk Connection and a consultant for the Manhattan Country School Farm, where she has served as the Director of the Farm, Program Director and the Textiles and Local History Director. She is the Director of the Catskill Folk Music Project and Urban/Rural Exchange. She has also served as a museum educator at Old Sturbridge Village and as the Co-convenor of the Catskill Renewable Energy Project. Ms. Scheer has expertise in vernacular architecture, traditional crafts and the folklore of the Catskills.

Naomi Sturm: Naomi Sturm is the Staff Folklorist for the Council on the Arts for Staten Island. Naomi implements the program through the following activities:  1) Conducts fieldwork to identify & document folk art practitioners on SI; 2) Facilitates programming, planning, and presenting at least four significant public programs based on field research annually; 3) Networks with local & regional organizations that are interested or pertain to folk arts; 4) Provides technical assistance to local artists and organizations, and; 5) Assists in reporting and fundraising in support of folk art programs. Ms. Sturm also assists in the general operations SIA at large hands-on events such as the annual LUMEN festival, gala fundraiser, English/Spanish language translation, and development of the Culture Lounge space. She holds a Master’s Degree in Ethnomusicology from Columbia University and a Bachelor’s Degree from Bowdoin College.

Elizabeth Tucker: Elizabeth Tucker is Professor of English at Binghamton University. Dr. Tucker is currently President of the International Society for Contemporary Legend Research. A preeminent authority on the folk traditions of Upstate New York, she also has expertise in children's folklore, Upstate New York traditions and folk narrative. She is the author of New York State Folklore:  Diverse Voices, Haunted Southern Tier, Children's Folklore:  A Handbook and Haunted Halls:  Ghostlore of American College Campuses. Dr. Tucker holds a Ph.D. in Folklore from Indiana University.

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Individual Artists

Nahshon Anderson: Nahshon Dion Anderson is an artist with ancestral roots in California, East Texas, and Louisiana. Nahshon has been involved in Arts & Entertainment since 1994 and attended California State University, Los Angeles. At age 19, Nahshon survived an attempted murder, inspiring short story “Shooting Range,” which won a 2014 BRIO Award. A recipient of grants from the California Arts Council, Lambda Literary Foundation, and the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation. Nahshon is a member of the Bronx Council on the Arts, the National Association of Latino Arts & Cultures, the Screen Actors Guild, and PEN America. They're a 2015 VONA/Voices Fellow, and a 2016 Lambda Literary Fellow. Nahshon is also an Arts & Human Rights Advocate, having served as a panelist for the Brooklyn Arts Council, the Bronx Council on the Arts, and the Queens Council on the Arts.

Dorothea Braemer: Dorothea Braemer is the former Executive Director of Squeaky Wheel Media Arts Organization in Buffalo, New York and former Assistant Director of Scribe Media Arts Organization in Philadelphia. Dorothea is a Documentary Filmmaker and Experimental Media Artist for over 30 years.

Kermit Frazier: Kermit Frazier has had nearly twenty plays produced in New York and around the country at such theaters as the Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Aslo Theatre Company, Seattle Children’s Theatre, First Stage Children’s Theater, Baltimore Center Stage, Williamstown Theatre Festival, the Philadelphia Drama Guild, and Woodie King, Jr.’s New Federal Theatre. He is also a television writer, having written for such series as Gullah Gullah Island (co-producer and executive story editor), Married People, True Colors, The Cosby Mysteries, The Magic School Bus, The Misadventures of Maya and Miguel, The Wonder Pets, and All My Children. He was a creator of and head writer for the popular children’s mystery series, Ghostwriter, whose first season has recently been released as a five-DVD box set. His articles, reviews, and short stories have appeared in many magazines and journals.

David Goren: David Goren is a Radio Producer, Audio Archivist and Sound Artist with over 25 years of experience in reporting, field recording, and audio post-production for public media. David has produced original programming for Jazz at Lincoln Center Radio, the Jazz Stories Podcast, All Things Considered, Afropop Worldwide, On the Media, and many others. As a radio monitor and audio archivist, he has developed the Shortwave Shindig, a long running multi-hour live mix incorporating spoken word, musical performance, live radio, and archival sound. Mr. Goren has been commissioned to create audio installations for Proteus Gowanus, The Ethnographic Terminalia Collective, and the Radio Arts Exhibition in Ljubljana, Slovenia. His work is grounded in the documentation and analysis of broadcast culture, and examines its ability to create and support community.

Anneka Herre: Anneka Herre is an Artist, Art Educator, and Curator. Anneka is the Director of Urban Video Project and teaches in the Transmedia Department at Syracuse University. She has a keen eye for what makes strong work and a healthy organization.

Denise Iris: Denise Iris expertise area is film, video, and electronic media. Denise is a Filmmaker and Media Artist with 20 years' experience in experimental, narrative, and documentary forms. She has received two NYSCA grants, three NYFA Fellowships and a Jerome Foundation grant, among others. Her work has been shown at the Museum of Modern Art and broadcast on PBS/Channel Thirteen. Ms. Iris has taught film directing, video production and screenwriting at Columbia University, Swarthmore College and Parsons The New School.

Maura Keefe: Maura Keefe is a contemporary dance historian. In addition to being an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Dance at The College of Brockport, she is a scholar-in-residence at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, where she writes about, lectures on, and interviews artists from around the world. Based on these interactions with dancers and choreographers, she is working on a collection of essays on contemporary dance forms and cultures. Other research interests include the relationships between dance and sports. Ms. Keefe has given lectures at Princeton University, UCLA, the Goethe Institute, New York Live Arts, the Joyce Theatre, and New York’s City Center, and served on the board for the Congress on Research on Dance. She holds an M.F.A. in choreography and performance from Smith College and a Ph.D. in dance history and theory from University of California, Riverside. Ms. Keefe teaches dance history and theory and choreography.

David R. Kimelman: David Kimelman is a New York Director of Photography. David also is a Steadicam and Camera Operator working on many of New York's top episodic shows. He has been in the business since 1990 and has over 16,000 union hours on features, episodics and commercials.

John Knecht: John Knecht has been a practicing film and video artist since 1973. His films, videos and installations have been shown all over the world. John Knecht holds the Russell Colgate Distinguished Professor of Art and Art History and Film and Media Studies Chair at Colgate University in Hamilton, New York where has been teaching since 1981. He served as Chairman of the Art and Art History department from 1991- 1999. Knecht received his undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh in 1972 and a Masters of Fine Arts degree from Idaho State University in 1974.

Frances Lozada: Frances Lozada is an Artist who has acted and produced several short and feature films, web series and several theatrical plays. For the past six years, Frances hosted a independent short film series called Cinema Night which was held in Brooklyn, NY that showcased upcoming and local filmmakers’ films. She has been invited to be a guest host at the International Film Festival Manhattan, Brooklyn Girl Film Festival and Viva International Film Festival. Her experience with films continues to help develop projects and has helped form many relationships in the industry. She has also directed several Off-Off Broadway shows. Frances continues to inspire and be inspired by other artists in the industry and knows that collaboration is genius.

Brian Milbrand: Brian Milbrand is a Media Artist with work ranging from documentary video, to experimental film to interactive projects. Brian is a past recipient of a NYSCA Individual Artist Grant. He is the Technology Director at Buffalo State College.

Kylie Pierce: Kylie Pierce has worked in the field of arts development since 2007, writing and reviewing various grant application as well as assisting others in their own grant writing. She has served on several decentralization grant panels for CNY Arts. Because of the current capital project that her organization is undertaking, Kylie has had extensive experience in various arts funding fields, and has written several grants resulting in 6-figure grant awards.

Zahida Pirani: Zahida Pirani is an independent filmmaker. She studied nonfiction filmmaking at Columbia University as a Charles H. Revson Fellow in 2009-10. Zahida produced and directed the award-winning short documentary JUDITH:  PORTRAIT OF A STREET VENDOR which is currently being distributed by Third World Newsreel. Zahida’s work is informed by her experience as a community organizer, having organized for many years around immigrant and worker rights issues in New York City. She is the former Director of the New York Civic Participation Project (NYCPP), a project of La Fuente Inc., which is a community-labor collaboration that works with various immigrant rights organizations and labor unions in New York and surrounding areas. Zahida has taught as an adjunct professor at CUNY’s Murphy Institute for Worker Education and Labor Studies.

Thomas D. Rotenberg: Thomas Rotenberg is the Digital Media and Gallery Manager at the Made in NY Media Center by IFP, where he oversee all screenings, manage and maintain hardware, and installs digital gallery exhibitions by a wide range of digital artists every month on their wall of 27 HD monitors and their 360-degree projection-mapped theater exterior. Thomas comes from a film and television production background, and has worked on shows for History Channel, as well as a variety of independent films. Thomas also creates digital art by shooting and digitally manipulating footage. His work has been shown at film festivals and galleries in NYC, Los Angeles, Miami, and Berlin.

Paul Siskind: Paul Siskind is the DEC Grant Coordinator at the St. Lawrence Arts Council. Paul served on the DEC regrant panel at SLC Arts for three years, and was an excellent Panel Chairman. He is extremely knowledgeable about music, and his area of expertise is orchestral composition. During his time as a Professor at the Crane School of Music, he has been recognized three separate years by his students for his excellence in teaching (SUNY Potsdam Professor of the Year).

Curtis Tucker: Curtis Tucker is General Director of Lake George Opera Saratoga. He has led a wide variety of concert and educational programs with the Summer Opera Festival, and has been instrumental in maintaining the company’s Apprentice Artist Program. Formerly the Music Director and Conductor for the University of Northern Colorado Sinfonietta, Curtis has also appeared with the Cincinnati Opera, Syracuse Opera, Mobile Opera, Berkeley Opera, the San Francisco Chamber Singers, Masterworks Chorale of Middletown, among many other companies. An accomplished Composer, Curtis has written numerous songs and choral works, and his chamber opera “The Stranger’s Tale” premiered in 2005 and headlined the 2009 RESONANZ festival in New York. He is a Founding Board Member for SaratogaArtsFest.

Maria Venuto: Maria Elena Venuto is the Executive Director of the Standby Program, which provides artists with access to the sophisticated media technology at reduced rates. She was formerly a Museum Educator at the American Museum of the Moving Image and Technical Director of Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center in Buffalo. Her films, which have been exhibited internationally, explore issues of women’s reproductive rights and. She received the Juror’s Choice Award at the Black Maria Film and Video Festival and the Narrative 2nd Prize at the Athens International Film and Video Festival for her film, “The Tourist.” She holds a Master of Arts in Media Studies and Art History from the University at Buffalo.

Bruce Wands: Bruce Wands is the Chair of the MFA Computer Art Department and the Director of Computer Education at the School of Visual Arts in New York. He has been involved with digital media and music for forty years as an artist, musician, writer, curator and educator. His creative work explores the relationship between visual art, music, mathematics and the invention of new works of narrative. He was the first musician to give a live performance over ISDN lines on the internet in 1992. He has lectured, performed and exhibited his creative work in the U.S. , Europe and Asia. These have included the 1st Annual Conference on Animation Education in Beijing and the Decoding the Digital Conference at the Victoria & Albert Museum. His publications include Art of the Digital Age (Thames & Hudson, 2006) and Digital Creativity (John Wiley, 2002),. Wands is the Director of the New York Digital Salon. He holds a MS from Syracuse University and a BA with honors from Lafayette College.

Rebecca Ruige Xu: Rebecca Ruige Xu currently teaches computer art and animation as an Associate Professor at Syracuse University. She received a M.F.A. in Computer Graphics from Syracuse University, NY; and a B.S. in Industrial Design from Beijing Institute of Technology, China. She also studied Cinematography at Beijing Film Academy. She has worked professionally in the fields of computer animation, film visual effects, digital imaging, web design and user interface design in China and the United States. Her artwork and research interests include experimental animation, visual music, artistic data visualization, interactive installations and virtual reality. Her work has been included in many exhibitions and won awards in both the US and abroad. She also served three years as a panelist on the Electronic Media Arts Advisory Panel for the Missouri Arts Council.

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Literature

Allison M. Charette: Allison M. Charette translates literature from French into English. She recently completed her M.A. at the University of Rochester, during which time she founded the Emerging Literary Translators’ Network in America (ELTNA.org), a networking and support group for early-career translators. She has published two book-length translations, in addition to short translated fiction that has appeared in InTranslation, the SAND Journal, and others. Currently, Allison is collaborating with French-speaking authors from Madagascar to introduce the Anglophone world to Malagasy literature in translation.

Jennifer (Jay) Chen: Jennifer (Jay) Chen's area of expertise is managerial and fiscal competence. Jennifer has worked in New York's nonprofit arts sector for the past seven years. Currently, as Finance Project Manager for Friends of the High Line, she evaluates all outgoing budgets for arts and cultural projects and advise executive, programming and fundraising staff on issues related to grant-restricted funding. Jennifer is very familiar with NYSCA's grant process, having prepared four proposals for the agency in my prior role as an institutional fundraiser. She has also been a grant panelist for the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs' Cultural Development Fund in FY2013, serving in the multidisciplinary nonperforming category.

Jo Ann Clark: Jo Ann Clark is Executive Director of The Hudson Valley Writers’ Center and author of the forthcoming poetry collection, 1001 Facts of Prehistoric Life (Black Lawrence Press). Her poems, reviews, and translations have appeared in Colorado Review, Boston Review, The Cincinnati Review, The New Republic, The Paris Review, Prairie Schooner, Sleet Magazine, and Weave, among others. Her work has been featured on Verse Daily and anthologized in Hot Sonnets (Entasis Press) and Reactions4 New Poetry:  The UK’s Best New Poets (University of East Anglia). She lives with her spouse and son in Sleepy Hollow, New York.

Anne E. Conable: Anne Conable is Community Engagement Manager for the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library. She initiates and manages community-based programming at the Downtown Library – Author Talks; celebrations of Women’s History Month, Hispanic Heritage Month, Disabilities Awareness; family programs presented by Young Audiences of WNY; and various lecture series – and writes grants, assists with marketing and publications, and administers the Library Foundation. She joined the Library in 2009 after similar community-oriented positions with the Buffalo History Museum and the Buffalo Museum of Science. She worked with Buffalo Place Inc. for 12 years focusing on development of Buffalo’s Theatre District, its constituents and events.

LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs: LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs is a poet, performer and curator. The recipient of a 2015 NEA fellowship for poetry, she has presented her work at many universities and cultural centers worldwide. Her book, Twerk, from Belladonna* Collaborative has sold over 2,000 copies since its first printing in 2013. She is a lifelong New Yorker and dedicated support of the arts across all disciplines as an independent curator and artistic director. She has served as a panelist for the Brooklyn Arts Council, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and the Bronx Council on the Arts. Since 2013, she has a member of the curatorial team for La Casita Poetry and Music Festival held during Lincoln Center's Out of Doors Festival.

Sarah Gambito: Sarah Gambito is the author of the poetry collections Delivered (Persea Books) and Matadora (Alice James Books). Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Iowa Review, The Antioch Review, Denver Quarterly, The New Republic, Field, Quarterly West, Fence and other journals. She holds degrees from The University of Virginia and The Literary Arts Program at Brown University. Her honors include the Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award from Poets and Writers and grants and fellowships from The New York Foundation for the Arts, Urban Artists Initiative and The MacDowell Colony. She is Associate Professor of English / Director of Creative Writing at Fordham University and co-founder of Kundiman, a non-profit organization serving Asian American writers.

Helen Koh: Helen Koh has a background in arts administration, higher education, and non-profit fundraising. Most recently she served as Executive Director of the Museum of Chinese in America. Helen received a Ph.D in East Asian Languages & Civilizations from the University Chicago and is a recipient of a Fulbright and a Japanese Ministry of Education fellowship. Helen has taught East Asian literature and film at Columbia University. Her articles on East Asia literature have been published in anthologies and academic and foreign policy journals. At Asia Society, where she was Associate Director of Cultural Programs, she curated high-profile author events and film programs, interviewed distinguished authors and filmmakers, and was co-director of the the Asian American International Film Festival.

Veronica Liu: Veronica Liu has worked in literary publishing for over a decade, as an editor or publisher, and is currently senior editor at Seven Stories Press. She has also been an arts organizer in multiple disciplines for nearly two decades. Her most recent relevant experience is the found of Word Up – a nonprofit community bookshop and arts space located in the Washington Heights neighborhood of Northern Manhattan – which functions as a collectively run new and used bilingual bookstore, and also as a community space where events and workshops of every arts discipline are held six days a week.

Nikhil Melnechuk: Nikhil Melnechuk, a poet and screenwriter, and reader, directs the non-profit, Bowery Arts+Science and programs its venue, the Bowery Poetry Club, both founded by his mentor, Bob Holman. In that capacity, Melnechuk reads and interacts with hundreds of emerging and established writers annually; his finger is on the pulse of the New York literary scene. His tastes were shaped by his Poet grandfather, his Post-Colonial Scholar mother, and his voracious appetite for work that "make(s) it new!" Melnechuk holds a degree in Sociology from Wesleyan University, and his art theory thesis on "The Suspension of Disbelief" earned him an academic award. Previously Melnechuk ran a film-themed social media contest and online community, and is focusing on growing Bowery Poetry's online present to showcase new literary talent.

Valerie Merians: Valerie Merians is the co-founder and publisher of Melville House, an award-winning independent publishing house with offices in Brooklyn, NY. An artist and sculptor, Merians started Melville House in 2001 with her husband Dennis Johnson. Their first book, Poetry After 9/11 became a surprise hit in the national media, launching the press into the limelight. Merians’s undergraduate degree is in English Literature. She studied poetry at the Iowa Writers Workshop at the University of Iowa, and has her Masters of Fine Arts in sculpture from the San Francisco Art Institute. Prior to the founding of Melville House in 2002, she was exhibiting her artwork in New York and teaching sculpture at Kean University.

Joseph Mulligan: Joseph Mulligan is a translator, scholar, writer, and poet, whose work has focused on experimental literatures across the Americas and Western Europe. He has translated Against Professional Secrets by César Vallejo (Roof Books, 2001), his translations of Sahrawi (Spanish influenced by Classical Arabic and Berber) poetry appeared in Poems for the Millennium, vol. 4:  The University of California Book of North African Poetry (2013), he has translated Gustavo Faverón’s novel The Antiquarian (Grove/Atlantic, 2014), his translations of Jorge Eduardo Eielson’s poems appeared in Asymmetries:  Anthology of Peruvian Poetry (Cardboard House, 2015), with Mario Domínguez Parra, he has co-edited and co-translated into Spanish a selection of poems and essays by Pierre Joris, Mawqif (La Otra, 2015), and as editor and principal translator, he has assembled an annotated compendium of archival texts, Selected Writings of César Vallejo (Wesleyan, 2015), which will be released this May.

Jane Preston: Jane Preston, having joined the Poets House staff in 1990, four years after the inception of the organization, has helped to build a thriving literary center. Working directly under the supervision of the Executive Director, she has managed the implementation of many of the new initiatives which are now core Poets House programs. She directs the day-to-day operations of Poets House, supervises its financial well-being, oversees its general management, and provides staff supervision.

Daniel Reid: Daniel Reid's areas of expertise are Programmatic Quality and Managerial and Fiscal Competence. He is Executive Director of the Whiting Foundation, which supports writers through the Whiting Award for emerging writers; financial aid grants for attendance at writers' residencies in New York State and elsewhere; a nonfiction work-in-progress grant; and other programs. His experience in ensuring and monitoring Programmatic Quality includes work with literature selection panels at Whiting and consultancies with UNESCO, where he evaluated a grant program to preserve endangered languages, and with the Illinois Humanities Council, where he developed a strategic roadmap for programming to support the underserved "downstate" area. His experience in Managerial and Fiscal Competence includes full financial and operational management of the Whiting Foundation; work as an Engagement Manager at McKinsey & Company.

Martha Rhodes: Martha Rhodes is a poet, teacher, and publisher. She is the author of four collections of poetry:  The Beds from Autumn House in 2012, Mother Quiet from Zoo/university Press of Nebraska in 2005, Perfect Disappearance, winner of the Green Rose Prize from New Issues in 2000, and At the Gate, Provincetown Press in 1995. She teaches at Sarah Lawrence College and the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College. She serves on publishing panels at universities and conferences around the country, hoping, mostly, to demystify the publisher/writer relationship. She is a founding editor and the director of Four Way Books, now in its 22nd year, publisher of fifteen titles of poetry and short fiction annually. As director, she oversees all operations of the press and its staff . Rhodes is also the director of the Frost Place Conference on Poetry.

Michael Robertson: Michael Robertson is Managing Director of The Lark, an international theater laboratory. Previous positions:  Director of Development, Collaborative Arts Project 21; Membership Director, National Alliance for Musical Theatre; Managing Director, Assembly Productions; and Director of Annual Fund, Trinity School. He is currently working on a study for the New World Foundation exploring the intersection of theater and social change. He serves as Vice President of the La. School of Math, Science, and the Arts Foundation Board of Trustees. He has served on panels for the National Endowment for the Arts, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, ART/New York, The MAP Fund, The Pew Center for Arts and Heritage, National Alliance for Musical Theatre and Theatre Communications Group. As a Henry Luce Foundation Scholar in Bali, Indonesia he studied dance and served as a consultant for the Agung Rai Museum of Art. BA, Music, Trinity College. Master of Arts Management, Carnegie Mellon University.

James Sherry: James Sherry is a tactical and strategic change agent in both literature and technology. In literature, he founded the Segue Foundation, Inc. and Roof Books and Magazine that were central to the public profile of several groups of innovative writers over the past 35 years. Roof Books has published over 120 titles and Segue Foundation has a long history of supporting the arts in NY. He is the author of 12 books of poetry and prose, most recently Oops! Environmental Poetics. In technology, he specialized in development of computer to computer communications technologies at IBM focused on financial markets. He has an extensive background in project/program management for industrial scale computing, project leadership, communications, infrastructure, IT strategy in financial markets and banking. He shares patents in secure broker technology and inefficient computing using multicasting.

Ira Silverberg: Ira Silverberg is a Strategic Advisor at Open Road Integrated Media, the world's largest publisher of e-books. He's spent many years working in publishing and the arts in various capacities, among them Literature Director of the National Endowment of the Arts, Editor-in-Chief of Grove Press, and as a literary agent. Silverberg has served on many board including, The New School MFA Writing Program, BOMB Magazine, and the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses.

Benjamin Strader: Ben Strader is the Managing Director of Blue Mountain Center, a residency program for writers and artists located in Blue Mountain Lake, Hamilton County in New York’s Adirondack State Park. He administers the annual admissions process for the 400 residency applicants. Ben is the President of the Board of Directors of the Indian Lake Theater, a new life as a community stage and screen for a defunct movie house in central Hamilton County. He worked with the Adirondack Foundation to help start the Adirondack Nonprofit Network in 2008, and continues to sit on their Advisory Board. He is the Secretary of the Blue Mountain Lake Volunteer Fire Department, sat on the Indian Lake Planning Board for 10 years, and volunteers regularly at the Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts.

Amy Swauger: Amy Swauger became director of T&W in 2005. Swauger was formerly executive director of the National Academy of Education and of Washington Independent Writers. Prior to that, she held a number of positions at the American Association of University Women (AAUW), including director of the Association and of the AAUW Legal Advocacy Fund. Swauger has served on the boards of directors for several nonprofit organizations, including CFRE International, the credentialing board for philanthropic fundraisers, and the DC Rape Crisis Center. Swauger is an advisor to The Schimel Lode, a family foundation in Washington, DC. She has a degree in journalism and political science from The American University.

Laurie Dean Torrell: Laurie Dean Torrell has 25+ years experience in non-profit organizations. Since becoming Just Buffalo’s Executive Director in 2002, Torrell has worked with staff and board to implement a new mission statement, strategic plan, and focused operational direction. Under her leadership, the organization has secured competitive national, state, and local grants to more than double the budget ($325K to $684K) and bring expanded literary programming to the local community including the BABEL International author series, now being called “the most exciting literary series that Buffalo has ever seen,” and Writing With Light joint educational programming with CEPA Gallery. Torrell pioneered an Administrative Collaboration which has been honored with a National Certificate of Recognition from the Kellogg and Lodestar Foundations; and a site based collaboration with the WNY Book Arts Collaborative to develop the Western New York Book/Arts Center.

David Unger: David Unger is an author, translator and the Director of the Publishing Certificate Program at the City College of New York. A native of Guatemala, he is the International Rep for the Feria Internacional del Libro de Guadalajara [Guadalajara Book Fair] . In 2014 he was awarded Guatemala's Miguel Angel Asturias National Literature Prize for lifetime achievement. He is the author of The Mastermind (Akashic Books, 2016; Planeta Mexico:  2015),La Casita:  Forgetting Spanish (Mexico:  CIDCLI, 2014),El precio de la fuga (Guatemala:  F y G Editores, 2013), La Casita (Mexico:  CIDCLI, 2012), The Price of Escape (New York:  Akashic Books, 2011), Para mi, eres divina (Mexico:  Random House Mondadori, 2011), Ni chicha, ni limonada (F y G Editores, 2009; Recorded Books, 2010), Life in the Damn Tropics (Wisconsin University Press, 2004).

Carlos Vázquez: Carlos Vázquez is the Bronx Writers Center Director; published author; fiction and memoir anthology editor; NYC Comptroller's Office Commendation recipient in 2014 for "contributing to New York City's Puerto Rican and Latino literary culture through work with Festival de la Palabra of Puerto Rico and as Director of the Bronx Writers Center".

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Museum

Rocio Aranda-Alvarado: Rocio Aranda-Alvarado is Curator at El Museo del Barrio. Dr Aranda-Alvarado holds a PhD in Art History from the City University of New York and specializes in modern and contemporary art of the Americas. She is an adjunct professor in the Art History Department at City College, teaches a course on Race and Gender in Contemporary Art at Rutgers University, and has been published broadly. Prior to joining El Museo del Barrio, Aranda-Alvarado was Curator at the Jersey City Museum (NJ).

Michael J. Beam: Michael J. Beam is the Curator of Exhibitions and Collections at the Castellani Art Museum, and a Lecturer in the Theater and Fine Arts Department at Niagara University. He previously worked as Director of Visual Arts at the Mitchell Museum-Cedarhurst Center for the Arts in Mount Vernon, Illinois; as an Assistant Curator, University Museum, Southern Illinois University; as Director of Visual Arts at Southern Illinois University Programming Council and as a Gallery Assistant at Merritt Young Gallery in Bala Cynwyd, PA. Beam also has experience as a preparator at the Missouri History Museum, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis and Westmoreland Museum of American Art in Greensburg, PA. A long-time advisor to the Warhola Family for the development of the Warhol Family House Museum in Pittsburgh, Beam is also an accomplished visual artist.

Bartholomew Bland: Bartholomew Bland is Director of the Art Gallery at Lehman College/City University of New York, located in the Bronx. He was formerly the Deputy Director of the Hudson River Museum, where he worked in increasingly responsible positions since he started as the Curator of Exhibitions in 2004. Prior to this Bland served as the Vice President for Exhibitions and Collections at the Staten Island Museum. He was an Assistant Curator at the Henry Morrison Flagler Museum in West Palm Beach, FL. Bland has completed the Getty Leadership Institute and has served as a guest curator internationally. He has been a grant reviewer for the New York Council on the Humanities and a juror for the MTA Art in Public Spaces program.

Priscilla Brendler: Priscilla Brendler is the Executive Director of the Greater Hudson Heritage Network, a service organization promoting professional standards for historical and cultural organizations. Brendler has over twenty-five years of experience as a museum administrator with expertise in strategic planning, program development, historical interpretation and management. Previously Brendler served as the Executive Director for the Connecticut League of History Organizations. She has worked as Program Director for the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation/Duke Farms, Program Director at Old Westbury Gardens, and held positions at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum and the National Park Service.

William Crow: William Crow currently works as the Managing Museum Educator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art where he has been on staff for over 10 years. Previously, Crow worked as a museum educator at The Morgan Library and Museum. He has taught Museum Education, Media Studies and printmaking at Johns Hopkins University, New York University, Parsons The New School of Design and Hunter College, and is completing his PhD at Columbia University Teachers College. As a visual artist Crow’s work has been exhibited internationally. Crow’s knowledge of online learning practices is significant and he is co-author of the books Unbound by Place or Time:  Museums and Online Learning and All Together Now:  Museums and Online Collaborative Learning.

Linda Dunne: Linda Dunne is the Director of Museum Services and Operations at the Rubin Museum of Art and brings over 30 years of experience in the museum field to the panel. Previously Linda has served as Deputy Director/Chief Administrative Officer and Acting Director at the American Folk Art Museum; Deputy Director and Acting Director at the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum and as a Museum Administrator at Cranbrook Academy of Art Museum in Michigan. A graduate of the Museum Management Institute, Dunne also taught for many years in the Visual Arts Administration Program at New York University.

David Kahn: David Kahn is the Executive Director of the Adirondack Museum and has nearly forty years of experience in the museum field. Previously, Kahn served as Executive Director of the San Diego History Center, the Louisiana State Museum, The Connecticut Historical Society and the Brooklyn Historical Society. Kahn has also worked as a Curator for the National Park Service’s Manhattan Sites. He has served as a panelist for federal and state agencies as well as private funders including the National Endowment for the Humanities, Institute of Museum and Library Services, Massachusetts Cultural Council and the Pew Charitable Trusts.

Lynda Kennedy: Dr. Lynda Kennedy is the Vice President, Education at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. Prior to this she served as the Associate Executive Director of the Louis August Jonas Foundation; Director, Teaching & Learning, Literacy and Outreach at the New York Public Library; History Network Coordinator for the Gotham Center for New York City History; Director of Education at the American Museum of the Moving Image; Manager of Teacher Outreach/Gateway to the City Project at the Brooklyn Historical Society; and Education Coordinator at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum. Among her many accomplishments and titles, Dr. Kennedy has presided as Chair of the New York City Museum Educators Roundtable and President of the International Museum Theatre Alliance.

Anna Kowalchuk: Anna Kowalchuk is the Executive Director of the Livingston County Historical Society which received a Certificate of Commendation – Engaging Communities at the Museum Association of New York’s annual conference in 2015. Kowalchuk holds a New York State teacher certification and worked for a decade as a Kindergarten teacher. She is the Founder of the Friends of Livingston County History and previously the Secretary of the Western New York Association for Historical Agencies.

Joshua Ruff: Joshua Ruff is the Director of Collections and Interpretation at The Long Island Museum of American Art, History and Carriages. He has worked at the museum for fifteen years and was previously Curator of Carriages and History. He is concurrently an Adjunct Professor at St. Joseph’s College where he teaches history and the Associate Editor of the Long Island History Journal. Ruff has also developed exhibitions for the New York City Police Museum as its Curator and held a prestigious Winterthur Museum & Library Research Fellowship.

Erika Sanger: Erika Sanger is the Director of Education at the Albany Institute of History and Art and leads the museum’s Digital Renaissance, a project in partnership with New York Institute of Technology which trains teachers and museum professionals around the country in curriculum integration and distance learning. Sanger has also worked as Curator of Education at the Asheville Art Museum (NC), as Director of Development at the Penland School of Crafts (NC), the Manager of Public Programs and Media at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, Coordinator of Public Programs at the New-York Historical Society and a Program Assistant at the Jewish Museum. She has broad knowledge of American Art including studio crafts, photography and Native American art.

Hillary Strong: Hillary Strong is the Director of Institutional Advancement at the Whitney Museum of American Art and previously Director of Foundation and Government Relations at the same. Previous to her time at the Whitney Strong worked in development in many New York City museums including:  Japan Society, Solomon R. Guggenheim, Museum of Jewish Heritage and the Museum of African American History in Detroit, MI. She has expertise in fundraising, strategic planning and fiscal management and is a founding board member of Harlem4Kids.com.

Herb Tam: Herb Tam is the Curator and Director of Exhibitions at the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA), New York where he recently curated “Waves of Identity:  35 Years of Archiving,” an exhibition that explores the construction of Chinese American identity through MOCA’s archival materials. Tam has previously served as the Associate Curator at Exit Art and the Acting Associate Curator at the Queens Museum of Art. While at Exit Art, he curated "New Mirrors:  Painting in a Transparent World"; and co-curated "Summer Mixtape Volume 1," an exhibition exploring the role of pop music in the work of emerging artists. In 2007, Tam curated "A Jamaica, Queens Thing," about the intersection between hip hop and the crack cocaine epidemic. He has also curated solo exhibitions with artists Lee Mingwei, Rafael Sanchez and Regina Jose Galindo, and has worked on historical exhibitions about urban planner Robert Moses and alternative art spaces in New York.

Ed Varno: With over 30 years in community service, public affairs and marketing, Ed Varno is the Executive Director of the Ontario County Historical Society which runs the Ontario County History Museum. Varno has held his position at OCHS for over 20 years. Previously he was the Director of Development for the Town of Victor and County Planner for Ontario County.

Carol Ward: Carol Ward is the Executive Director of the Morris-Jumel Mansion. Ward has been actively involved in efforts to include artist installations in this historic house museum, including a recent exhibition of the work of Yinka Shonibare, MBE. Prior to assuming the leadership of the museum Ward was its Director of Education and Public Programs, previously served as the Outreach Coordinator and Educator of the Bruce Museum (CT) and as the Gallery Manager of Ridderhof Martin Gallery in Fredericksburg, VA.

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Music

Cristian Amigo: Cristian Amigo is currently the Composer-in-Residence at INTAR Theatre, where he runs the NewMusic Tuesdays concert series He has composed theatre music, chamber and orchestral music, opera, jazz and art song. Amigo received the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in music composition and the Van Leir Fellowship from Meet the Composer. His work has also been supported and/or produced by organizations including the Brooklyn Philharmonic, New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA), New York City Opera, Jerome Foundation, American Composers Forum, New York State Music Fund, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, Danish Arts Council, Smithsonian Institution Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, Yale Institute of Sacred Music, LAByrinth Theater Company, Boy Scouts of America, José Limón Dance Company, Sundance Institute’s Film Composer Labs, UCLA Center for Intercultural Performance (APPEX/Asian Pacific Performance Exchange), CSI(CUNY) Foundation, among others.

Susan S. Ashbaker: Susan Ashbaker is General Director for Tri-Cities Opera. She is an artistic advisor/consultant, master class presenter, lecturer, and an opera/vocal coach. Ms. Ashbaker was previously Director of Artistic and Music Administration of the Opera Company of Philadelphia for 16 years. She has also worked as assistant conductor and vocal coach with the New York City Opera, European Center for Opera and Vocal Arts (Belgium), International Vocal Arts Institute in Tel Aviv and Montreal, Theater am Goetheplatz (Bremen, Germany), the Academy of Vocal Arts; Executive Director of Commonwealth Youthchoirs and was on the faculty of The Curtis Institute of Music from 1993-2010. Ms. Ashbaker has been Artistic Advisor for The CoOPERAtive Program at Westminster Choir College, where she acts as one of the Master Vocal Coaches and Master Class presenters and served as Adjunct Professor at Westminster Choir College of Rider University.

Joe Damon Chappel: Joe Chappel is the longtime Principal Bass Soloist at Bach Vespers at Holy Trinity (NYC), the oldest running cantata series of its kind in the United States. He is involved in a wide variety of projects spanning early music to new music, working with such notable conductors as former Thomaskantor Georg Christoph Biller and ASO conductor Leon Botstein. Recent projects include the internationally acclaimed four year, four continent world tour of Einstein on the Beach, with its creators Philip Glass and Robert Wilson, a guest artist appearance with the San Francisco Girls Chorus as Noah in Britten's Noye's Fludde, and the US premiere of Simon Bainbridge's Tenebrae with the Ensemble Moto Perpetuo, under the composer's direction. Mr Chappel's resume includes performances throughout the United States and Europe with recent solo appearances at the Bollington Festival (UK), Boulder Bach Festival, Bard Summerscape Festival, and the SC Philharmonic.

Jed Distler: Jed Distler is well known as the Artistic Director for "Composers Collaborative," an interesting outfit that produces collaborative music and theatre works in series called "Solo Flights" and "Non Sequitur." From 1978-2000 he was guest faculty at Sarah Lawrence, where he was music director of the theatre department. An accomplished pianist and composer, Distler also writes record reviews and feature articles for Gramaphone magazine, as well as for Classicstoday.com and other publications. He wrote for BBC for many years, as well as for Tower Records.

Daniel J. Hart: Now in his 9th season as Executive Director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Daniel Hart has 25 years of experience in orchestra management. He previously served as executive director for the Columbus Symphony Orchestra and Colorado Springs Symphony. As a Fellow of the League of American Orchestras, he worked with The Cleveland Orchestra, Colorado Springs Symphony, and the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. Trained as a double bass player, Dan performed with many orchestras before embarking on a career in orchestra management. He currently serves as a Board member of Young Audiences of Western New York and on the Advocacy Committee of the Greater Buffalo Cultural Alliance.

Charles Jarden: Charles Jarden is General Director of American Opera Projects. Previously he held positions at The Santa Fe Opera and the Opera Company of Philadelphia. He has also assisted with the direction of the Glyndebourne Festival Opera and Hong Kong May Festival. At American Opera Projects, Jarden has initiated collaborations with the Lincoln Center Festival, BAM and the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. He has expertise in opera, new music and arts management.

Laura Kaminsky: Laura Kaminsky is a Composer and Arts Administrator who is currently Professor of Music and faculty-at-large for the SUNY Purchase College School of the Arts, where she previously served as the Dean of the Conservatory of Music . As the Artistic Director at Symphony Space for many years, she planned and oversaw a wide variety of musical productions and public programs in other arts disciplines.. She has also been vice president for programs at Meet the Composer, director of the European Mozart Academy in Poland, director of music and theater programs at The New School, artistic director of Town Hall and associate director of education at the 92nd Street Y. Kaminsky's compositions have been performed at many venues in New York and in Africa, Europe, Canada, China and Latin America. She has expertise in new music, composition and music education and is knowledgeable about a wide range of music genres.

Lee Koonce: Lee Koonce is Executive Director of Ballet Hispanico. Previously he directed the Third School Music School Settlement, and Opus 118 Harlem School of Music, and served as Director of Community Relations for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He is also a pianist with a Master's in Piano Performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music. Koonce has expertise in community music school administration and is knowledgeable about a wide variety of music genres.

Alexander Lombard: lexander Lombard is the CEO and founder of the Lake George Music Festival, which quickly became the major cultural event in its region. It has had a full house of 5000 annually. He has developed highly innovative ways to introduce new audiences for classical music. These include "Art Attacks", performances in public places; late night concerts in venues frequented by people in their 20s, and, for children, an annual children't performance and instrument petting zoo. He also founded an annual composition competition. He is a classical pianist and holds a bachelors and masters degree in Piano Performance from the Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam.

Earl McIntyre: Earl McIntyre, a noted Jazz Trombonist, directs the jazz division of the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music and produces its Jazz at the Conservatory series. He has been an Arranger and Orchestrator for Lester Bowie, Roberta Flack, the Mel Lewis Orchestra, Brooklyn Philharmonic, John Faddis and McCoy Tyner. He has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and has served on the faculty of the New School, Long Island University and Purchase College.

David Alan Miller: David Alan Miller has established a reputation as one of the leading American Conductors of his generation. Music Director of the Albany Symphony since 1992, David has proven himself a creative and compelling orchestra builder. Through exploration of unusual repertoire, educational programming, community outreach and recording initiatives, he has reaffirmed the Albany Symphony’s reputation as the nation’s leading champion of American symphonic music and one of its most innovative orchestras. He and the orchestra have twice appeared at "Spring For Music," an annual festival of America's most creative orchestras at New York City's Carnegie Hall. Prior to his appointment in Albany, Mr. Miller was Associate Conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. From 1982 to 1988, he was Music Director of the New York Youth Symphony, earning considerable acclaim for his work with that ensemble.

Milica Paranosic: Milica Paranosic is a Composer and Producer of new music, Arts Administrator and Music Teacher. As Co-Director of Composers Concordance she curates and produces over 15 concerts per season featuring over 50 composer. She is also Director of Music Programming and Resident Artist at Gallery MC and the Founder and Director of Par Academy, where she also teaches composition, film scoring and music technology. Paranosic also teaches at The Julliard School, and 92nd Street Y. She has extensive knowledge of current developments in new music composition and performance as well as expertise about new music technologies.

Alan Pierson: Alan Pierson is the Artistic Director of Alarm Will Sound and a noted conductor. He previously served as the Artistic Director of the Brooklyn Philharmonic, and he has also been a guest conductor for the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Orchestra of St. Luke's and Steve Reich Ensemble. He has expertise in new music and classical music.

Kelley Rourke: Kelley Rourke is the dramaturg at the Glimmerglass Opera and Washington National Opera. Previously she directed the research and publication department of Opera America, editing its magazine. She has created supertitles for more than 65 operas at such companies as the Metropolitan Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, New York City Opera and Chicago Lyric Opera. Ms. Rourke has taught piano to children and adults and has served as a Kennedy Center artist in resident. Ms. Rourke has a bachelor of music in piano performance and a master's degree in arts management. She has expertise in opera, music education and arts education.

Lisa Terry: Lisa Terry is an avid chamber music performer and soloist on viola da gamba and violoncello, and has spent her career as a long-term member of many of the best known chamber ensembles in the early music scene of the Northeast. Her home base is in New York City, where she is a member of the viol quartet, Parthenia. Lisa is principal cellist and viol soloist with Tempesta di Mare, Philadelphia’s baroque orchestra, and is a member of the Dryden Ensemble in Princeton; she works regularly with the Lyra Consort (NYC) and Pegasus Early Music (Rochester). She was a founding member of ARTEK, and has performed with the New York Philharmonic, New York City Opera, Juilliard Opera Orchestra, Opera Lafayette, Orchestra of St. Luke’s and Concert Royal.Lisa Terry is an experienced teacher at all age levels, from beginner to advanced; her special expertise is in technique analysis and discovery.

Catherine Underhill: Catherine Underhill is Managing Director of Symphoria, Syracuse's symphony orchestera. Prior to working at Symphoria served for 12 years as Executive Director of the Colorado Music Festival, in Boulder, CO. During her tenure, she oversaw the merger of the six-week summer classical music festival with a year-round community music school that offers instruction on all instruments and voice to individuals of all ages and all abilities. Catherine brings more than 25 years of experience in leadership positions in a wide range of arts organizations to Symphoria. Prior to her work with the Colorado Music Festival, Catherine served for several years as Executive Director of The Dairy Center for the Arts, in Boulder, where she managed the $3.5M conversion of an abandoned dairy processing plant into a vibrant, multidisciplinary arts center that became home to 14 local arts organizations.

Wen Yang: Wen Yang is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of New York Baroque, Inc. As a performer of the baroque double bass, she has performed at the Spoleto Music Festival, the American Bach Soloists Academy and the Music Academy of the West. She is a graduate of the Yale School of Music and the Julliard School.

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Presenting - Multi & Interdisc Arts

Bob Bursey: Bob Bursey is a seasoned arts manager with 17 years’ experience in contemporary dance in New York and abroad, including 10 years as the producer for Bill T. Jones, producing director of Dance Theater Workshop and New York Live Arts, production manager of the American Dance Festival, and production manager of the Pina Bausch company. Now Senior Producer of the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts in the mid-Hudson Valley, he focuses on the development and presentation of contemporary dance and theater while overseeing annual presenting seasons including opera, classical music, world music, and humanities events, including the acclaimed SummerScape festival.

David Cady: David Cady is a New York based Casting Director and Teacher who began his professional career as an actor on Broadway. Film casting credits include Disney's "Enchanted" and assisting on the original "Dirty Dancing." Theater casting include the world premier of Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Whistle Down the Wind." David has been a Commercial Casting Director for over 25 years.

Amy Chin: Amy Chin is an arts consultant with over 25 years of experience as a producer, performer, presenter, educator, and administrator. As an artist, she has performed and taught in hundreds of cities across America and developed unique arts programs for schools, theaters, and broadcast media. From 2003-2013, Ms. Chin served on the Mayor’s Cultural Affairs Advisory Commission for the City of New York. Ms. Chin established and led the Chinatown Partnership Local Development Corporation which pioneered new community initiatives integrating arts into economic development and an award-winning marketing campaign credited with increasing visitors and business to the neighborhood post-9/11. Prior to that, Ms. Chin produced highly-regarded public performances, managed a multi-disciplinary arts school, and built a national touring program for the New York Chinese Cultural Center.

Sherry Dobbin: Sherry Dobbin is the Director of Public Art for Times Square Arts, the Alliance’s public art program that works to bring high-quality and cutting-edge art to the Crossroads of the World. Sherry is responsible for programming Times Square with installations and performance arts from artists around the world. She most recently served as Director of The Watermill Center. She brings over 20 years of experience having worked internationally within performance arts, visual arts and public art and having served as a producer, administrator and curator.

Jon Elbaum: Jon Elbaum has served in multiple capacities within arts organizations over the years. Jon has both rigorous academic training and many years of experience in the areas of presenting, fund development, venue management, and public-private partnerships. Having worked with organizations both large and small, he has a deep understanding of the many complexities and challenges faced by presenters and artists today. As a musician (guitar, keys) he has played with several bands and performed throughout the Denver Metro and Rocky Mountain region. In Minneapolis he served on the grant review panel for the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council.

Amy Flack: Amy Flack is the Executive Director of the Community Performance Series at SUNY Potsdam. Formerly, Amy was the Executive Director of the Thousand Island Performing Arts Fund where she oversaw the $3.2M renovation and historic preservation of the Clayton Opera and led the organization through four years of significant growth and all phases of programmatic and audience development. Amy has also worked as a stage and production manager for the Princess Grace Foundation and the Hangar Theatre and Kitchen Theatre in Ithaca, NY.

Ariana Hellerman: Ariana Hellerman, as the Curator of Ariana's List, shares free cultural events that take place around New York City. Ariana is in the know about many of the arts scenes in the city, especially around world music and jazz. She is also the Assistant Director of Arts and Community Development at WHEDco/Bronx Music Heritage Center, where she is building programming that attracts business and enhances quality of life in the Bronx.

Sara Hill: Sara Hill is the Marketing Manager for Proctor’s, a leading regional historic theater and performing arts complex in Schenectady. Sara directs Proctor’s grassroots and guerrilla marketing campaigns and new audience development along with maintaining and developing cross promotion partnerships and community outreach.

James Lemons: James Lemons is the Executive Director and Head of Programming for the Lake Placid Center for the Arts in Lake Placid, NY. James was formerly the General Manager of Florida Studio Theater, one of the largest producing houses on Florida’s West Coast, managing a budget of over $4.5M and producing 25 shows per season. James also oversaw the renovation of the Gompertz Theatre, a 100 year old historic theatre, and the creation of two performances venues.

Salvatore Prizio: Having spent almost 20 years in the music industry, Sal Prizio brings a creative energy and experience to every project that he finds himself involved with. With an education from Northeastern University in Music Industry he spent the first ten years of his career in New York City working for such companies as Warner Brothers, Elektra Entertainment, and Eagle Rock Entertainment while pursuing a career as a touring musician. The second ten years has seen his career transition from the recorded side of the business to live performance. In 2008 he opened Bread and Jam, a live venue and restaurant in Cohoes NY. After two years in that venture he was offered the opportunity to take over the reins at The College of Saint Rose Massry Center for the Arts. For the past 6 seasons he has directed that venue with some of the world’s best performers and has grown the performance season to near capacity attendance.

Michelle Reiser-Memmer: Michelle Reiser-Memmer holds a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and master’s degree in arts management from Carnegie Mellon University. She has over 20 years of experience in the presenting field and directs the Performing Arts Program at Hamilton College, a position she has held since 2000. Prior to her position at Hamilton College, she was the assistant director for Cultural Programming at Lafayette College in Easton, PA. Michelle has served on grant panels for Pennsylvania Performing Arts on Tour, Central New York Arts Decentralization, CNY Arts in Education Grants, and New York State Presenters Network. She has also been a member of the showcase jury panel for the Performing Arts Exchange Regional Conference and the Chamber Music America National Conference. She is on the advisory panel for New York State Presenters Network.

Stephen Svoboda: Stephen Svoboda is currently the Executive Director for the Red House Arts Center in Syracuse, NY. Previously he served as the Artistic Executive Director of the Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts and as a professor in the Theatre Arts Department at the University of Miami where he was the head of the B.F.A. Program in Directing and Playwriting and the Artistic Director of Miami’s Fresco Productions. Stephen was also the director of the University of Miami Summer Theater Academy. Stephen’s own work, Odysseus Died from AIDA, The Penguin Tango and Reconstructing Mama have been produced Off-Broadway and regionally throughout the U.S.

Jay Wegman: Jay Wegman is the Director of Henry Street Settlement's Abrons Arts Center. He is responsible for all arts programming, residencies, instruction, exhibitions, and arts-in-education projects. Prior to joining Henry Street in 2006, he served as Director of the arts programs at The Cathedral of St. John the Divine for ten years and was also a Fellow at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC. Jay is a graduate of the University of Minnesota and Yale University.

Jefferson Westwood: Jefferson Westwood has been Director of the Michael C. Rockefeller Arts Center at the State University of New York at Fredonia since 1982. Designed by IM Pei and Partners, the complex includes three performance venues and two art galleries. Mr. Westwood serves as Artistic and Managing Director for the DFT Communications Pops Series, the World Travel Series, the Kaleidoscope Family Entertainment Series and the daytime On Stage for Youth Series for area elementary schools. In addition to programming, his responsibilities include general management, strategic planning, staff supervision, community relations, fund raising, financial management and directing Fredonia’s undergraduate degree program in Arts Administration.

Jon Yanofsky: Jon Yanofsky joined Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College (BCBC) in July 2013 as Director. Before coming to BCBC, he served as the Director of Marketing for Jazz at Lincoln Center, and the Executive Director of the Paramount Center for the Arts, where he led the organization through a successful rebuilding effort as well as a $2.5 million capital renovation campaign. He has also worked as a freelance consultant for clients such as BRIC/Celebrate Brooklyn and the Irish Arts Center, and served on various panels and workshops, including the Doris Duke-funded Jazz Audiences Initiative, Chamber Music America’s National Conference, the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation grant review, and the Association of Performing Arts Presenters Emerging Leadership Institute. He received his B.A. from the University of California at Santa Cruz in Sociology and African American Studies.

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Regional Economic Development

Diane Aaronson: Diane Aaronson has a BA in Studio Art, SUNY Oneonta, CAS in Non-Profit Management, College of St. Rose. Diane is a resident of Otsego County since 1981; involved with schools, arts organizations and artists through work as Arts In Education Program Manager for DCMO (Delaware-Chenango-Madison-Otsego) and ONC (Otsego-Delaware-Schoharie-Greene) BOCES and through volunteer activities. She is current Chair of the Future for Oneonta Foundation and Co-Chair of NYS Arts In Education Network.

Kathleen Benson-Haskins: Kathleen Benson Haskins worked for more than 40 years at the Museum of the City of New York, serving in various departments, from education to curatorial to government and community relations. While with the Museum, Kathleen served on several grant review panels, including the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the New York Council for the Humanities, and the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs. In retirement, she is an active community advocate, serving on three nonprofit boards and one committee. She is also a published author who recently read from her new children's book at CMOM.

Stacey Bridge: Stacey Bridge began her career on the technical side of theatre, serving as scenic carpenter and stage manager, before transitioning to administrative roles in marketing, box office, and the business office, where she participated in contract negotiations with visiting artists and daily fiscal operations. She is currently the Director of Finance and Administration at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall.

Keri L. Butler: Keri Butler has nearly 20 years experience as an arts administrator in New York and Chicago. For the last ten years, she has worked closely with New York City agencies on the development and design of capital projects with a particular focus on cultural institutions. Keri also works closely with various agencies to conserve the City's art collection, ranging from the City Hall portrait collection, to WPA abstract murals, to the Central Park Obelisk. Extremely knowledgeable and well-spoken about art and art history, Keri serves as an advisor for the City's Percent for Art artists selection process and collaborates closely with Public Art Fund and Creative Time on temporary exhibitions in and around City Hall.

Edmund Cardoni: Edward Cardoni is the Executive Director of Hallwalls, a highly regarded multi-arts center in Buffalo. Programming includes a gallery for changing exhibitions, a film series, plus film/video archives, a music program and a small performance space for other programs. Under Edmund's leadership, Hallwalls relocated to expanded quarters. He was involved in the planning and renovation of the new space.

Michelle Carollo: Michelle Carollo is an Installation Artist and the Community Engagement Manager for the Made in NY Media Center by IFP where she handles all things community. She has worked extensively in the public non-profit sector, developing community partnerships with both non-profit organizations and corporate partners. As a former Grants and Development Administrator, she has managed investments of public funds and leveraged capital funds for cultural facilities, working to provide New York State citizens access to high quality arts and culture. Recently, she served as the Co- Founder and Artistic Director of SPARKBOOM, an innovative program that was conceived to foster Long Island’s emerging creative talent. Michelle installs large-scale public works around the country.

Marc R. Courtade: Marc Courtade is an arts professional with over twenty years' experience in programming, financial reporting, fundraising, contracts administration and database management. Marc combines his practical experience with the theoretical as Adjunct Professor of Arts Management. He is currently Director of the Huntington Arts Council.

Russell Davidson: Russell Davidson is the Innovation Lab & Special Projects Manager at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery and serves on the Museum's senior management team. The Innovation Lab is an independent department within the Museum, which aspires to fulfill the Albright-Knox's mission to serve as a hub of creative, collaborative energies. Russell has an extensive background in government, banking, and academia. He began his career working for a Member of the US House of Representatives, serving in a number of capacities including community development, public relations, and community outreach. Russell has also served as the Government Affairs Liaison for the Erie County Sheriff's Office, a financial analyst at a number of banking institutions, including the US Treasury Department at Freddie Mac, and as a Research Assistant at The Ohio State University while pursuing his Master's Degree.

Carey Eidel: Carey Eidel is a Founder and Executive Director of Auburn Public Theater (APT), a nonprofit multi-arts center in the Finger Lakes Region. He has expertise in theater management, programming, fundraising, producing and captial improvement projects. He is familitar with the NYS grant process. As a NYS vendor, APT also is partially funded by NYSCA and acts as a DEC Regrant site for a 5-county region. APT has also been funded by The Regional Economic Development Council is 2015. Before his current postition, he was a union performer, writer and teacher in NY and Los Angeles for 25 years.

Jon Elbaum: Jon Elbaum has served in multiple capacities within arts organizations over the years. Jon has both rigorous academic training and many years of experience in the areas of presenting, fund development, venue management, and public-private partnerships. Having worked with organizations both large and small, he has a deep understanding of the many complexities and challenges faced by presenters and artists today. As a musician (guitar, keys) he has played with several bands and performed throughout the Denver Metro and Rocky Mountain region. In Minneapolis he served on the grant review panel for the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council.

George Ferrari: George Ferrari is Executive Director of Community Foundation of Tompkins County. George has 30 years experience in community based organizations in leadership, grant seeking and grant making positions. He alos has 10 years experience in philanthropy including community foundation grant making, regional association of grant makers, and grant application review and final report and site visit evaluations.

Cynnie Gaasch: Cynnie Gaasch has been a staff member or teaching artist for Young Audiences WNY since 2003, and Executive Director since 2009. Cynnie has broad experience of the 8 counties of WNY, and peer relationships with many in the Rochester area. She founded the Arts Partners for Learning Initiative, providing 8 county services expanding capacity in arts education for schools and cultural organizations. She was a founding steering committee member for the Arts Services Initiative of WNY, and is a board member for Ujima Company. At Young Audiences she has secured two NEA Our Town Placemaking grants for the City of Buffalo and two NYS CFA Regional Economic Development Grants, and continues placemaking work with Nick Cave, University at Buffalo Department of Architecture, and Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation. She was formerly a board member for the Chautauqua County Arts Council and Adams Art Gallery in Dunkirk, NY.

Jan Michael Hanvik: Jan Hanvik is the Executive Director of The Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural & Educational Center. The Center has received a $150,000 Regional Economic Development Council grant for the Lower East Side Arts Jobs Training Program. From 2002-2008, Jan was Executive Director of Columbia Council on the Arts. He was a modern dancer for many years.

Pamela L. Jackson: With more than 25 years marketing and fundraising experience, including 12 years in cultural institutions, Pamela Jackson is qualified to objectively evaluate projects and programs particularly through a lens of service to the public. During this time, Pamela has successfully written hundreds of public and private grant requests and has managed grant funded projects. She also a certified English Secondary Education Teacher with training in technical, exposition and persuasive writing.

David Kahn: David Kahn is the Executive Director of the Adirondack Museum and has nearly forty years of experience in the museum field. Previously, Kahn served as Executive Director of the San Diego History Center, the Louisiana State Museum, The Connecticut Historical Society and the Brooklyn Historical Society. Kahn has also worked as a Curator for the National Park Service’s Manhattan Sites. He has served as a panelist for federal and state agencies as well as private funders including the National Endowment for the Humanities, Institute of Museum and Library Services, Massachusetts Cultural Council and the Pew Charitable Trusts.

Kate Koperski: Kate Koperski is Director of the Castellani Art Museum of Niagara University, where she previously served as Curator of Folk Arts. She earned a Master of Arts in Humanities from the State University of New York at Buffalo, an interdisciplinary degree combining studies in Cultural Anthropology and English with a concentration in visual material culture. Koperski has more than fifteen years’ experience producing exhibitions and related public programming, and has a special interest in artistic expressions that have historically been under-represented in museums. Kate has served as a grant review panelist for the New York State Council on the Arts and has been a member of the New York Council on the Humanities Speakers Program. She is a member of the Cultural Alliance of Niagara, a collaborative that promotes arts, culture and heritage sites in Niagara County. She currently serves as Vice President of the board of directors of Arts Services Initiative of Western New York.

Kimberly LaMendola: With formal education in Community and Rural Development, Kimberly LaMendola is the Regional Development Coordinator of the Southern Tier West Regional Planning & Development Board. Previously, Kimberly was the Director of Programs and Business Advancement for the City of Salamanca, under the Chamber of Commerce. For a decade, she was the Programs and Grants manager of the Cattaraugus County Arts Council, including providing administration of Regrant programs and workshops among a myriad of duties. Kimberly also worked in program development in the Olean, NY area, and while there also co-founded and owned "The Muse Arts & Cultural Magazine."

Julia Lu: Julia Lu is Director of Consulting for the Support Center for Nonprofit Management, a nonprofit management support organization dedicated to strengthening nonprofit leaders and their organizations. She previously served as the Director of the Cultural Industry Investment Fund for the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone (UMEZ). This $25 million fund was designated as investment capital for the nonprofit arts and cultural sector as a means of building institutional capacity and advancing organizational development. Prior to joining UMEZ, Julia was the Director of Programs for the American Academy in Rome—one of the leading independent centers for advanced study in the arts and humanities—where she managed the signature Rome Prize. From 1996 to 2001, she held dual positions as Program Director and National Conference Director for Chamber Music America. While there, she managed programs to support the institutionalization of historically volunteer-run chamber music presenters, funded art

Terry McDonald: Terry McDonald has served as Executive Director of the Roberson Museum and Science Center for the past nine years. In that capacity, Terry has bolstered public relations and improved its financial stability. She has taught numerous art history courses, and is a specialist in medieval studies and architectural history. Terry has worked as Assistant Museum Educator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art/The Cloisters, and Director of Education at the Roberson Museum. Terry brings a background in education as well as administration to the panel.

Ellen McHale: Ellen McHale is the Executive Director of the New York Folklore Society, located in Schenectady, NY. A resident of Montgomery County, she has served as the Executive Director of the New York Folklore Society since 1999. Prior to taking this position, she served as the chief executive officer for the Old Stone Fort Museum, Schoharie, and the Shaker Heritage Society, Colonie, and has been a consulting arts professional for major museums and heritage institutions. Ellen McHale is a Fulbright Scholar (Sweden) and is an Archie Green Fellow at the Folklife Center of the Library of Congress. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.

Jorge B. Merced: As Associate Director of the Bronx-based, Pregones Theatre, Jorge B. Merced is a well-respected theatre artist in the Latino community and the field at large. In his several years of experience, Merced has worked as both an actor and dancer, receiving many awards, among them the HOLA Hispanic Actors Award and the ACE Hispanic Critics Award. He is presently vice-Chair of the board of the Association of Hispanic Arts. In addition, Merced has served as a NYSCA auditor and on numerous funding panels Statewide.

Travis Newton: Travis Newton currently serves as the Director of Music and Arts Administration at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, where he also conducts the Le Moyne College Chamber Orchestra and has recently initiated a new Master's program in Arts Administration. Travis also serves as Artistic Director of the Le Moyne College Summer Arts Institute String Camp. Through many community collaborations with arts organizations and nonprofits in Central New York, he has developed one of eight higher education programs in Arts Administration in New York State.

Sara Pasti: Sara Pasti is the Director of the Dorsky Museum at SUNY New Paltz. Sara is the driving force behind Hudson Valley Visual Arts Collections Consortium (HVVACC) and as such has broad knowledge across the region. She has had a lot of arts administration experience and is well-organized.

Eliza Rand: Eliza Rand has over 30 years of experience in non-profit work in the areas of development, marketing and media relations. She is currently Associate Development Officer for the Parrish Art Museum. She was founding Director of Marketing & PR for Bay Street Theatre and has worked at a variety of arts institutions including the James Corcoran Gallery, Museum of Modern Art, and the New Museum of Contemporary Art. She worked as an editorial associate with Julie Andrews and Emma Walton on their collection of children’s books, The Julie Andrews Collection.

Daniel Reid: Daniel Reid's areas of expertise are Programmatic Quality and Managerial and Fiscal Competence. He is Executive Director of the Whiting Foundation, which supports writers through the Whiting Award for emerging writers; financial aid grants for attendance at writers' residencies in New York State and elsewhere; a nonfiction work-in-progress grant; and other programs. His experience in ensuring and monitoring Programmatic Quality includes work with literature selection panels at Whiting and consultancies with UNESCO, where he evaluated a grant program to preserve endangered languages, and with the Illinois Humanities Council, where he developed a strategic roadmap for programming to support the underserved "downstate" area. His experience in Managerial and Fiscal Competence includes full financial and operational management of the Whiting Foundation; work as an Engagement Manager at McKinsey & Company.

Michele F. Saliola: Michele Saliola has 15 years experience working with non-profits on program development and evaluation for artists projects, exhibitions, educational programs, marketing and audience development, and capital projects and collections management. Michele has overseen planning an delivery of mission-driven programs from concept through to execution and evaluation.

Jennifer Schwartz Berky: Jennifer Schwartz Berky is trained as urban planner who understands historic preservation. Jennifer worked for Ulster County for several years before she started her own consulting firm, Hone Strategic LLC. She developed a cultural analysis for the region. Her strength in Regional Economic Development (REDC) is her high rate of success getting support for REDC projects in the region. She has also done a lot of work with Storm King.

Wallace Smith: Wallace Smith has been a Manager of public radio stations in Los Angeles and Long Island for over 42 years and has been active in the arts community throughout that time. Wallace has been involved in statewide and national activities of arts councils and public broadcasting organizations including service on the Board of NPR and President of the California State Association of Public Radio Stations. He is currently President of WPPB-Peconic Public Broadcasting.

Constance R. Sullivan-Blum: Constance R. Sullivan-Blum,Ph.D. is the Executive Director of the Arts Council of the Southern Finger Lakes. Constance holds a doctorate in Cultural Anthropology from Binghamton University. Dr. Sullivan-Blum has been doing research and teaching on the college level in the Southern Finger Lakes region for nearly a decade. Her folk arts interests include making links between the folk arts of Europe and those of other cultures around the world, and expanding the visibility of multi-cultural folk arts in our community.

Robert Wildman: Robert Wildman is Associate Professor and Director of the Long Island University BFA Program. From 2002 to 2005, Robert was employed as Senior Program Manager for the Connecticut Commission on the Arts, where he oversaw the Organizational Support Program.

Kal Wysokowski: Kal Wysokowski Chairs the Erie Canal Bicentennial Committee on behalf of the NYS Canal Commission, and has a passion for the waterway, it's heritage and meaning, and the importance of celebrating its 200th year across New York State! Kal's experience includes more than 20 years in regional and local economic development in Ithaca and Fairport; over a decade working in higher education and with nonprofit organizations (Ithaca College, Community School of Music and Arts).

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Special Arts Services

Elizabeth Bennett: Elizabeth Bennett is a dramaturg, arts education manager, journalist, and arts administrator. She currently works as the Associate Dir. of Institutional and Foundational Relations at Columbia Univ. School of the Arts. She was formerly Manager of Institutional Giving at Park Avenue Armory and held the position of Grants Manager (Foundations) at 92nd Street Y. From 2006-2012, she was the Director of the Program Services Unit in the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs where she was part of the team managing the application process to distribute annually approx. $31M in public funds to cultural organizations throughout NYC. She was the primary manager of and a strong advocate for the Cultural After-School Adventures Program, through which $5.1M was awarded annually to cultural organizations providing cultural after-school activities at 255 schools in all five boroughs.

Janice Gouldthorpe: Janice Gouldthorpe has been the Executive Director of Genesee Center for the Arts and Education (GCAE) for 10 years. The Genesee Center for the Arts and Education is leading a cultural institution in Rochester that offers services to the community that are in demand and relevant and, the organization has achieved an impressive degree of sustainability. During her tenure at GCAE, Gouldthorpe has grown the organization from a financially and structurally at risk cultural institution to a sustainable one – with a balanced budget of more than $500,000. The organization owns its facility outright. It received a $3.5M endowment contribution two-years ago, which is managed by Rochester Area Community Foundation. It has grown its staff and faculty from 7 to 11 (6 full time, 7-part time) members, plus more than 50 adjunct faculty members.

Marigene Kettler Behrens: Marigene Kettler Behrens has been the Executive Director of the Rockland Conservatory of Music since 1999. Marigene has heightened the organization’s image and outreach capabilities, increased enrollment and, offered more scholarship opportunities to students in financial need. Under her leadership, RCM has expanded its collaborations with other organizations in the County. Behrens’ mission is to educate young people in the arts and make music a part of their lives; and has served on local, regional and State panels. As a professional musician, Behrens has had an extensive career as a free lance musician and remains an active soprano soloist and chamber musician in the tri-State area, the U.S, and internationally; in such venues as the Aspen Music Festival in Aspen, Colorado and the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria.

Julia Lu: Julia Lu is Director of Consulting for the Support Center for Nonprofit Management, a nonprofit management support organization dedicated to strengthening nonprofit leaders and their organizations. She previously served as the Director of the Cultural Industry Investment Fund for the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone (UMEZ). This $25 million fund was designated as investment capital for the nonprofit arts and cultural sector as a means of building institutional capacity and advancing organizational development. Prior to joining UMEZ, Julia was the Director of Programs for the American Academy in Rome—one of the leading independent centers for advanced study in the arts and humanities—where she managed the signature Rome Prize. From 1996 to 2001, she held dual positions as Program Director and National Conference Director for Chamber Music America. While there, she managed programs to support the institutionalization of historically volunteer-run chamber music presenters, funded art

Jorge B. Merced: As Associate Director of the Bronx-based, Pregones Theatre, Jorge B. Merced is a well-respected theatre artist in the Latino community and the field at large. In his several years of experience, Merced has worked as both an actor and dancer, receiving many awards, among them the HOLA Hispanic Actors Award and the ACE Hispanic Critics Award. He is presently vice-Chair of the board of the Association of Hispanic Arts. In addition, Merced has served as a NYSCA auditor and on numerous funding panels Statewide.

Sami Abu Shumays: Sami Shumay has experience as both an Arts Administrator (currently Deputy Director at Flushing Town Hall) and Artist (traditional Arab music, leading ensemble Zikrayat). Sami has served on numerous grant panels, including NYC DCLA, NYSCA Technical Assistance, BAM PDP in the last several years; as a former Director of the regrants program at Queens Council on the Arts (2008-9), she set up and ran panels to award grants (NYSCA, DCLA & JPMorgan Chase). Sami's areas of responsibility at Flushing Town Hall encompass budget, board relations, HR & staff management, government relations, community partnerships, capital projects, marketing & PR.

Andrea E. Smith: Andrea Smith is currently Chairman of the Board of 651 ARTS. Andrea was a former consultant to small to mid-size presenting and producing organizations as well as independent artists; former employee of presenters PS 122 and Newark Symphony Hall. She previously served on panels for the NC Arts Council, the Arkansas Arts Council and NYSCA POP and Appeals Panel.

Aaron Zimmerman: Aaron Zimmerman founded NYWC based on the success of the workshops he began in April 2000 at The Prince George, a supportive housing community for low-income, formerly homeless and special-needs populations. He has been leading creative writing workshops since 1997 through Manhattan Writers, a writing workshop program he founded. In that time, he has worked with hundreds of writers of all genres, ages and backgrounds. Aaron was named as a 2005 Petra Fellow by The Petra Foundation for his “distinctive contributions to the rights, dignity and autonomy of others.” He was named one of the Top 100 New Yorkers of 2003 by New York Resident magazine for his work with NYWC. He has also taught creative writing at City College.

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State & Local Partnerships

Kelly Burdick: Kelly M. Burdick currently serves at the Director of Development for The Classical Theatre of Harlem where she is responsible for all aspects of programmatic and organizational fundraising. Prior to that, she created the first fundraising function for the Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance, a rapidly growing arts service organization. Prior to that, she served as a program officer at the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone designing and managing capacity-building and technical assistance grants to upper Manhattan arts organizations. She also developed and implemented marketing-focused professional development programs at the Arts & Business Council of New York. Ms. Burdick holds a MFA in Arts Administration from Columbia University and a BA in Theatre Arts from Marymount Manhattan College.

Stephen Butler: Stephen Butler is a native of Onondaga County and the Executive Director of CNY Arts, a regional arts council serving six counties in Central New York State. He received his BA in Theatre from Oswego State University and relocated to New York City. During his years in NYC, Stephen worked as the Director of Membership/Programs for the Alliance of Resident Theaters/New York, the Alliance of New York State Arts Councils and at several producing organizations including Manhattan Theatre Club, the Hudson Guild Theater, and Creative Alternatives of New York, a drama-therapy organization serving the greater metropolitan region. He was also an AEA stage manager. Stephen is a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship recipient in Strategic Planning. He returned to Syracuse and obtained a Masters of Arts in Public Administration from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University. Before coming to CNY Arts, he was the Executive Director of the Mental Health Association of Onondaga County.

Marc R. Courtade: Marc Courtade is an arts professional with over twenty years' experience in programming, financial reporting, fundraising, contracts administration and database management. Marc combines his practical experience with the theoretical as Adjunct Professor of Arts Management. He is currently Director of the Huntington Arts Council.

Carey Eidel: Carey Eidel is a Founder and Executive Director of Auburn Public Theater (APT), a nonprofit multi-arts center in the Finger Lakes Region. He has expertise in theater management, programming, fundraising, producing and captial improvement projects. He is familitar with the NYS grant process. As a NYS vendor, APT also is partially funded by NYSCA and acts as a DEC Regrant site for a 5-county region. APT has also been funded by The Regional Economic Development Council is 2015. Before his current postition, he was a union performer, writer and teacher in NY and Los Angeles for 25 years.

Tina Hastings: Tina Hastings is the Executive Director of the Cattaraugus County Arts Council having been appointed to the position in May 2014. She attended Southern Illinois University - Carbondale (SIUC) where she studied anthropology and history. She held several positions within the University Museum during her time at SIU, including her last position as Assistant Curator of Collections/Archive Supervisor. She graduated from SIUC with a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology in 2002 and a Masters of Public Administration in 2006. Originally from central Ohio, Tina and her family moved to western New York in 2007 when her husband accepted a teaching position at SUNY Fredonia. She was named Director of the Cathy and Jesse Marion Art Gallery at SUNY Fredonia where she enjoyed working with artists in all mediums and curating diverse exhibitions for the campus and community. She also coordinated and taught courses for students in the Museum Studies minor program.

Victoria Kappel: Victoria Kappel has life-long experience as both a Performing Artist and an Arts Administrator. She has successfully lead the Chenango County Council of the Arts as Executive Director for the last 15 years, and will retire this June. Victoria has expertise in grantwriting, marketing, project management and new program development. She is also highly qualified in budgeting, long range and strategic planning, staff management and board relations.

Bob Knipe: Bob Knipe retired in 2013 as Dean of Learning Technologies at Genesee Community College, where he served since 1990 after higher education jobs in Oregon and Idaho in media services, distance learning, teaching communications and teacher education courses, and as a high school English teacher. Bob currently serves as Board of Directors President (2013-15) for the Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council (GOART!), and also as the Operations Manager since 2008 for the Genesee Symphony Orchestra, 1993-present. Bob is an accomplished French Horn player.

James Lemons: James Lemons is the Executive Director and Head of Programming for the Lake Placid Center for the Arts in Lake Placid, NY. James was formerly the General Manager of Florida Studio Theater, one of the largest producing houses on Florida’s West Coast, managing a budget of over $4.5M and producing 25 shows per season. James also oversaw the renovation of the Gompertz Theatre, a 100 year old historic theatre, and the creation of two performances venues.

Suzanne McBroom: Suzanne McBroom is the Executive Director of the St. Lawrence County Arts Council (SLC Arts), a regional arts council serving Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties. Suzy was previously the grants coordinator of SLC Arts for six years managing the NYSCA Decentralization program for the region. Suzy is a life-long resident of the North Country and has spent 16+ years volunteering for two locally-based nonprofits. Her own involvement in the arts has centered on textile arts and choral performance.

Jorge B. Merced: As Associate Director of the Bronx-based, Pregones Theatre, Jorge B. Merced is a well-respected theatre artist in the Latino community and the field at large. In his several years of experience, Merced has worked as both an actor and dancer, receiving many awards, among them the HOLA Hispanic Actors Award and the ACE Hispanic Critics Award. He is presently vice-Chair of the board of the Association of Hispanic Arts. In addition, Merced has served as a NYSCA auditor and on numerous funding panels Statewide.

Ellen Pollan: Ellen is Deputy Director at the Bronx Council on the Arts and has extensive understanding of grant making. She oversees NYSCA and NYC DCA grant programs among others at her current job and has a working knowledge of arts and cultural organizations throughout the region.

Sami Abu Shumays: Sami Shumay has experience as both an Arts Administrator (currently Deputy Director at Flushing Town Hall) and Artist (traditional Arab music, leading ensemble Zikrayat). Sami has served on numerous grant panels, including NYC DCLA, NYSCA Technical Assistance, BAM PDP in the last several years; as a former Director of the regrants program at Queens Council on the Arts (2008-9), she set up and ran panels to award grants (NYSCA, DCLA & JPMorgan Chase). Sami's areas of responsibility at Flushing Town Hall encompass budget, board relations, HR & staff management, government relations, community partnerships, capital projects, marketing & PR.

Constance R. Sullivan-Blum: Constance R. Sullivan-Blum,Ph.D. is the Executive Director of the Arts Council of the Southern Finger Lakes. Constance holds a doctorate in Cultural Anthropology from Binghamton University. Dr. Sullivan-Blum has been doing research and teaching on the college level in the Southern Finger Lakes region for nearly a decade. Her folk arts interests include making links between the folk arts of Europe and those of other cultures around the world, and expanding the visibility of multi-cultural folk arts in our community.

Stephen Svoboda: Stephen Svoboda is currently the Executive Director for the Red House Arts Center in Syracuse, NY. Previously he served as the Artistic Executive Director of the Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts and as a professor in the Theatre Arts Department at the University of Miami where he was the head of the B.F.A. Program in Directing and Playwriting and the Artistic Director of Miami’s Fresco Productions. Stephen was also the director of the University of Miami Summer Theater Academy. Stephen’s own work, Odysseus Died from AIDA, The Penguin Tango and Reconstructing Mama have been produced Off-Broadway and regionally throughout the U.S.

Sharon E. Wait: Sharon has strong knowledge of local and state wide arts and cultural organizations,through her current and past positions as Decentralization Grants Administrator at Saratoga Arts, Saratoga Springs, NY, and Program Director at the New York State Alliance for Arts Education (NYSAAE), Albany, NY. She received her BFA in Studio Art from Oswego State University and her M.S.Ed. from Sage Graduate School. Currently as Saratoga Arts’ Grants Administrator, Sharon assists in making the arts accessible to geographically, economically, and ethnically diverse segments of Saratoga, Fulton, and Montgomery Counties. Funded by the New York State Council on the Arts and Saratoga Arts, DEC is a re-grant program for individual artists, non-profits, and government depts. interested in coordinating community arts events or short-term school-based arts residencies.

Christoper Walters: For over 3 years Chris has managed multiple grant programs for The ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes including NYSCA funded DEC and EMF regrants as well as locally funded regrants. Chris has also served on grant panels for local foundations and previously managed academic and cultural exchange and grant programs for undergraduate and graduate students, teachers, and university administrators.

Seth Wochensky: Seth Wochensky has served as Executive Director of Springville Center for the Arts (SCA) since 2010. Over the past five years he has guided the rural multi-arts organization through strategic planning, program expansion and successfully raising over a million dollars in capital project financing. In addition to arts management he has experience in construction management, historic preservation, and filmmaking.

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Theatre

Elizabeth Bennett: Elizabeth Bennett is a dramaturg, arts education manager, journalist, and arts administrator. She currently works as the Associate Dir. of Institutional and Foundational Relations at Columbia Univ. School of the Arts. She was formerly Manager of Institutional Giving at Park Avenue Armory and held the position of Grants Manager (Foundations) at 92nd Street Y. From 2006-2012, she was the Director of the Program Services Unit in the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs where she was part of the team managing the application process to distribute annually approx. $31M in public funds to cultural organizations throughout NYC. She was the primary manager of and a strong advocate for the Cultural After-School Adventures Program, through which $5.1M was awarded annually to cultural organizations providing cultural after-school activities at 255 schools in all five boroughs.

Stacey Bridge: Stacey Bridge began her career on the technical side of theatre, serving as scenic carpenter and stage manager, before transitioning to administrative roles in marketing, box office, and the business office, where she participated in contract negotiations with visiting artists and daily fiscal operations. She is currently the Director of Finance and Administration at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall.

Kelly Burdick: Kelly M. Burdick currently serves at the Director of Development for The Classical Theatre of Harlem where she is responsible for all aspects of programmatic and organizational fundraising. Prior to that, she created the first fundraising function for the Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance, a rapidly growing arts service organization. Prior to that, she served as a program officer at the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone designing and managing capacity-building and technical assistance grants to upper Manhattan arts organizations. She also developed and implemented marketing-focused professional development programs at the Arts & Business Council of New York. Ms. Burdick holds a MFA in Arts Administration from Columbia University and a BA in Theatre Arts from Marymount Manhattan College.

David Cady: David Cady is a New York based Casting Director and Teacher who began his professional career as an actor on Broadway. Film casting credits include Disney's "Enchanted" and assisting on the original "Dirty Dancing." Theater casting include the world premier of Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Whistle Down the Wind." David has been a Commercial Casting Director for over 25 years.

Kia Corthron: Kia Corthron came to national attention in the early nineties with her play Come Down Burning. Portraying characters who live in extreme poverty or crisis, whose lives are otherwise invisible, her plays paint a disturbing picture of American history and its repercussions on our most intimate relationships. She is the author of more than fifteen plays, including Breath, Boom, The Venus de Milo is Armed, Tap the Leopard and A Cool Dip in the Barren Saharan Crick. Her plays have received productions at Manhattan Theatre Club and Playwrights Horizons in New York, Chicago's Goodman Theatre, London's Royal Court Theatre, Los Angeles's Mark Taper Forum, and Minneapolis's Guthrie Theater. She has also written episodes for the acclaimed television series The Wire and The Jury. She received the Windham Campbell Prize, the USA Fellowship in Theatre, the Lee Reynolds Award from the League of Professional Theater Women, the VCCA Wachtmeister Award and the Daryl Roth Creative Spirit Award.

Aimee Davis: Aimee Davis, in her time at Henry Street, has been a great asset to the Development Team, and specifically to the Abrons Arts Center, bringing 10 years of New York theater and performance experience to bear on her role as Grant Writer for the Arts. Aimee has extensive knowledge and understanding of the artists and companies that NYSCA serves.

José A. Esquea: José A. Esquea- Served as Director/Artistic Director of Teatro LATEA from 2006- 2013. He is a graduate of Skidmore College. The work of Artistic Director meant direct responsibility and management of all productions presented at LATEA during Mr. Esquea’s tenure. He was responsible for budgeting, marketing, and execution, of well over forty productions in his 6 years in the forms of long form theater, playwright and film festivals, as well as co-production efforts with emerging artist. He has been working as a Director/Independent producer in New York City since 2001. In 2005 he founded Soñadores Productions classical theater company dedicated to the production of Shakespeare and other classics with multicultural cast and crewmembers.

Scott Alan Evans: Scott Alan Evans is a Director, Writer, Adapter, and the Artistic Executive Director of the award winning TACT/The Actors Company Theatre. Since 1993, Evans has unearthed, produced, and/or directed over 150 plays, including rare or forgotten works as well as new plays. His Off-Broadway directing credits include:  Home, The Sea, Incident at Vichy, The Cocktail Party, Three Men on a Horse, Beyond Therapy, Hard Love and The Triangle Factory Project, which he also conceived and co-wrote. Triangle has been published by Dramatists Play Service and continues to be produced across the country. Additionally, he has directed works regionally and in the university setting. For 10 years, Evans served as Artistic Director of the American Musicals Project, an educational program created by the New-York Historical Society in conjunction with the NYC Board of Education.

Terry Greiss: Terry Greiss is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of the Irondale Ensemble Project, an experimental and educational research theatre based in Brooklyn. She is also an Actor and Teaching Artists.

Vit Horejs: Vit Horejs is the Artistic Director of the Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre. Vit has written several plays, published original and translations of folk tales and stories, performed over 3,000 performances of his Czech folk tales with puppets, and directed over a dozen large scale productions with his company. He has served as panelist with the MAP Fund, and has been active in the NYC Czech community, as a board member of Dvorak Society and the Czech Society for Arts and Sciences.

Rachel Karpf Reidy: Rachel Karpf Reidy is a theater producer and the Associate Director of Page 73, where she produces and develops new work by early-career playwrights. She has previously worked with LCT3, New York Theatre Workshop, the Institute for Psychogeographic Adventure, and Minnesota's Commonweal Theatre. Rachel was also the Associate Producer for the Obie Award-winning playwrights' collective 13P, where she worked on world premieres by Lucy Thurber, Julia Jarcho, and Madeleine George. Rachel holds an A.B. from Dartmouth College and is a recipient of the Clifford S. Gurdin Award.

Tannis Kowalchuk: Tannis Kowalchuk is the Founding Co-Artistic Director of NACL (North American Cultural Lab) Theatre, located in rural Highland Lake (in Sullivan County). Tannis has created more than 16 shows by NACL, an experimental theatre company that collaborates with a roster of multi-disciplinary artists and occasionally brings shows into NYC for extended runs. The company also produces and presents an annual festival of new experimental work.

Rachel Lampert: Rachel Lampert is a Playwright, Director and Choreographer and has been the Artistic Director of Ithaca's Kitchen Theatre for the past 16 seasons. She has also directed, written plays, produced and collaborated locally with the Hangar Theatre, the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, Music's Recreation and AIDSwork of Tompkins County. Directing and theatrical choreography credits outside Ithaca include productions at Cal Rep, Arkansas Rep, Portland Stage Company, New York's Public Theatre, Mill Mountain Theatre and Hawaii Opera Theatre. Her concert dance works have been in the repertories of numerous dance companies in the U.S. and abroad. Rachel is a 4-time recipient of NEA Choreography Fellowships and a CAP Individual Artist Grant. She attended Mount Holyoke College and has a BFA and MFA from NYU Tisch School of the Arts.

James Lemons: James Lemons is the Executive Director and Head of Programming for the Lake Placid Center for the Arts in Lake Placid, NY. James was formerly the General Manager of Florida Studio Theater, one of the largest producing houses on Florida’s West Coast, managing a budget of over $4.5M and producing 25 shows per season. James also oversaw the renovation of the Gompertz Theatre, a 100 year old historic theatre, and the creation of two performances venues.

Tere Martinez: Tere Martinez is a NYC-based Playwright and Educator whose work has been produced in the USA and Puerto Rico, and featured in several studies and books about Latino theatre in the USA. Tere has received a number of awards and grants for her work, including a NYSCA Individual Artists Playwriting Commission in 2011.

Bobby H. McElver: Bobby H. McElver has been a Sound Designer for theaters in NYC since 2009, with prior experience in LA. Bobby has been a company member of the Wooster Group since 2011 and worked on every Wooster show since. In addition to Wooster Group, he has worked with New York City Players, Half Straddle and many other companies, creating original sound designs. Bobby also composes original music scores for dance.

Jonathan McGrory: Jonathan McGrory is an Obie Award Winning, Harlem-based artist currently the Director of Theatre Arts Program at Dr. Barbara Ann Teer's National Black Theatre since 2012. Jonathan has worked professionally as a director, producer and actor for the past 11 years. Directing Credits include:  HandsUp, Hope Speaks Blacken The Bubble, Asking for More, Last Laugh and Enter Your Sleep. A Washington, DC native, he attended Duke Ellington School of the Arts, then New York University TISCH School of the Arts. In 2013 he was awarded the Emerging Producer Award by the National Black Theatre Festival in Winston Salem, NC and the Torch Bearer Award by Woodie King Jr.

Leah M. Michalos: Leah Michalos is a photographer, writer and producer with a passion for supporting the arts. She has spent the last 10 years in the arts and arts education, and has integrated herself in the NYC arts community. Currently, she serves as Managing Director for The Directors Company, a non-profit theater company in NYC, while also heading the S.T.A.R. Program, an evidence-based, peer theater education program that works within New York City Schools. As part of the Greek America Foundation, Leah served as the Director for the GABBY Awards on Ellis Island, which honors the pursuit of excellence achieved by Greek Americans in the arts, philanthropy, business, education, etc. While her main focus has been in the performing arts as of late, Ms. Michalos is also a writer and photographer whose work has been published in print and online media throughout the country. Ms. Michalos holds a Master of Fine Arts in Writing from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Rehana Mirza: Rehana Mirza is a Playwright and the former Director of Desipina Productions, which develops and produces plays by writers of South Asian descent. She is also a Screen Writer.

William Popeleski: William Popeleski is in the fourth year serving on the Board of Directors for New York City’s Vineyard Theatre, the 30 plus year old acclaimed Off-Broadway theatre company. As an Executive Committee member, William is Co-Chair of the Audit, By-laws, Nominations and Development Committees. He brings distinctive career expertise and board experience.

Meg Quinn: In 1972, Meg Quinn was a Founding Member of Theatre of Youth (TOY) Company and has held several positions with the company over 34 years- Actor, Teacher, Director, and Artistic Director for the 21st year. Meg holds a BFA in Theatre Arts from Daeman College and a MS in Creativity and Creative Problem Solving from the International Center for Studies in Creativity (ICSC) at Buffalo State College.

Michael Robertson: Michael Robertson is Managing Director of The Lark, an international theater laboratory. Previous positions:  Director of Development, Collaborative Arts Project 21; Membership Director, National Alliance for Musical Theatre; Managing Director, Assembly Productions; and Director of Annual Fund, Trinity School. He is currently working on a study for the New World Foundation exploring the intersection of theater and social change. He serves as Vice President of the La. School of Math, Science, and the Arts Foundation Board of Trustees. He has served on panels for the National Endowment for the Arts, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, ART/New York, The MAP Fund, The Pew Center for Arts and Heritage, National Alliance for Musical Theatre and Theatre Communications Group. As a Henry Luce Foundation Scholar in Bali, Indonesia he studied dance and served as a consultant for the Agung Rai Museum of Art. BA, Music, Trinity College. Master of Arts Management, Carnegie Mellon University.

Kim Sykes: Kim Sykes is an Actor who has worked in theatre, film and television. Kim’s short stories have been published in Akashic books Noir Series, and one of them, ARRIVEDERCI ALDO, was selected for the Best African American Fiction of 2010 by Nikki Giovanni. She has served as a National and New York Local Vice President of the Screen Actors Guild, and currently serve as a trustee for the Motion Picture Players Welfare Fund.

Ivan Talijancic: Ivan Talijancic is a Cultural Producer and Practitioner working at the intersection of theater, performance, dance, music, film, video, installation/visual art, new media, fashion, fundraising/development, curatorship, journalism and education in New York City and around the globe. Ivan completed his MFA in Directing from Columbia University’s School of the Arts in New York City before co-founding WaxFactory, an international multidisciplinary theater group. To date, he has created and produced nearly 20 performance, installation and film/video works with the company, presented on four continents. Alongside his work with WaxFactory, Ivan has maintained a dynamic career path as a fundraiser/producer (The Invisible Dog Art Center, Dance New Amsterdam, etc), educator (NYU, Barnard, Brown University, etc), published journalist (Bachtrack London, Brooklyn Rail etc) as well as a freelance performance and art director in non-profit and commercial realm.

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Visual Arts

Keri L. Butler: Keri Butler has nearly 20 years experience as an arts administrator in New York and Chicago. For the last ten years, she has worked closely with New York City agencies on the development and design of capital projects with a particular focus on cultural institutions. Keri also works closely with various agencies to conserve the City's art collection, ranging from the City Hall portrait collection, to WPA abstract murals, to the Central Park Obelisk. Extremely knowledgeable and well-spoken about art and art history, Keri serves as an advisor for the City's Percent for Art artists selection process and collaborates closely with Public Art Fund and Creative Time on temporary exhibitions in and around City Hall.

David Court: David Court is the Executive Director of the Asian American Arts Alliance. David has first-hand experience in non-profit arts management, knowledge of institutional grants/grantwriting, and passion for serving the arts community in NYS.

Sherry Dobbin: Sherry Dobbin is the Director of Public Art for Times Square Arts, the Alliance’s public art program that works to bring high-quality and cutting-edge art to the Crossroads of the World. Sherry is responsible for programming Times Square with installations and performance arts from artists around the world. She most recently served as Director of The Watermill Center. She brings over 20 years of experience having worked internationally within performance arts, visual arts and public art and having served as a producer, administrator and curator.

Sean Donaher: As Executive Director and Curator of CEPA Gallery, Sean Donaher manages a highly regarded exhibition and residency program that brings together the brightest local and international contemporary artists, as well as an incredibly vibrant year-round education program that serves over 1,000 children through extended engagement in-school, after-school, and summer programs. Mr. Donaher has also held the position of Executive Director/Curator of Big Orbit Gallery in Buffalo since 1995. Big Orbit is a 20-year old not-for-profit multidisciplinary art center with nationally known programs in visual arts and an internationally known experimental music program called Soundlab. He has also sat on a number of boards and panels including the Visual Arts Panel at the New York State Council on the Arts (Chair - 2007).

Adrienne Edwards: Adrienne Edwards is a Curator, Cultural Producer and Writer of contemporary art with a focus on the visual performance art. Adrienne is a Curator at Performa. She is a PHD candidate in performance studies at NYU.

Beth Giacummo: Beth Giacummo is currently employed by Dowling College, Oakdale, NY . She is also an adjunct professor and co-director of Visual Arts Residency in Lucca, Italy. Ms. Giacummo counts museum management, artistic direction, curation, fundraising and arts activism among her professional skills and expertise. Her curatorial skills include curating exhibits from concept to installation; in addition, she has experience in collaborating with arts initiatives, non-profits and constituents developing and promoting events and cultivating relationships with local, national, and international artists.

Tatana Kellner: Tatana Kellner is Artistic Director of the Women's Studio Workshop. Tatana has worked and exhibited across Upstate New York in Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Ithaca, Albany, various sites in the Adirondack's and throughout the Hudson Valley. At WSW, her work is deeply informed by her interactions with visiting artists and has an uncanny capacity to 'read' budgets.

Martin J. Kline: Martin Kline has been an established professional artist since 1983 and is well known for his exceptional encaustic works, his bronze and stainless-steel-cast sculptures. Martin's work has been exhibited and is in the permanent collections of various American and European Museums and he has been published internationally.

Shane Lavalette: Shane Lavalette is an American Photographer currently living in Upstate New York. Shane received his BFA from Tufts University in partnership with The School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. His photographs have been shown widely, including exhibitions at the High Museum of Art, Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, Aperture Gallery, The Center for Photography at Woodstock, and other well-known Institutions. He is the Founding Publisher/Editor of Lavalette as well as the Director of Light Work.

Janet Riker: Janet Riker has been in the museum field for 29 years in the capacity of Curator and/or Museum Director, with a focus on contemporary art. For the past ten years, Janet has served as Director of the University Art Museum, University at Albany (SUNY). She has previously served as a NYSCA Panelist (1995-1997).

Michele F. Saliola: Michele Saliola has 15 years experience working with non-profits on program development and evaluation for artists projects, exhibitions, educational programs, marketing and audience development, and capital projects and collections management. Michele has overseen planning an delivery of mission-driven programs from concept through to execution and evaluation.

Martha Wilson: Martha Wilson is a pioneering feminist artist and gallery director, who over the past four decades created innovative photographic and video works that explore her female subjectivity. She has been described by New York Times critic Holland Cotter as one of “the half-dozen most important people for art in downtown Manhattan in the 1970s.” In 1976 she founded Franklin Furnace, an artist-run space that champions the exploration, promotion and preservation of artist books, temporary installation, performance art, as well as online works. She is represented by P.P.O.W Gallery in New York; and has received fellowships for performance art from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York Foundation for the Arts; Bessie and Obie awards for commitment to artists’ freedom of expression; a Yoko Ono Lennon Courage Award for the Arts; a Richard Massey Foundation-White Box Arts and Humanities Award, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from Women’s Caucus for Art.

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NYSCA Panelists

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