Jaynne Keyes was deeply honored to have been appointed by Governor Andrew Cuomo to the New York State Council on the Arts as she fervently believes that New York and society in general must not under estimate or undervalue the importance of art.
Born in Texas, she has been greatly influenced by the words of Fellow Texan, Congresswoman Barbara Jordan: "The arts are not a frill. The arts are a response to our individuality and our nature, and help to shape our identity. What is there that can transcend deep difference and stubborn divisions? The arts. They have a wonderful universality. Art has the potential to unify. It can speak in many languages without a translator. The arts do not discriminate. The arts can lift us up”
It was in Texas that Ms.. Keyes began her lifelong relationship with the performing arts, studying and performing at Houston’s Theater Inc. and Alley Theater, but it was in 1970 when she moved to New York that she knew she was home. Her vocation, the arts, with an emphasis on writing, film and theater and her avocation, political activism have often intertwined. She has worked with well-known directors, producers, writers and actors in theater, film and television as well as Congressmen, Senators, Governors and Presidents in political campaigns and causes.
Jaynne Keyes is the only person to serve as Commissioner of both the New York State and New York City Film Commissions. After completion of her cultural appointments, she was an agent at William Morris and an independent producer. She was a founding member and Chair of the Board of The Creative Coalition, a non-profit, issue oriented group in the entertainment arts, involved in major public policy and social change. She also served on several boards, such as The International Radio and Television Society, The Museum for the Moving Image, The Association of Film Commissioners and Women in Film.
After taking what was originally planned as a short sabbatical from the film industry at her farm outside Rhinebeck, NY, she discovered her muses and has been working at creating her own art for the past several years. The evolution began with a short stint at making Adirondack furniture to designing custom jewelry and now painting and sculpting, mainly in Encaustics. She chaired the Shakespeare film festival in the Hudson Valley, enjoys consulting and working with new Theater groups, The Lake Luzerne Music Camp, and is currently chairing the Eleanor Roosevelt at Val Kill Center’s Medal Awards.
Mrs. Keyes reveres the Mid-Eastern Proverb. “If you have only two pennies, spend the first on bread and the other on hyacinths for your soul.”