|Mission & Values
Council Member Biographies
Deputy Executive Director of Agency Operations
Deputy Executive Director of Programs
The Council is comprised of up to 21 individuals who are appointed by the Governor and approved by the State Senate. Council members are appointed to five-year terms. The Council is currently made up of the following members.
Dr. Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel, Chair
Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel is an author, television interviewer and producer, preservationist, and civic activist. In 1966, Dr. Diamonstein-Spielvogel became the first Director of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, initiating the first public art exhibition by Tony Smith at Bryant Park and the first public performance in Central Park of the Metropolitan Opera. She also served as a Commissioner of the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission from 1972 to 1987 and was Chair of the NYC Landmarks Preservation Foundation from 1987 to 1995. She has served as a Member of the NYC Cultural Affairs Commission, where she was Chair/Founder of the Mayor’s Awards of Arts and Culture and a Member of the NYC Art Commission (now called the Public Design Commission). She is currently the Chair of NYC Landmarks 50, commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the organization and the NYC Landmarks Law.
Since 1995, Dr. Diamonstein-Spielvogel has been the Chair of the Historic Landmarks Preservation Center (HLPC), creating a Cultural Medallion program documenting notable occurrences, distinguished individuals and other important aspects of NYC’s cultural, economic, political and social history. Among other programs, the HLPC initiated, created, designed and financed all of the terra cotta street signs in each of NYC’s Historic Districts. Dr. Diamonstein-Spielvogel was appointed by President Reagan to the Board of the United States Holocaust Museum in 1987 where she served as Chair of the subcommittee that commissioned all of the original art created for the museum. She was appointed to the United States Commission of Fine Arts in 1992 by President Clinton and in 1999 Dr. Diamonstein-Spielvogel became the first woman elected Vice Chair of the Commission. In 2008, President Obama appointed her to the American Battle Monuments Commission
Dr. Diamonstein-Spielvogel is the author of 20 books and the curator of eight international museum exhibitions, each based on one of her books. A recent exhibit was circulated based on “The Landmarks of New York,” by the U.S. Department of State to 62 countries on each of the five continents. Her current exhibit is travelling to fourteen cities throughout New York State. Dr. Diamonstein-Spielvogel currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Fresh Air Fund, Friends of the High Line, and the Trust for the National Mall in Washington, DC among others. Dr. Diamonstein-Spielvogel earned her doctorate from New York University, and has received honorary doctorates from the Maryland Institute College of Art, Longwood University in Virginia and Pratt Institute in NYC. She has been elected an Honorary Member of the American Institute of Architects and PEN, Slovakia.
Laura L. Aswad
Laura L. Aswad is the Executive Director of Real Arts and Culture, a New York based company specializing in the performing and visual arts. Previously, she was producer of the Lincoln Center Festival, the international summer performing arts festival, where she produced numerous productions in all genres of the performing arts (1996-2004). Ms. Aswad has also served as associate producer of Lincoln Center’s Serious Fun! Festival (1993-1995), as the tour manager for numerous international and domestic productions, and as the senior associate at International Production Associates where she coordinated domestic and international tours for such artists as Sankai Juku and Philip Glass and the Philip Glass Ensemble (1989-1993). She is originally from Binghamton, New York and she received her B.A. in Theater from the State University of New York at Binghamton.
Amy Cappellazzo is a Founder and Principal of Art Agency Partners. She previously served as a market leader in the field of contemporary art during a tenure of almost thirteen years at Christie’s, where she rose to the post of Chairman of Post-War & Contemporary Development.
While at Christie’s, Cappellazzo was a steward for the sale of some of the most important collections of our time, and she continues to act as a fiduciary for numerous families, foundations and trusts. Additionally, she served as a pioneer in private sales at Christie’s as well as in online auctions, the latter through a partnership she fostered with the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. During a period when the contemporary art market exploded from what was largely a European and American epicenter to a fully global stage, Cappellazzo directed groundbreaking initiatives at Christie’s that led to record results, with upward of $650 million realized in a single evening sale.
Prior to tenure at Christie’s, Cappellazzo was an art advisor, a curator and a key figure in the establishment of Art Basel in Miami Beach.
Cappellazzo received her B.A. in Fine Arts/Art History from New York University, where she was a Presidential Trustee Scholar. She holds a master’s degree in Urban Design from the School of Architecture at Pratt Institute, where she focused on the role of public art in shaping cities. She is a noted Bloomberg expert, speaking internationally on the global art market, and has lectured at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York University, The Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, UCLA, Stanford University and the Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville, Arkansas. In 2012, she was appointed by Governor Andrew Cuomo to serve on the board of the New York State Council on the Arts.
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.”
Eric LatzkyEric Latzky is a leading figure in digital-age communications, image cultivation, promotion and public affairs in culture, the arts, and creative arenas.
With 25-plus years experience working on sophisticated, global cultural platforms, Eric Latzky has built vanguard communications strategies in the world of arts and ideas, media, cultural corporate sponsorship, and diplomacy and government relations. Through an expansive, non-traditional sensibility, and a strong focus on digital advancement and practice evolution, he has a track record of creating, renewing and leveraging brand value, power and recognition. A seasoned spokesman, conversant in European, Asian and Latin American social and business cultures, Eric Latzky is skilled in the planning and execution of complex projects on behalf of high-level clients.
From 2000 – 2012, Eric Latzky served as head of communications of the New York Philharmonic, overseeing media and public relations, image evolution, print and digital content publication, and diplomatic cultivation, internationally, for America’s premiere cultural ambassador. He was the institution’s liaison to government officials, and was responsible for key aspects of the Philharmonic’s global touring programs and related corporate sponsorship relationships. Eric Latzky played a major role in the creation and realization of the York Philharmonic’s historic concert in Pyongyang in 2008. He established the framework for live, uncensored communications from North Korea for an unprecedented international media corps, bringing worldwide attention to the event. In 2013 he formed Eric Latzky Culture | Communications NY – ELCCNY – to create communications strategies for institutional and individual clients in New York, the US, and internationally.
Previously, Eric Latzky held the positions of Director of Communications of The Kitchen Center for Video, Music, Dance, Performance, Film and Literature, and Executive Vice President of the Zeisler Group, and then formed Culture | Communications to craft progressive marketing and public relations strategies. Clients included Sony Entertainment, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, and a group of forward-looking artists and companies working in various genres from Europe, Asia, and North and South America, such as Eos Orchestra (US), Sankai Juku (Japan), Paris Opera Ballet, and Ballet Argentino.
In the 1990s, Eric Latzky was the pro-bono public relations co-chair for the artists’ organization Visual AIDS, where he conceived the launch campaigns for the Red Ribbon for AIDS Awareness, Day Without Art and Night Without Light. In the 1980s, in partnership with publishing industry colleagues, he created the Words Project for AIDS, in Los Angeles, to promote reading and writing in the context of the emerging crisis.
A writer and essayist, Eric Latzky has contributed to Culture + Travel, Interview, BOMB magazine, the Los Angeles Times, LA Weekly, LA Style, the Advocate, and other publications. His novel, Three Views from Vertical Cliffs, was published in 1992, and he has contributed to a number of non-fiction collections.
In June, 2014, Eric Latzky was appointed to a seat on the New York State Council on the Arts by Governor Andrew M Cuomo. He is a member of The Century Association, and the Wisemen, a group of top communications professionals in New York. He serves on the Advisory Board of Youth Communication, a non-profit publisher and advocate of reading and writing for at-risk youth, and previously served on Manhattan Community Board 4, on its Landmarks, Land Use, and Waterfront committees. A native New Yorker, Eric Latzky has lived in Paris and Los Angeles. He lives in New York, in Tribeca.
Laudelina Martinez is the owner and director of the Martinez Gallery, founded in 2001. She has curated more than 50 exhibitions for the Gallery and other venues while conducting an on-going public education program in the area of art and culture. Her curatorial focus has been in presenting and advancing established and emerging Latino artists. A lifelong involvement in the arts began in her formative years studying under outstanding exponents, including Ana Garcia, Jose Pares and Alicia Alonso in ballet; Elisa Tavarez in music; and Juano Hernandez in theatre. Ms. Martinez chose a career in higher education, but continued an educational commitment to the arts. She was the President and CEO of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities from 1992-1995 where she represented Hispanic-serving institutions, associate colleges and universities, and international members. She has also served as a spokesperson on national Latino and educational issues. For her contributions to these areas, she has received awards and recognitions from educational and Hispanic communities. Ms. Martinez has participated in non-profit and governmental boards; currently, she is Vice-President of the Rensselaer County Historical Society. She received her B.A. from the College of New Rochelle, her M.A. from Fordham University and conducted additional doctoral coursework at the University at Albany.
Award-winning film, television producer and author, Crystal McCrary, began her career practicing entertainment law specializing in theatre production, publishing contracts and director’s agreements with the New York City firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison before leaving to pursue a full-time career in writing and producing. Since that time, she has written for several magazines, published two New York Times best-selling novels, and produced original programming for TV & Film.
Ms. McCrary published the New York Times Best-selling novels HOMECOURT ADVANTAGE (Harper Collins/Avon) and GOTHAM DIARIES (Hyperion). She also produced the independent film DIRTY LAUNDRY (FOX Films). For six seasons Ms. McCrary served as co-creator/executive producer for the NAACP Image Award nominated BET documentary series LEADING WOMEN and LEADING MEN which profiled women and men who have impacted the country socially, politically and culturally including Dr. Maya Angelou, Iman, Mo’Nique, Patti LaBelle, Lisa Leslie, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Debra Martin Chase, Wynton Marsalis, Wyclef Jean, Hill Harper and Terrance Howard to name a few. She also hosted, created and executive produced and directed the three-part documentary series INSIDE: Black Culture profiling The Studio Museum in Harlem, Evidence Dance Company and Abyssinian Baptist Church. In production, Ms. McCrary has directed and produced a feature-length documentary, LITTLE BALLERS, which chronicles the lives and challenges of four socially and culturally diverse eleven-year old basketball players and their journey to the AAU National Championship. Crystal’s most recent book, INSPIRATION: PROFILES OF BLACK WOMEN CHANGING OUR WORLD was published by Harry N. Abrams, March, 2012 and includes profiles of Judith Jamison, Shonda Rhimes, Patti Labelle, First Lady Michelle Obama, Debra Lee, Venus Williams, Thelma Golden, Ruby Dee, Whoopi Goldberg, Gayle King, Thelma Golden, Marian Wright Edelman, Misty Copeland, Mary J. Blige, Soledad O’brien, Mellody Hobson, Iman and many others.
Dedicated to and outspoken on education, children’s rights and women’s issues, she has appeared on several national television shows including Good Morning America, The TODAY Show, CNN, MSNBC and Ms. McCrary also appeared as a guest co-host on ABC’s The View, interviewing Hillary Clinton. She was also the co-host on the 2008 NAMIC Vision Award winning television show, "My Two Cents." She has also interviewed President Bill Clinton and Mayor Michael Bloomberg for her television shows. Ms. McCrary was named to Crain’s-New York Business Forty Under Forty.
Ms. McCrary is a cum laude graduate of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and New York University School of Law and American University (J.D., 1995). Ms. McCrary also studied International European Community Law in Paris, France. She lives in New York City with her family.
Richard A. Mittenthal
Richard Mittenthal is President and CEO of TCC Group, a management consulting firm that specializes in the nonprofit sector. Since joining the firm in 1989, he has led consulting and planning assignments for a wide range of cultural, educational, and philanthropic organizations, including the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Altman Foundation, Third Street Music School Settlement, the Nelson-Atkins Museum, the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, The Children's Defense Fund, the Institute for Advanced Studies, and the Roosevelt Institute.
In 1997, Mittenthal collaborated with the Indiana University Center on Philanthropy to create the Grantmakers Institute, a series of educational courses for foundation staff around the country. In 1999, he served as Senior Advisor to the 93rd American Assembly: Philanthropy and the Nonprofit Sector in a Changing America. He was a member of the International Network on Strategic Philanthropy, an initiative involving 58 individuals from North America, Latin America, Europe, and Asia, and the Council of the Aspen Institute's Nonprofit Sector and Philanthropy Program. In 1982, he served as the first Chairman of Grantmakers in the Arts.
Mittenthal spent 12 years at the New York Community Trust, the largest community foundation in the United States, where he served as the Trust's Vice President for Program, overseeing the discretionary grant program.
Active in civic and cultural affairs, he currently serves on the Boards of Directors of the Eye-Bank for Sight Restoration and Symphony Space, where he was Board President. Mittenthal served as a Mayoral appointee to the New York City Commission on Cultural Affairs, and as a Trustee of Meet the Composer, the Orchestra of St. Luke's, the Dalton School, the Alliance for the Arts, and The American Symphony Orchestra League. He has a BS in Economics from Roosevelt University in Chicago and an MBA from the Kellogg School at Northwestern University.
John Morning has over three decades of leadership positions in higher education, philanthropy, banking, and the arts.He is a trustee of Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, Henry Street Settlement, Lincoln Center Theater, Graduate Center of CUNY, Pratt Institute, Film Forum, Turrell Fund, and a member of the New York State Council on the Arts.
He has previously served as a trustee or director of Brooklyn Academy of Music, City University of New York, Dime Savings Bank of New York, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Creative Capital, Demos, and member of the Trustees Committee on Education at the Museum of Modern Art. A graduate of Pratt and retired graphic designer, he has received the White House Presidential Recognition Award for “exemplary community service.”
Ms. Paniagua is currently Executive Director of the Spanish Action League and has been involved with the organization since 2003. Prior to working with the Spanish Action League, she was the owner of Backstage Productions andDance Centre School in San Juan, Puerto Rico for several years. She has been recognized with numerous awards and honors for leadership in public advocacy and community service. Among her many honors, she has been recognized by the Alliance Network with the Bea Gonzalez Award, “Entre Nosotras” award by NYS Assembly/Senate Hispanic Taskforce, Latina of the Year (2012), Tu Voz Latina Radio, Labor Religion Coalition Outstanding Community Service Award. Currently, Ms. Paniagua is serving on the CNY Regional Economic Development Council, Chair (2014) Latino Upstate Summit, and Syracuse Woman’s Commission 2012-2014, among other. Ms. Paniagua attended VirginiaIntermont College.
Hal D. Payne
Hal D. Payne is currently the Vice President for Student Affairs at SUNY Buffalo State where he has served for 23 years. At the College, Vice President Payne serves on the President’s Cabinet, the College Planning Council, the Budget Priorities Committee, the Enrollment Management Steering Group, the Intercollegiate Athletics Board, and the Strategic Planning Task Force. In the Buffalo community Payne serves as Commissioner of the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority, Director of the Buffalo Zoological Society, Director of the Burchfield Penney Art Center, member of the Boards of Read to Succeed and the Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection. Payne is faculty in the U. S. Department of Education/Council for Opportunity in Education Legislation and Regulations Seminars and received The Walter O. Mason, Jr. Award (Highest Annual Award of the Council for Opportunity in Education) in September of 1996. Vice President Payne received his B.A. from Western Reserve University and his J.D. degree from Cleveland State University.
Deborah Ronnen is an attorney and owner of Deborah Ronnen Fine Art in Rochester, NY, specializing in modern and contemporary art for more than 25 years. As an independent curator, Ms. Ronnen has organized exhibitions in conjunction with the Collector's Gallery at The Albright Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY, at the Rochester Contemporary Art Center, at The Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester and at The Nazareth College Arts Center; all in Rochester, NY.
Deborah Ronnen Fine Art has presented solo exhibitions by Adam Fuss, Vik Muniz, Vollard Suite Etchings of Pablo Picasso, Robert Motherwell, Mark Fox and Alison Saar.
Currently, she serves on the board of The Buffalo Fine Arts Academy (The Albright Knox Art Gallery ). She is a community activist and a longtime advocate for the upstate cultural community.
She holds an LL.B. (JD equivalent) from Hebrew University in Jerusalem, where she was admitted to the Bar and was the Director of The Jerusalem Mediation Center. She also holds a B.A. in Philosophy from Boston University.
Dr. Marta Moreno Vega
Dr. Marta Moreno Vega is an Adjunct Associate Professor teaching Afro-Caribbean Religions and Afro Latinos in New York City at Hunter College/CUNY. Previously, Dr. Moreno Vega served as Assistant Professor at Baruch College’s Black and Hispanic Studies Department (1996-2000). She is co-editor of Voices From the Battlefront: Achieving Cultural Equity (Africa World Press), and the author of The Altar of My Soul - The Living Traditions of Santerķa (One World/ Ballantine Books/Random House), and When the Spirits Dance Mambo (Three Rivers Press/Random House). Dr. Vega is also the executive producer of the documentary When the Spirits Dance Mambo, a documentary focused on the African-based religions of Cuba. She is the Founder and President of the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute and former Director of El Museo del Barrio and creator of Amigos del Museo del Barrio, Inc. Dr. Vega is one of the Founders of the Association of Hispanic Arts and its first Director. She is also one of the founders of the Network of Centers of Color and the Roundtable of Center of Colors. Dr. Vega received her Doctorate from Temple University in May 1995.
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