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  Council Members

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.

Aby Rosen, Chair

Aby Rosen was appointed by Governor Andrew Cuomo as Chair of the New York State Council on the Arts, NYSCA, where his goals include advocating for and expanding the impact of the agency’s work with a vigorous emphasis on artistic expression and arts and cultural activity as a strong driver of community well-being and vitality and as a significant economic and jobs growth engine. He is also co-founder of RFR Holding, a privately held, Manhattan based, real estate investment development and management company. His commitment to the preservation and restoration of landmark buildings has been recognized by the Landmarks Conservancy and the American Institute of Architecture. He is actively involved with many philanthropic organizations and causes. In 2003, Mr. Rosen formed the Lever House Art Collection which invites artists to create site-specific work exhibited in Lever House’s glass-enclosed public lobby space. Dedicated to making art accessible and available to the community, he organizes innovative visual art exhibitions of established and emerging artists in public spaces.

Dr. Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel, Vice-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.

Jill Erika Braufman

Jill Erika Braufman is the Board Chair of The Center for Arts Education. After working in fashion and advertising, Ms. Braufman founded and managed an interior design resource specializing in antique textile pillows. After managing the business for more than six years, in 2001 she turned her focus towards full-time political and philanthropic pursuits relating to the arts, education, and women's health. Jill Braufman is a graduate of Brown University and the Parson’s School of Design.

Amy Cappellazzo

Amy Cappellazzo, named Chairman of Post-War & Contemporary Development at Christie’s in 2011, has been with Christie’s for nearly twelve years, previously under the title of International Co-Head of Post-War & Contemporary Art, Deputy Chairman. 

In addition to her activities in business getting, securing deals and sourcing consignments, Cappellazzo is in charge of expanding Christie’s reach in the Post-War & Contemporary Art category, in both traditional and growth markets, collaborating with Christie’s extensive network across the globe. Cappellazzo fuses her vast experience, and expertise with her existing network of collectors, dealers and artists, curators and institutions, in sourcing opportunities for both the primary and secondary markets as well as developing new relationships. She also oversees Christie’s private sales activities across the board. In addition to raising the bar on private sales at Christie’s, Cappellazzo has pioneered the online auction platform through a partnership she has fostered between the auction house and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. 

Cappellazzo was appointed Senior Vice President, International Co-Head of Contemporary Art in June 2001 and Deputy Chairman, Christie’s Americas in January 2008. She played a crucial role in the historic Christie’s sale in May 2004, which was the first ever Post-War & Contemporary auction to break $100 million, and she has been successfully co-leading the department from strength to strength ever since, culminating in the evening sale in May 2007, which totaled nearly $400 million. She is a renowned expert of works by many artists, notably Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons, Donald Judd, Cindy Sherman among others. 

Prior to her appointment at Christie’s, Cappellazzo was an art advisor and curator and a key team member in establishing Art Basel Miami Beach. 

Cappellazzo received her B.A. in Fine Arts from New York University, where she was a Presidential Trustee Scholar. She holds a master’s degree in Urban Design and City Planning from Pratt Institute, focusing her studies on the role of public art in shaping cities. She is also a trustee at the Pratt Institute and has taught and lectured at New York University, Museum of Modern Art, New York, University of Miami, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, UCLA, MCA Chicago and at the newly founded Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville, Arkansas.  She is also board member of Artpace in San Antonio, Texas, Atlantic Center for the Arts in Florida as well as Performa in New York. 

Cappellazzo hails from Buffalo, New York.

Bob Colacello

Bob Colacello is one of America’s most highly regarded and prolific biographical writers. As a special correspondent for Vanity Fair since 1984, he has profiled more than 100 major cultural, social, philanthropic, and political figures, including Andy Warhol, Ronald and Nancy Reagan, Prince Charles, Rudolf Nureyev, Liza Minnelli, Richard Meier, Doris Duke, Balthus, Eli Broad, Wallis Annenberg, Julian Schnabel, and Dennis Hopper. In 2010, the Society of the Silurians, New York’s oldest organization of newspaper and magazine editors, gave him its Excellence in Journalism Award for his profile of Patricia and William F. Buckley Jr. He has appeared on “Good Morning America,” “The Today Show,” CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and C-Span to talk about his articles and books. He has given speeches at the Miami Art Museum, the de Young Museum of San Francisco, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, and the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, as well as at Sotheby’s and Philips de Pury auction houses. His commentary has been featured in documentaries on Warhol, the Reagans, Robert Wilson, Yves Saint Laurent, and Halston, as well as in biographies of Truman Capote, Robert Mapplethorpe, and Jean-Michel Basquiat.

He currently serves on the board of FAPE (Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies), the President’s Council of the New York Academy of Art, and the National Advisory Council of ACRIA (AIDS Community Initiative of America).  He was on ACRIA’s board from 1992 to 2007, and was honored for his outstanding service at its 2009 Holiday Benefit.  Since 1995, he has been a co-chair or honorary chair of the Summer Benefit at Robert Wilson’s Watermill Center in Southampton, New York.

Colacello was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1947. He was educated in public elementary and high schools in Brooklyn and Nassau County.  He received his B.A. from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in 1969 and his M.F.A. from Columbia University Graduate School of the Arts in 1971.  He lives in East Hampton, New York.

Carol Enseki

Carol Enseki is currently an independent museum and education consultant.  In 2009, Ms. Enseki stepped down from her position as president of the Brooklyn Children’s Museum where she served for more than 20 years. She led the museum’s efforts to increase educational opportunities for urban children through interactive science and cultural exhibitions and programs, innovative use of collections, and strategic collaborations with both local community organizations and national partners. In 2005, she was appointed to the Accreditation Commission of the American Association of Museums and has been active in the creation of a field-wide Museums and Diversity National Initiative. Ms. Enseki has served on the boards of the American Association of Museums, the Association of Children’s Museums, the Arts & Business Council, Inc., the Brooklyn Arts Council, the Heart of Brooklyn cultural partnership, and the Cultural Institutions Group of New York City. She holds a B.A. from Tufts University and an M.A. in Environmental Design from Beacon College.

Agnes Gund

Agnes Gund is President Emerita of the Museum of Modern Art and Chair of its International Council. She is also Chair of MoMA PS1 Contemporary Art Center. Ms. Gund joined the MoMA Board in 1976 and served as its President from 1991 until 2002. She is the Founder and a Trustee of Studio in a School, a non-profit organization she established in 1977 in response to budget cuts that virtually eliminated arts classes from New York City public schools. In January 2012, Ms. Gund was appointed Member of the New York State Council on the Arts. A philanthropist and collector of modern and contemporary art, Ms. Gund is Chair of the Mayor’s Cultural Affairs Advisory Commission of New York City, and currently serves on the boards of Chess in the Schools, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, the Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies, the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, and Socrates Sculpture Park, among others. She is co-founder of the Center for Curatorial Leadership and an Honorary Trustee of the Independent Curators International as well as the Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland. A civic leader and staunch supporter of education, women’s issues and environmental concerns, among other causes, Ms Gund has served on the boards of such wide-ranging organizations as the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center and the Fund for Public Schools. She earned a B.A. in History from Connecticut College and a M.A. in Art History from Harvard University. She has since received numerous honorary doctorate degrees, including honors from Bowdoin College (2012), CUNY Graduate Center (2007) and Brown University (1996). In 1997, Ms. Gund received the National Medal of the Arts from President Clinton.

Laudelina Martinez

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.

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

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, Dēmos, 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.”

Rita Paniagua

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 and Dance 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 Virginia Intermont 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

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.

Richard Schwartz

Richard Schwartz is the President of the David Schwartz Foundation and the former CEO and Chairman of Jonathan Logan, Inc. Mr. Schwartz also previously served as acting Executive Director and Member of the New York State Council on the Arts, Chairing the Council from 1997 - 2007. He currently serves as a Trustee of Boscobel Restoration and the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyoming. Mr. Schwartz has also served as a Trustee of renowned cultural and educational institutions across the U.S. including Lincoln Center, Cornell University, and the National Museum of American Art.

Jonathan Sheffer

Jonathan Sheffer is a composer and conductor who was the Artistic Director of two iconoclastic chamber orchestras, The Eos Orchestra, which he founded in NYC in 1995, and Red {an orchestra}, which he led for six seasons in Cleveland, OH. In addition, he has conducted opera and at festivals throughout the world including The New York City Opera, American Ballet Theatre and numerous dance companies. As a composer, he has composed numerous film scores, and his opera Blood On The Dining Room Floor has won the Richard Rogers Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He has had residencies at Yaddo, The MacDowell Colony, and the American Academy in Rome. Active in charitable and political causes, he is currently the appointee of the Speaker of the NY City Council to the board of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.

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 Santería (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.
  ©2004 New York State Council on the Arts.