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New York State Council on the Arts
300 Park Avenue South, 10th Floor
New York, New York 10010
Contact: Lia Capotorto
July 20, 2021


Total of 20 Council Members bring expansive, diverse, statewide representation to NYSCA and include practicing artists, cultural professionals, and experts in the field

New York — The New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) proudly announces the appointment of nine new Council members: Monica Angle, Lawrence H. Cook, II, Carolee Fink, Aaron Albert Flagg, James Lemons, Andrea Louie, David Alan Miller, Catherine Schwoeffermann, and Adriana Trigiani. These esteemed members of the arts and culture community will now serve New Yorkers in all 62 counties. Each member was appointed by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and confirmed by the New York State Senate.

“The NYSCA Team is thrilled to welcome each of these nine new Council members. These leaders bring a strong regional knowledge to the table and represent the breadth of talent and perspectives from all corners of the State,” said Mara Manus, NYSCA Executive Director. “As the arts are in the early stages of reopening and rebuilding, there has never been a more fitting moment to welcome dedicated new leaders to NYSCA. These driven, talented and insightful individuals will serve with passion and commitment during this historic recovery, and into the future.”

“After more than a year of uncertainty and change, the Council is overjoyed to welcome these outstanding new members as we support the arts and culture community’s healing,” said Katherine Nicholls, NYSCA Chair. “On behalf of the entire Council, I am eager to work with each new member to advance New York’s powerful arts sector.”

New Council members join NYSCA from across New York State and each bring their exceptional experience and expertise to the Council.

Monica Angle is a Buffalo-based artist and has had recent solo exhibitions at the Burchfield-Penney Center, Buffalo, NY, and the Fralin Art Museum at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA. Her work has been featured in a variety of public spaces including City Hall in Minneapolis, MN and the Massachusetts State House, Boston, MA. As an arts leader, she currently serves on the board of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY and chairs the Public Art Committee.

Lawrence H. Cook, II is the Senior Vice President of Programs at The John R. Oishei Foundation and has more than 20 years of experience in the nonprofit sector. He brings his widespread knowledge of grantmaking, particularly in the arts & cultural sectors to the Council. Previously, he engaged with NYSCA as a panelist and worked with the Arts Council in Buffalo & Erie County.

Carolee Fink is a Principal at MSquared, a women-owned and managed real estate development and investment platform. Prior to MSquared she held several senior positions in the New York City government, where she successfully led major projects and initiatives, including the development of Brooklyn Bridge Park, Downtown Brooklyn Cultural District, NYU Applied Sciences Campus and the Domino Sugar Refinery redevelopment.  She currently serves on the Board of the Furman Center at NYU and the Trust for Governors Island.

Aaron Albert Flagg currently serves as Chair and Associate Director of Juilliard Jazz Studies at The Juilliard School. He has extensive experience as a performer, educator, consultant, and non-profit executive. As a trumpeter, his diverse experience includes concerto, recital, orchestral, chamber, big band, and small jazz ensemble performances around the world. He has performed with the New York Philharmonic, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Illinois Jacquet Big Band, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Absolute Ensemble, American Brass Orchestra, and New York Ragtime Orchestra among others. He also serves on the board of the League of American Orchestras and the Strategic National Arts Alumni Project (SNAAP).  

James Lemons currently leads the Lake Placid Center for the Arts as Executive Director. He previously held positions at theatre companies including Florida Studio Theatre and WaterTower Theatre. He brings more than 20 years of experience in nonprofit arts management to the Council.

Andrea Louie serves as Secretary at the Nassau County Department of Health. She is a writer, and authored the novel, Moon Cakes. Previously, she was the Executive Director of the Asian American Arts Alliance, leading arts advocacy and cultural equity for New York City’s diverse, pan-Asian, multidisciplinary cultural community. She has served as a review panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, among others.

David Alan Miller is a two-time Grammy Award winning conductor and has served as music director of the Albany Symphony since 1992. 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. David Alan Miller has appeared as a guest conductor around the world and is regarded as one of the leading American conductors of his generation.

Catherine Schwoeffermann has enjoyed a 16-year tenure as Executive Director at the Stewart W. and Willma C. Hoyt Foundation which serves Broome County in New York’s Southern Tier. She has also held professional positions in the museum field, where was responsible for administering, researching, and developing major folk and traditional art exhibitions and public and educational programs that focused on issues of human rights, equity, respect, and cultural acceptance. She has served on grant funding panels including the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Adriana Trigiani is an award-winning playwright, television writer and producer, and filmmaker. She is a New York Times bestselling author of twenty books in fiction and nonfiction, including the blockbuster, “The Shoemaker’s Wife.” Her work has been published in 38 countries.

About the New York State Council on the Arts  

The New York State Council on the Arts preserves and advances the arts and culture that make New York State an exceptional place to live, work and visit. The Council on the Arts upholds the right of all New Yorkers to experience the vital contributions the arts make to our communities, education, economic development, and quality of life.

Through its core grantmaking activity, the Council on the Arts awarded more than $40 million in FY2021. Through the statewide grants and regrants program, Council on the Arts funding reaches all 62 counties throughout New York State. This funding supports the visual, literary, media and performing arts and includes dedicated support for arts education and underserved communities. The Council on the Arts further advances New York's creative culture by convening leaders in the field and providing organizational and professional development opportunities and informational resources.  

Created by Governor Nelson Rockefeller in 1960 and continued and expanded to the present day with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, NYSCA is an agency of the Executive Branch of New York State.  

For more information on NYSCA, please visit www.arts.ny.gov, and follow NYSCA's Facebook page, Twitter @NYSCArts and Instagram @NYSCouncilontheArts.

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