2016-17 Fellows

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Ilana Becker

Ilana Becker is an artistic leader specializing in community engagement, new work development, investigative and activist storytelling, and arts education. She began her career in the literary department of a theater agency, where she fostered her passion for facilitating collaborations and advocating for artists. Ilana then served as Assistant Director for Terry Kinney, and has since contributed to productions as Associate and/or Assistant Director on Broadway, Off Broadway, in NYMF, at BAM, and with Woodshed Collective. Now a proud member of The Civilians’ R&D Group, LCT Directors Lab, DirectorsLabChicago, Bastard Playground, FGP’s PlayGroup, an SDC Associate, and a Playwrights Horizons Robert Moss Directing Fellow, Ilana has directed and developed projects with New York Theatre Workshop, Ars Nova, The Civilians, Lark, Flea, Dixon Place, Columbia University, NYU, Disney/ASCAP, Pittsburgh Fringe, FringeNYC, and the Samuel French Festival, among others. She has served as director and mentor at the O’Neill Theatre Center’s Young Playwrights Festival, sits on the board of The Other Side, and works with Lincoln Center Education. Ilana produces community-driven projects and is Artistic Director of Argument Sessions, an ongoing series weaving SCOTUS transcripts with collaboratively-created original material. She's currently a freelance director and the Manager of Touring for All for One Theater. www.ilanabecker.com


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Lucy Jackson

Lucy Jackson is a performing arts producer, project manager and arts organizer. She is Associate Producer for Brooklyn-based devising ensemble the TEAM, and Producer for collaborative ensemble The Assembly. As a freelance producer she also works with individual artists to develop and tour their work. She was Development Director for the New Ohio Theatre from 2014-2016, and in January 2015 curated SPAN, PS122’s annual cultural discussion series, as part of their COIL festival of international performance. Lucy has produced and managed productions ranging from new writing to site-specific to performance art in London (Finborough Theatre, Bush Theatre, Theatre503, Bridewell Theatre, Ovalhouse, Royal Court and National Theatre), New York (New Ohio Theatre, 59E59), Los Angeles (Odyssey Theatre Ensemble), Cambridge MA (A.R.T./Oberon), Austin TX (Fusebox Festival), at the HighTide, Latitude and VAULT Festivals in the UK, as well as nine years at the Edinburgh Festival (Pleasance, Underbelly and Traverse Theatres). She is a recipient of the Stage One Bursary for new producers and was a Stage One Apprentice for Mark Rubinstein Ltd. She is currently a reader for the New York Musical Festival, and plays violin in the Park Avenue Chamber Symphony orchestra.


Xia Gordon

Born in Virginia, raised between Florida and New York, Xia Gordon is currently a faculty assistant at New York Law School where she supports several senior faculty members and moonlighting as a freelance illustrator. She also TA’s at the historical Robert BlackBurn Printmaking Workshop. Her interest in art administration was cultivated during her four years as gallery intern turned production assistant at Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation where she learned that determinative administration is a catalyst for forward movement in the arts world. Xia Gordon is ever-thirsty for knowledge, and is passionate about contributing to creative communities of emerging artists. She holds a BFA in Cartooning and Illustration from the School of Visual Arts.


Brian McQueen

Brian McQueen is a lyric bass residing in New York City.   He has appeared with the Lyric Opera Theatre of Arizona State University, the Manchester Literary Festival, Poetry International, The Metropolitan Opera Guild, and Trilogy: An Opera Company. As a recitalist, he has served as Artist in Residence at the Tohno International Arts Association, touring six cities in Japan, and was featured at Dowling International Center's Noon Concert. Brian holds a BA in Music from the University of South Carolina, an MM in Voice from Miami University of Ohio, and is an alumnus of the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University.  A performer and teacher, Brian marries his artistic pursuits with his interest in social activism. Understanding the healing power of music and the written word, it is Brian's desire to redirect the current conventions of classical music, to sing works that tell the stories of those who are often left voiceless—particularly children who struggle with issues of self-love and identity. As a 2016 ELNYA fellow, Brian’s mission is simple:  to spread the message of universal acceptance for women, trans & queer individuals, and people of color. He looks forward to spending the coming year with ELNYA’s extraordinary fellows.


Hannah Fenlon

Hannah Fenlon is Associate Director of Conferences and Fieldwide Learning at Theatre Communications Group. She also serves as Alumni and Communications Manager for artEquity, a national initiative that seeks to create a diverse, well-equipped cadre of national facilitators who can support equity-based initiatives. She is a 2015 graduate of the Masters Program in Arts Administration at Columbia University, and has worked as a freelance producer and casting director in Chicago (where she co-founded Two Birds Casting, a casting facilitation service for theatre). Hannah has also worked with Goodman Theatre, Northlight Theatre, Indiana Repertory Theatre, the Ojai Playwrights Conference, A Red Orchid Theatre, Creative Capital, The Juilliard School, and as an Assistant Director of Admissions at the University of Chicago. She received a BA in Drama from Kenyon College.


Dianne Hebbert

Dianne Hebbert is a curator, painter, printmaker and installation artist. Raised in Miami, FL, she attended New World School of the Arts. She earned her BFA in painting from Purchase College in 2010 and MFA in Printmaking from Brooklyn College in 2016. She is a recipient of the Vermont Studio Center Fellowship and residency. She has independently curated art exhibitions in New York and Virginia with a focus on diversity since 2011. She has exhibited prints and paintings throughout New York. Hebbert is currently living and working in New York City.


Allie Carieri

Allie Carieri is a New York City-based theatre producer and general manager. She currently is the Board and Government Liaison at the Roundabout Theatre Company, the nation’s largest not for profit theatre company. A Los Angeles native, Allie graduated from Columbia University in 2015 with B.A.s in American Studies and English Literature. Allie has produced dozens of plays and musicals which have premiered at Columbia University -- including The 120th Annual Varsity Show and two of Columbia's annual outdoor traveling Shakespeare productions --, at the New York International Fringe Festival, and at 54Below. She also works with directors, writers and composers around the city to develop projects and workshops performances. Prior to joining Roundabout Theatre last July, Allie interned at The Public Theater and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. When she isn't at the theatre, Allie serves on the Columbia College Fund Young Alumni Fundraising Board, the Programming and Mentorship Committees of Columbia College Women, and as a member of the Millennial Theatrical Initiative.


Diana Katz

Born and raised in Massachusetts, Diana moved to New York City in 2012 right after graduating from Mount Holyoke College. Although she has a soft spot for Boston, she was determined to tackle the New York art world.  As a Development Associate at The Metropolitan Opera, Diana works alongside the Director of Leadership Gifts and Special Campaigns in all aspects of fundraising. She oversees a portfolio of patron and major gift donors. Prior to this position, Diana was a Membership Sales Assistant at The Museum of Modern Art and a Development Assistant at The Film Society of Lincoln Center. At the Film Society, she assisted the development team with the planning and implementation of major special events including the 50th New York Film Festival in 2012 and the Chaplin Award Gala honoring Barbra Streisand in April 2013.  Diana majored in art history and film studies at Mount Holyoke and she also received the Marcy Wilkov Waterman Scholarship for her film preservation internship at the Harvard Film Archive. In her spare time, she is very active within the New York arts community. She is a member of the Solomon R. Guggenheim’s Young Collectors Council and she attends as many museum exhibitions or gallery openings possible.


Rio Vander Stahl

Rio Vander Stahl is the Senior Associate of Digital Content and Engagement at Carnegie Hall. In this role he manages social media and digital content across the organization, with a focus on finding innovative ways to engage communities in the digital space. Previously, he has worked in individual giving at Carnegie Hall, and coordinated education and special projects for students at Cal Performances in Berkeley, California. His other projects have included work as the Associate General Director for Bare Opera, where he helped build the infrastructure of a new opera company by managing production, marketing, editorial, press, fundraising, and incorporation. Rio received his B.A. from UC Berkeley, where he focused his studies on musicology. His honors thesis focused on audience engagement within the traditional concert settings, a question he continues to explore throughout his career.


Katherine Dubbs

Katherine Dubbs is an arts producer, operatic performer, and accessibility advocate. She is the founder and Executive Producer of Sign & Sing, a New York-based performing arts organization that integrates American Sign Language (ASL) and opera for Deaf and Hard of Hearing audiences to promote access to and inclusion in the arts (http://www.signandsing.org/). After graduating Princeton University, Katherine received the 2014 Daniel M. Sachs Class of 1960 Graduating Scholarship and spent one year in Vienna, Austria studying opera. She was the founder, president, and artistic director of Princeton Opera Company, having produced and performed in over twenty-five events, including seven operas. Katherine was also the founder and creator of Horace Mann Acappellooza, a New York state-wide a cappella festival will celebrate its 8th anniversary in spring 2017 and has included over 15,000 New Yorkers in its musical experience. Recent awards include the Marin Alsop Entrepreneurial Award for Sign & Sing and the Peter B. Lewis Award for her project “Opera for Everyone,” an analysis of opera and the homeless. Katherine is dedicated to reinvigorating opera to make it more accessible and enjoyable to all. You can contact her at Katherine at katherinepearldubbs@gmail.com


Eun Lee

Whether it's in classrooms or orchestras, Eun Lee has built her career finding ways to breath social relevance into classical music. As an educator, Eun most recently taught at the Corona Youth Music Project, where she founded their woodwind studios and supported the development of their PreOrchestra curriculum; and the Diller-Quaile School of Music's Early Childhood Outreach Program, where she worked with young learners and provided professional development to staff in early childhood centers  throughout upper Manhattan. Currently Eun is at the Orchestra of St. Luke's as their Manager of Youth Procgrams. As a clarinetist, Eun performs with the New Amsterdam Opera and other ensembles, and is a founding member of the Gusto Chamber Players; an ensemble which pairs food and repertoire for intimate and interactive audience experiences. In addition to her educational and musical activities, Eun is the founder of The Dream Unfinished, an Activist Orchestra. Eun’s work in The Dream Unfinished has been documented by outlets such as The New York Times, Huffington Post, and the Village Voice, and Eun has been invited to present on The Dream Unfinished at institutions such as Carnegie Hall, New York University, and others. Learn more at www.eunleemusic.com.


Minkie English

Minkie English is an art collector, with over 12 years of experience in data analytics, program evaluation, and project management. Her love for the Arts, Education, Science, and Technology led her to create PrintbyPrint Group (PbPG), in 2015. PbPG is a liaising company, and curatorial broker, that promotes and support women and minority creatives, and creative start-up companies, to provide STEAM focused opportunities to underserved minority children and young adults.


Mengtong Guan

Mengtong Guan (Associate Programs Director, Ping Pong Productions US Operations) was born in Beijing and received her Bachelor's degrees in English and Fine Arts from Peking University. She was a regular contributor to Beijing’s National Center for the Performing Arts magazine from 2009 to 2012, co-founder of PKU Early Autumn Chamber Choir, and music instructor for “Dean D’art” that works with underserved children in Beijing suburbs to build their self-confidence through theater and music. Mengtong has a MA in Arts Administration from Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs. She interned in New York at Lincoln Center Festival (LCF) in 2013, and was invited back in 2014 as Assistant Company Manager. Additional experience includes work with Edward Auer Music (Jacobs School of Music, IU), Bloomington Symphony Orchestra Indiana as first violinist and board member, conference volunteer for APAP NYC and volunteer for dance company Abraham in Motion. In 2014 Mengtong was hired as Production Assistant for the China portion of Mark Morris Dance Group’s “Excursions” world tour by MMDG and its China touring producer Ping Pong Productions, and has since then been a full time staff with Ping Pong Productions in China and USA.


Nicole Touzien

Nicole Touzien is a Florida-born dancer, educator & administrator. She holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in Dance from Texas Woman’s University and is also an experienced Assisted Thai Yoga practitioner. She currently serves the Brooklyn nonprofit, Dancewave, as Director of Education. Prior to joining the Dancewave family, she worked for several prominent dance organizations such as Dancing Classrooms NYC, Dance New Amsterdam, and NYC Dance Week. Nicole has also been on faculty for the Maricopa County Community College District, a Guest Artist in New York, Texas, Vermont, and South Korea, and has performed across the US, Mexico, and Northern Ireland. She is currently working on Feels Like Home, a collaborative performance project asking questions about place, belonging, and home.  


Natalia Vartapetova

Natalia Vartapetova is a Research Analyst at AEA Consulting, an international cultural consulting firm, based out of New York and London. At AEA Consulting, Natalia works with arts organizations, foundations and governments in the US and around the world on market research, audience development, feasibility studies, program evaluation and strategic planning. Having started her career in the performing arts administration, Natalia has worked for international cultural agencies, festivals and art centers in the UK, Russia and the US in marketing, development and project management roles. Natalia holds an MA degree in Cultural and Creative Industries from King's College, London, and completed an Arts Administration Certificate course at New York University, where she has done extensive research on the history and current trends in the creative economy and cultural policy.

2015-16 Fellows

Meredith Laing

Meredith Laing is Communications Manager for Orchestra of St. Luke’s and The DiMenna Center for Classical Music, focusing on publicity and media relations, marketing strategy and content, and digital media. She is committed to expanding the reach of classical music through audience-centric messaging and branding, creative audience-development and retention strategies, and effective use of new media for authentic dialogue with existing and potential audiences. Meredith began her career in arts administration as manager of communications and public relations at the Princeton Symphony Orchestra. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in violin performance from Syracuse University, where she held an orchestral fellowship. Meredith maintains an active performing career, playing with the Newtown Chamber Orchestra, Delaware Valley Philharmonic, Riverside Symphonia, Lancaster Symphony, Pennsylvania Sinfonia Orchestra, and Catskill Symphony Orchestra, among others. She teaches violin privately and contributes regularly to International Musician and Making Music magazines.


Sophie Lewis

Sophie Lewis is a New York based arts nonprofit fundraiser, freelance writer, and performer with development experience in institutional grantwriting, major gifts, and individual giving. As the Foundation Relations Assistant at Carnegie Hall, Sophie writes grant proposals and reports, manages existing donor relationships, and cultivates and researches prospective funders. She previously served as the Executive Assistant to the President for Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, where she managed relationships with LMCC’s individual donors and Board members, ran the Calendar Year-End Appeal and Board Appeal fundraising campaigns, and planned all Board, Arts Advisory, and strategic planning functions throughout the year. A classical singer and ethnomusicologist, Sophie is interested in the production and consumption of art as a globalized genre as it relates to audience development, fundraising, and programming within the modern nonprofit sphere. Sophie graduated from Barnard College with degrees in Music and English in May 2015. Her undergraduate thesis was about contemporary operatic performance in post-Apartheid South Africa. You can read her writing for Nonprofit Quarterly here and find her on Twitter @Sophieangeline1.


Sarah Sandbach

Sarah Sandbach is currently a Legal Assistant in the Office of the Senior Vice President, Secretary and General Counsel at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Prior to joining the Met, she was an assistant at Patricia Shea Fine Art Advisory and Appraisal, a development intern at HERE Arts Center, and a gallery intern at Pace Prints Chelsea. Sarah received her B.A. in Art History from Trinity College in Connecticut, where she graduated with honors and served as Gallery Director for Trinity’s student-run arts venue, The Mill. In addition, she is currently a curatorial fellow with Bruce High Quality Foundation University. Sarah is passionate about contemporary art, curating/exhibition-making, and supporting emerging and underrepresented visual artists and alternative art spaces in New York City.


Jamie Burns

Jamie Burns is the Membership Engagement Manager in the Literary Programs department at PEN American Center, the largest branch of the world's leading literary and free speech advocacy organization. Prior to joining PEN, she oversaw public programs, community partnerships, and an annual calendar of more than 150 events as the Director of Special Events and Community Programming at Roulette Intermedium, an arts non-profit and 400-seat performance venue in Downtown Brooklyn. She has a background in publishing, having served as a Commissioning Editor, Managing Editor, and most recently the Director of Publishing at Common Ground Publishing, where she also helped organize more than 20 scholarly conferences in nine countries. Before earning her master’s degree in Comparative and World Literature, she worked in non-profit development and volunteer coordination. She speaks and translates from Spanish and Portuguese and has lived and undertaken research in Spain, Ecuador, and Brazil as both a Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholar and a Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellow. She is a member of the Brooklyn Book Festival’s Bookend Events Committee and the Lit Crawl NYC Advisory Council. She also co-chairs the Events and Communications Committee for the Brooklyn Eagles, the Brooklyn Public Library’s young professionals board, and helped launch their inaugural literary prize in 2015.


Yi-Chen Lai

Born and raised in Taiwan, Yi-Chen Lai is currently the Business Manager at Signature Theatre in New York where she manages daily financial operations.  Prior to coming to New York, Yi-Chen has been freelancing as a Lighting Designer in Taiwan working with both local and international performing arts companies.  Her interest in art administration started while touring with the world-renowed Cloude Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan where she learned that a strong administrative team is the foundation of all great works created.  Yi-Chen is a strategic thinker and possesses extensive knowledge and experiences in nonprofit financial management and planning.  She holds a M.A. in Performing Arts Administration from NYU and a B.A. in Drama and Theatre from National Taiwan University.



Caitlin Crombleholme

A fundraiser and theater artist, Caitlin Crombleholme is currently the Development Associate with Fractured Atlas. She has experience in individual giving, event planning, communications, and education. Prior to moving to New York, Caitlin served as the Development Assistant and apprentice at Studio Theatre in Washington, DC. She has worked with several other nonprofit theater companies as well, including Curious Theatre Company, Hartford Stage, Elevator Repair Service, and Theatre Communications Group. In her administrative and creative work, Caitlin strives to build a stronger cultural landscape by sharing stories, sparking conversations, and connecting communities. She graduated summa cum laude from Trinity College in Connecticut with a B.A. in Theater and Dance and English.


Jessica Epstein

Originally from Massachusetts, Jessica Epstein has been calling New York City home since 2008. She graduated from NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study with a degree in Visual Culture and Social Change and a minor in documentary film. Her love and passion for visual communication has led her to her current work as an Archivist in post-production as well as coordinating arts workshops in schools throughout the city. She has been working in the arts--from public programing, curating, event planning, and community building since moving to New York. Prior to her work with Community Works, she lived in Spain for a year and taught English in a local high school. She is currently pursuing her own artistic endeavors in jewelry making, drawing, and sometimes, even, the occasional dance class. 


Samantha Hacker

Samantha Hacker is the Corporate and Finance Associate at The Moth, the acclaimed international storytelling event. In her role, Samantha helps produce custom workshops and events, while supporting the day-to-day financial and budgetary needs of The Moth's six ongoing programs. Since moving to New York to attend NYU's graduate program in Performing Arts Management, Sam has held roles across marketing, fundraising and finance at institutions including New York Theatre Workshop, The New Victory Theater, and Dunch Arts Management. Prior to grad school, Sam lived in Washington DC, where she earned her bachelor's in Business Administration from American University and worked as a marketing consultant for non-profits. Sam is a proud resident of Prospect Heights and is always on the hunt for NYC's best babka.


Carianne Bennett

Carianne Bennett is currently the Manager of the Access Opera program of the Metropolitan Opera Guild (MOG). There she oversees all logistics associated with the Guild's final dress rehearsal program at the Metropolitan Opera house.  She brings over 10,000 students per year to Met dress rehearsals, serving students and communities throughout the New York metro area. Prior to joining the MOG team, Carianne worked in development and educational capacities with the American Boychoir School, New York Foundation for the Arts, and Opera Company of Brooklyn. Originally from North-Central New Jersey, Carianne holds a B.A. in Vocal Performance and a M.M. in Teaching from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. When not attending a cultural event in NYC, you can find Carianne snuggling with her fluffy companion, Fig Newton Bennett-Cobb.


Marilyn Haines

Marilyn Haines caught the performance bug growing up in rural Kansas, where she often wrote plays starring her relatives (likely against their will) to be performed on the porch at her grandparents' home. That early passion for theater and the arts led her to Bachelor's Degrees in Theater Performance and Slavic Languages and Literature from the University of Kansas. Marilyn recently earned a Master's Degree in Performing Arts Administration from New York University, and during her studies held positions at Elevator Repair Service Theater Company, Triple 8 Management, and 21C Media Group. She currently works on the web team for the Metropolitan Opera and the Social Media Director for Theatre Bedlam.