meet the art prodUCERS
Adèle Eisenstein is an independent curator, writer, arts administrator originally from NY, who emigrated to Budapest in 1990. She completed studies at the University of Rochester; University of Paris, Sorbonne; New School-Parsons School of Design; and School of Visual Arts. In Budapest, she worked for the Balázs Béla Studio and Toldi Cinema; then at the Soros Center for Contemporary Arts and C3: Center for Culture & Communication. She was founding editor of Central European contemporary art journal: Praesens; served on the editorial board at the Museum of Fine Arts. Curated shows include donumenta 2010 – Hungary: Liberation Formula, throughout the city of Regensburg (D); the Art-in-Fusion project of foreign artists living and working in Hungary; and a group show at Pavelhaus for the Steirischer Herbst (A) 2013. Back in NY, she has worked with Alma on Dobbin and Queensborough Community College Art Gallery as researcher, registrar, curatorial assistant on a retrospective exhibition and catalogue, and transformation of a private collection into a public one. She commissioned and curated the site-specific project Traces and Tides of the Seaport, featuring the work of Portuguese artist Filipe Cortez, as part of the Out to See Festival in the South Street Seaport in 2016. She is currently working with Earth Celebrations on the upcoming Ecological City project in Lower Manhattan. Eisenstein has written, translated and edited numerous books and catalogues, and hundreds of articles. She is a former Chair and Board member of Amnesty International Hungary.
ann margaret o'connor
Ann O’Connor is the founder of Zoescape Studio. She is an idea person, urban wanderer, foodie, and lover of all things “Queens.” An independent promoter of the arts, Ann brings like-minded people together to do great and fun things. With her partners, she makes art more accessible by creating experiences in alternative venues. Before starting Zoescope, Ann made stops at media companies like Scholastic, National Geographic and Meredith, as well as firms, whose clients included: Rizzoli, Leo Castelli, Pace, Art Students League, National Academy, and The Winter Antiques Show. Ann has over 15 years of experience in “ideation” and marketing, and holds a B.A. from Barnard College, Columbia University. She serves as a member of Long Island City Businesswomen, Long Island City Partnership, and the Queens Tourism Council, and a Board Member of Hunters Point Park Conservancy.
Ariadne is an Integrated Producer at Bloomberg LP, leading all Bloomberg Media campaigns from conception to production. She hails from Port Washington, New York and has lived in Queens for 4 years - both in Astoria and Long Island City. Ariadne holds a Bachelor’s degree in Studio Art with a Concentration in Arts and Cultural Management from Goucher College, as well as a Master’s degree from Pratt Institute in Arts and Cultural Administration, where she graduated at the top of the class with the Pratt Circle Award, the school’s highest honor. Prior to working in marketing and advertising, she interned and worked at a variety of cultural institutions, including The Steven Kasher Gallery, The Museum of Arts & Design (MAD), New York City Department of Transportation Urban Art Program (NYCDOT), and the Groundswell Community Mural program. Ariadne is an avid philanthropist and her volunteering, fundraising and patronage efforts include: animal welfare, art inclusivity, public art, city planning/revitalization, female empowerment and the democratic party.
Brendez Wineglass, a dedicated millennial leader in the events industry, is a native New Yorker and graduate of the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music and Art & Performing Arts “FAME School”, where she received an advanced regents diploma and Dance Honors. She went on to complete a Bachelor of Science from Howard University. Holding a degree in sports medicine and chemistry, she decided to expand her horizons, matching her passion for social engagement and event production, launching a career in business to merge the two. During her tenure as an events producer at Black Enterprise, she has held a pivotal role both in the organization as well as independently coordinating top-tier events, working top brands including Nationwide, State Farm, AT&T, Morgan Stanley, FedEx, PepsiCo, as well as top industry leaders including Rev. Jesse Jackson, Judith Smith, and Steve Harvey. She currently serves as Project Manager for Jamaica Is. She has served on the executive board of the Howard University Alumni Club of Greater New York, Blacks in Public Relations Society of NY, and as a member of Black Women of Influence, ColorComm, Silicon Harlem, and Startups Illustrated.
Dan brings over 30 years of professional and personal experience as a corporate banker in New York City to the financial planning process for both individuals and small organizations including partnerships and nonprofits. His goal is to help clients develop their own plan for financial management no matter what life stage they are in. Dan is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP), Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and an IRS Annual Filing Season Program (AFSP) participant. He earned an MBA & Master of International affairs from Columbia University and a BFA in Economics (with distinction) from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He completed advanced courses in taxation at St John’s University, where he earned a Professional Certificate in Taxation. He is an active speaker on the application of tax rules to the financial planning process including the tax optimization of investment portfolios. Dan shares his passion for music and finance as the Treasurer of the Queens Symphony Orchestra, President and Treasurer of Musica Reginae Productions, board member of Random Access Music, and advisor to the Astoria Music Society. In his spare time, he sings and plays for several music groups.
Greg Mays, a self-declared community catalyst, is the Founder of the Jamaica, Queens based nonprofit A Better Jamaica, Inc. and its spinoff, the Jamaica Arts Council. A Better Jamaica is a community service organization engaged in activities designed to strengthen the set of southeast Queens, New York neighborhoods known collectively as Jamaica. The Jamaica Arts Council (JAC) is an arts service organization dedicated to supporting the growth of the arts in southeast Queens. In addition to continuing to partner with A Better Jamaica on its arts related activities, the Jamaica Arts Council will soon launch an artist registry that will serve to promote Jamaica-based artists. Greg is a current member of the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation, the former chair of Community Board 12’s Parks Committee, and a past president of Addisleigh Park Civic Organization. Outside of Jamaica, Greg is the current board treasurer of the Classical Theater of Harlem and a former governance chair of the Harlem School of the Arts board of directors. Greg holds an undergraduate degree in Accounting from Howard University and an MBA from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Business.
Jacqueline Dugal is a Queens based dancer, choreographer, and educator originally from West Palm Beach, Florida. She received her BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography from The University of South Florida in Tampa and launched Dugal Dance Projects in 2016. Jacqui has studied and performed abroad in France, Italy, Trinidad & Tobago, and Mexico. In New York, she has performed with The Von Howard Project, Roschman Dance Company, Michiyaya Dance, and Impact Movement Collective. Her choreographic work has been showcased in France, Florida, New York, and North Carolina in various festivals and showcases, including The Asheville Fringe Arts Festival. Jacqui has been commissioned by the Steffi Nossen Dance Foundation, The International Human Rights Arts Festival, and awarded Director’s Choice at Spoke The Hub’s Winter Follies 2016. She was a 2017 New Works Grant recipient from Queens Council on the Arts and selected for Mare Nostrum Elements Emerging Choreographer’s Series as a 2016 participant and selected as the Returning Choreographer in 2017.
A native of Colombia, South America, Mr. Juan Valencia started his piano studies at the age of 5. During high school, he also attended the Universidad de Antioquia in the afternoons for his musical training. After high school, Mr. Valencia attended the “Jose Angel Lamas” conservatoire in Caracas, Venezuela. During his tenure there, he conducted instrumental and choral music from Latin America. Mr. Valencia earned his degree at the Ohio State University, School of Music with a full scholarship. He has performed for television stations in Caracas and traveled with a chamber music ensemble throughout Latin America, the Caribbean Islands and Europe. He was the assistant organist at the Catholic Cathedral and the main organist at the Anglican Cathedral in Caracas, Venezuela for two years. Juan has 27 years of experience working in churches of various denominations as an organist and choir conductor for youth and adults. He is the head of the department of Latin, Jazz, Composition and the piano accompanist at the Performing Arts Conservatory of New York as well as a co-founder of the Jackson Heights Community Chorus. An acclaimed pianist in South America and the USA, he works freelance as an accompanist with vocal and instrumental soloists and ensembles.
Born in New Delhi, India, Mala believes that dance nurtures the soul and leads you to experience freedom. Mala has performed internationally for over 30 years, created new productions in Odissi since 2006 and choreographed with other professional dancers synthesizing various dance techniques since 2008. A teacher of Odissi and Indian Folk Dances in America since 1995, she presents students at annual showcase performances and students may complete their solo dance debut at a “Manch Pravesh” the Indian Classical Dance Graduation. To name a few Mala and her students have performed regularly for community events in NYC, Long Island, Westchester as well as at venues such as Northport, Madison and Landmark Theaters in LI, Jose Robertson Plaza, Rubin Museum, Baruch Performance Arts Center, Manhattan Arts and Movement Center in NY, and Stein Auditorium, Triveni Kala Sangam, Habitat Center in New Delhi, India. Mala has received the NYS Governor’s Leadership Award, many community service awards and the New York Foundation for the Arts Folk and Traditional Arts Scholarship and Immigrant Artist Fellowship. She is the Artistic Director, Mala’s School of Odissi Dance.
Kuang-Yu Fong is the Executive and Co-Artistic Director of Chinese Theatre Works. She majored in Chinese Opera at Chinese Cultural University in Taiwan, and received an M.A. in Educational Theater from N.Y.U In her role at Chinese Theatre Works, Ms. Fong has conceived and directed many original, innovative productions, many of which have been honored with awards, including: Toy Theater Peony Pavilion (2001; UNIMA-USA Citation of Excellence in Puppetry), Three Women, Many Plays and Tiger Tales (2005; Best Writing and Direction Award and Best Short Play Award at the International Shadow Play Festival in Tangshan, China); and Tiger Tales (2009; Best Director, Arts Innovation, and Puppet Design at the Shanghai First International Puppet Festival). She has toured and taught all over the United States and in Asia and Europe. Ms. Fong’s first book (with Stephen Kaplin) is titled Tabletop Theater: Puppetry for Small Places (2003). She has been a panelist for NYSCA, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and the Asian American Arts Alliance. She was the first Asian-American elected to the board of UNIMA-USA.
malikka D. karterton
Malikka D. Karterton is currently the Associate Director for Policy, Education, Government and External Affairs at B’Above Worldwide Institute. As the Associate Director, Malikka oversees 13 sites and Directors, develops and institutes programmatic plans & policies, generates departmental outcomes & agency wide statistical reports, & reviews the community assessment to better serve the children and families. She is a member of The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and JFK Rotary, United Nations Association of the United States of America (UNA-UA), Queens Borough President – Jamaica NOW Leadership Council – Chair of Arts & Culture, Board Member of the Queens Hospital Center, prior member of Bank Street Emotionally Responsive Practices (ERP), and the Cool Culture Advisory Board. Malikka received her Advanced Masters in Educational Leadership at Brooklyn College, and completed the Executive Non-Profit Leadership Program at Fordham University. She completed her undergraduate studies at Hampton University, where she majored in Marine and Environmental Science. She is the recipient of many accolades and awards, including the Queens Courier “Top Women in Business” Award and a Certificate of Appreciation from former Queens Borough President Helen Marshall for being an “Outstanding Resident” of Queens.
margaret rose vendryes
Margaret Rose Vendryes received her AB in fine arts from Amherst College, MA in art history from Tulane University, and a second MA and Ph.D. in art history from Princeton University. She taught at Princeton University and Amherst College before entering the faculty of York College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York where, as Associate Professor of Art History, she received tenure in 2006. Among several honors, Vendryes held a 2003 American Association of University Women Fellowship and is a former Scholar-in-Residence at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. In 2008, University Press of Mississippi published Vendryes’ book Barthé, A Life in Sculpture, the first comprehensive monograph on the late African American sculptor Richmond Barthé which served as the catalog for the 2010-2011 retrospective she curated at the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art in Biloxi. In the fall of 2013, Vendryes returned to York College, CUNY as Associate Professor in Art History and Fine Arts, Director of The Fine Arts Gallery, and was appointed Department Chair in 2016. Her ongoing series of mixed-media paintings titled The African Diva Project introduces a body of work enhanced by a scholarly engagement with African aesthetics and its intersection with popular black music and visual culture. A NYC resident, Vendryes maintains her studio practice in addition to teaching, curating exhibitions, and writing.
Margot was born and raised in Bayside, Queens, where she became intimately familiar with the borough's arts and cultural landscape. As an undergraduate at Princeton, she studied art history and American Studies. At Princeton, she led the Student Advisory Board at the Princeton University Art Museum, overseeing all of the programming for undergraduate students at the museum. She has remained engaged with New York's cultural landscape over the past four years, interning at the Whitney Museum of American Art, Sotheby's, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. As a high school student, she participated in internship programs at No Longer Empty at the Clocktower in Long Island City and The Noguchi Museum. Now living in Queens again full time, Margot hopes to give back to the arts and cultural landscape of the borough that first inspired her love for the arts.
Ricardo Bentham has over 20 years of business and finance experience. He earned a Bachelors of Science Degree in Finance from Long Island University. He then set his sights on Wall Street, where he held positions at some of corporate America’s largest financial firms. As a Senior Account Manager at Equitable Capital, he oversaw special projects for the Mutual Funds Department. In 1991, Ricardo took over the reigns of Phoenix Business Services, a small business development and income tax preparation business. In 2011, he was offered a Shark Tank deal by leading tax preparation company H and R Block. Today, He is a H & R Block Franchisee and the President of his accounting and business service company that specializes in the preparation of income taxes. He is also a New York State licensed real estate broker for Theodore White Real Estate. Ricardo realizes that financial empowerment is a key, and he hopes to teach potential investors how to navigate through this complicated business world. It is his desire to transform the residents of his community into business owners, home owners, and informed investors. He has collaborated with and produced many successful entrepreneurs and cultural artists in the community. He serves on the Managers Board of The Jamaica YMCA and a Steering Committee member of Jamaica Is.