MacDowell's Board of Directors is composed of volunteer members with varying professional and artistic backgrounds from national locales. Its members are engaged in the wider community, collaborating with board colleagues, staff, and volunteers to secure and sustain MacDowell’s mission through active participation in board meetings and committees, serving as advocates for the institution, its residency program, and artists.
Board of Directors
Nell Painter is a distinguished and award winning scholar and writer, visual artist, and madam chairman of the board of MacDowell and serves on its Executive Committee. A graduate of Harvard University, Painter went on to become the Edwards Professor Emeritus of American History at Princeton University. She is the author of seven books and countless articles relating to the history of the American South. Painter’s book, The History of White People, guides us through more than 2,000 years of Western civilization, illuminating not only the invention of race but the frequent praise of “whiteness.” Her other books of history include Sojourner Truth: A Life, A Symbol, which won the nonfiction prize of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association; Southern History Across the Color Line; Standing at Armageddon: The United States, 1877-1919, which won the Letitia Brown Memorial Publication Prize; and Exodusters: Black Migration to Kansas after Reconstruction. Painter retired from Princeton in 2005, and used her newly acquired free time to earn a B.F.A. degree from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University in 2009 and received her M.F.A. in painting at the Rhode Island School of Design in 2011. In June 2018, Painter published her book Old in Art School: A Memoir of Starting Over about her experiences during this time.
Christine Fisher began serving as president of MacDowell’s Board of Directors in 2023 and serves on its Executive Committee. She has a background in retail working for The Gap, May Company Corporate, and Hecht's in Washington, D.C. She currently lives in New York after having spent 12 years in London where she helped to open the UK office for Women for Women International and was the chair of the board until her move back to the United States. She has been a member of the Board of Directors at Women for Women in the U.S. since 2007. Christine is also on the Board of Saving Mothers and the Advisory Council for the School of Public Health at Brown University.
Peter Wirth is head of investment banking at KBW, a seat he inherited from MacDowell's fearless President Andy Senchak. Though orchestrating mergers and acquisitions by day, Wirth has been a strong supporter of MacDowell in more creative hours and looks forward to continuing to further the residency program and its mission. He has a long affiliation with the creative arts including writing and singing credits on the iconic MBA's album Born to Run Things produced while he was at Harvard Business School down to the current day including helping produce an award-winning documentary on the life of ski movie impresario, Warren Miller. Peter is also on the boards of Educate! (an organization devoted to fostering school-age entrepreneurs in Uganda) and the African Rainforest Conservancy. In addition to being treasurer for MacDowell's Board, he is also on the Executive Committee.
Robert M. Olmsted
Robert Olmsted, Bob, is a financial analyst and private investor and a resident of New York City. He is a graduate of Princeton University and Columbia Business School. For most of his life he was affiliated with Auchincloss and Lawrence, Inc. as an investment advisor. He has also served on the boards of the Spence School, the Pomfret School, and the Windham Foundation. He still serves on the Pomfret Board. He is married to Stephanie L. Olmsted and has two daughters and five grandchildren.
Chiwoniso Kaitano is a champion of artists everywhere and joined MacDowell in 2023 to oversee the creative mission as well as the financial well-being of the nation’s first multidisciplinary residency program. “Chi” comes to MacDowell from Girl Be Heard (GBH) where she served as the executive director for the last four years. GBH is a global NGO that advocates for social change through performing arts and storytelling in all of its forms. Prior to GBH she served as executive director of Ifetayo Cultural Arts Academy, a 30-year-old Brooklyn-based arts and culture organization. Chi is an avid traveler, having lived on three continents. She holds a law degree from the London School of Economics and a master’s in international affairs from Columbia University’s School for International and Public Affairs. She also serves on the Board of Directors of three New York City-based nonprofits: the International Contemporary Ensemble, The Center for Fiction (formerly The Mercantile Library), and The Jazz Leaders Fellowship of Brooklyn Conservatory of Music. Originally from Zimbabwe, Chi lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband, the political theorist Andrew Sabl and their children. Connect with Chi on Twitter @chiwonisok or Instagram @chiwoniso.
Keeping artists at the center of all decision-making, David Macy works with about 30 Peterborough staff members to sustain ideal working conditions and an un-pressured atmosphere conducive to the exchange of ideas. Working with architects, staff, contractors, and the Board’s physical plant committee, Macy has directed more than $10M in capital improvements since 1994. Past projects include the installation of underground utilities and a one-acre solar energy system, renovation of the main hall and about two thirds of the studios, as well as new construction of Calderwood Studio and The James Baldwin Library. To deepen MacDowell’s relationship with the regional community, Macy established two free public programs, MacDowell in the Schools (1996-present) and MacDowell Downtown (2001-present), each introducing hundreds of volunteering writers, composers, performers, filmmakers, playwrights, journalists, architects, and visual artists to thousands of local students and enthusiastic regional arts lovers. Macy has served on the boards of the Alliance of Artists Communities, Monadnock Arts Alive!, the Peterborough Arts Council, and New Hampshire Citizens for the Arts. Macy moved to Peterborough from Northern California where he managed the Djerassi Resident Artists Program. In 2000 he earned his M.Sc. in management at Antioch University New England.
Noel Allain is the founding artistic director of The Bushwick Starr Theater. He is a graduate of Skidmore College and the Juilliard School's Drama Division. As an actor, he has performed in various theater, television, and film productions in and out of New York City. At the Starr, he has programmed artists and companies such as Heather Christian, Jeremy O. Harris, Dave Malloy, Raja Feather Kelly, Daniel Fish, Clare Barron, Ayesha Jordan, The Mad Ones, Phillip Howze, Erin Markey, Flako Jimenez, David Greenspan, Haruna Lee, Diana Oh, and Jillian Walker. He has helped create the Starr’s workshop Creating Performance at El Puente Bushwick, and the after-school program Big Green Theater. He has served as a panelist for NYSCA, LMCC, The Shed, Sundance Theater Lab, and HERE’s HARP Residency, appeared as a guest artist for the University of Iowa’s New Play Festival, and as a guest speaker at Colombia, NYU, Hunter, Bard, Skidmore, the Prelude Festival, and Sarah Lawrence College
David Baum is a “conversation architect,” facilitating and advising on strategy and vision. His work has included conflict mediation in Northern Ireland, peace initiatives in the Middle East, President Clinton's Summit for America's Future, and women’s entrepreneurship initiatives in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kenya, and Rwanda. His clients have won the Nobel Peace Prize, The Conrad Hilton Humanitarian Prize, and the World Children’s Prize among others. Most recently he has been advising on the development of a university in Morocco on “Collective Intelligence.” Baum has a doctorate in organizational systems and another in divinity.
William B. Beekman
William Beekman is currently a retired partner at the international law firm of Debevoise and Plimpton, where he began working in 1980. He is the North American co-president of FRAME (the French American Museum Exchange), a consortium of 31 art museums, 16 in North America and 15 in France. He is also an honorary trustee of The New York Historical Society, a director and the treasurer of the American Friends of the National Gallery in London, and the secretary of The Paris Review Foundation, Inc. He has been a director of MacDowell since August 14, 2010 and serves on MacDowell's Executive Committee.
Eleanor Briggs has been a photographer for more than 20 years. She has had solo shows at The Addison Ripley Gallery in Washington, D.C.; The Currier Gallery of Art; The Audubon Society in Concord, NH; and The Shaw Gallery in Keene, NH. Her work has appeared in many books and catalogs, including Spell of the Tiger and New England Now. Briggs received a Citation award from The Hood Museum of Art in 1992. She has participated in many photographic research expeditions, including a trip to Tonie Sap, Cambodia in 1997 to work with the Stork Rookery project; many trips to Southeast Asia with the International Crane Foundation; and a trip in 1993 to Rajasthan, India with GEO Magazine.
Peter Cameron was born in Pompton Plains, NJ and grew up there and in London, England. Cameron graduated from Hamilton College in New York with a B.A. in English literature. In the 1980s he published short stories in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Mademoiselle, and many other magazines and literary journals. He subsequently turned his attention toward writing novels and has published six novels in the intervening years, including The Weekend, The City of Your Final Destination, and Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You. He is the founding editor of Shrinking Violet Press, which publishes limited editions of finely-crafted books. He lives in New York City and Sandgate, VT.
Amelia Dunlop is a lifelong strategist and innovator, and partner at Deloitte, where she leads the Customer Strategy and Innovation business. For the past 20 years she has advised CEOs and business leaders on how to find new sources of growth. Her life’s work focuses on using data, technology, and design to create human experiences that engage hearts and minds. She has delivered the talk the “Curious thing about love” on the TedX stage, has been a juror at the Cannes festival of creativity, and is a regular contributor to The Wall Street Journal on topics of innovation and the human experience. Her speaking engagements have been at X4, The CMO Club, the CMO Academy, Singularity University, and Oxford University. She has a B.A. from Harvard University, a master’s in theology from Boston College, and an M.B.A. from Cambridge University. She trained for 16 years in a variety of dance forms and performed with the Young Broadway Stars from ’91 to ’93. Born in London, England, she has lived and worked across Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and India. She currently lives in Boston with her husband, Andrew Krivak, an award-winning novelist, and their three children.
Dahlia Elsayed is an artist and writer who makes fictional landscapes using painting, installation, and sculpture. Her work is based on pairing diasporan narrative with a terra firma, connecting internal and external sense of place to create pictures for placelessness. Ranging from small dioramas to large site-specific installations, these allegorical landscapes are located in the ambiguous margin of East/West and tell unreliable oral histories and anticipate alternate futures through a symbolic vocabulary rooted in cartography, comics, and cosmology.
Elsayed’s work has been exhibited at galleries and institutions throughout the United States and internationally, including the 12th Cairo Biennale, Robert Miller Gallery, BravinLee Programs, The Arab American National Museum, The New Jersey State Museum, and Aljira Center for Contemporary Art. In 2022, she was commissioned by Amtrak to do a visual takeover of New York’s Penn Station. Her work is in the public collections of the Newark Museum, the Zimmerli Museum, Johnson & Johnson Corporation, the U.S. Department of State, amongst others. Her work has been supported by awards from the Joan Mitchell Foundation, the Edward Albee Foundation, Visual Studies Workshop, MacDowell, Women’s Studio Workshop, Headlands Center for the Arts, and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.
She received her M.F.A. from Columbia University and is professor of humanities at CUNY LaGuardia Community College in New York. She has served on the boards of the College Art Association and Women’s Studio Workshop.
Rosemarie Fiore is a pyrotechnic painter who lives and works in the Bronx. She has received awards through NYFA, NYSCA, Avery Foundation, and Walentas-Sharpe Foundation. Her fellowships include Art Omi, Yaddo, Skowhegan, and MacDowell. She has exhibited at MOCA Jacksonville, Weatherspoon Museum, SCAD Museum, Queens Museum, Bronx Museum, and Socrates Sculpture Park. Her work has been reviewed in the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, New York Magazine, Art in America, Artforum, Village Voice, and NY Arts Magazine. Public collections include Fidelity, Weatherspoon Museum, Cosmopolitan Hotel, Las Vegas, and Neuberger Berman. Fiore is represented by Von Lintel Gallery, LA.
Katie Firth was born in New York City and raised and educated in London, returning to the U.S. to attend Williams College from which she graduated magna cum laude with a degree in political science and theatre. Since then, she has worked as an actor predominantly in New York, but also in regional theaters around the country. She is a member of The Actors Center, a resident workshop company devoted to artistic development and practice. She also works in the fields of voice-over and audiobooks. Firth is Vice President and Treasurer of the Jean & Louis Dreyfus Foundation, which disburses grants to organizations within the five boroughs of New York City, primarily in fields supportive of aging, arts, education, and social services. She has also served on advisory boards and committees for several nonprofit institutions in New York City, including MacDowell, Partnership with Children, and Planned Parenthood of NY, as well as volunteering to teach arts and literacy in underserved communities through LEAP, at East Harlem School at Exodus House, and at The 52nd St Project. She lives on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with her husband, Jonathan Bank, and their 14-year-old son.
Sarah Garland-Hoch lives in Concord, MA with her husband, Roland, and two children. She is the daughter of the late Mary Garland who served on the MacDowell Board of Directors for 33 years. After attending Boston University, Sarah lived in Boston and worked for an executive travel agency, a cable company, and a hotel corporation in public relations before moving to Chicago and working with a travel agency planning college alumni tours. After Chicago and a year’s trip around the world, Sarah and Roland settled in Concord. Sarah has a long history of volunteer service including being on the Board of Concord's Community Chest a local organization that supports many non-profits in the area, including Open Table, a food bank, and Gaining Ground, an organic garden serving food banks. She was also active at her children’s schools. She was also on the Board of Visitors at the Peabody Museum in Salem, MA. Currently on the Hancock, NH Road Committee that is focusing on preserving Hancock's scenic roads.
Gerald J. Gartner
Gerald "Gerry" Gartner was born in Dubuque, Iowa and currently lives with his wife Teresa in Hollis, NH. He received a B.S. in physics and an M.S. in metallurgy from Iowa State University and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. After working as a research scientist at Ames Laboratory (US Dept. of Energy) and as a project manager/marketing specialist for Corning, he co-founded Gar-Doc in 1971, which manufactures labels and other products for the packaging industry. He also co-founded Technical Graphics, a firm that produces security devices for the U.S. and other national currencies. Gerry and Teresa have three married children and eight grandchildren.
Elizabeth F. Gaudreau
Elizabeth “Betty” Gaudreau lives in Boston, MA where she is an interior designer and president of Grand Design, Boston. She has served in fundraising and special events capacities on several Boston boards of directors including the Boys & Girls Club, Women’s City Club, Beacon Hill Nursery School, and Neighborhood Associations of the Back Bay. She has also served on the fundraising committee for the Cancer Research Foundation of Washington, D.C. She is married to Russell A. Gaudreau, Jr., a partner at Wagner Law Group in Boston. The Gaudreau’s have two sons, both lawyers, in New York City and Washington, D.C.
Jeannie Suk Gersen is the John H. Watson, Jr. Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and is a contributing writer for The New Yorker. Professor Gersen was born in Seoul, South Korea and immigrated to the United States with her family in 1979 when she was six, settling in Queens, New York. She attended Hunter College High School, earned a B.A. from Yale University in 1995, a D.Phil. in modern languages (French literature) in 1999 from Oxford University, where she was a Marshall Scholar, and a J.D. In 2002 she graduated from Harvard Law School where she studied as a Paul and Daisy Soros Fellow. Before joining the Harvard faculty in 2006, she served as a law clerk to Justice David Souter on the United States Supreme Court, and to Judge Harry Edwards on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. circuit. She served as an assistant district attorney at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. She has written three books and many articles in scholarly journals and general media. Her book, At Home in the Law, was awarded the Law and Society Association’s Herbert Jacob Prize for the best law and society book of the year. In 2010, she became the first Asian American woman to receive tenure at Harvard Law School. She is married to Jacob Gersen, has two children and two stepchildren, and lives in Cambridge, MA.
Susie Hackler is associate director of the Nature Conservancy’s Global Wealth Markets Team—created to strengthen TNC’s philanthropic pipeline to support TNC’s 2030 goals focused on climate change and biodiversity loss. Susie has held leadership roles in New Hampshire for the last 15 years, including leading NH’s $45 million Future of Nature Capital and Endowment Campaign. She holds a B.A. in psychology from Harvard University and McGill University, an M.P.H. from Yale University, and a J.D. from Vermont Law School. Susie resides in her hometown of Peterborough, NH in a round brick house with her ultra-fabulous young twin daughters and husband, Jason Reimers.
Larry Harris is the non-musician in a family with a long tradition of jazz and gospel musicians. He is a marketing and strategy advisor to numerous startups and is currently working on launching a tech company that will make it easier for brands to efficiently leverage media buying and advertising to drive successful business outcomes. Before starting his newest endeavor, Harris was the CEO of Sightly, a video and analytics platform that enables brands to deliver skippable video ads to the most receptive viewers on YouTube. Before joining Sightly, he was the first CMO for PubMatic, an advertising technology company that helps publishers make the most of their digital assets. Harris transitioned to working in digital and data technology after a long career in global advertising. At Interpublic, he was co-founder and chief executive officer of Ansible Mobile.
Darrell Harvey is co-chief executive officer of The Ashforth Company, a real estate company headquartered in Stamford, CT. Before joining Ashforth, Harvey was an attorney at the Boston law firm of Hill & Barlow and worked for the Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation in Brooklyn, New York. Harvey serves on the boards of directors of Unico Properties, Benchmark Assisted Living, and Warburg Realty Partnership. Harvey is a cum laude graduate of Harvard College and holds a J.D. from the University of Virginia Law School, where he was an editor of the Virginia Law Review. He serves on MacDowell's Executive Committee.
Elliott Holt is the author of the novel You Are One of Them, a New York Times Editors’ Choice and finalist for the National Book Critics Circle’s John Leonard award for a first book. Her essays and short fiction have appeared in publications including The New York Times, Slate, Time, Virginia Quarterly Review, and Guernica, and she has won a Pushcart Prize as well as fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Yaddo, and MacDowell.
Holt has worked as a copywriter and brand strategist for international advertising agencies in Moscow, London, Paris, and New York; as a creative writing professor at American University and NYU; and as an editor at One Story. In 2021, she was hired as deputy editor of The Kenyon Review, and became deputy editor of The Yale Review in March of 2023.
Lewis Hyde is an award-winning poet, essayist, translator, and cultural critic with a particular interest in the public life of the imagination. A MacArthur Fellow and former professor of creative writing at both Harvard University and Kenyon College, Hyde is now an unaffiliated writer who makes his home in Cambridge, MA.
Catherine Ingraham is a full professor in the graduate program of architecture at Pratt Institute, a program which she chaired from 1999-2005. She has lectured at multiple national and internationals schools of architecture and published widely in journals and book collections. Her books include Architecture, Animal, Human (Routledge Press, 2006), Architecture and The Burdens of Linearity (Yale University Press, 1998) and Architecture, Property and the Pursuit of Happiness (Princeton University Press, 2016). She earned her Ph.D. at Johns Hopkins University and was an editor, with Michael Hays and Alicia Kennedy, of the critical journal Assemblage. Ingraham has been a visiting faculty member at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University since 2016 and has frequently taught at the GSAPP, Columbia University. She has won numerous fellowships and awards, including the Canadian Center for Architecture Fellowship, Graham Foundation grants, and MacDowell residencies.
Julia Jacquette is an American artist based in New York City and Amsterdam. Her work has been shown extensively at galleries and museums around the world, including the Museum of Modern Art (NY), The Museum of Fine Arts Boston, and The RISD Museum among other institutions. Jacquette’s work was included in the first installment of PS1's "Greater New York" exhibition, and was the subject of retrospectives at the Tang Museum in Saratoga Springs, NY; The Ruth and Elmer Wellin Museum of Art at Hamilton College in Clinton, NY; and the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey in Summit, NJ. She received her B.A. from Skidmore College and her M.F.A. from Hunter College in New York City. She has taught at the Rhode Island School of Design, Princeton University, and is currently on the faculty at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York and serves on MacDowell's Executive Committee..
Carol Krinsky is a distinguished architectural historian whose primary research interests are 20th-century architecture and planning, and 15th-century painting. She is a professor of art history and director of Undergraduate Studies at New York University. Her books include Contemporary Native American Architecture: Cultural Regeneration and Creativity, Gordon Bunshaft of Skidmore Owings & Merrill, Synagogues of Europe: Architecture, History, Meaning, and Rockefeller Center. Krinsky graduated from Smith College and received her Ph.D. from the NYU Institute of Fine Arts.
American artist Emily Noelle Lambert creates abstract paintings, totemic sculptures, and installations that echo an evocative interrelation between color and form. Inspired by automatic drawings and plein air painting, Lambert’s gestural compositions reflect different aspects of her surroundings. Robust with geometric and biomorphic flat planes of color, each canvas expresses a unique portrayal of nature. Her sculptures, which function as a metaphor for the environment, use found objects to reveal a sense of temporality and impermanence.
Both celebratory and introspective, Lambert’s work invites the viewer to look beyond the scope of their surroundings and into the realm of possibility.
Lambert received her M.F.A. in painting from Hunter College and her B.A. in visual art from Antioch College. Lambert has shown nationally and internationally including solo exhibitions in New York City, Chicago, and South Korea. Lambert’s work has been reviewed in The International New York Times, The Observer, The Brooklyn Rail, Modern Painters, The Washington Post, Art in America, and artforum.com. She lives in Peterborough, NH and became a MacDowell Fellow in 2014.
Robert M. Larsen
Robert M. Larsen is former senior counsel at Sulloway & Hollis in Concord, NH. He graduated from St. Olaf College in Minnesota in 1970. He obtained a master’s degree in biological anthropology from the University of Wisconsin in 1974, based on high altitude research in Peru, before graduating from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1979, where he was an editor of the Wisconsin Law Review. He joined Sulloway & Hollis in 1979 and retired from the practice of law in 2013. Larsen has received numerous honors, including a Governor’s Commendation for contributions to the State of New Hampshire.
Monica Lehner received her B.A. from Wheaton College in 1984 and received her M.A. from the School for International Training in International/Intercultural Administration in 1990. She subsequently worked in the United States, Kenya, and Italy in the nonprofit sector in a variety of capacities. She is currently board president of the Monadnock Conservancy, a land trust in southern New Hampshire. In 2017, she launched the New Hampshire chapter of Mothers Out Front, a grassroots environmental organization mobilizing for a livable planet. As a trustee and volunteer of the Himalayan Education Foundation, she regularly travels to India to visit women’s cooperatives and schools in Uttarakhand.
Anne Stark Locher
Anne Stark Locher, principal of Stark Communications, LLC, is an independent marketing communications consultant specializing in the non-profit sector. Among her client base of arts and social service organizations, she is known for integrating communications and development strategies to advance the mission and promote institutional sustainability. Her clients have included Aperture Foundation, the Brooklyn Historical Society, the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services, and the Museum for African Art, where she also served as deputy director. Anne began her career in corporate communications at Drexel Burnham and was a vice president at Fleishman-Hillard Public Relations. Anne holds an M.S. in strategic communications from Columbia University and a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania. She serves on MacDowell's Executive Committee.
Scott Manning currently heads Scott Manning & Associates, which provides public relations services on behalf of publishers, authors, and literary organizations. Throughout a career in book publishing that has spanned more than 35 years, Manning has handled publicity efforts on behalf of authors such as P.J. O’Rourke, Norman Mailer, Mark Bowden, and National Book Award finalists Erica Armstrong Dunbar and Sy Montgomery; and companies such as GroveAtlantic, Simon & Schuster, and Barnes & Noble; and organizations including the Pritzker Military Museum & Library and the Publishing Triangle. Manning founded the Books for a Better Life Awards that for 21 years honored the best self-help books and raised funds for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. He has taught on the faculties of the NYU Center for Publishing and the Denver Publishing Institute, and serves on MacDowell's Executive Committee. He divides his time between New York City and Hancock, NH with his partner Frank.
Terrance McKnight has one of the more familiar voices in New York as an evening host at classical radio station WQXR. He moved to New York in 2008 to work for WNYC and a year later joined the lineup at its sister public-radio station WQXR. Some of McKnight’s most notable work is a series of hour-long audio documentaries for which he was writer, producer, and host. They include profiles of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the place music held in his life; Florence Price, the first African-American woman composer to have a piece played by a major symphony orchestra; poet Langston Hughes and his collaborations with composers and musicians; and Leonard Bernstein as viewed through his commitment to racial justice in classical music. McKnight has been programming music and other audio for the Museum of Modern Art as part of exhibitions of artwork by Jacob Lawrence, Francis Picabia, Robert Rauschenberg, and Charles White.
Mollie Miller was born in Baltimore and graduated with honors from Brown University in 1977, double majoring in comparative literature and studio art. After a few years in Providence making documentaries funded by grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, she moved to Los Angeles to get an M.F.A. in film production at USC. Mollie started in the film industry as a screenwriter, working at various studios before moving into directing television movies for Disney and The Closed Set, a short story adaptation for public television. She and her husband have three sons and currently live in Cambridge, MA, where she writes screenplays.
Carlos Murillo is a Chicago-based, internationally produced, and award-winning playwright of Colombian and Puerto Rican descent. He is a recipient of a 2016 Mellon Foundation Playwright Residency at Adventure Stage in Chicago and received a 2015 Doris Duke Impact Award. He joined MacDowell's Board of Directors in 2017. Also, Murillo has served on numerous selection panels, including the National Endowment for the Arts, Creative Capital MAP Fund, New Dramatists, The Playwrights' Center, the William Inge Theatre Festival, the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, and the Oregon Literary Arts Fellowship. He is a full professor and the head of playwriting at The Theatre School of DePaul University. He serves on MacDowell's Executive Committee.
Julie Orringer, a three-time MacDowell Fellow, is the author The Invisible Bridge, a novel, and How to Breathe Underwater, both New York Times Notable Books. She is the winner of The Paris Review’s Discovery Prize and the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard, and the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library. Her novel, The Flight Portfolio, was published in May 2019. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, MacDowell Fellow Ryan Harty, and their children.
Olivia Parker began to photograph ephemeral constructions in 1973 after graduating from Wellesley College with an art history degree. Represented in major private, corporate, and museum collections, including Art Institute of Chicago, MOMA, and MFA Boston, Parker’s work has been published in three monographs. A 1996 Wellesley Alumnae Achievement Award recipient, her residencies include Dartmouth College, MacDowell, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and Cassilhaus. “Vanishing in Plain Sight”, images concerning Parker’s husband’s Alzheimer’s will be at Lunder Center at Lesley University in the spring of 2019, and a retrospective of Parker’s work opens July 2019 at The Peabody Essex Museum.
Ileana Perez Velazquez
Cuban-born composer Ileana Perez Velazquez is a professor of music composition at Williams College and a composer of acoustic and electroacoustic music. The New York Times has praised the “imaginative strength and musical consistency” of her compositions. She was awarded a commission from the Fromm Music Foundation at Harvard University in 2015, and has written works for numerous ensembles. She has also composed for performers such as Joan La Barbara, Miranda Cuckson, Sally Pinkas, Joanna Kurkowicz, Tom Chiu, Adrian Morejon, and Matt Gold. Her music has been featured regularly in numerous international festivals and concerts as well as professional composers’ congresses. Velázquez graduated from the Higher Institute of Arts (ISA) in Havana, obtained her master’s in electroacoustic music from Dartmouth College, and received her D.M.A. in music composition from Indiana University. Albany Records released two CD portraits of her music in 2008, and 2017.
Peter C. Read
Peter Read was executive vice president, group executive for New England, member of Bank of Boston’s management committee and a director of each of its subsidiary banks when he retired. In addition to strategic consulting for financial institutions and not for profits, Read is a member of the Corporation of Draper Laboratory, past chairman of the board of American Student Assistance Corporation; life trustee of the Boston Symphony Orchestra; past president of The World Affairs Council of Boston; and governor of Tufts Medical Center. He serves on MacDowell's Executive Committee.
Paul Reyes is the editor of the Virginia Quarterly Review, where he develops a variety of content, including investigative reporting, essays, photography portfolios, poetry, criticism, and fiction. Before joining VQR, he was a senior editor with The Oxford American. His work as an editor has led to several nominations for the National Magazine Award, Overseas Press Club Awards, and inclusion in the Pushcart Prize as well as several Best American anthologies. His essays and reporting have appeared in VQR, The Oxford American, Harper’s, The New York Times, Literary Hub, Mother Jones, and elsewhere. His writing has earned him a Literature Fellowship in Nonfiction from the National Endowment for the Arts, a nomination for the Harry Chapin Media Award, and a nomination for the National Magazine Award in Feature Writing.
Andrew M. Senchak
Andrew Senchak served as president of MacDowell’s Board of Directors from 2017-2023 and serves on its Executive Committee. He also serves on the Board and Executive Committee of the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. He retired as chairman of Keefe, Bruyette & Woods Inc. in 2018. Before joining KBW in 1985 he was an assistant professor of economics at Rutgers University and spent two and a half years in Brazil with the Peace Corps. He received a B.A. in liberal arts from Lafayette College and a Ph.D. in economics from Columbia University.
Barbara Case Senchak
Barbara Case Senchak is the chair of the Friends of MacDowell program and is active on MacDowell's development committee. She has organized and hosted MacDowell events in New York, Boston, Martha’s Vineyard, and Florida. She has worked as an art consultant for individual and corporate collections specializing in American modern art. Formerly, she was an award-winning syndicated radio journalist and producer.
Vijay Seshadri was educated at Oberlin College and Columbia University, and is the author of the books of poems Wild Kingdom (1996); The Long Meadow (2003); The Disappearances (2007); and 3 Sections (2013), which won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry; and of many essays, memoir fragments, and reviews. Vijay’s work has been recognized with numerous other honors including The Paris Review’s Bernard F. Conners Long Poem Prize, the Academy of American Poets James Laughlin Award, and MacDowell’s Fellowship for Distinguished Poetic Achievement, and a Literature Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He serves on MacDowell's Executive Committee.
Josh Siegel serves on MacDowell's Executive Committee and is a film curator at The Museum of Modern Art. He has organized or co-organized more than 90 film, media, and gallery exhibitions including “Future Imperfect: The Uncanny in Science Fiction” (2017); “A Road Three Hundred Years Long: Cinema and the Great Migration” (2015); “Art Theater Guild and Japanese Underground Cinema, 1962-1986” (2013), and monographic retrospectives on everyone from Jeanne Moreau to Frederick Wiseman. Siegel co-founded To Save and Project: The MoMA International Festival of Film Preservation in 2003, and he serves on the selection committee of New Directors/New Films, a festival founded in 1972 by MoMA and the Film Society of Lincoln Center. He has also acquired more than 400 films and media installations for MoMA’s permanent collection.
Arthur Simms is a sculptor who was born in Kingston, Jamaica in 1961. He emigrated to Brooklyn, New York in 1969. He received his master’s degree in fine arts (1993) and bachelor of arts (1987) from Brooklyn College. Numerous awards include the Rome Prize, Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Creative Capital Grant, Guggenheim Fellowship, Louis Comfort Tiffany Award, Irish Museum of Modern Art Residency in Dublin, NYFA Fellowship, Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Residency, Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant, Pollock-Krasner Grant and a S. J. Weiler Fund Award. Arthur Simms is the director of the arts program at LaGuardia Community College, CUNY.
Julia Solomonoff is an Argentinian filmmaker who lives in New York. Her feature films include Hermanas (Toronto), The Last Summer of la Boyita (produced by Almodovar and winner of more than 20 international awards), and Nobody’s Watching (Best Actor Award at Tribeca Film Festival 2017). For TV, she directed the documentary series “Paraná, biography of a river,” Chin Chon Fan, and The Suitor (NEA and LPB grants). Her short films received awards from DGA, FIPRESCI, and an Academy Award nomination. Her producing credits include Zama, Pendular, Found Memories, Cocalero, Everybody Has a Plan, and The Third Side of the River. A Fullbright grantee, Solomonoff taught film directing at Columbia University and NYU Tisch. She is head of directing at Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema at Brooklyn College, and is proud and grateful to have developed her next screenplay Off Peak at MacDowell in the summer of 2018.
Amy Davidson Sorkin
Amy Davidson Sorkin is a staff writer at The New Yorker, where her regular contributions include the magazine’s “Comment” feature. Sorkin has been at The New Yorker since 1995, and as a senior editor for many years, she focused on national security, international reporting, and features. She then helped to reconceive newyorker.com and served as the site’s executive editor. Sorkin graduated from Harvard College and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She lives in New York City and serves on MacDowell's Executive Committee.
Charles F. Stone III
Charles F. Stone III, now retired from business and academics, is active in a number of non-profit organizations. Rick is currently the chair of the Paul Taylor Dance Foundation, chair emeritus of the board of North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics Foundation in Durham, NC; co-chair of the development and program committees, and member of the executive committee of the board of MacDowell; former chair of the Council of the Arts at MIT in Cambridge, MA; and member of the Harvard Music Association and The Century Association.
Julius Tapper is an innovation strategist working to redesign systems to value equity, inclusion, culture and community. Julius is the head of inclusive innovation for Ethos (Deloitte's purpose-driven innovation offering) and leads equity-centered design at Doblin (Deloitte’s human-centered design practice). Prior to consulting, Julius worked at TD Bank, founding their impact investing and social finance program and issuing TD’s first Green Bond. Julius earned a M.B.A. from MIT, a M.P.A. from Harvard, and a B.Com. from the University of Toronto.
Jamie Trowbridge is President and CEO of Yankee Publishing, publisher of Yankee, The Old Farmer’s Almanac, New Hampshire Magazine, Family Tree Magazine, and other publications and websites. Trowbridge joined the company in 1988 and successfully transitioned it from family ownership to employee ownership in 2022. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1982. Jamie and his wife Laura live in Peterborough, New Hampshire, about a mile from MacDowell’s campus.
Mabel O. Wilson is a professor in architecture and African American and African diasporic studies, a co-director of Global Africa Lab, and the associate director of the Institute for Research in African American Studies (IRAAS) at Columbia University. She has authored Begin with the Past: Building the National Museum of African American History and Culture (2016) and Negro Building: African Americans in the World of Fairs and Museums (2012). With her practice Studio &, she is a collaborator in the architectural team currently developing designs for the Memorial to Enslaved African American Laborers at the University of Virginia. Her work has been featured at the Venice Architecture Biennale, Architekturmuseum der TU Mūnchen, Storefront for Art and Architecture, Art Institute of Chicago, Istanbul Design Biennale, Wexner Center for the Arts, and the Smithsonian’s Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum’s Triennial.
The Honorary Council at MacDowell is an advisory cohort of distinguished supporters, including former board members, thought leaders, philanthropists, and other luminaries whose advice, counsel, and active support can help MacDowell advance its mission.
Susan Davenport Austin
Susan Davenport Austin serves on the boards of NextEra Energy Partners (NYSE: NEP), Prudential’s Insurance Funds (i.e. Advanced Series Trust, Prudential Series Fund and Prudential’s Gibraltar Fund) (chairman, Nominating and Governance Committee), Broadcast Music, Inc. (chairman, 2011-2014, presiding director 2014-2017), and Hubbard Radio, LLC (chairman, Audit Committee). Her nonprofit board service includes MacDowell (past president) and the Women’s Forum of New York (treasurer). Austin received her A.B. from Harvard University and an M.B.A. from Stanford Graduate School of Business. She is chief financial officer of Grace Church School.
Ken Burns has been making documentary films for more than 40 years. Since the Academy Award-nominated Brooklyn Bridge in 1981, he has gone on to direct and produce some of the most acclaimed historical documentaries ever made, including The Civil War; Baseball; Jazz; The Statue of Liberty; Huey Long; Lewis & Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery; Frank Lloyd Wright; and, most recently, The Mayo Clinic: Faith - Hope - Science. Burns’s films have been honored with dozens of major awards, including 16 Emmy Awards, two GRAMMY Awards, and two Oscar nominations; and in September of 2008, at the News & Documentary Emmy Awards, he was honored by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
Michael Chabon is the bestselling and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the novels The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, Wonder Boys, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Summerland, The Final Solution, The Yiddish Policeman's Union, Gentlemen of the Road, Telegraph Avenue, and Moonglow; the short story collections A Model World and Werewolves in Their Youth; and the essay collections Maps and Legends, Manhood for Amateurs, Pops: Fatherhood in Pieces, and Bookends. He lives in Berkeley, CA with his wife, novelist Ayelet Waldman, and their children.
Nicholas Dawidoff was born November 30, 1962 in New York, NY, and grew up in New Haven, CT. He is the author of five non-fiction books, including the best-selling The Catcher Was A Spy, and The Fly Swatter, a Pulitzer Prize finalist. He is a contributor to The New York Times Magazine and The New Yorker. He has taught at Princeton University, Sarah Lawrence College, and The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, MA. Dawidoff was the 2007-2008 Anschutz Distinguished Fellow in American Studies at Princeton University. He has been awarded a Guggenheim fellowship (1997-1998); a Berlin Prize fellowship from The American Academy in Berlin (2002); a Civitella Ranieri fellowship (2005); and has been a resident at MacDowell (1998, 1999, 2000) and Yaddo (1995, 2004, 2006).
Lisa Kron is a playwright and performer who wrote the book and lyrics for the multiple Tony Award-winning musical, Fun Home. Other plays include In The Wake, Well, and the Obie Award-winning 2.5 Minute Ride. Acting credits include Well (receiving a Tony nomination for best actress) and Good Person of Szechuan (winning a Lortel Award). She has received Guggenheim, Sundance and MacDowell fellowships, Doris Duke, Cal Arts/Alpert, and Helen Merrill awards, and grants from Creative Capital and NYFA. She is a founding member of the OBIE and Bessie Award-winning theater company The Five Lesbian Brothers and the artist/activist-led resistance music initiative Chant Bank. She currently serves as vice president of the Dramatists Guild of America, and serves on MacDowell's Executive Committee.
Tania León is highly regarded as a composer and conductor, and recognized for her accomplishments as an educator and advisor to arts organizations. Her first opera, Scourge of Hyacinths, based on a play by Wole Soyinka with staging and design by Robert Wilson, received more than 20 performances in France, Switzerland, Austria, and Mexico. A longtime resident of New York, she has played important roles at its institutions, such as the Dance Theater of Harlem, Brooklyn Philharmonic, American Composers Orchestra, and the New York Philharmonic, where she served as new music advisor. León is the founder and artistic director of Composers Now, a nonprofit in New York City that celebrates the diversity of composers in the city and honors their contributions to the cultural fabric of society. A professor at Brooklyn College since 1985 and the Graduate Center of CUNY, she was named distinguished professor of the City University of New York in 2006.
Robert MacNeil was chairman of board of MacDowell from 1993 to 2010. Born and educated in Canada, he was a journalist for 40 years with, successively, Reuters News Agency, NBC News, and the BBC, culminating in 20 years as executive editor of the “MacNeil-Lehrer NewsHour” on PBS. He is the author of four novels, Burden of Desire, The Voyage, Breaking News, and Portrait of Julia; three memoirs, The Right Place at the Right Time, Wordstruck, and Looking For My Country; and co-author of The Story of English and the sequel, Do You Speak American? He lives in New York City and Nova Scotia.
Paul Moravec is a New York-based composer, creating orchestral, chamber, choral, and lyric compositions, as well as several film scores and electro-acoustic pieces. Moravec is the recipient of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize in Music for Tempest Fantasy, an original contemporary classic score based on the Shakespeare play, The Tempest. Moravec received a B.A. from Harvard and a doctorate in music composition from Columbia University. He has taught at Columbia University, Dartmouth College, Hunter College, and Adelphi University, where he is currently university professor. In 2007-9, he was artist-in-residence at the Institute for Advanced Studies at Princeton.
Thomas P. Putnam
Thomas Putnam received a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a major in industrial management from the University of Denver. He completed the Stanford University Business School Executive Program, along with numerous other business-related courses. Putnam is an incorporator of the Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston and served for 10 years on the Dartmouth College Thayer School of Engineering Board of Overseers. He retired from serving as the president of Markem Corporation, an industrial printing company, in 2006. Putnam joined the company in 1968, after serving for two years in the U.S. Army Airborne Artillery from 1968 to 1970.
Alvin Singleton is a composer who was born in Brooklyn, NY and attended NYU and Yale. As a Fulbright Scholar, he studied at Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, Italy. Singleton has amassed numerous awards and commissions throughout his compositional life. He is the recipient of a 2003 Guggenheim Fellowship, the Kranichsteiner Musikpreis by the City of Darmstadt, Germany, and twice the Musikprotokoll Kompositionpreis from Austrian Radio. In 2014, Singleton was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His music is published by Schott Music Corp. His music is recorded on the Albany Records, Elektra/Nonesuch, First Edition, Tzadik, and Innova labels.
Robert Storr is an artist, curator, and critic, who received a B.A. from Swarthmore College in 1972 and an M.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1978. From 1990 to 2002 he was curator then senior curator of painting and sculpture of the Museum of Modern Art, NY. He is currently a professor of painting/printmaking and dean at the Yale School of Art after serving 10 years as the dean. Mr. Storr has also taught at the CUNY Graduate Center and the Bard Center for Curatorial Studies as well as the Rhode Island School of Design, Tyler School of Art, New York Studio School, and Harvard University, and has been a frequent lecturer in this country and abroad. From 2005 to 2007 he was director of visual arts of the Venice Biennale.
Longtime MacDowell Board member and writer William Nathaniel Banks, Jr. died November 15, 2019 at his home in Newnan, Georgia. He was 95. Banks was in residence at MacDowell in 1958, twice in 1964, and in 1965. He was the longest standing member of MacDowell’s Board of Directors, having served since 1966. He served as MacDowell’s Vice President from 1974-1982, and was a Vice Chairman since 1987. He was a life member of the Board of Directors of the High Museum of Art, and was also a playwright, art historian, author, and lecturer, specializing in historic communities and architecture, whose work was featured regularly in the magazine Antiques. He was proudest of the 1820s Federal-style home that he and his mother had rescued from Milledgeville, Georgia and meticulously restored and reconstructed on his family’s property in Newnan. He also maintained an important 19th century residence in Temple, New Hampshire. His plays “The Curate’s Play” and “The Glad Girls” were both professionally produced. Banks earned degrees at Dartmouth and Yale (Phi Beta Kappa) and was admired by friends and scholars for his deep knowledge of American architecture and the decorative arts as well as for his genial temperament and hospitality.
Anne Cox Chambers
Philanthropist and Ambassador Anne Cox Chambers, a member of MacDowell's Board of Directors for 32 years, died at home in Atlanta on January 31, 2020. She was 100. She was the heiress to the Cox family media empire, campaigned for Democratic politicians, and served as U.S. Ambassador to Belgium under one of those politicians, President Jimmy Carter. She also received the French Legion of Honour. She served as director of the Coca-Cola Company from 1981-1991 and the Bank of the South from 1977-1982. Her interest in the business community was recognized in 1973 when she was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Fulton National Bank—the first woman in Atlanta to become a bank director. She was also the first woman to serve on the Board of Central Atlanta Progress and the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce.
Edmée de M. Firth
Edmée de Montmollin Firth was the executive director of the Jean and Louis Dreyfus Foundation since 1991 and served on the Board of Directors of MacDowell from 1992 to 2021. From 1982 to 1989, Firth was the first executive director of the Shakespeare Globe Center North America, the effort to rebuild the Globe in South London. She was also executive director of the Musician’s Emergency Fund and subsequently executive director of the Wethersfield Foundation. Edmée Firth served on the Board of the Metropolitan Opera Guild and was also on the Advisory Board of the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the New York Council for Weill Cornell Medicine.
Vartan Gregorian (1934-2021) was a trustee emeritus at MacDowell and the president of the Carnegie Corporation. Gregorian led MacDowell as board chairman from 1990 to 1993, on the heels of his historic rejuvenation of the New York Public Library and during his momentous tenure as president of Brown University. In his appeals for the NYPL, "Dr. Gregorian often sounded like a voice of conscience,” Robert McFadden wrote in his New York Times obituary, and this was true for MacDowell as well. In an essay for MacDowell's 2007 centennial publication, A Place for the Arts, Gregorian wrote, "...individually we will all pass by, but the art we experience, create, and partake of will remain. The arts will outlast us; they will reach beyond our temporality. They are witness to the fact that we are not mere socioeconomic units, not sociobiological entities, and not just consumers of entertainment, but moral beings with aspirations, cravings, anxieties, desires, and dreams." He was born in Tabriz, Iran, to Armenian parents, receiving his elementary education in Iran and his secondary education in Lebanon. In 1956, he entered Stanford University, where he majored in history and the humanities, graduating with honors in 1958. He was awarded a Ph.D. in history and humanities from Stanford in 1964. He was also an author and professor of European and Middle Eastern history.
Dr. Leslie E. Robertson (1928-2021) was a member of the Board of Directors of MacDowell from 2004-2019, and was an American engineer. He was responsible for the structural design of the World Trade Center (New York), the United States Steel Headquarters (Pittsburgh), the Bank of China Tower (Hong Kong), and the Puerta de Europa (Madrid) as well as exceptional museums and the award-winning Miho Museum Bridge (Japan). Robertson served on the board of several cultural and professional organizations including New York City’s Skyscraper Museum. The University of Notre Dame; Lehigh University; and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, awarded him honorary doctorate degrees in engineering, and the University of Western Ontario in Canada presented him with an honorary doctorate in science. Read more at his MacDowell page.
Helen S. Tucker
Helen Tucker (1926 - 2022) was the president of the Gramercy Park Foundation, through which most of her philanthropy is distributed (recipients include: Jazz at Lincoln Center, Alliance for the Arts, the Institute of Classical Architecture & Classical America, Manhattan Theatre Club, among many others). She was a former board member and co-chair of the benefit dinner at the New York Public Library, and a former vice chair at the Municipal Art Society. She has served on the boards of the Victorian Society Scholarship Fund, Friends of the Upper East Side Historic Districts, and Louise Wise Services. After joining MacDowell’s Board, she served as co-chair of the New York National Benefit for 18 years and was active on several committees. In 2020, Helen was unanimously voted as MacDowell Trustee Emerita for her long-standing support and dedication to MacDowell.