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 chairman of the board of MacDowell. 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.
Andrew M. Senchak
Andrew Senchak has been president of MacDowell’s Board of Directors since 2017. 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.
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.
Helen S. Tucker
Helen Tucker is 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 is 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. Helen has served on the boards of the Victorian Society Scholarship Fund, Friends of the Upper East Side Historic Districts, and Louise Wise Services. She served as co-chair of MacDowell’s New York Benefit for 18 years. She lives in Manhattan and has three grown children: Steven, Barbara, and Susan.
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.
Robert M. Olmsted
Robert Olmsted 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. His wife is Stephanie Olmsted; they have two daughters, Katharine and Alexandra, both of whom attended Princeton. His interests include music and photography.
Philip Himberg oversees the creative mission as well as the financial well-being of the nation’s first multidisciplinary residency program. Himberg arrived at MacDowell in May of 2019 from The Sundance Institute where he spent 23 years guiding all aspects of the Sundance Theatre Program, including its Theatre Labs and satellite residency programs in Massachusetts and Wyoming, and internationally in several locations in East Africa, the Middle East, and North Africa. Under his aegis, the Institute’s Theatre labs have supported many hundreds of playwrights in the creation of important new work, which is produced across the U.S, off and on Broadway. Himberg is also a playwright, and his most recent play, Paper Dolls, had its world premiere at the Tricycle Theatre (now Kiln Theatre) in London in 2013. He is a former member of the Tony Award Nomination Committee, served as past president of the Board of Theatre Communications Group and was a trustee of the Kiln Theatre, London. He has taught at NYU/Tisch and the Yale Drama School. In addition to a B.A. from Oberlin College, Himberg holds a degree as a Doctor of Chinese Medicine, and previously was a practicing acupuncturist and herbalist.
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 Colony 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.
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.
Vartan Gregorian is president of Carnegie Corporation of New York, formerly the president of Brown University and the New York Public Library. He was born in Tabriz, Iran, of 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 is also an author and professor of European and Middle Eastern history.
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.
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.
Robert Beaser was born May 29, 1954 in Boston, MA. One of the most accomplished creative musicians of his generation, Beaser’s music has been performed and commissioned by major orchestras, conductors, ensembles, and performers worldwide. Cited by The New York Times in the early 1980’s as a “New Tonalist,” his works defy categorization and chart their own unique trajectories through a wide range of media. Major awards include a membership in the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a GRAMMY nomination, an Emmy Award, Guggenheim and Fulbright Fellowships, and The Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome. He is the artistic director laureate of the American Composers Orchestra, and has served on the composition faculty at Juilliard since 1993.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Lane Czaplinski is the director of performing arts at the Wexner Center for the Arts at The Ohio State University. From 2002-2017 Czaplinski was the artistic director of On the Boards, a leading contemporary performing arts center in Seattle. Under his leadership, the organization commissioned and produced more than 80 new multidisciplinary performance works and nurtured regional artists to create new works that garnered national funding and touring opportunities. His efforts won Czaplinski several awards, including a Genius Award from Seattle’s The Stranger, and led The New York Times to declare On the Boards “one of America’s best theaters for contemporary performance.”
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.
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.
Edmée de M. Firth
Edmée de Montmollin Firth has been the executive director of the Jean and Louis Dreyfus Foundation since 1991 and has served on the Board of Directors of MacDowell since 1992. 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 serves on the Board of the Metropolitan Opera Guild and is also on the Advisory Board of the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the New York Council for Weill Cornell Medicine. She and her husband Nick divide their time between Bedford, NY, New York City, and St. Remy de Provence, France.
Christine Fisher 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 Mother’s and the Advisory Council for the School of Public Health at Brown University.
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.
Adele Griffin was born in Philadelphia and attended the University of Pennsylvania. After college, she worked as an assistant editor in children’s books at Clarion Books, New York, as well as a freelance manuscript reader. Her experiences in publishing brought her back to reading books for children and young adults and encouraged her to write her own. Griffin is a critically acclaimed author of numerous novels for young adults and middle-grade readers including the Vampire Island and Witch Twins series. She is a two-time National Book Award Finalist for Sons of Liberty (1997) and Where I Want to Be (2005).
John A. Hargraves
John Hargraves has been a MacDowell board member since 2003. He is a former professor of German literature at Yale and Connecticut College. Now he devotes himself to translating literature. His 2009 translation of The Executor: A Comedy of Letters, by Michael Krüger, won the Woolf Prize for the best German translation. More recent work includes a novel: The Druggist of Auschwitz by Dieter Schlezak; a classic German landscape gardening work by Hermann Pückler-Muskau; and a history of the Vienna Philharmonic by Christoph Wagner-Trenkwitz. He is also an accomplished pianist and frequently appears at private clubs with a vocal ensemble he founded known as Six of Clubs in New York, Florida, and Connecticut. Both he and his wife, Nancy Newcomb, are very involved in the nonprofit world and philanthropy; together they established The Newcomb-Hargraves Foundation, through which they provide funding to many education and arts organizations and programs.
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.
Dan Hurlin is a writer, director, designer, and performer who has been creating original theater since 1980. His work has won multiple awards (two OBIEs, two Bessies and a UNIMA Citation of Excellence) and has been seen at a variety of alternative presenting spaces throughout the U.S. and Europe. Formerly the artistic director of Andy’s Summer Playhouse in Wilton, NH, Hurlin is currently the director of the Graduate Program in Theatre at Sarah Lawrence college, where he teaches performance art, dance, and puppetry. In addition to being a three-time fellow at MacDowell, he received a Guggenheim fellowship for choreography, a USA Artist Fellowship, the Alpert Award for theatre, and the 2013 Jesse Howard Jr. Rome Prize for visual art.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Dr. Leslie E. Robertson is 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 serves 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, have awarded him honorary doctorate degrees in engineering, and the University of Western Ontario in Canada presented him with an honorary doctorate in science.
Barbara Case Senchak
Barbara Case Senchak is the chair of the Friends of MacDowell program and is active on the Colony'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.
Josh Siegel 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Jamie Trowbridge is president of Yankee Publishing, which publishes Yankee Magazine and The Old Farmer's Almanac in Dublin, NH. A third-generation family business, the company was founded in 1935 by Robb and Trix Sagendorph, Trowbridge’s grandparents. Trix Sagendorph, who produced cover art and illustrations for Yankee Magazine for four decades, also served on the Board of Directors of MacDowell. Following Trix, Jud Hale, the company’s editor-in-chief and Jamie’s uncle, served on the MacDowell Board. After graduating from Philips Exeter Academy and Dartmouth College, Trowbridge moved to Seattle, where he met his wife, Laura. They currently live in Peterborough, and have four children.
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.