Monthly Archives: October 2016

ArtsWestchester honors NYSCA Chair Dr. Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel

We are pleased to share the news that ArtsWestchester is honoring our “Wonder Woman” Chair, Dr. Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel!


Dr. Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel

From “ArtsWestchester to Honor Five ‘Wonder Women’” posted by Kathy Welsh on the Hudson Valley News Network: “We are thrilled to honor these amazing women for their extraordinary leadership and superhero support for the arts in Westchester County and beyond,” said Janet Langsam, CEO of ArtsWestchester. “In addition to recognizing remarkable individuals, the gala is a way for us to gather friends and supporters who believe in the value of the arts in society.”

Read more at Hudson Valley News Network


NYSCA in the News

 human symbol with bubble talk tag

What Does a ‘Film’ Look Like on Snapchat? POV and NowThis Are the First to Bring Independent Films to Snapchat Discover


“The…PBS documentary series POV, which has been merging online technology and nonfiction storytelling since the early 1990s, has produced two short films for distribution on Snapchat Discover, in partnership with the short-form digital content creator NowThis… This is the first time that documentary films will appear in Snapchat Discover. POV’s Snapchat Films series launches with the Snapchat-native films “We’ll Still Be Here” (Sunday, Oct. 23), about dominoes players keeping their beloved game alive while a neighborhood changes around them, by Lizzie Jacobs; and “The Way It Should Be” (Sunday, Oct. 30), a story of love and friendship as lived and told by queer women of color, by Terence Nance and Chanelle Aponte Pearson. The films will each be available exclusively on the NowThis channel in Snapchat’s Discover section for a 24-hour window. Viewers must download the Snapchat app from Apple’s App Store or the Google Play Store to view the films.” NYSCA supports POV through our Electronic Media & Film Program.

ICE’s Founder, Claire Chase, Will Relinquish Leadership Role

New York Times

Flutist, MacArthur Award winner, and International Contemporary Ensemble Founder will step down as co-artistic director of the ensemble. “The ensemble has performed hundreds of new works, staking a strong claim as the nation’s pre-eminent new-music group in the process. Its annual budget has grown from $603 — her holiday catering tips underwrote that first year — to north of $2 million…And ICE now moves seamlessly among small nightclubs, schools and some of the nation’s premier stages, performing at Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival, at the Ojai Music Festival in California and, on Nov. 1, at Carnegie Hall.” Chase will devote more time to her solo career. ICE is distinctive in its status as a collective – the players share administrative duties – and its focus on new music. NYSCA supports ICE through our Music Program.

North Shore Symphony Orchestra Announces New Season, New Music Director & New Horizons Competition

“Under the direction of their new music director, Vlad Vizireanu, North Shore Symphony Orchestra will launch their 56th season with Verdi’s Overture to Nabucco, Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 63 (with NSSO Artist-in-Residence Anton Polezhayev), and Elgar’s Enigma Variations, Op 36… The 2016-17 season will also include performances on March 11, May 6, and June 3, when the orchestra will perform with the winner of the NSSO Young Artist Competition and will perform the work of the winner of the inaugural New Horizons Composer Competition. The New Horizons Composer Competition has been established to recognize rising metropolitan New York area composers between the ages of 18 and 30. Applicants to the competition must be resident of Nassau County, Suffolk County, or the 5 Boroughs of New York, or studying at an institution within these areas.” NSSO concerts are made possible with funds from the Decentralization Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and administered by the Huntington Arts Council, Inc.

Gustafer Yellowgold Performs at the Roxbury Arts Center

Watershed Post

Grammy-nominated children’s artist Gustafer Yellowgold will appear at the Roxbury Arts Center Nov. 12 in a multi-media performance of live music, colored-pencil animations and storytelling. “The show has been the wild-card opening act for Wilco and The Polyphonic Spree. Gustafer has appeared off-Broadway in his own productions of Gustafer Yellowgold’s Mellow Sensation and Gustafer Yellowgold’s Infinity Sock. Gustafer the character is a friendly creature that came to Earth from the sun and is living out an explorer’s life in a slightly psychedelic version of the Minnesota woods.” NYSCA funds the Roxbury Arts Group through our State & Local Partnership Program.

43rd ‘On My Own Time’ Exhibition Celebrates Creativity in the Workplace

“CNY Arts’ celebrated employee creativity with the opening of the 43rd On My Own Time grand finale exhibition at the Everson Museum of Art in Downtown Syracuse on Saturday, October 8th. 79 pieces of original artwork created by artists from 16 central New York businesses were chosen for the exhibition that is now on display at the Everson Museum of Art through November 11…Participating employers for 2016 included Boxcar Press, City of Syracuse, Community Folk Art Center, County of Onondaga, Entergy – James A. FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant, L. & J. G. Stickley, Inc., Lockheed Martin, Northland Communications, O’Brien & Gere|OBG, Onondaga Community College, St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center, Syracuse City School District, Syracuse University, TCGPlayer, United Radio, and Upstate Medical University.” NYSCA supports CNY Arts through our State & Local Partnership Program.

NYSCA Council Meeting & Celebrating the NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship


NYFA Board Member Michael Findlay, NYSCA Executive Director Mara Manus, NYSCA Chair Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel, NYFA Executive Director Michael Royce, NYFA Chair Judith Brodsky

Thursday October 6, 2016, the New York State Council on the Arts held a Council Meeting to vote on funding recommendations in 9 of our 15 programs, and followed the meeting with a ceremony commemorating a new phase in one of the organization’s most important partnerships. Over the past 31 years, NYSCA has provided approximately $30 million in support of the New York Foundation for the Arts to administer support for individual artists through the State & Local Partnerships Program. This collaborative initiative will now be known as the NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship Program.


Performance artist Karen Finley, a four-time recipient of the NYFA Artist Fellowship — now known as the NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship — shared her poem “Black Sheep”

“Today, we welcome our colleagues from the New York Foundation for the Arts, Board Chair Dr. Judith Brodsky, Executive Director Michael Royce, Director of Institutional Advancement Mark Rossier, and Director and Curator David Terry to this NYSCA reception to jointly celebrate the revitalization and renaming of the NYFA Artist Fellowship as the NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship,” said NYSCA Chair Dr. Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel.

“The new name will more accurately reflect the role of NYSCA and our commitment to the creativity of individual artists. Today, we commemorate the new partnership and look forward to continuing our long-term, close relationship. NYSCA has been the primary funder of the re-named NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship. During more than 30 years, NYSCA has invested more than $30 million to provide cash awards. And in the past, grants as much as $1 million were awarded. These funds are administered by NYFA. The NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship provides cash awards in fifteen different disciplines to artists living and working in New York State. The grants provide unrestricted support to fund the artistic vision and endeavor of each fellow. We look forward to continuing this fruitful relationship.”

The ceremony continued with presentations from two artists who received multiple Artist Fellowships funded by NYSCA and administered through NYFA.

Karen Finley, a recipient of the Artist Fellowship in Performance Art in 1986, 1990, 1995, and 2001, spoke ardently about the value of the funding she received for her art, and the importance of the artistic freedom conferred by the award. Finley is the winner of two Obie Awards and two Bessie Awards.

Edwin Sanchez, a playwright, screenwriter, and novelist spoke to the importance of receiving his first recognition as an artist through the Artist Fellowship, which he received in 1989, 2000, and 2006. His work has been performed by NYSCA grantees the Atlantic Theater Company, New York Stage and Film, and Primary Stages.


Edwin Sanchez, a three-time recipient of the NYFA Artist Fellowship — now known as the NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship — read from his novel “Diary of a Puerto Rican Demigod.”

This was also the inaugural meeting of NYSCA’s new Executive Director, Mara Manus. Ms. Manus has served as executive director of the Public Theater in New York City as well as a program officer at the Ford Foundation. Previous roles also include Director of Playwrights of New York, Executive Director of The Film Society of Lincoln Center and Founding Director of the Arthur Miller Foundation and Southampton Arts Center. Ms. Manus founded a management consulting firm, Manus + Co, to launch cultural organizations and provide other non-profits with leadership and organizational development support.

By the conclusion of the meeting, NYSCA had approved grant recommendations in our Architecture + Design, Arts Education, Dance, Electronic Media and Film, Individual Artists, Literature, Music, Museums, and Special Arts Services Programs. In July, NYSCA approved grant recommendations in the Facilities, Folk Arts, Presenting, State & Local Partnerships, Theatre and Visual Arts Programs. In December, NYSCA will vote on panel recommendations for the Regional Economic Development Council Program.

The photos below illustrate our meeting and our celebration of the warm collaboration between NYSCA and NYFA.

Mara Manus joins the New York State Council on the Arts as Executive Director

New York, NY: The New York State Council on the Arts is pleased to announce that Mara Manus has been appointed the agency’s new executive director.

Ms. Manus has served as executive director of the Public Theater in New York City as well as a program officer at the Ford Foundation. Previous roles also include Director of Playwrights of New York, Executive Director of The Film Society of Lincoln Center and Founding Director of the Arthur Miller Foundation and Southampton Arts Center. Ms. Manus founded a management consulting firm, Manus + Co, to launch cultural organizations and provide other non-profits with leadership and organizational development support and has provided consulting services to numerous arts organizations including The Harmony Program, Pilobolus and Bay Street Theater. Ms. Manus earned a B.A. from Stanford University.

“I am honored to join the staff of the New York State Council on the Arts and to contribute to the growth, achievement and appreciation of artists and organizations in all of our 62 counties,” Ms. Manus said. “I look forward to working with our talented and dedicated staff, our Chair Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel and the NYSCA Council to ensure that we continue and expand our capacity as a vital resource to the field and the public.”

“On behalf of the Council, I welcome Mara Manus and look forward to working together to cultivate New York State’s remarkable arts and culture,” said NYSCA Chair Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel. “Her managerial expertise, breadth of knowledge about the non-profit arts field, and deep commitment to our state’s artists and arts organizations will be great assets to NYSCA, our grantees, and our publics.”


The New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) champions community and creativity by preserving and advancing numerous aspects of the cultural heritage that makes New York State an exceptional place to live, work and visit. These aims are primarily achieved through the agency’s grant-making activity. Annually, the agency awards $41 Million to more than 1,200 organizations statewide.

The projects, artists and organizations NYSCA supports underscore the diversity and scope of the State’s residents and visitors. From New York City’s landmarks to traditional artisans in the North Country, from international dance companies to teaching artists in inner-city schools, the impact of the agency’s funding can be seen in each of the State’s 62 counties. Annually, NYSCA’s funding helps to engage new audiences, drive artistic excellence and innovation, introduce children to the arts, build organizational capacity and support our State’s organizations.

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