Stephen Butler is a native of Onondaga County in New York State. He received his BA in Theatre from Oswego State University and relocated to New York City. During his years in NYC, Stephen worked in managerial positions for the Alliance of Resident Theaters/New York, the Alliance of New York State Arts Councils and at several producing organizations including Manhattan Theatre Club, and the Hudson Guild Theater. His last position in NYC was as the Executive Director of Creative Alternatives of New York, a drama-therapy organization attached to the Department of Psychiatry at Mt. Sinai Medical Center, and serving the greater NYC metropolitan region. Stephen is a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship recipient in Strategic Planning (Advancement). He was also an Actors Equity Association stage manager. He returned to Syracuse to obtain a Masters of Arts in Public Administration from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University, and was then hired to run the Mental Health Association in Onondaga County.
For the past decade, Stephen has been the Executive Director of CNY Arts, a regional arts council providing grants, technical assistance, marketing and promotions among other services for arts organizations of all sizes in six Central New York counties including: Cortland, Herkimer, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga (its home), and Oswego. CNY Arts provides support to all the counties’ arts, culture and heritage organizations, higher education programs for the arts, residents and visitors alike, and individual artists through promotion, advocacy, collaboration, and community engagement. He is an adjunct professor in Le Moyne College Graduate Arts Administration program, and a guest lecturer who has presented at many schools, including the Herbert H. Humphrey Fellows Enhancement Conference at the Maxwell School, SU Drama Department, and at SUNY Oswego’s graduate program in Marketing.
Stephen’s volunteer work includes serving on the board of the Human Rights Commission of Onondaga County/City of Syracuse, President of the Association of Teaching Artists, Advisory Board Member at SUNY Oswego School of Communications, Media and the Arts, and as Co-President of Arts NYS.
Chief Executive Officer
Janet Langsam is the CEO of ArtsWestchester, an organization that financially and promotionally supports all of the arts in Westchester County. During her 27 year tenure, Ms. Langsam, an artist and journalist, has helped grow ArtsWestchester, formerly known as the Westchester Arts Council, from a $1.8 million to a $4.2 million agency and has made the arts more visible, diverse, and accessible for all. As CEO, Ms. Langsam advocates for funding, supports local artists and cultural organizations, champions the county’s arts community and reports on the positive impact the arts have on the local and regional economies.
Among her many achievements, Ms. Langsam spearheaded the purchase and renovation of an abandoned nine-story historical bank building in the heart of downtown White Plains, NY, led a major rebranding of the organization that added more contemporary marketing synergy and completed a $10 million capital campaign. She has been named amongst 914INC’s Most Influential Women of Westchester.
Prior to her work at ArtsWestchester, Ms. Langsam served as President and CEO of the Boston Center for the Arts and held positions in three NYC Mayoral Administrations including First Deputy Commissioner of the NYC Dept. of Cultural Affairs, and Assistant Commissioner of the NYC Dept. of Housing Preservation and Development in which she pioneered the conversion of city-owned vacant properties to cultural sites and artist housing. She is a founder and former Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Queens Museum, honoree of the Queens Theatre in the Park and a former Chairperson of Queen’s Community Planning Board 7 and District Manager of the Rockaways. Ms. Langsam was a recipient of the Americans for the Arts Michael Newton Award. She has also been recognized by the Mental Health Association of Westchester, Westchester County Federation of Women’s Clubs, the Westchester Jewish Council, the Hudson River Museum, the Emelin Theatre and the Association of Development Officers. Ms. Langsam received her Masters from New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.
Huntington Arts Council
Marc Courtade is an experienced arts professional with over 25 years in the field. A resident of Freeport, NY, Marc was a native of Buffalo, NY before relocating to the New York area. He received an MS in Management and Urban Policy from the New School for Social Research, with a specialization in Nonprofit Management. He holds a BPS from Empire State College in Music, and a BA in English from SUNY Buffalo.
Marc is currently Executive Director of Huntington Arts Council (HAC), a position he assumed in 2015. He oversees the Huntington Summer Arts Festival, Grants for the Arts (DEC) for both Nassau and Suffolk counties, an exhibition program and an arts-in-education program. HAC also offers technical assistance for artists and arts organizations. Prior to joining HAC, Marc was Business Manager at LIU Post/Tilles Center for the Performing Arts for 17 years. At LIU, Marc also acted as Producer and Artistic Director for Performance PLUS!, a pre-performance series that included lectures, demos and other related events, and was an adjunct professor of Arts Management. Marc also held administrative positions at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Inc. and New York City Opera. In the for-profit sector, Marc was an Assistant Vice President for Enhance Financial Serves Group and a Data Communications Analyst for Chemical Bank.
Marc was a speaker for the New York Council for the Humanities for eight years, lecturing on The Rodgers and Hammerstein Era: Reinventing Musical Theater and The Ethnic Musicals: Assimilation and Integration. He is a lecturer at LIU’s Hutton House Lectures, and is a frequent speaker all over Long Island and the New York area on Broadway Musicals, Opera, and Great Performers. He is an at-large Board member of Huntington Cultural Affairs Institute, has served on the board of LI Arts Council at Freeport, and received the Arts Recognition Tribute from Freeport Arts Council in 2016.
Arts Center of the Capital Region
Chief Executive Officer
Elizabeth (Liz) Reiss is a life-long arts advocate. Her career has been guided by the simple belief that the arts belong in everyone’s life. Raised in LI, Liz has worked in NYC, Pittsburgh, and the Capital Region, in art museums, childrens’ museums, arts festivals and now as the CEO of the Arts Center of the Capital Region. Her favorite projects have been developing Craft in the Classroom, a K-12 craft education curricula for NYC schools, renovating an empty storefront to become the Children’s Museum of the Arts in SoHo, and presenting public art projects that pushed traditional boundaries of art, such as the skateboard park Roll Rampant and Free. Liz has a BA from Bard College and an MS from Bank Street School for Education. She has played an active role in professional service organizations. In the past, she has served as the Chair of the NYC Museum Education Roundtable, VP of Greater Pittsburgh Arts Alliance, and now serves as the Chair of the Troy Cultural Alliance, and on the boards of Arts NYS and the East Greenbush Education Foundation. Liz has also served as a grants panelist for Institute of Museum and Library Services, Cleveland Percent for Art, New York State Council on the Arts, Pittsburgh Foundation, and the Sprout Fund, Pittsburgh.
Lower Manhattan Cultural Council
Executive Director, Finance & Administration
A Brooklyn native who now calls the Lower East Side home, Diego is a first generation Italian-American artist and arts administrator. Prior to joining the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC) in 2007, Diego spent three years as Managing Director of 3LD where he played a pivotal role in fundraising, financial planning and project management to establish a multi-million dollar Art & Technology Center in Lower Manhattan. Most recently he worked for Nonprofit Finance Fund where he was responsible for performing financial and organizational analyses for clients nationwide. Early in his career, Diego designed and produced dozens of plays, films and special events and continues to pursue artistic endeavors in his spare time. He holds a double B.A. in Drama and Mathematics from Vassar College and is a proud alum of Stuyvesant High School.
Diego oversees all aspects of the LMCC, including day-to-day operations and strategic planning for the organization.