Staff & Consultants
To contact a staff member at Creative Capital, click here.
Ruby Lerner, President & Executive Director
Beezwax, Website Programmer
Sam Nelson, Clever Name Here, Inc., Web Consultant
Michael Overn, Legal Counsel
Blithe Riley, Website Consultant
Ruby Lerner, President & Executive Director
Ruby Lerner is the founding President and Executive Director of Creative Capital. Prior to Creative Capital, Lerner served as the Executive Director of the Association of Independent Film and Videomakers (AIVF) and as Publisher of the highly regarded Independent Film and Video Monthly. Having worked regionally in both the performing arts and independent media fields, she served as the Executive Director of Alternate ROOTS, a coalition of Southeastern performing artists, and IMAGE Film/Video Center, both based in Atlanta. In the late 1970s, she was the Audience Development Director at the Manhattan Theatre Club, one of New York's foremost nonprofit theaters. A native of North Carolina, Lerner worked in the state's visiting artist program following graduate work in theater at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Her undergraduate degree is in comparative religion from Goucher College.
During nearly thirty years in the arts, Lerner has written and lectured extensively on arts issues, served on many boards, steering committees and grantmaking panels, and has consulted with hundreds of arts organizations on audience development and related areas of arts management. She has received the Catalyst Award from the National Association of Artists Organizations (2007), the BAXten Award from the Brooklyn Arts Exchange (2007), a Creative Leadership Award from the Alliance of Artists Communities (2005), the Artist Advocate Award from the Alliance of New York State Arts Organizations (2003) and a Special Citation from Artists Space for her support of individual artists (2003). In April 2001, Lerner was the keynote speaker at the annual ArtTable luncheon. Lerner is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, CT, the Goucher College Committee of Visitors and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Innovation Circle.
Merle Augustin, Manager of Advisory Services
Merle Augustin is a film producer, director and writer. She’s worked on documentaries, short films, features and web series. Her work has been shown at numerous festivals including South By Southwest, The Asian-American Film Festival and The Rotterdam International Film Festival. In addition to her work with Creative Capital, Merle teaches filmmaking at CUNY and serves as a Media Coach at the Educational Video Center, a non-profit youth media organization dedicated to teaching documentary video as a means to develop the artistic, critical literacy and career skills of young people.
Ben Castanon, Development Associate
Prior to joining Creative Capital, Ben Castanon served as the Development Coordinator for the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive. While there, he worked on large-scale programmatic and fundraising events, communications, administration and the museum's capital campaign. Additionally, he has a background in non-profit management, marketing and has taught a class to kids on how to become detective novelists. Ben holds a dual BA in Music and African-American Studies from Wesleyan University.
Krista Fabian DeCastro, PDP Workshop Manager
Krista Fabian DeCastro is a cultural manager specializing in festival programming, events production, artist development, cultural development and international cultural exchange. She served as program director of Robert Wilson’s Watermill Center, manager of the international programming department at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and manager of Africa Exchange, a program of 651 ARTS that supported collaborative exchanges between performing artists in the United States and Africa. She holds a BA from The New School and a MA in Arts Administration from Columbia University. She currently lives in Chicago.
Lisa Dent, Director of Grants & Services
Before joining Creative Capital as Director of Grants and Services, Lisa Dent served as the Associate Curator of Contemporary Art at the Columbus Museum of Art in Ohio. Dent previously held curatorial staff positions at the New Museum of Contemporary Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art, and was a director at Friedrich Petzel Gallery in New York. In addition, Dent has worked in film and the performing arts as a scenic designer, art director and producer on numerous projects. From 2004-08, Dent owned and managed Lisa Dent Gallery in San Francisco, where she presented the work of emerging and mid-career international artists. She has taught courses in art history and design at Cooper Union, University of California, Davis, Columbus College of Art and Design, and The Ohio State University. Dent received her BFA from Howard University, her MFA from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, and completed the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program in curatorial studies.
Sean Elwood, Director of Programs & Initiatives
Since joining Creative Capital in 2000, Sean has served as Grants Officer, Acting Director of the MAP Fund, Director of Grants & Services and, since 2010, as Director of Programs & Initiatives. Prior to Creative Capital, he was Curator/Collection Manager for the Seattle Arts Commission, Director at Ronald Feldman Fine Arts and Manager of the Art Residency Program at Centrum Foundation. He founded SEEDITIONS Art Publishing Company and Fuller/Elwood Gallery. He currently serves on the board of Triple Canopy, and on advisory boards for Lower East Side Printshop, Watts House Project and Dieu Donné Papermill. He regularly curates, publishes, writes about, collects and makes artworks. He holds a BA and MA in Visual Arts.
Jenny Gill, Director of Communications
Jenny Gill has a background in print- and web-based editorial work, arts administration, and studio art. Prior to joining Creative Capital in 2010, she produced educational programs and web content for the American Craft Council. Jenny has held curatorial and administrative positions at numerous commercial and university galleries, including as Gallery Director for the University of the South in Sewanee, TN. She also worked as a letterpress printer for eight years at the historic Hatch Show Print in Nashville. Jenny holds a BA in art and art history from Vanderbilt University and an MA from Bard Graduate Center for Decorative Arts, Design and Culture.
Maura Guyote, Communications Assistant
Maura Guyote is studying Fine Arts and History at The New School, and will graduate in May 2013. She has been working happily at Creative Capital since early 2011, having assisted in the PDP, Artist Services and External Affairs departments, as well as researching for the Doris Duke Performing Artist Awards. She is a 2012-2013 Fellow for Art Cart: Saving the Legacy, a program which aids aging professional artists in New York City in properly documenting their work. She loves watching movies, dancing and traveling, preferably to places famous for their food.
Debra Henri, Finance Assistant
Debra Henri is a theatre director and actor, having received her theatre degree from Temple University in Philadelphia. She lived in London and Los Angeles prior to moving to New York. In addition to working in Creative Capital's finance department, she also keeps the books for Pyburn Films and John Szoke Editions. She holds a Notary Public license from the State of New York.
Rebecca Herman, Associate Director of Development
Rebecca Herman is a visual artist who works in collaboration with Mark Shoffner. Their sculptures, videos and installations have been shown at Cuchifritos Gallery, Black & White Gallery, Sculpture Center and Exit Art in New York, and in public art festivals in McCarren Park, Brooklyn, and Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. Prior to her arrival at Creative Capital in 2011, she was Senior Press Officer at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, where she promoted exhibitions of modern and contemporary art. From 2000 to 2006 Rebecca worked at The Drawing Center, first as Grants Officer and then as PR & Marketing Officer. She has a BA from Macalester College and an MFA from Parsons School of Design.
Amanda Berlin Knapp, PDP Manager of Program Administration
Amanda Berlin Knapp has a background in program management, fundraising and communications as well as studio art and art history. Prior to joining Creative Capital, Amanda worked at MIT's Sloan School of Business as a manager for executive education programs, offering continuing education opportunities to business professionals, and at MIT's School of Science, where she managed development communications and events. Previously, she worked at Tina Kim Gallery, which specializes in contemporary art and emerging Korean artists, and Vintage20, a mid-century furniture and design dealer. Amanda holds a BA in studio art and art history from the University of Virginia and an MA in contemporary art from the Sotheby’s Institute in London. She is currently pursuing her MA in management at the Harvard University Extension School.
Carolyn Lambert, Web Services Manager
Carolyn Lambert is an interdisciplinary artist who explores relationships to territory and concepts of nature. Her videos, objects, installations, and excursions have been exhibited and produced throughout the U.S. and Canada at venues including SculptureCenter, Exit Art, Proteus Gowanus, Flux Factory and the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts. She received her MFA from Carnegie Mellon University, where she was also a Fellow at the STUDIO for Creative Inquiry. In support of her work, Lambert has received funding from the Steinbrenner Institute, The Sprout Fund and NYFA. Before coming to Creative Capital, she was the founder of Plumb and Level Design and taught digital media and web design at Marymount Manhattan and Adelphi University.
Meg Miles, Director of Development
Before joining Creative Capital in 2009, Meg Miles was the Program Coordinator at openhousenewyork, where she organized public programs about New York City's architecture and design and helped launch several fundraising campaigns and activities around the annual OHNY Weekend. Previously, she was the Gallery Manager at Morgan Lehman Gallery in New York and worked as an educator at the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum. Meg holds a BA in art history from Oberlin College, where she also spent three years working in various education and research positions at the Allen Memorial Art Museum.
Alyson Pou, PDP Director
Alyson Pou has been with Creative Capital since 1999 and has played a key role in the development of the Artist Services and Professional Development Programs. Previously, she was Director of Programming and Public Relations at Creative Time Inc. Pou's installation/performance work has been presented in New York by Danspace Project at St. Mark's, Performance Space 122, Franklin Furnace, The New Museum, Artists Space, Creative Time, HERE and the Bronx Museum, among others. She is the recipient of a New York Dance and Performance "Bessie" Award in the Choreographer/Creator category. Fellowships and residencies include The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, The American Antiquarian Society, and Voice and Vision’s Envision Retreat. She has taught performance art history and production at NYU, Cooper Union, The New School, Williams College and Smith College.
Leslie Singer, Chief Financial Officer
Leslie Singer is a Gemini. She spent the 1980s in San Francisco doing small business accounting and experimental film and video. Her films and video works have been widely exhibited in museums and galleries throughout Europe and the U.S. Since her move to New York in 1994, Singer has worked extensively in nonprofit administration and finance. She has also continued her love of video art as editor of Laura Cottingham’s Not For Sale (1998), among others. She loves Iggy Pop, Marcel Proust, organic food, denim and cats.
Martin Snyder, Workshop Manager, PDP Assistant
Martin Snyder is a filmmaker and artist adviser. Missed Connections, his feature film debut as co-writer/director, has garnered numerous awards on the festival circuit including the Audience Choice Awards for Best Narrative Feature at the 2012 Gen Art, Sarasota and Savannah Film Festivals. It is due for release Valentines 2013. His next feature project is a comedy titled The Approval for Sunrise Pictures. In addition to filmmaking, Martin advises artists with professional development support. Before joining Creative Capital, he worked as a media and entertainment investment banker for Merrill Lynch, and founded the independent record label Gables Records. Martin holds a bachelors in economics from Columbia University and is represented by ICM Partners and Underground Films.
Raina Sutton, Artist Services Assistant
In addition to her work with Creative Capital, Raina Sutton is part of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Artist Residencies department. As an arts administrator, she has worked at the Mead Art Museum, the Museum of the City of New York and the Museum for African Art, as well as non-profit performing arts presenting organizations. Raina is also an active freelance costume designer and has designed for dance and theater productions, including Cloud Tectonics, The Mistakes Madeline Made and Tartuffe. She received a BA in Art and the History of Art from Amherst College, and her research interests lie at the intersection of performance studies, philosophy, psychology and social justice. A Brooklyn native, she enjoys live music performances, watching films, and discovering local Brooklyn gems.
Patrick Whalen, Technical Operations Manager
In addition to the technical role that he fills at Creative Capital, Patrick Keefe Whalen is a multidisciplinary artist with a background in engineering and physical science. He holds a BFA in Crafts/Material Studies from Virginia Commonwealth University and is a veteran of the U.S. Nuclear Navy. He has guest lectured at Stony Brook University on the history of anatomy and has taught and worked in glass, sculpture and ceramic arts. He lives in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, and is a lifetime member of the Brooklyn-based art collective 3rd Ward, where he regularly attends figurative drawing sessions.
Pradeep Dalal, Director of Grants & Services, Arts Writers Grant Program
Pradeep Dalal is an artist and writer. His work was recently included in exhibits at the Herter Art Gallery in Amherst and at Aljira Center for Contemporary Art in Newark. He has exhibited at the New York Public Library, Orchard, ps122 Gallery, TART (San Francisco) and the Miami-Dade Public Library. Dalal's reviews and interviews have been published in ARTWURL, TeachingPhoto.com, Village Voice and EGO Magazine. He is the recipient of Tierney Fellowship and has an MFA from ICP/Bard College and a M.Arch. from MIT. He is also on the faculty at the International Center of Photography in New York.
Julie Evanoff, Information & Technical Services Manager, Arts Writers Grant Program
Julie Evanoff is a Brooklyn-based artist who works in drawing, painting, printmaking and video animation. Her recent exhibitions include in between at The Gallery at The Art Institute of Tucson, If you see nothing say something at The Invisible Dog Art Center in Brooklyn and Stories real and vividly imagined at Gallery Niklas Belenius in Stockholm, Sweden, and Hallways in Brooklyn. Her animations have screened in video festivals including the 2k5 Video Festival and City Without Walls Juried Video Festival. She received her MFA from Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University. Julie’s awards include the Geraldine Dodge Grant from The Women’s Studio Workshop and the Vermont Studio Center and the Paul Robeson Emerging Artist Award from Rutgers University.
Kareem Estefan, Program Assistant, Arts Writers Grant Program
Kareem Estefan is a poet and critic who lives in Brooklyn. His immediate family comes from Beirut, Damascus, Jerusalem and Baghdad, but among these cities he has only visited Beirut; when prompted by personal or political circumstance, he imagines the figs, families, old souks and new walls in the others. He began writing as a music reviewer and later sculpted words into speculative poems and essays about the internet, noise, unknown places and performative identities. Before coming to the Arts Writers Grant Program, he interviewed conceptual poets on a WNYU radio program, Ceptuetics, and produced talk shows for National Public Radio. He especially likes to dance.
Rachel Ford, Program Director, Doris Duke Performing Artist Awards Program
Rachel Ford has 17 years of experience in working with performing and visual artists in the areas of production, fundraising and marketing. Prior to joining the Awards program in 2011, she served as Associate Producer at HERE Arts Center and led the development department at Creative Time. She has also held positions at College Art Association, Theatre Communications Group and the Women’s Project, among others. She has been a guest speaker at NYU’s Program for Visual Culture and APAP|NYC and has been a part of several artist selection panels including HERE’s Artist Residency Program (HARP) and Public Theater’s Emerging Writers Group. She holds a BA in Theatre from Florida State University in Tallahassee.
Emily Ottman, Program Associate, Doris Duke Performing Artist Awards Program
Before joining the Doris Duke Performing Artist Awards program, Emily was an Account Executive at MF Productions, coordinating fundraising events for arts organizations, including the Studio Museum in Harlem, Dia Art Foundation, Ballroom Marfa and The Kitchen. She has also worked closely with Creative Time and the Center for Urban Pedagogy. Emily holds a BA from New York University where she studied Sociology, Art History and Studio Art.
Moira Brennan, Program Director, The MAP Fund
Moira Brennan studied theater at New York University Tisch School of the Arts. Her writing about the arts and feminism has been published in the New York Times, Ms. Magazine, American Theatre, Oxygen.com, among other publications.
Lauren Slone, Program Associate, The MAP Fund
Lauren Slone holds a BA in religious studies with a minor in philosophy from West Virginia University and an MFA in dance performance and choreography from the Florida State University School of Dance. While in residence at FSU, she was a Teaching Fellow, MANCC Administrative Fellow, and the recipient of numerous awards and scholarships, including grants to conduct research in Spain and to study contemporary dance in Paris and Israel. Lauren has also performed extensively, most notably with Lynda Davis, Dan Wagoner and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar. Building an international career under the pillars of Research, Creation, Production and Education, Lauren is the founder and artistic director of empty nave projects, a NYC based performance company, and loves her administrative work serving other artists in the field.