Staff & Program Leader Bios

FIELD STAFF

(alphabetical by last name)

NANCY AHN is a Program Associate for Marketing and Services at The Field. She graduated from Bennington College with a concentration in painting and literature. An independent comic artist, Nancy illustrated Intro to Alien Invasion (Scribner, 2015), and has been featured in Cornell University's Epoch literary magazine. Key themes and influences throughout her work include internet culture, feminism, bikes, and hip hop. Born and raised in Queens, she now lives in Brooklyn, NY.  kissthegook.com


AMY CARON 
Field Network Manager, is a multidisciplinary artist based in Salt Lake City and has served as The Field’s Network site leader in Salt Lake City, Utah since 2005. Amy has attended multiple Field Network Conferences, participated in The Field’s Artward Bound program at White Oak, and most recently in 2016 visited The Field/Milwaukee as part of the Network Touring Exchange Program.  She holds her BFA in modern dance from the University of Utah where she later taught as an Associate Instructor and created the course The History and Evolution of Dance on Film. Caron’s work has been commissioned and presented by Performance Space 122 and the Leonardo Museum. She is a National Performance Network Creation Fund Artist and completed a residency at Duke University in 2010. In 2016 she was a guest teacher in the dance department at University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. Amy has worked extensively as a presenter and commissioner over the past decade working with a wide scope of artists including Dana Michel, Author & Punisher, and tEEth Performance.


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The Field empowered Executive DirectorJENNIFER WRIGHT COOK, to cut her teeth twice! First, as a fledgling arts administrator in 1996 when she was an exhausted dancer/waitress/personal trainer in need of a life change and then again in 2006 when her full-time performance life was waning and she was ready to hunker down and test her leadership skills. Her current role as Executive Director is firmly grounded in these two experiences - that The Field can truly change someone’s life. Jennifer officially joined The Field’s staff in 2006 as Development Manager and then Co-Director. In 2007 she was promoted to Executive Director where she oversees The Field’s programmatic, technological, financial and organizational growth. In 2008 she launched an innovative mentorship program, Economic Revitalization for Performing Artists (ERPA) in 2008 with multi-year funding from The Rockefeller Foundation. Her work has been recognized by the Wall Street JournalBackstage, WNYC Public Radio, and by participation on adjudication panels for the National Endowment for the Arts and Dance Theater Workshop. Jennifer is a part of Pew Charitable Trust's Cultural Data Project Task Force and the NYC Arts Coalition. She has been on panels for CUNY Prelude Festival, Alliance of Artists Communities and the Future of Music Coalition. She is also a proud alum of Coro Leadership NY XXI. As a dance/theater performer, teacher and art-maker, Jennifer has performed/created with the San Francisco-based Joe Goode Performance Group (1997-2005) and New York choreographers Neil Greenberg, Sarah Skaggs, Mark Dendy and others. She has performed her own work in Madrid, New York, San Francisco and Portland, OR. She sings in a gospel choir and lives in Brooklyn.


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RAJEEYAH FINNIE-MYERS is the Project Manager for The Field Leadership Fund.  Born and raised in Miami, Florida, Rajeeyah earned a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Florida A & M University. In 2006 she launched her career in Arts Administration with her participation in The Field’s Artist Manager Partnership (AMP) Program. Since then she has designed, implemented and evaluated community arts programming and artist professional development at a number of  organizations in New York City such as DreamYard, The Laundromat Project, Community-Word Project and ArtsConnection. Professionally, she is dedicated to reviving socially engaged organizations and individuals to run at top form.  Personally she is committed to the sharing of the performance, literary and visual arts in community settings. Over the years this commitment has translated into performance, exploration, and collaboration with a number of inspiring and creative entities such as The American Theatre of Harlem, The African Folk Heritage Circle, The Movement Theatre Company, Betty’s Daughter Art Collaborative and Kotchegna West African Dance Company. She lives in Harlem, NY with her husband and son. 


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SHAWN RENÉ GRAHAM, Deputy Director, Programs and Servicesis a freelance writer and dramaturg from San Jose, California who has worked with many writers including, Dennis Allen, France-Luce Benson, Nilo Cruz, Steve Harper, Walter Mosley, Lynn Nottage, Paul Rudnick, Susan Sontag, Dominic A. Taylor, Judy Tate, and Cori Thomas. She has been a guest dramaturg at the O'Neill Playwrights Conference, the Crossroads Theatre Company's Genesis Festival, the New Professional Theatre, and African American Women's New Play Festival and on many panels including, National Endowments for the Arts/Theatre Communications Group Theatre Residency Program for Playwrights, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, Artist Grants Panel in Playwriting and the Mark Taper Forum's New Works Festival and is currently the resident dramaturg of The American Slavery Project's: Unheard Voices. She is the Literary Director for the Classical Theatre of Harlem’s Future Classics Series and Playwright’s Playground, and founder of All Creative Writes, an artistic assistance service designed to provide individual artists and performing arts organizations with administrative, fundraising and writing support. Ms. Graham holds degrees from the California State University, Los Angeles and the American Repertory Theatre Institute for Advanced Theatre Training at Harvard University. She lives in Bronx, NY.


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WILFREDO HERNANDEZ, Program Manager, is an artist (theatre/visual), cultural worker and educator. His artistic and scholarly pursuits are focused on exploring the intersections of myth, identity, politics and performance. He began his career as a self-producing artist when he, along with his family and close friends, founded Triple H Productions, Inc. in 2003 (NJ). Hernandez served as Producing Artistic Director and led the organization through eight seasons (and directing over 35 productions). He has worked at Disney Theatrical Productions, La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club, Culture Hub, Dixon Place, NYU and Joe's Pub at The Public Theater. He served as founding program manager of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts’ “Boro-Linc”, which brought the best of LCPA’s eleven constituent organizations to audiences in the Bronx, Staten Island, and Queens in its first year. He is wholly committed to principles of access, equity and social justice in his life and work. He is proud to serve as Arts & Culture Group Leader at The Brooklyn Community Pride Center where he recently managed the launch of the "LGBTQ New Americans" oral history project with Immigration Equality. Wilfredo holds an M.A. in Directing & Producing Theatre from NYU's Gallatin School of Individualized Study. 

LIZ MCAULIFFE is sashaying into her first full time administrative position as the Program Associate for Development and Executive at the Field. Liz grew up in Washington, D.C. and graduated from Georgetown University with a degree in Performance Studies and Creative Writing. In 2011, Liz moved to NYC and launched her dance career with the contemporary, butoh-influenced company Leimay.  In addition to working as a dancer and choreographer, Liz has also worked in NYC public schools, teaching dance and puppetry to elementary school students.  Liz values art-making as a tool for social change and invests in projects that are grounded in global, social, and political consciousness.  


CLAY SCHUDEL is The Field's Finance Manager. He has worked in nonprofit finance management since 1995, with a particular focus on arts and arts-related programs. Before joining The Field in 2014, Clay spent 18 years as the Finance Manager at The Alpha Workshops, a nonprofit organization that trains people with HIV/AIDS to work in decorative and applied arts. Clay is an avid traveler, culture consumer, and student (of Japanese, ceramics, and life in general). He lives with his husband in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn.


A lifetime ago CHIKAKO YAMAUCHI was a dancer and an arts administrator. As an independent arts administrator she organized and executed projects for Arthur Aviles, Wally Cardona, and BLUdance Theatre. A program at The Field connected her to Donna Uchizono Company, where she was Company Manager for two years. Chikako stepped away from dance and arts administration to teach English in Japan for a few years, then continued her study of Japanese language and culture through a bachelor’s degree at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her master’s degree in Pacific Islands Studies is from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. University of Canterbury (New Zealand) conferred her Ph.D. in Art History in 2014. Chikako’s primary research interest focuses on creative processes and environments that encourage shifts in understanding and/or transformations in thinking. Her interview methods are informed by Hawaiian “talk story,” Tongan talanoa, Oceanic notions of vā (the space between), and trickster roles in art and life. As Research and Evaluation Consultant for Field Leadership Fund, Chikako is both observing with detachment and contributing to the program's development through the feedback loop.

PROGRAM LEADERS

Recent program leaders have included Amy Cova, Brian Brooks, Royd Climenhaga, Maura Donohue, Arlene Goldbard, Andy Horowitz, Sara Juli, Amy Kail, Jodi Kaplan, Jaki Levy, Brian McCormick, Beth Morrison, Morgan von Prelle Pecelli, Esther Robinson, Rachel Schroeder, Janet Stapleton, Laura Colby, Zanetta Addams-Pilgrim, Peggy H. Cheng, James Scruggs, Ed McKeaney, Thomas O. Kreigsmann, Vito Sclafani and more.


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PELE BAUCH is a choreographer and dance dramaturg.  As a dance dramaturg she has worked with Brian Brooks, Debra Black, Yanira Castro, Rachel Cohen, Barbie Diewald, Jody Oberfelder, Jody Sperling, among others.  She has provided creative feedback to well over 100 artists.  Pele was on The Field’s staff for 10 years, mainly as Associate Director, Programming.  As a choreographer, she received residencies from The Joyce Theater Foundation, Dance Theater Workshop, the Chocolate Factory, and 92Y Harkness Dance Center.  Her work has been selected for presentation at NYC venues including the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Chocolate Factory, Danspace Project, Movement Research at the Judson Church, HERE's TALR and the Best of TALR, Dixon Place, and BAX.  Pele has received funding from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Harkness Foundation for Dance, and Brooklyn Arts Council.  “It’s a joy to see the bravery with which Ms. Bauch asks her questions, and the quiet force of her vision come to life and surround us,” Dancing World.


FRAN KIRMSER
  is a Tony Award Winning Theatrical Producer who has worked for 17 years, producing, promoting and fundraising for dance and theater. Collectively she has raised millions of dollars in institutional funding and corporate sponsorships for hundreds of companies. She has held positions in Development, Public Relations, Management, or Booking and Representation with the following organizations: Ellis Wood Dance, Isadora Duncan Dance Foundation, Lisa Giobbi Movement Theater, Shen Wei, Pascal Rioult Dance Theater, Doug Varone and Dancers, Sandra Cameron Dance Center, Pentacle. She was a founder of manhattan theatre source 1999-2011 where she served as Producing Artistic Director and in 2002 founded Made to Move, Inc. - a non-profit dedicated to the advancement of public knowledge of the art of dance and theatre that still thrives today. Fran produced August Wilson's Radio Golf on Broadway nominated for four Tony Awards. She holds two Tony Awards for the 2009 Best Musical Revival Hair and this year's 2013 Best Play Revival Whose Afraid of Virginia Woolf?. In 2010 Fran conceived a sports series for stage including the 2011 longest running Broadway play Lombardi, Magic/Bird and Bronx Bombers. She Fran will serve as Executive Producer of the feature film Lombardi, based on the Broadway play and produced by Legendary Pictures. She is a graduate of Skidmore College with continuing education at NYU Tisch School of Dance and Columbia University.  www.frankirmser.com


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SHALEWA MACKALL, a Fieldwork facilitator since 2004, belongs to the community of artists making work that embraces the Akan tradition of Sankofa, which invites creators to move forward in full awareness and embrace of what has preceded historically and culturally; she is inspired by aesthetic traditions and creative movements that recycle, repurpose and reinvent that which came before. In a way that reflects layers of identity and creative practice, Mackall embraces the possibility of making works as a teacher, choreographer, writer and performer which celebrate the idea of both/and and stand as an alternative to the either/or construct. With her dance company Movement for the Urban Village (MUV), she has crafted an original and distinctive movement language, Ancient Modern Dance, defined as contemporary dance which is grounded in the techniques and traditions of the African Diaspora.  Since 2004 MUV has graced stages including BAM Fisher, Summerstage, Joyce SoHo, Irondale and the Kumble Theater. Presently a member of the faculty at Saint Ann's School in Brooklyn, Mackall is currently developing new work joining personal ethnography, memoir and dance.


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JAMES SCRUGGS, a writer, performer and arts administrator, creates large scale, multi-media, topical theatrical work usually focusing on race, and gender politics.  He has received several grants and was recently awarded a 2016 NJSCA Fellowship for artistic excellence, a 2016 Creative Capital Grant and a 2015 MAP Grant to write and produce a piece, 3/Fifths, which will be performed by a large cast in two spaces at 3LD Art & Technology Center, NYC in 2017. It explores racism and mass incarceration.  In 2005, when the phenomenon of unarmed black men being killed by policeman began rising, Scruggs wrote, performed, and was video designer for Disposable Men produced by HERE Arts Center, NYC. It was his solo work that examined the uncanny similarities that Hollywood monsters and African American men share; the unfounded fear of,   and the creative ways they are killed. Disposable Men went on to be presented in Philadelphia, Boston, and Atlanta. He decided to use DM as a seed for 3/5 which will be an up close radically interactive investigation of the historic whorl African Americans  are caught up in: the historical slavery-emancipation-black codes loop to the more contemporary incarceration-decarceration-felon box loop. He has gained valuable experience making ambitious experimental theatrical work at 3LD Art & Technology Center. Deepest Man, a work he wrote and produced  in 2014 exploring free-diving as a cure for grief, used a 40' Holographic Projection Surface, allowing underwater images to appear to float in front of the actors.  He is currently a curator and resident artist at 3LD and works freelance at The Field, NYC as a facilitator for peer to peer critical feedback  workshops for artists.  Scruggs has a BFA in Film from SVA in NYC, and was also the recipient of a Franklyn Furnace Grant, an  Edith Lutyens and Norman Bel Geddes Design Enhancement Grant, and an  Innovative Theater Award for Outstanding Solo Performance.  www.deepestman.com / www.jamesscruggs.com