Staff Bios

  • Sam Miller

    President

    A devoted advocate for the arts, Sam Miller brings a nationally recognized profile to the organization. Most recently, he spent five years as President of Leveraging Investments in Creativity (LINC), developing efforts centered on increasing direct support for artists. Prior to his work at LINC, Miller was Executive Director of the New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) for ten years. Prior to NEFA, Miller was at the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival where he served as President and Executive Director. He serves as President of the Board of LINC, as Director of the Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance (ICPP) at Wesleyan University, and on the Advisory Board of ODC/San Francisco and on the Board of Amrita Performing Arts in Phnom Penh.

  • Morgan von Prelle Pecelli, PhD

    Vice President, Institutional Advancement

    Morgan von Prelle Pecelli, PhD is a curator, producer, anthropologist and occasional performing artist who has been working in New York City’s contemporary performance sector since 1999. Before joining LMCC, she served as Director of Development for Performance Space 122. She also served as Co-curator (10 & 09) and Dramaturg (08) for the Prelude Festival. She was Artistic and Development Director for Emerging Artists at 3LD Art & Technology Center from 2007 - 2008. She is on the Board of Directors of the Ontological-Hysteric Theater where she was the Managing and Programming Director from 2004 – 2006. In 2005, she started the Ontological-Hysteric Incubator, through which she curated and produced festivals and residencies in 2005 and 2006. Since 2002, she has also operated as The Lost Notebook, an entity dedicated to advocating on behalf of and supporting artists working in the contemporary sector . The last few years have included appearances on stage in the Richard Foreman/John Zorn Opera “Astronome” at the Ontological Theater in NYC, in SU-EN’s large-scale butoh piece "Linné Gala Event 2007: New Life" in Uppsalla Sweden, and a solo butoh piece "The Bell Girl" performed at the CAVE Artspace in Brooklyn. In 2010, she completed her PhD in Anthropology at Columbia University. The title of her dissertation was “Tendrils of Lost Time and the Self: An Aesthetic Anthropology of New York City’s “Post”-Avant-Garde”. Part art-historical document, part socio-cultural post-industrial anthropology, her dissertation took a critical look at the socio-economic conditions of a generation of artists coming of professional ‘age’ during the decade from 1999 to 2009, following in the wake of the American Avant-Garde theatrical and performance artists of the 1970s and 80s, and living at the pioneering-aesthetic edges of New York City's cultural life, urban landscapes, hybrid economies, and fragmented histories. While completing her dissertation at Columbia, she taught courses on Anarchistic Anthropology and Western ethics and political theory. Before attending Columbia, she received an MA from the University of Chicago, was a Fulbright Scholar in Germany, received a BA from Colby College, and is a proud alumna of Philips Academy (Andover).

  • Carlos Henriquez

    IT Strategy Manager

    Carlos Henriquez joined on Jan. 2014 as the first full-time technology manager for LMCC. He has previously worked with Apple Inc. as Mac Genius, he is a founder of his own IT consulting firm, and more recently worked at 3rd Ward as their IT Director.

    He holds a B.S. in Electronic Engineering and Audio Engineering and has worked in the technology industry for over 20 years in different roles focused on customer and desktop support, strategic IT management, and network architecture design & security.

    Additionally, Carlos is a full time fine art photographer, holding a varied catalog of landscape and portraiture work which is growing constantly due to his involvement in the film/music industry. During the summer days in NYC you can find Carlos sailing the waters of the NYC harbor, and in the winter, snowboarding the slopes in upstate NY.

  • Diego Segalini

    Vice President

    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 LMCC in May 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. As Vice President of LMCC, Diego is responsible for overseeing day-to-day operations, including finance, human resources and information technology. He develops and administers the budget for all LMCC programs, including the annual River To River Festival and LMCC’s Arts Center at Governors Island, and plays a lead role in strategic planning for the organization. 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.

  • Monica Tinyo

    Assistant to the President and VP of Institutional Advancement

    Monica joined the Council in Fall 2013 to support the President and IA team in managing stakeholder relationships and realizing long-term resource development strategies for the organization. Most recently, she worked at Recess, an artists' workspace open to the public that is dedicated to nurturing artists and showcasing the creative process in order to ignite dialogues with public audiences. She also previously worked at the Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance and Wesleyan’s Center for the Arts. In Los Angeles, where she was born and bred, she started her career working with Lori Cozen Geller, helping her make the transition from emerging to mid-career artist. An advocate of all creative disciplines with a particular interest in inter- and multi-disciplinary work, Monica is happy to be part of a passionate team that shares her interest in helping artists express their creative energy and intellect to a diversity of audiences and instigating art to better communities. Monica received her Bachelor’s Degree in Art History from Wesleyan University.

  • Melissa Levin

    Director of Cultural Programs

    Melissa Levin joined LMCC in 2005 and is currently the Director of Cultural Programs. Previously, she has worked at Artforum International Magazine, Andrea Rosen Gallery, and The Whitney Museum of American Art. She has participated in panels at Baruch College, Dumbo Arts Center, Lower East Side Print Shop, Center for Book Arts, and Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts; and lectured at SMFA, NYU, Parsons: The New School for Design, and The Cleveland Institute of Art. Melissa is also an independent curator and writer and has curated exhibitions at P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center, Cuchifritos Gallery, ISE Cultural Foundation, Andrea Rosen Gallery, LMCC, and Taylor De Cordoba Gallery, Los Angeles. Melissa received her BA with honors in Visual Art and Art History from Barnard College.

  • Danielle King

    Program Manager, Public Programs

    A native New Orleanian, Danielle King is a creative producer and arts administrator. Prior to joining the LMCC team in 2012, she was a stage manager for theaters throughout New York and regionally, including The Public Theater, Playwrights Horizons, SoHo Rep, and Actors Theatre of Louisville, and worked with companies like Clubbed Thumb, SITI Company, 13P, and P73. She also spent six summers facilitating new play development at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center's National Playwrights Conference. Danielle is passionate about interdisciplinary work, art in nontraditional spaces, and promoting dialogue and innovative collaboration between visual and performing artists. She holds a B.F.A. from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and a M.A. in Arts Administration from Columbia University.

  • Clare McNulty

    Program Associate, Artist Residencies

    Clare McNulty first joined LMCC as an artistic associate of Swing Space artist-in-residence Sinking Ship Productions. An independent theater artist, actress and film producer, Clare has worked in San Francisco and New York with Cutting Ball Theatre Company, African American Shakespeare Company, Ars Nova, Columbia's Graduate School of Theater Arts, Truffle Theatre Company, International WOW Company, Ensemble Studio Theater, and the NYU Graduate Film Program. She remains an artistic associate of Sinking Ship Productions and frequently collaborates with film writer/director Sarah-Violet Bliss. She received her BA with honors in Theater and Comparative Politics from Oberlin College.

  • Natasha Norton

    Program Associate, Public Programs

    A dancer and a poet, Natasha has devoted most of her life to creating, cultivating, and promoting the arts. Prior to joining LMCC, she worked as House Manager for the Ailey Citigroup Theater, as a freelance event producer for Brooklyn Steppers and Dance Iquail, and as Programming Coordinator for the Rubin Museum of Art. In 2006, she co-founded and developed InI NYC, an organization focused on spotlighting talented local emcees, singers, and visual and spoken word artists though showcases and improvisational open mics. Natasha holds a Bachelor of Science from NYU Stern School of Business in Marketing & Management/Organizational Behavior with an Entertainment, Media, & Technology concentration.

  • William Penrose

    Program Manager, Artist Residencies

    Will joined LMCC in 2010 and is an advocate for providing direct support to artists across disciplines. His background includes working at the Scottsdale Cultural Council for both Scottsdale Public Art and the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. Upon relocating to New York, Will was the registrar at Sundaram Tagore Gallery based in Chelsea and with locations in Los Angeles and Hong Kong. Additionally, Will currently consults at the Research Center for Arts and Culture for research projects on living artists. At the RCAC, he coordinated and was a contributing author to Still Kicking: Aging Performing Artists in NYC and LA Metro Areas. Will has lectured at NYU and Parsons: The New School for Design. He holds an M.A. in Arts Administration from Columbia University, as well as a B.S. in Economics, B.F.A. in Drawing, and Minor in Philosophy from the Barrett Honors College at Arizona State University. He has participated in NYFA's Emerging Leaders Boot Camp and has served on the Junior Committee for Dance/NYC.

  • Bora Kim

    Program Associate, Artist Residencies

    Bora was born in South Korea and there passed her childhood unobjectionably. At the age of nine she moved to North Carolina, thence at thirteen to California where she made thorough acquaintance with Northern and Southern halves. She is now delighted to call Manhattan and LMCC home. A classically trained pianist, quondam philatelist and devotee of the cinema, Bora spent periods working at prominent film archives including New York's Anthology Film Archives and San Francisco's Oddball Film + Video and teaching English to children in Nepal. Though her interests tend toward Classical Hollywood melodrama and the works of J.S. Bach, she is passionate about a wide variety of art forms and about aiding the people who channel them. She holds a BA in Sociology from the University of California, Los Angeles and an MA in Cinema Studies from NYU.

  • Kay Takeda

    Director of Grants & Services

    Kay joined the Council in March 2005 to develop and oversee the Council’s downtown-focused cultural grants, borough-wide grant programs and artist services. Prior to joining the staff, she served for five years as Program Manager of the Advised Funds and Regranting Programs division at Arts International, where she oversaw a roster of national-level grant programs providing support for visual and performing artists working internationally. Her background includes three years with Snug Harbor Cultural Center in Staten Island, New York as Assistant Director of Visual Arts, where she managed contemporary art exhibitions and public programs as well as a studio program that provided workspace and professional development opportunities for visual artists. She serves on the Board of Directors of Goliath Visual Space in Brooklyn.

  • Aisha Cousins

    Program Assistant, Grants & Services

    A native New Yorker, Aisha is a working artist who develops performance scores that engage black audiences from different backgrounds in exploring their aesthetic beliefs and processing the sociological shifts affecting their worlds. Her work has been presented independently on the streets of historically black neighborhoods from BedStuy to Brixton, as well as in conjunction with institutions such as the Museum Of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, Houston’s Project Row Houses, the Kitchen, MoMA PS1, and The Laundromat Project. She runs her own art studio and has provided administrative support for Groundswell Community Mural Project, the regranting programs of the Brooklyn Arts Council, Legal Momentum (better known as the NOW Legal Defense and Eduction Fund), and the Education Department of the Museum of Modern Art.

  • Claire Gresham

    Program Associate, Grants & Services

    Claire Gresham began working with LMCC as a gallery docent for Building 110 on Governor’s Island before becoming a part of the Grants & Services team. Her administrative background includes working as a Producing Associate with Page 73 Productions, as the Director of Play Development/Literary Manager for The Truffle Theatre Company, as the Director of Development for The Truck Project, and as a Traffic Coordinator in the Marketing/Brand Management division of Tiffany and Company. A graduate of Tulane University in New Orleans, Claire is also an actor, director, amateur painter and stop motion animator. She is a resident company member of The Truffle Theatre Company here in New York, and The NOLA Project Theatre Company back in New Orleans. Additional New York theatre credits include working with The Ensemble Studio Theatre, The Flea, New Georges, The Firework Theater Company, Kids with Guns, Ars Nova, and 3Graces.

  • Prachi Patankar

    Program Manager, Capacity Building & Community Initiatives

    Prachi Patankar joined the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council to coordinate LMCC's regranting and professional development programs. Prior to joining LMCC, Prachi worked at the Tenement Museum as their Education Associate, where she curated the Tenement Windows Arts program bringing contemporary artists in dialogue with new immigrants through the Shared Journeys (ESOL) program. She also managed Kitchen Conversations, a daily public dialogue Program and the monthly immigration film series at the Museum. Prachi has a MA from New York University in International Education and Communications. She was born and brought up in India and moved to the United States at the age of sixteen. After receiving her BA from Swarthmore College in 2000, she went back to India where she established a school for children of people displaced by dams. She is a founding member of the 3rd I New York collective, a monthly film and music salon that showcases the works of South Asian independent filmmakers. In addition, she has worked in various capacities with media-focused nonprofits like POV and Youth Channel, as well as those focusing on social justice issues such as WITNESS, CHHAYA, and DRUM (Desis Rising Up and Moving).

  • Haowen Wang

    Program Manager, Grants

    Haowen Wang is a Taiwan native, a New Zealand citizen and a bogus New Yorker living in New Jersey. Prior to joining LMCC, Haowen worked as the General Manager for Ping Chong & Company, the internationally recognized experimental theatre company that supports the works of avant-garde theatre director, Ping Chong. Other experiences include working at the Asian American Arts Alliance where he implemented a two-year regrants program serving the artists and arts groups of the Manhattan Chinatown area, as well as administering several other programs that serve Asian American artists and arts groups in New York City, many of whom he still works with in different capacities. His most memorable experience was when he toured nationally in Taiwan as an actor in a children’s theatre company during college years; he had to quit so he can finish his degree. Haowen holds a MA in Performance Studies at NYU. He is a Christian and enjoys traveling everywhere with his wife.

  • Morgan von Prelle Pecelli, PhD

    Vice President, Institutional Advancement

    Morgan von Prelle Pecelli, PhD is a curator, producer, anthropologist and occasional performing artist who has been working in New York City’s contemporary performance sector since 1999. Before joining LMCC, she served as Director of Development for Performance Space 122. She also served as Co-curator (10 & 09) and Dramaturg (08) for the Prelude Festival. She was Artistic and Development Director for Emerging Artists at 3LD Art & Technology Center from 2007 - 2008. She is on the Board of Directors of the Ontological-Hysteric Theater where she was the Managing and Programming Director from 2004 – 2006. In 2005, she started the Ontological-Hysteric Incubator, through which she curated and produced festivals and residencies in 2005 and 2006. Since 2002, she has also operated as The Lost Notebook, an entity dedicated to advocating on behalf of and supporting artists working in the contemporary sector . The last few years have included appearances on stage in the Richard Foreman/John Zorn Opera “Astronome” at the Ontological Theater in NYC, in SU-EN’s large-scale butoh piece "Linné Gala Event 2007: New Life" in Uppsalla Sweden, and a solo butoh piece "The Bell Girl" performed at the CAVE Artspace in Brooklyn. In 2010, she completed her PhD in Anthropology at Columbia University. The title of her dissertation was “Tendrils of Lost Time and the Self: An Aesthetic Anthropology of New York City’s “Post”-Avant-Garde”. Part art-historical document, part socio-cultural post-industrial anthropology, her dissertation took a critical look at the socio-economic conditions of a generation of artists coming of professional ‘age’ during the decade from 1999 to 2009, following in the wake of the American Avant-Garde theatrical and performance artists of the 1970s and 80s, and living at the pioneering-aesthetic edges of New York City's cultural life, urban landscapes, hybrid economies, and fragmented histories. While completing her dissertation at Columbia, she taught courses on Anarchistic Anthropology and Western ethics and political theory. Before attending Columbia, she received an MA from the University of Chicago, was a Fulbright Scholar in Germany, received a BA from Colby College, and is a proud alumna of Philips Academy (Andover).

  • Maureen McMahon

    Individual Giving & Special Events Manager

    Maureen started her career in Development with The MacDowell Colony in fall 2005 and joined LMCC in January 2008. As Development Manager, Individual Giving & Special Events, she manages and organizes special events, from The Downtown Dinner, LMCC's annual benefit which raises upwards of $1 million each year, to VIP and cultivation events for prospective donors, current funders, and other friends of LMCC. Additionally, she helps plan and execute LMCC’s individual donor campaigns and programs. Maureen graduated summa cum laude from Wellesley College in 2005 with a French major and Art History minor. She is co-chair of the New York Committee for the Wellesley College Friends of Art, an alumnae fundraising organization that supports the college's campus art museum. In addition to attending art and theatre events around the city, Maureen enjoys eating, reading, and writing about food.

  • Robert Minell

    Transmedia Content & Technology Manager

    Robert Minell is a graphic designer, musician, and lover of all things multimedia. He holds a B.A. in Communication and Music Management from William Paterson University. Following his undergraduate studies he enrolled in the New School University to complete his M.A. in Media Studies. His professional career began with an internship in the marketing department at top independent record label TVT Records. From there he moved on to the international sales and marketing department of Putumayo World Music - updating websites, creating digital content and occasionally locating lost international shipments. Robert went on to work for Moleskine America - handling design of the organization's marketing materials and visual communications. Currently, Robert spends his free time writing music, using Photoshop to place his friends into a variety of historical scenes and experiencing as much art, design and live music as possible throughout New York City.

  • Laura Nicoll

    Branding & Public Relations Manager

    Prior to joining LMCC, Laura worked as the Communications & Branding Manager for Performance Space 122 (June 2008 – November 2012). As a performer, Laura is a classically trained dancer who has recently appeared in The Passion Project and A Christmas Carol (both created + directed by Reid Farrington). She is interested in cultural, economic, and political trends and their points of intersection. @lauraknicoll

  • Marisa Olsen

    Audience Development Manager

    Marisa considers herself a native New Yorker. She spent her first 10 years on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, and then made a brief detour to New Jersey. Marisa graduated from Connecticut College in 2006 with a BA in Art History. At Conn, she studied with Barbara Zabel, Joseph Alchermes, and Arnold Chang, and also curated a Contemporary Chinese Art exhibit from the Charles Chu collection. During a semester abroad, she studied with Libby Sheldon, famous art authenticator at University College London. During summers, she enjoyed working at the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, the domogallery, and teaching ballet. She also had an internship in the Sotheby's Impressionist & Modern Art department. Upon graduating, Marisa worked at Sotheby's as an Editorial Assistant for Preview Magazine. After Sotheby's, Marisa spent a year in a Boston boutique staffing firm, where she honed her business and sales skills. Marisa is now thrilled to be back in New York City, where she enjoys visiting galleries, cooking gourmet meals, and working on her food blog, Les Foodités.

  • Ariel Phillips

    Corporate Partnerships Manager

    Ariel assists LMCC's fundraising efforts by managing corporate partnerships and coordinating the organization's art sales, including the annual silent art auction. She earned a master's degree in Art History from NYU’s Institute of Fine Arts and received a BA in Art History from Yale University. Before going back to school for her MA, Ariel worked at Chelsea gallery Alexander and Bonin as Gallery Assistant and Registrar. A former amateur dancer, Ariel is now a marathon runner who spends her free time running loops around Prospect Park, cooking, traveling, and cheering for her hometown LA sports teams.

  • Lorilynn Violanta

    Institutional Giving & Government Relations Manager

    Lorilynn Violanta manages institutional giving and government relations at LMCC. Most recently, she was Development Officer at The Posse Foundation, which recruits and trains outstanding public high school students to attend top colleges and universities. She has also previously worked at the City of Philadelphia and Free Arts of Arizona, a nonprofit that brings the healing power of the arts to vulnerable youth. With experience in fund development, community outreach, and volunteer management, she is passionate about the arts and community development. Lorilynn has Master of Public Administration from Baruch College and a BA in printmaking and mixed media from Arizona State University.

  • Anne Lai

    Finance & Operations Associate

    Anne Lai joined LMCC in 2011. She has worked in the archives at the Felix Gonzalez-Torres Foundation. She received a BFA in Art, Media and Technology from the Photography program at Parsons the New School of Design. She is an artist interested in working on outdated modes of communication.

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Loco7 Dance Puppet Theatre Company

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LMCC grantee Loco7 Dance Puppet Theatre Company returns to LaMaMa this April with their signature combination of puppetry and dance theatre in “Seucy and Boto: Stories from the Amazon Jungle.”

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