Who We Are
Craig T. Peterson, Artistic Director
Craig Peterson joined the staff at Abrons in September, 2016. Previously he was the Director of Programs at Gibney Dance, a multi-faceted center for dance and performance development, training and presentation in New York City. From 2009 – 2013, Peterson was the Director and Producer of the annual Philly Fringe Festival, a three-week city-wide festival featuring the work of more than 200 performing artists and companies. During this time he also launched and directed the Live Arts Brewery (LAB), a research and development program supporting long term residencies and engagement activities for local and national artists. For ten years he served on the staff of Dance Theater Workshop, one of America’s preeminent contemporary performing arts institutions based in NYC. For four years he served as the organization’s Co-Artistic Director.
Jon Harper, Director of Operations and Facilities
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Jon oversees all operational aspects of the arts center. Prior to joining Abrons and Henry Street, he toured as a lighting supervisor with Pilobolus, Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, and Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, and worked in fabrication of large-scale public artworks. He has also worked for many years as a freelance lighting designer, and creates lighting designs for dance, theater, opera, performance art, and live music shows. He received his MFA in Lighting Design from the University of Tennessee in 2007. He received an Executive Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership and Management from Baruch College in 2019 as part of the NY Community Trust Fellows program.
Terrell Finner, General Manager
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Terrell supports the Director of Facilities and Operations with overseeing all operational aspects of the arts center. He provides assistance to all departments, with an emphasis on theater and studio rentals, ensuring grant compliance of subsidized rehearsal space, space scheduling, tracking resident Artist hours, processing rental payments, and general office management. Prior to serving in this role, he gained experience in non-profit fundraising/development and performance program coordination. He is a graduate of The Pennsylvania State University where he earned his B.S. in Health Care Policy and Administration in 2015. Terrell is a native of Houston, Texas, and is passionate about the strengthening the connection between health, happiness, and the arts.
PROGRAMMING AND RESIDENCIES
Ali Rosa-Salas, Director of Programming
Ali Rosa-Salas is a curator of live performance, music, and visual art. Her approach is rooted in the belief that curatorial practice must serve the public good. She finds inspiration from cultural ecosystems of Lenapehoking (currently called New York City), where she was born and raised. Ali is currently the Director of Programming at Abrons Arts Center/Henry Street Settlement, where she curates the Center’s performance and exhibition programming, as well as supports the Center’s residency programs. Prior to Abrons, Ali organized projects with AFROPUNK, Danspace Project, Discwoman, Knockdown Center, MoCADA, Weeksville Heritage Center, and more. She graduated from Barnard with a B.A. in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, with interdisciplinary concentrations in Dance and Race/Ethnic Studies and has an M.A. from the Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance at Wesleyan University. In addition to her role at Abrons, Ali is the Associate Curator of the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. She is also the co-curator of Nuyorican Mag, a digital archive that celebrates the cultural, social, and political innovations of Puerto Ricans from New York City.
Brooke Nicholas, Programming Manager
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As Programming Manager at Abrons Art Center/Henry Street Settlement, Brooke Nicholas supports the Director of Programming and Artistic Director in coordinating live programming, exhibitions, and the AIRspace residency. Originally from San Diego, California, Nicholas has been based in New York state for six years. She graduated from Boston University with a B.A. in Art History, with interdisciplinary concentration in Studio Art and has an M.A. from the Bard Center for Curatorial Studies. She is co-director of interdisciplinary web-based gallery Blade Study, which produces new projects from unrepresented artists experimenting with digital forms.
Chantara Ellis, Director of School and Community Programs
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As Director of School and Community Programs, Chantara oversees Abrons’ outreach and school based teaching residencies. Chantara is an educator, artist and art historian from Fort Worth, Texas. She has a Masters in Museum Education from Bank Street College and a Bachelors in Art History from Brandeis University with a focus in modern and contemporary art. Chantara developed her interest in arts education while interning as a camp counselor and artist assistant at The Modern Museum of Art and an education intern at the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas as a high school student. She has continued to work with a varied of museum education department, including the Rose Art Museum, Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and most recently the New Museum.
Randy Luna, Director of Center Education Programs
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As Director of Center Education Programs, Randy Luna oversees Abrons’ Center Education Programs. Randy was born and raised in the Lower East Side. He attended Brooklyn College and earned a Bachelors of Arts degree in Theater and a dual Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management while actively performing in NYC. For a decade, as a teaching artist he taught for District 75 along with other DOE contracts. In the entertainment/fashion world he is a creative director, choreographer, stylist and a designer. His creative work in the fast growing industry can be seen in magazine publications, TV and on celebrities. He is currently the Director of Center Education Programs at Abrons Arts Center.
Millie Kapp, Coordinator of Center Education Programs
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Millie Kapp is a New York-based performing artist. She graduated with a masters in Performance Studies from NYU and completed her undergraduate degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Kapp has presented her performance work in Oakland, Maine, Toronto, Philadelphia, Montreal, Minneapolis, Chicago and New York. She’s curated and programmed performance in New York City and was previously adjunct faculty at Stony Brook University.
Emma Zurer, Coordinator of School and Community Programs
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Emma Zurer is the Coordinator of School and Community Programs. She is a collage artist, performer and educator. Her work has been exhibited in various New York galleries and publications, most recently at the Material Art Fair in Mexico City. Emma has performed with the artist collective Cheryl in nightclubs around New York, including the Museum of Modern Art.
Violet Asmara Tafari, Production Manager
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Violet has a passion for all that is art. Overseeing and supporting the technical aspects of various productions at Abrons Violet’s goal is to support the artist and their creations in all forms. A freelance Production Manager, Event Coordinator, and Healer Violet believes, “It is through the art of the mind’s eye that we create, embrace, and explore. Art is a frequency that brings us together, and with that unity we all become artists?”. Production is her passion and helping those who wish to express their art is her joy. The goal always being to spread an up-full frequency and provide an artist with a stage so they can share that same passion and love with the world. Her inspiration comes from the thriving beings around her as she happily feeds the positive vibrations to the world.
Justin Faircloth, Audience Services Manager
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As Audience Services Manager, Justin works with the Front of House, Programming, Marketing and Production teams at Abrons Arts Center/Henry Street Settlement by developing and managing ticketing operations for Staff, Artists and Visitors. Justin received his BFA in Dance at NYU-Tisch School of the Arts in 2016 and continues his art practice as a freelance dancer and performance maker.
Carl Johnson, House Manager
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Charles O’Leary, Digital Communications and Graphic Design Manager
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As Digital Communications and Graphic Design Manager, Charles oversees the promotion of cultural activities at the Abrons Arts Center/Henry Street Settlement. Charles is a New Jersey-born, Brooklyn-based interdisciplinary artist and arts administrator. They received their BFA in Furniture Design at the Rhode Island School of Design. Interested in the possibility of art being both a meaningful social service and a poetic experience, they have worked for a number of artists, designers and institutions alike.
PRESS-SPECIFIC INQUIRIES AND INDUSTRY TICKETS
Meryl Weinsaft Cooper, Public Relations
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