Photo by Ri Lindegren
The Arts, Education, Agriculture & Ecology Council
The Council at Aunt Karen’s Farm provides advice and guidance, introducing the program to professionals who would benefit from a rural residency where nature nurtures creative arts in an agricultural setting.
Dr. Jason Evans, Ph.D., Associate Professor; Chairman, Agriculture & Food Management Dept., SUNY Cobleskill
Dr. Jason Evans has authored two books and several refereed journal publications. He is the advisor to the American Animal Producer’s Club, the Livestock Show Team and Epsilon Pi Tau honor society at SUNY Cobleskill, and also an active member of many on-campus committees. He is also enthusiastically involved in grant writing.
Dr. Judith C. Hochman, Ed.D., Founder and Chief Academic Officer, The Writing Revolution
Dr. Judith C. Hochman is the creator of the Hochman Method and founder of The Writing Revolution. Dr. Hochman served as the Head of Windward School in White Plains, New York, a nationally renowned independent school focused on teaching students with learning disabilities. She is the founder and senior faculty member of the Windward Teacher Training Institute and a former Superintendent of the Greenburgh Graham Union Free School District in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, a day and residential NYS public school district serving students five to twenty-one years of age with behavioral, emotional and learning disabilities. Dr. Hochman is the author of numerous books and articles. Dr. Hochman is the author of numerous books and articles, and has been featured in The Atlantic and The Hechinger Report.
Ruby Lerner, Board of Directors, Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts
Ruby Lerner ran Creative Capital, an arts foundation, from 1999 to 2016. Under her leadership, Creative Capital committed $40 million in financial and advisory support to 511 projects representing 642 artists. In 2017, Lerner will be the inaugural Herberger Institute Policy Fellow at Arizona State University and Senior Fellow to the Patty Disney Center for Life and Work at CalArts. She serves on numerous national advisory boards including the exhibition committee for the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, Connecticut.
Joseph V. Melillo, Executive Producer, Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM)
At BAM, Joe Melillo has fostered the work of emerging and established artists and forged dynamic artistic partnerships by developing programs like The Bridge Project—a three-year series of international theater engagements featuring a trans-Atlantic company of actors directed by Sam Mendes and produced by BAM, The Old Vic, and Neal Street—and most recently DanceMotion USAsm, a cultural diplomacy program in partnership with the US Department of State. He is on the US Nominating Committee for the Praemium Imperiale, a global arts prize awarded annually by the Japan Art Association. He was a panelist for the National Endowment of the Arts Dance Program and the New York State Council on the Arts, and served as Multidisciplinary Panel Chair of the Pew Fellowships in the Arts.
Michael Naumann, Managing Director, Theater Development Fund (TDF)
Michael Naumann is the Managing Director for Theatre Development Fund (TDF), the largest not-for-profit service organization for the performing arts in the country. Prior to joining TDF, Michael was the Finance Director for Frankel Green Theatrical Management/Richard Frankel Productions Prior and the Director of Finance & Administration for Manhattan Theatre Club. Additionally, since 1995 he has taught workshops for the Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York (ART/NY).
Robert B. Schlather, Attorney/CPA, Schlather & Birch
Robert B. Schlather began his practice in Cooperstown near Oneonta and Norwich in 1977. As both an attorney and a Certified Public Accountant, Bob brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the firm’s Trusts & Estates and Taxation practice. Bob graduated cum laude from the University of Notre Dame Law School in 1971. Prior to law school, Bob graduated from St. Vincent College magna cum laude with a B.A. in Accounting. Bob is admitted to practice in New York State and the Northern District of New York. He is a member of the New York State Bar Association and a member and treasurer of the Otsego County Bar Association. He has been advising Aunt Karen as the project has evolved since 1992.
Charles Tooley, Chairman of the Board of the Burton K. Wheeler Center for Public Policy
Chuck retired undefeated as the longest-serving Mayor in the history of Billings, Montana. He served as President of the Montana League of Cities and Towns and in the leadership of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. His company, Tooley Communications, offers consulting services in marketing, strategic communications, and public policy. He speaks widely on citizenship and leadership. Chuck is a U.S. Army veteran of the Cold War in Europe and the war in Vietnam. Returning home after military duty, Chuck resumed his career in performing arts and began his involvement in cultural programming. He has served on the National Endowment of the Arts Theater and Musical Theater panel, as Vice-Chair of the Montana Arts Council and for 9 years Chair of its Dance and Drama grants panel. He has been a board member of The Alberta Bair Theater for the Performing Arts, Billings Studio Theater, Starfire Productions, and continues his long service on the Advisory Board of Montana Shakespeare in the Parks. Chuck also serves on the boards of Big Sky Economic Development Authority, Rocky Mountain College, and as an Aviation and Transit Commissioner for the City of Billings.
– In remembrance –
Michalann (Micki) Hobson was a leading proponent of management initiatives designed to examine and challenge long-standing assumptions about arts administration. In addition to her individual projects, she taught a series of Audience Building and Planning Workshops for the Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York, Since 1978, she has worked with over 400 performing arts organizations and museums throughout the United States, Toronto, London, and Budapest. Her commitment to the arts and to Aunt Karen's Farm was deeply moving. We are eternally grateful for all that she accomplished and gave to this world.