AVIS BOONE (SAG-AFTRA)
After graduating from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a BA in Communications, Avis Boone fulfilled her dream of working as an actor and model by moving to New York City where she quickly was employed in television, film, industrials, commercials, and radio. Avis, loving her career and wanting to be involved in Union service, she ran for and won a seat on the then Screen Actors Guild (legacy SAG) National Board. Her outstanding work within the union awarded her the SAG-AFTRA Joseph C. Riley Award for outstanding service to the union through committee service. Never one to sit idle and wanting to continue to improve the community of artists around her, Avis served and still serves on many committees within SAG-AFTRA and continues her work with SAG-AFTRA NY Local Board.
Through her work with SAG-AFTRA she learned about Women In the Arts and Media Coalition (The Coalition), an organization that promotes and focuses on issues concerning women in the arts and media. That, of course, was a board she jumped to join, doing all she could to work to promote women in the arts. After several years on The Coalition’s board she was unanimously voted in as Co-President of The Coalition and has served in that capacity for the past 5 years and counting.
Avis is also an active member of New York Women in Film and Television (NYWIFT). Always looking for the “new,” Avis took her passion for photography, photographing everything from award events/shows, dance performances, concerts, cabarets, pets and private parties/events, bringing her creative intelligence to promote whatever product or person she is focusing her camera on.
With over ten years of promotional work under her belt, Avis, now a member of IPA (International Press Association), has curated her years of work to be viewed on IPA’s website and Magazine. She is a self-proclaimed geek and as technology expands and evolves in this ever-growing world so does Avis’ work continue to grow and change. When not found in front of or behind the camera Avis can be found on the dance floor perfecting her Argentine Tango.
YVONNE CURRY (SDC)
Yvonne Curry, BA Dance, Brooklyn College/CUNY worked fifteen years internationally training dancers and actors for TV, stage and theater as Tap Instructor/Choreographer Ballet of Venevision Channel 4 Caracas, Venezuela. Jazz Instructor/Choreographer, Leona Laviscount School of Dance and Antenna 3-TV Milan, Italy. Faculty:Third Street Music School Settlement, NYC and Harlem School of the Arts. Served as a Cultural Attache at the American Embassy in Venezuela and faculty at Brooklyn College Preparatory Center for the Performing Arts. Board Member/former Co-President, Women in the Arts & Media Coalition, Inc. Member: Union, SDC (Stage Directors & Choreographers Society), SAG - AFTRA, and NY Women in Film & Television.
shellen lubin (lptw)
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Shellen Lubin has been onstage—as both a singer/songwriter and an actor—for years, both in and out of New York City. She and her songs have been featured in cabaret, on radio (Woody's Children on WQXR-FM, a one-hour special on WBAI-FM, and various shows on WABC, WOR, and WEVD-FM), cable television, and in Milos Forman's first American film, TAKING OFF. Shellen has directed numerous plays, musicals, and cabaret acts in productions, workshops, and readings, including DOOR OPENS WALK THROUGH by Susan Merson at 13th Street Rep; the 28th, 29th, and 30th Annual Bistro Awards for Sherry Eaker, Producer; BETWEEN PRETTY PLACES, a Musical Ghost Story (by Merson and Lubin) at the Pacific Resident Theatre in Venice, CA, and at Here Arts Center in Soho; Lainie Kazan in a concert reading of BELLE BARTH: IF I EMBARRASS YOU, TELL YOUR FRIENDS by Koch, Levinson, and Kalt at the Falcon Theatre in Burbank, CA; and Gretchen Cryer and James Wlcek in a staged reading of her play, IMPERFECT FLOWERS, at Manhattan Class Company. Her plays and musicals have been performed in productions and staged readings at the Public Theatre, Henry Street Settlement, American Jewish Theatre, and many other venues. As a vocal and acting coach, she teaches professionals for stage, screen, and recordings, and has taught and performed at a number of colleges and professional and private schools, most notably Bennington College, her alma mater. As a teaching artist, she has not only developed and taught programs for schools, but worked as a consultant and professional developer for a number of institutions, including Teachers College, Marymount College, Lincoln Center Institute, and Nashville Institute for the Arts.
Her philosophical musings on artistry as a means of understanding ourselves and living more deeply, truly, and meaningfully have been read by thousands in six cover pieces for Backstage, the Performing Arts Weekly. She also writes a weekly think piece called the Monday Morning Quote which goes out on the internet first thing each Monday to an ever-increasing list of subscribers and is read by many others on facebook. Shellen is a member of most writers', directors', and performers' unions. This is the second time she is serving as Co-President of the Coalition—the first time with Elsa Rael, her longtime collaborator and friend.
Isa Goldberg (Drama Desk)
While serving as President and board member of the Drama Desk, Isa has reviewed New York theater for publications such as The Financial Times, The Advocate and The Daily News, among many other newspapers and magazines. As a broadcast journalist, she has reported for Reuters Television, The Broadway Channel, and PBS (In The Life), as well as a multitude of radio stations in the New York market and on the Web.
Recently Isa ventured into the world of acting, and has appeared in independent films and various television episodes of A Crime to Remember and Monsters Inside Me.
Isa holds a BA cum laude from Bryn Mawr College and an MBA from Fordham University.
L. E. BOND (nywift)
A writer, director, performer and film historian, L. E. Bond is currently writing her dissertation to complete her PhD in Mass Communication and Media Arts at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. She has an MFA in Film from Columbia University and a B.A. from Smith College in Theatre and Philosophy.
In the midst of all this schooling, L. E. worked in various fields related to entertainment and education. In addition to performing, directing, and writing, she worked for 10 years in film, television and the recording industry in Los Angeles and New York and six years in the labor movement. In addition, she taught for 6 years as an adjunct professor of film and communication at St. Francis College in Brooklyn, 4 years as an instructor of record at SIU and 2 years coaching acting and public speaking at Stuyvesant High School. She has also been a guest speaker at the Greenwich Film Series in Greenwich, CT.
L. E. is dedicated to her craft and creativity in various narrative formats, primarily screenwriting. Her varied background in theatre, music, literature and film has influenced her screenplays, which are mixes of history and literature, current events and pop culture, ultimately providing commentaries on contemporary society and ideology. In addition to her dissertation, she is currently working on a short film version of her feature screenplay, Max Becker.
In addition to her work on the Coalition Board, she is a member of NYWIFT and involved with their Women’s Film Preservation Fund.
BETH-ELLEN KEYES (NYWICI)
Specializing in conference/event management, non-profit administration and fundraising, and strategic communications, Beth-Ellen has had more than 20 years experience across many industries, including entertainment, digital media, publishing, financial services, healthcare, pharma, retail and community service.
Beth-Ellen founded SpeakerSpace, her first consultancy, in 1997, producing conference and event projects for clients such as New York Women in Communications (Matrix Awards, 12 years), New York Women’s Agenda (STAR Breakfast, 3 years), Toy Industry Association (Annual Conference, 3 years), Variety’s Show BizExpo Conferences (4 years), World Technology Network Conference and Awards Summit (3 years) and TED Technotainment (1 year). Other clients have included Arts & Entertainment Network, Paley Center for Media, Reed Exhibition Companies, Physician’s Continuing Education, Mindshare Ventures, Creative Good, govWorks.com, and, Ziff-Davis.
In 2012, after a course of study at NYU’s Heymann Center for Fundraising and Philanthropy, Beth-Ellen established CausesFirst, supporting both start-up and established non-profits with development and communications projects. Clients have included the Bully Project, Music Empowers Foundation, Reel Works, Foundation for Letters, NEW (Nontraditional Employment for Women), Someday Melissa, Count Me In for Women’s Economic Independence and the Diller Quaile School of Music.
Beth-Ellen’s consuming passion is supporting and mentoring young women, helping them to achieve rank as the next generation of communications leaders. She is a lifetime member of New York Women in Communications, multiple-term board member and creator of their Mentoring and Coaching initiatives. She has served on the Boards of Anthology Film Archives and The New Group (Off Broadway theater group) and is a past or present member of NYSAE, NYWIFT, PRSNY, ISES, NAFE, NAWBO, Women in Development (WID) Webgrrls, Emily’s List, Creative Coalition, iMentor, Women’s Media Center, and Step Up Women’s Network.
TEDDY KERN (LPTW)
Ms. Teddy Kern has spent most of her youth and virtually all of her adult life in the theater, and the dance world. She was inducted into the National Living Legends of Dance in 2004, in recognition of her work as a choreographer, master teacher, stage director and dance history scholar. She has worked in every major and regional opera company (including Juilliard, Santa Fe, Chicago Lyric and Eastman) working with young artists, as an expression of her dedication to training singers to move confidently, gracefully and with authenticity. She has staged/ choreographed/ reconstructed several historical dance events at Lincoln Center’s Library for the Performing Arts, and in the Dance Division. She has been a part of the Chautauqua Opera company since 1996, working with the Young Artists’ program as director-choreographer/ stage movement teacher and Musical Revue Director. She has joyously choreographed several period/historical dances for Chautauqua main stage operas and a multitude of musicals. She is a published author, dance adjudicator, “teacher of teachers”, and serves on the Board of several dance organizations, as well as serving as Recording Secretary for the Women in the Arts and Media Coalition. She was the Artistic Director/co-owner of Dance Manhattan Ballroom dance studio for 24 years where she created several style-specific dance companies, choreographed and directed Revues and performances, and reconstructed social dance styles for a new generation of dancers. She lives and works in New York City.
ELSA RAEL (LPTW)
In addition to writing nine plays produced Off-Broadway and in regional theatres, Elsa Rael has written special material for Walter Cronkite, Kaye Ballard, Gilbert Price, Marsha Mason Beatrice Straight, Christine Andreas and a book, Women in a Changing World. Primarily a playwright, she was awarded First Prize in the Atlanta Theatre Guild Playwriting Competition and a NY State CAPS Grant.
Her work in the field of writing books for children came later, when she shared with her writers group early memories of growing-up on New York’s Lower East Side. After much urging from the group, she wrote the first and the manuscript was sent to Macmillan. Four days later, they called and said yes, and a whole new career began. The first book was read on the White House lawn at Easter three years running. There have been three additional books. These books for young readers have received major awards including Picks of the Lists, Notable Books, the American Library Association, the Children’s Book Council Choice of Books and the prestigious Sydney Taylor Book Award.
Ms. Rael has served on the Boards of both the Coalition and the League of Professional Theatre Women. As an arts advocate, she co-produced with Joseph Papp at the New York Shakespeare Festival the Professional Older Women's Theatre Festivals, including readings and performances of 33 plays written by women featuring central roles for women over 50, honoring the Centennial of the birth of Eleanor Roosevelt. For this, she was presented with a Special Citation by Governor Mario Cuomo.
BRENDA GARDNER (AEA)
Brenda Gardner joined AEA for the 1965 summer season at St. Louis Muny Opera, a 12,000 seat venue. The theatres have all been smaller since! She has appeared on Broadway, off-Broadway, in National companies (Rizzo in Grease is a favorite role, as well as understudying Rosemary Prinz in The Apple Tree), and many, many Winter and Summer Stock productions. She joined SAG-AFTRA with a commercial for Fiddler on the Roof. Television: The Guiding Light, Stand-in for One In A Million (Merv Griffin Game show), General Hospital, Law and Order, and most recently 2 panel discussions on the Melissa Harris-Perry Show.
Over the years as a volunteer on the Legislative Patrol at AARP in New York City, she has been involved as a Medicare/Medicaid Fraud Fighter, presenting You’ve Earned A Say (YEAS) events and more recently presentations about the Affordable Care Act and Identity Theft and Fraud, as well as information booths all over the 5 boroughs and advocacy in many areas at the city, state and federal levels.
In 2000 Brenda became a Colonel in the army of auctioneers, which adds a little spice to over 30 years as a flea market vendor (found most Sundays at The Grand Bazaar at 77th Street and Columbus Avenue).
Spare time is spent mostly walking in the great city of NYC.
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE Member-At-Large
TIA DE SHAZOR (BOLD)
Tia DeShazor is an actor, singer and lyricist. Onstage she has played barrier-breaking leading ladies and she is actively creating change by developing new musical theatre projects as a lyricist in the BMI- Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop. She is moving the inclusion conversation forward as the co-Founder of BOLD.
BOLD is an organization for black women in the Performing Arts to cultivate community and contribute creative to the telling of our stories. Tia is also on the AEA committee for Equal Employment Opportunity and Diversity.
She is currently producing an instagram series called #teawithtia. It’s a vibrant 60-second dose of Tia, in which she finds ways to laugh at and make sense of it all... @tiadeshazor #teawithtia tiadeshazor.com
FORTUNA CALVO-ROTH (WICI)
Fortuna Calvo-Roth is president of Coral Communications Group, LLC, producers of Nueva Onda Audiobooks, established in 1989 as the first U.S. company exclusively devoted to audiobooks in Spanish. A SAG-AFTRA member, she acts in commercials and the occasional film (Friends & Romans, Swimming with the Fishes) and TV series (The Blacklist.) After studying acting with Stella Adler and film, radio and TV at NYU, she acted in and produced a number of plays for The Stella Adler Repertory Theater and was Public Affairs Director at Radio WJIT, with her own program. Her first career was in journalism. She was editor-in-chief of Visión magazine and, as editorial director of Vision, Inc., jump-startedVision/Europe in partnership with Hachette. She was also a partner and board member of Canal 2/Latinoamericana de Radiodifusión in Lima, Perú, and ofVista, a Sunday newspaper magazine supplement for Hispanic Americans in the U.S. She has also taught Politics at Hofstra University and NYU. She won a Sigma Delta Chi/Society of Professional Journalists award in the Best Editorial Category and an Earphones award from AudioFile magazine for one of Nueva Onda’s audiobooks; and was named a Woman of Distinction by Senator Liz Krueger in 2014 as well as one of 50 outstanding Hispanic women in the U.S. by El Diario de Nueva York in 2002. She also received a Humanitarian and Arts Award from the Simon Daro Foundation at the University of Miami.
ALICE CHRISTY (AEA)
Alice Christy was born into a film family and was raised in Hollywood, CA. Her father was the head of the Dubbing Dept. at MGM Studio, and her other immediate family members were involved in the film industry. Since coming to NYC, she has appeared in many TV and Film productions including Law & Order (Judge Albright and 17 other episodes), L&O SVU, L&O CI, Third Watch (Mrs. Burroughs/Crackhead Junkie), One Life to Live and The City. FILM: Principal roles: Leda (Scenes From the Plague Year, Mrs. Preble (Mr. Preble Gets Rid of His Wife), and Gertrude (Suicide, Inc.). She has also done print, industrial films and commercials. Ms. Christy is also the Founder and Artistic Director of WISE & WITH IT PRODUCTIONS, INC., created to "dispel the myth and display the talents" of union entertainment professionals, 40 and over, in all disciplines. The organization is temporarily on hold. Ms. Christy is a long-time Board member and teaches voice, piano, speech and acting privately.
JOANNE DORIAN (SAG-AFTRA)
Born in St. Paul, MN, and raised in Los Angeles, Joanne holds a degree in Theatre Arts from UCLA. A member of the actor’s unions SAG-AFTRA, and AEA, for fifty years, her career has included film, television, commercials, voiceovers, and stage, from Broadway to theaters across the United States. A few highlights are: Standby for Glenda Jackson on Broadway in Eugene O’Neill’s Tony-nominated STRANGE INTERLUDE; performing for the USO in CAROUSEL throughout Japan, Korea, Okinawa, and Guam, during the Vietnam War; starring on OLTL as Viki Lord Riley in the early ‘70’s; the making of The Amazing Panda Adventure, starring her godson, Ryan Slater, shot on location in the remote highlands of China; and the distinction of being the first national spokeswoman in commercials for Weight Watchers Frozen Foods and Johnson's Baby Shampoo.
Joanne’s passion for children’s literacy has led to a twenty-four year ongoing involvement as a volunteer with the SAG-AFTRA Foundation outreach program, Book PALS (Performing Artists for Literacy in Schools); a six year stint in the NYC elementary schools as a substitute teacher and teaching artist through the United Federation of Teachers; and almost six years as Executive Assistant at Harcourt Trade Publishers New York Children's Books Division.
Joanne is currently serving as a New York representative on the SAG-AFTRA National Women’s Committee and SAG-AFTRA local women's committee and is a former VP of Membership on our Executive Board. Ms. Dorian is a proud founding member of the award-winning Articulate Theatre Company in New York City.
TERRY GREENBERG (NYWIFT)
Veteran studio marketing executive Terry Greenberg has enjoyed an extensive career in both film and television. Following several years in the cable industry, she transitioned into motion pictures, overseeing publicity campaigns for Paramount Pictures and The Walt Disney Company that included TOP GUN, FATAL ATTRACTION, GHOST, PRETTY IN PINK, THE UNTOUCHABLES, TOY STORY, ALADDIN and EVITA, among many others. Terry has contributed her Hollywood savvy to the New York Film Festival and The New York Wild Film Festival and has segued into documentary filmmaking. Her recent projects include CAROL CHANNING: LARGER THAN LIFE, BROADWAY: BEYOND THE GOLDEN AGE and she has produced an array of A-list panels for the DOC NYC Film Festival. She has also donated her time to The Paley Center for Media in an effort to preserve the history of filmed entertainment, which has always been her passion. In addition to serving on the Board of the Coalition, Terry also serves on the Board of NYWIFT and is an active member of several committees there including Archive, Documentary, Programming and Communications. She has produced two panels for NYWIFT: "Celebrating the Arts and Entertainment in Documentary Film" and "Women in Comedy - Changing Times" in conjunction with Caroline's On Broadway as part of the New York Comedy Festival.
HOLLI HARMS (DG)
Holli is a Dramatists Guild Fellow recipient 2009-2010. Her play Naples, FL was a finalist with the Great Plains Theatre Festival as well as New York’s Summer Play Festival. Palmetto was a finalist with Ojai Playwrights Conference. Holli was co-founder of The Lexington Group – a group of writers/performers who co-wrote Step in and Stand Clear (winner Backstage Critics Award). The group’s ensemble show The Ballad of Larry the Flyer was invited to both the New York Fringe Festival and Piccolo Spoleto festival in Charleston, SC. Her play The Lying Game was part of the summer conference in Steamboat Springs, CO, and her one woman show, It’s All Dash-A-Wu was part of New York Theatre Space solo series. She was co-writer for the short film, Connections now on DVD. Holli is a writer and performer with Monologues and Madness series at NYC’s Cornelia Street Café.
LESLIE SHREVE (SAG-AFTRA)
Leslie Shreve received an outstanding actor award from Business Week for her portrayal of Harpo Marx. This notwithstanding, she works primarily in announcing and voice/overs! She has narrated an exhibit for the Smithsonian; created sounds for many furry and oddball characters; and most enjoys doubling voices in recreations of programs from its Golden Age for the Friends of Old Time Radio.
A Cable Television Pioneer with her award winning childrens program - Leslie the Shreve; her diverse career has also included the video tutorial which first taught customers how to use the cash machine! For HBO she played Kay Sybers in Autopsy 8. On stage leslie played Mabel in the Pajama Game; Mrs Diana Trapes in the Beggars Opera; Eva Tanquay in A Salute to the Palace Theatre; Rossignol in Marat/Sade, and Mrs Banks in Sunday in the Park - where she "rolled em in the aisles with laughter".
Her activism includes serving on the National Board of AFTRA; the Council as well as the Grants Committee for the EAG; and the steering committee for the St Lukes/Roosevelt Hospital's Crime Victims Treatment Center. leslie is honored by her uniquely long term as National Chair for the Women's Committees for both AFTRA and SAG. She is a Lamb; a member of the Dutch Treat Club; ATAS; LPTW; the Blue Hill Troupe; The Village Light Opera Group (Lifetime Honoree), the Original NYC Bad Girls, and The Group.
She is most proud of the growth of the Women in the Arts and Media Coalition which she has championed since its inception - and which is beginning its 20th year. Ms. Shreve is the first, and thus far only Past President to be named as Special Advisor to the Coalition.
A natural born multi-tasker - leslie also served the members of IATSE 798 as its Television Trustee. As a make/up artist she has designed for stage, film, Daytime and Primetime TV, rock shows, industrials, commercials, news, sports, press junkets, archival interviews, and is the contributing author on this subject for The Handbook of Private Television (McGraw-Hill). leslie is a recipient of the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding MakeUp Design.
She directed the Documentary - Healing Ground Zero - which included a night time tour in the pit.
Having built a solar house in the woods, leslie and her husband Joel Willis live in NYC with a view to the West - and several beta fish.
NEETA RAGOOWANSI (WIM)
Neeta has been an entertainment attorney and music business professional for over twenty years, and is President of the national non-profit organization, Women in Music. She was formerly SoundExchange’s Director of Artist-Label Relations, TuneSat’s VP of Business Development and Legal Affairs, and Assistant General Counsel for the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the National Symphony Orchestra. She currently is in private practice representing the interests of technology start-ups, entertainment content creators, rights owners, and business owners – including television and theatrical production companies, music publishers and composers, digital marketing professionals, non-profit organizations, record labels, recording artists, filmmakers, festival organizers, producers, venues, app and game developers, streaming services, and talent managers. She also provides consulting services to investment firms in the digital streaming space. In addition, Neeta serves on the Legal Steering Committee of the Music Biz Association as well as the boards of the Recording Academy's (Grammy), NY Chapter, and the American Bar Association’s Forum on Entertainment and Sports Industries. Neeta is a frequent speaker at industry conferences including South by Southwest, (SXSW), MIDEM, Digital Music Forum East, SF Music Tech, American Bar Association's Forum on Entertainment and Sports Law Annual Meetings, Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP), Latin Alternative Music Conference, CMJ, Folk Alliance, Austin Film Festival, Future of Music Policy Summit, Billboard R&B Hip Hop Awards and Conference, and ASCAP “I Create Music” Expo.
DANA WEISSMAN (WGAE)
Dana Weissman is the Director of Programs at the Writers Guild of America, East. She has worked in the nonprofit/arts world—specializing in cultural communications, audience development, and business development—for 10 years. Dana directs all member events and programs for WGAE including elections, seminars, workshops, panel discussions, social events, screenings, film festival outreach, and the annual WGA Awards competition and celebration. Previously, she held positions at the 92nd Street Y, The Educational Alliance, and Care2.com. A graduate of the Arts & Business Council of New York City’s Arts Leadership Institute, she is a founding member of Emerging Leaders in New York Arts and the co-founder of the Tufts Alumni Nonprofit Roundtable.