Staff & Board

Staff

Jil Weinstock
Director

Jil Weinstock is an experienced executive and dedicated arts professional who facilitates inclusivity by championing innovative programming that urges audiences to investigate, engage, and create. Throughout her 15-year career, she has held positions at the Whitney Museum, Drawing Center, and, most recently, the Children’s Museum of the Arts, where she helped shape exhibitions, programming, and financial sustainability that reached and engaged new audiences. Represented by the Winston Wachter Gallery in NYC and the Walter Maciel Gallery in Los Angeles, CA, Weinstock is a practicing artist who has completed residencies at the American Academy in Rome and the Museum of Art and Design in New York. Her work has been exhibited internationally and written about in the New York Times; The New Yorker; Art in America; New York Magazine. Weinstock received a joint MFA from the University of California Berkeley and the San Francisco Art Institute in 1995. She can be reached at jil@baxterst.org.


Alex Schlechter
Program Manager

Alex Schlechter is a New York based photographer. She received her BFA in Fine Art Photography with a concentration in Art History from Rochester Institute of Technology. Prior to her position at Baxter St at CCNY, she worked at Aperture Foundation and Magnum Photos. Her work focuses mainly on the dichotomy found between the fragility and strength of human connection. She can be reached at alex@baxterst.org.


Sydney Ellison
Program Coordinator

Sydney Ellison is a Brooklyn-based artist and curator. Her studio and curatorial practices share many of the same concerns, primarily addressing gaps and intersections within American identity. She received her BFA in Photography from Pratt Institute. She has previously worked with other arts organizations such as LightWork and Munson Williams Proctor Art Institute and is currently the Editor-in-Chief of The Photographer’s Green Book. She can be reached at sydney@baxterst.org.


Folake Ologunja
Communications Consultant

Folake Ologunja has over 15 years of experience developing and implementing communications campaigns in the art and culture sector, with a particular emphasis on projects at the intersection of art, tech, and social justice. She has previously worked with numerous artists and institutions including: Dawoud Bey, HBO, The Rockaway Hotel, Harvard University, and Aperture, among others, providing out of the box strategies, sharing stories, and creating partnerships to underscore core mission and amplify cultural currency. She can be reached at communications@baxterst.org.


Lesley Cannady
Advancement Officer

For over a decade, Lesley has collaborated with artists and arts organizations to realize their creative and operational goals through fundraising and strategic planning. Previously, she oversaw foundation and education fundraising for The Museum of Modern Art and was a senior development officer for The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Lesley received her M.A. from Columbia University. She can be reached at lesley@baxterst.org.


Ting Y. Lin
Social Media Consultant

Ting Y. Lin is an experienced cultural producer and strategist with a M.A. in Visual Arts Administration from NYU with a focus on nonprofit management, she has worked closely with numerous artists and artist-centered organizations across a variety of disciplines at the intersection of culture and social justice, focusing on building socially engaged projects, deepening community engagement, and elevating artistic narratives. She can be reached at communications@baxterst.org.


Board of Directors

Michi Jigarjian
President

Michi Jigarjian understands the unifying power of art. She is an unmatched leader in spearheading social impact and creative initiatives that strengthen and engage communities in both the for-profit and non profit sectors. As Partner and Chief Social Impact Officer in 7G Group, Jigarjian employs socially responsible investment models to create sustainable long-term projects in underserved communities that have yielded tremendous results. Jigarjian’s launch of The Rockaway Hotel in 2020 has been widely recognized and celebrated for its art and culture focus and revitalizing presence in the community.
Jigjarjian’s contributions to the artistic and cultural fabric of New York have been further cemented through her leadership on boards in New York City and beyond. Since 2011, she has been president of Baxter St at CCNY. Under her tenure, Baxter St, established in 1884, has become the premier incubator for diverse and emerging lens-based creators. Jigarjian also serves on the board of the Brooklyn Museum and National YoungArts Foundation with a focused role supporting community engagement and advancing DEIA at both organizations. She is a trustee of the Art Production Fund and is a
representative of the 7G Foundation.

Jigjarjian is a dynamic educator and creative force. She was on faculty at ICP-Bard MFA program, her alma mater, for seven years. She is co-founder of New Draft Collective, her artistic practice, and the project-based publishing press Secretary Press. In addition, Jigjarjian has authored several books, including Writing as Practice, How We Do Both: Art and Motherhood, and has contributed to and edited the three-volume series Mold.

Michi Jigarjian is a bi cultural first-generation Mexican-American who works and lives in New York with her husband Charles and three children, George, James, and Rose.


Daniel Handal
Vice President

Daniel Handal is a Honduran born artist who lives and works in New York. He received his BS in Applied Sciences from Rutgers University and studied Photography at the International Center of Photography. Handal’s work centers on portraiture and explores issues around identity, desire and representation. His work has been exhibited nationally at ClampArt, New York, NY; New Mexico Museum of Art, Santa Fe, NM; Deborah Colton Gallery, Houston, TX; The powerHouse Arena, New York, NY; and internationally at the Australian Centre for Photography, Sydney, Australia; and MKII, London, UK. Handal’s work has been written about in The New York Times, HuffPost, Slate and Hyperallergic, among others. He has participated in residencies at Millay Arts, Austerlitz, NY; Constance Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts, Ithaca, NY;  and the Center for Photography, Woodstock, NY. Handal serves on the board of directors of Baxter St and is represented by ClampArt in New York. His website is danielhandal.com


Lorraine Gracey
Secretary

Board Secretary Lorraine Gracey is employed by Tiffany & Co. as a media relations and speech writer. As a consultant she has worked with such clients as Chanel, Estee Lauder, Architectural Digest, among others. She has been a contributing writer to photography magazines, covering various aspects of the field, from fashion to stock photography and photojournalism. A graduate of the University of Iowa, she has been a member of Baxter St at CCNY for 18 years and has studied at ICP and the 92nd Street Y. Her website is lorrainegracey.com


Cynthia Bittenfield
Board Member at Large

Cynthia Bittenfield pursues projects that shed light on the human cost of war whether dealing with the issue of post-traumatic stress, documenting battlefields and sites of atrocity, or considering life on the home front. The discovery of her father’s wartime scrapbook after he died was the spark that ignited this new direction in her work. Bittenfield has exhibited nationally and internationally. She has been awarded with residencies with The Wassaic Project and Picture Berlin. Bittenfield is a grant recipient from the School of Visual Arts, New York, where she received her MFA in Photography, Video and Related Media. She holds a Masters of Education in Instructional Technology from the University of Illinois and has worked developing multi-media and instructor-led training at Arthur Andersen & Co. and Microsoft Corporation. She lives and works in New York City and is currently on the board of Baxter St at CCNY. Her website is www.bittenfield.com.


Zoë Buckman
Board Member at Large

Zoe Buckman (b. 1985 Hackney, East London) is a multi-disciplinary artist working in sculpture, installation, and photography, exploring themes of Feminism, mortality, and equality. Buckman’s work has been shown in solo exhibitions including Every Curve at Papillion Art, Los Angeles and Present Life at Garis and Hahn Gallery, New York. Notable group exhibitions include: Harlem Postcards, The Studio Museum, Harlem; Off The Wall, Monique Meloche, Chicago; Making and Unmaking, Camden Arts Centre, London; Truth To Power, the Democratic National Convention, Philadelphia, Framing Beauty, Grunwald University, Indiana; For Freedoms, Jack Shainman Gallery New York; Game On! The Children’s Museum of the Arts, New York; To Be Young Gifted and Black, Goodman Gallery, South Africa; New Abstraction, Leila Heller Gallery, New York. Buckman was a featured artist at Pulse Projects New York 2014, and Miami 2016, and was included in the curated Soundscape Park at Art Basel Miami Beach 2016. Buckman completed an artist residency at Mana Contemporary. Public works include a mural at Live Arts, Chelsea, New York in collaboration with Natalie Frank which will be installed Dec 2016. Buckman studied at the International Center of Photography (ICP) and lives and works in New York. Her website is zoebuckman.com


Reena Jana
Board Member at Large

Reena is a second-generation Indian-Filipina-American. Currently, she is Head of Content Strategy for Responsible Innovation at Google and focuses on intersectional innovation—how designing for underrepresented groups can unlock new user experiences for all users Reena has held various positions at Google, including Head of Product Inclusion and Creative Lead for Business Inclusion. She’s been deeply involved in various efforts across the company related to the development of human-centric AI, including the People + AI Research initiative. Before Google, Reena was a product owner at IBM’s Design Lab, focusing on intrapreneurial employee engagement apps and content strategy (and earned a related design patent), as well as C-suite thought leadership. Prior to IBM, she was Executive Editor at frog design, where she led the firm’s external thought leadership and consulted on inclusive innovation content strategy with tech world clients. Before joining the tech world, she was the Innovation Department Editor at BusinessWeek, where she wrote about the value of new user experiences and business models found in emerging markets and within design for accessibility. Reena co-author of the book New Media Art (Taschen), which looked at creative uses of video games, websites, robotics, and hacking by artists.She’s advised and mentored startups and founders across industries, including Built NY and Owners.com (formerly Owners Network), and incubators such as New Inc., Matter Ventures, and Area 120. Reena holds a BA from Barnard College of Columbia University, an MA from Columbia’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and was a Fellow at Columbia Journalism School. A former editor, art critic, and tech journalist, Reena now collaborates with teams to create tools and resources that support value-driven innovation mentoring artists and creative technologists and  mentoring artists and creative technologists. Throughout Reena’s career she has focused on inclusive and ethical innovation and design, as a journalist, consultant, product owner, strategist, creative director, curator, and editorial lead. Reena  analyzes how culture, commerce and technology influence each other in positive ways to improve all peoples’ lives around the world and her mission is to provide engaging, actionable and accurate information to contribute to a more inclusive, productive future for computing, society and business. A former figure skater and varsity ice hockey player, she spends her spare time these days with her two boys and working toward her black belt in mixed martial arts, paddle boarding, and playing the piano. She is a board member of the Asiam American Arts Alliance.


LaVon Kellner
Board Member at Large

LaVon Kellner has a rich background in marketing, sales and entrepreneurship that led her from a top position at Hallmark Cards to Random House and Starbucks. In 1995, she became founding President of Ethis Communications, Inc., a medical communications company. In 2016, Kellner sold her stake in the companies she co-founded in order to pursue her great passion for the arts. She holds frequent salons in her home where artists, museum scholars, gallerists and collectors mingle together to talk about common interests and discuss fine art.  Kellner’s memberships, committees, and Board positions include: Independent Curators International: Board Member; The National Arts Club: Art, Technology, Photography and Roundtable Committees; Friends Seminary: Contemporary Art Committee Co-Chair; Children’s Art Guild, Board Member; Aperture, Paul Strand Circle, Royal Academy America, Frick Museum, National Historic Preservation Society, Whitney Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art, MoMA.


Gillian Laub
Board Member at Large

Gillian Laub (b.1975, New York) is a photographer and filmmaker based in New York. Laub has spent the past two decades investigating political conflicts, exploring complex family and community relationships, and challenging assumptions about cultural identity. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin–Madison with a degree in comparative literature before studying photography at the International Center of Photography, where her love of visual storytelling and family narratives began. Laub’s first monograph, Testimony (Aperture), began as a response to the media coverage during the second intifada in the Middle East. Laub spent over a decade working in Georgia exploring issues of lingering racism in the American South. This work became Laub’s first feature length, directed and produced, documentary film, Southern Rites that premiered on HBO. Her monograph, Southern Rites (Damiani) and traveling exhibition by the same title are being used for an educational outreach campaign, in schools and institutions across the country. Laub’s work is widely collected and exhibited, included in the collections at the International Center of Photography, New York; Museum of Fine Art, Houston; High Museum, Atlanta; Harvard Art Museum, Boston; Jewish Museum, New York; Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University; Brooklyn Museum, New York; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC and a wide range of corporate and private collections. In 2014, Laub was the recipient of an Aaron Siskind Foundation Fellowship. She regularly photographs for The New York Times Magazine, TIME, and Vanity Fair, among many other publications. Laub lectures widely and has been interviewed on NPR, CNN, MSNBC, Good Morning America, and Times Talks.


Elissa Levy
Board Member at Large

Elissa is a mixed media artist, curator, and collector.  Levy has done extensive work with non-profit art spaces. She has consulted and supported Art in General, Participant, Artist Space as well as various local community groups. Levy has also been on several benefit committees for NurtureArt, Momenta Art, Art in General, Art F City, CMA, to name a few. Levy attended the Rhode Island School of Design. Her artwork combines photography and mixed media, manipulating imagery and bringing a new sense to the common-place materials. In 2019 she was one of the inaugural residents at The Oak Spring Garden Foundation, VA. In 2018 she participated in the Quirk+VisArts residency, Richmond, VA, which culminated in a solo exhibition at The Visual Arts Center of Richmond. Other solo exhibitions include The Living Room, San Francisco and Brooklyn Fireproof, NY, a solo project at the Children’s Museum of Art, NY and a two-person exhibition at Foley Gallery, NY. Her work is included in the Altoids Curiously Strong Collection, part of the New Museum of Contemporary Art, NY, permanent collection and has been exhibited at the New Museum, and the Luckman Center Gallery, Los Angeles, Consolidated Works, Seattle, Blue Star Arts Complex, San Antonio, Soo Visual, Minneapolis. She has also been included in group exhibitions at Charlie James Gallery, LA, Flag Art Foundation, NY, The Center for Contemporary Arts, Santa Fe, Field Projects, NY, Winkleman Gallery, NY, White Columns, NY, and G Fine Art, Washington, DC, NurtureArt, NY and Momenta Art, Brooklyn. She has participated in residencies at The Wassaic Project, NY, the Glenfiddich Artist in Residence Programme in the Scottish Highlands, and the Scottish Sculpture Workshop, Lumsden, and is a 2017 Belle Foundation Grant recipient.


Vivien Lewit
Board Member at Large

Vivien Lewit is YouTube’s Global Head of Artist Relations. She directs a team of music ambassadors and experts in the field of digital music distribution focused on developing and executing strategies to support the growth of artists’ careers on YouTube. Vivien also oversees the company’s music content programming, including international live music events and special fan engagement activities. Before joining YouTube in March 2011, Vivien was an accomplished attorney in the recording industry. She specialized in music, digital rights and branded entertainment. Starting as an associate at the law firm of Rudolph & Beer, she eventually took a partnership at Davis Shapiro Lewit & Grabel. At both firms she structured and negotiated numerous multi-million dollar sponsorship, endorsement, branding, and live performance agreements with Fortune 500 companies and global media outlets alike. Vivien sits on the Executive Committee of She Is The Music, an industry wide non-profit, designed to empower female creators and increase the number of women working in music and, during its tenure, was a member of the Advisory Board of the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, a leading think tank studying diversity and inclusion in entertainment through research and action focused projects. In prior years, Vivien served as a board member of the Country Music Association. In January 2021, Vivien was recognized by Billboard Magazine as an “Agent of Change” for her work spearheading YouTube’s Black Voices Fund initiatives and more. Vivien has consistently been listed among Billboard Magazine’s most powerful Women in Music and in 2019 she was named one of Variety’s coveted “New York Women of Impact” for her cross functional work in the tech and arts communities.


Roberta Marroquin
Board Member at Large

Born in Monterrey, Mexico, Roberta Marroquin is a photographer currently based in New York City. Arriving in New York in 2008, Marroquin pursued a one year certificate program at the International Center of Photography. After receiving her degree, she continued to work on a project called “Underneath Light”, inspired by the Mexican indigenous’ belief in spirits that still commingles with Christianity. Her travels and studies have been a fundamental aspect of her artistic development. In 2000, Marroquin went to the City of Light with a Bachelor degree of Arts in Communication Sciences by the Technological Institute of Monterrey, Mexico. There, she began her formal training as an artist and photographer. Her work has been exhibited in prestigious places such as: The Other Art Fair, Torino Italy; International Center of Photography, NY; Baxter St at CCNY; Arsenal of Venice; Mona Bismarck Foundation, Paris; and MARCO Contemporary Art Museum of Monterrey, Mexico. Among other distinctions, Marroquin was selected as a finalist for the 2016 FEMSA Biennial in Mexico. Marroquin’s works are part of international art collections including ABN AMRO NY; Emirate Glass Dubai; and Industrial Club, Monterrey Mexico. In the summer of 2017, she received the “Ana Lorena” Award from Nuevo Amanecer Institute in Monterrey Mexico. She is represented by Lorena Carrillo Gallery in Monterrey, Mexico. This year, she was invited to be part of the 2019 BLK SHP Foundation Artist in Residence program.


Caren Rosenblatt
Board Member at Large

Caren Rosenblatt has over 25 years of experience in magazine publishing as an Art Director. She has won numerous awards including the Gold Medal for Editorial Illustration at The Society of Illustrators. She has worked the spectrum from book publishing to corporate clients and back again. A current fascination with beauty queens from the 50’s and 60’s is among her personal projects. She is also President of the Board Emeritus of Baxter St at CCNY after serving as Board President for 4 years, during which period she oversaw the move from Union Square to W. 37th St. She has a BFA in Fine Art from the School of Visual Arts.