Staff & Consultants
To contact a staff member at Creative Capital, click here.
Ruby Lerner, President & Executive Director
Beezwax, Website Programmer
Sam Nelson, Clever Name Here, Inc., Web Consultant
Michael Overn, Legal Counsel
Blithe Riley, Website Consultant
Matthew Deleget, Professional Development Online Learning Consultant
Ruby Lerner, President & Executive Director
Ruby Lerner is the founding President and Executive Director of Creative Capital. Prior to Creative Capital, Lerner served as the Executive Director of the Association of Independent Film and Videomakers (AIVF) and as Publisher of the highly regarded Independent Film and Video Monthly. Having worked regionally in both the performing arts and independent media fields, she served as the Executive Director of Alternate ROOTS, a coalition of Southeastern performing artists, and IMAGE Film/Video Center, both based in Atlanta. In the late 1970s, she was the Audience Development Director at the Manhattan Theatre Club, one of New York's foremost nonprofit theaters.
Lerner has written and lectured extensively, including at Harvard Business School (in conjunction with a Harvard Business School case study on Creative Capital) and for the University of North Carolina’s Entrepreneurship Program. She regularly presents on arts issues at conferences and summits, including the Grantmakers for the Arts conference, the National Innovation Summit for Arts & Culture, IdeaFestival in Louisville and the Independent Sector National Conference. Lerner was a 30th Annniversary ArtTable Honoree (2011) and recipient of the John L. Haber Award from the University of North Carolina (2009), the Catalyst Award from the National Association of Artists Organizations (2007), the BAXten Award from the Brooklyn Arts Exchange (2007), a Creative Leadership Award from the Alliance of Artists Communities (2005), the Artist Advocate Award from the Alliance of New York State Arts Organizations (2003) and a Special Citation from Artists Space for her support of individual artists (2003). Ms. Lerner currently serves on the Headlands Center for the Arts Advisory Council; the Goucher College Committee of Visitors; the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Innovation Circle; the National Advisory Board of the McColl Center for Visual Art in Charlotte, NC; and the National Advisory Board of the Ackland Art Museum at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Merle Augustin, Manager of Advisory Services
Merle Augustin is a film producer, director and writer. She’s worked on documentaries, short films, features and web series. Her work has been shown at numerous festivals including South By Southwest, The Asian-American Film Festival and The Rotterdam International Film Festival. In addition to her work with Creative Capital, Merle teaches filmmaking at CUNY and serves as a Media Coach at the Educational Video Center, a non-profit youth media organization dedicated to teaching documentary video as a means to develop the artistic, critical literacy and career skills of young people.
Ben Castanon, Development Associate
Prior to joining Creative Capital, Ben Castanon served as the Development Coordinator for the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive. While there, he worked on large-scale programmatic and fundraising events, communications, administration and the museum's capital campaign. Additionally, he has a background in non-profit management, marketing and has taught a class to kids on how to become detective novelists. Ben holds a dual BA in Music and African-American Studies from Wesleyan University.
Krista Fabian DeCastro, PDP Workshop Manager
Krista Fabian DeCastro is a cultural manager specializing in festival programming, events production, artist development, cultural development and international cultural exchange. She served as program director of Robert Wilson’s Watermill Center, manager of the international programming department at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and manager of Africa Exchange, a program of 651 ARTS that supported collaborative exchanges between performing artists in the United States and Africa. She holds a BA from The New School and a MA in Arts Administration from Columbia University. She currently lives in Chicago.
Lisa Dent, Director, Resources & Award Programs
Before joining Creative Capital as Director of Resources & Award Programs, Lisa Dent served as the Associate Curator of Contemporary Art at the Columbus Museum of Art in Ohio. Dent previously held curatorial staff positions at the New Museum of Contemporary Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art, and was a director at Friedrich Petzel Gallery in New York. In addition, Dent has worked in film and the performing arts as a scenic designer, art director and producer on numerous projects. From 2004-08, Dent owned and managed Lisa Dent Gallery in San Francisco, where she presented the work of emerging and mid-career international artists. She has taught courses in art history and design at Cooper Union, University of California, Davis, Columbus College of Art and Design, and The Ohio State University. Dent received her BFA from Howard University, her MFA from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, and completed the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program in curatorial studies.
Sean Elwood, Director of Programs & Initiatives
Since joining Creative Capital in 2000, Sean has served as Grants Officer, Acting Director of the MAP Fund, Director of Grants & Services and, since 2010, as Director of Programs & Initiatives. Prior to Creative Capital, he was Curator/Collection Manager for the Seattle Arts Commission, Director at Ronald Feldman Fine Arts and Manager of the Art Residency Program at Centrum Foundation. He founded SEEDITIONS Art Publishing Company and Fuller/Elwood Gallery. He currently serves on the board of Triple Canopy, and on advisory boards for Lower East Side Printshop, Watts House Project and Dieu Donné Papermill. He regularly curates, publishes, writes about, collects and makes artworks. He holds a BA and MA in Visual Arts.
Jenny Gill, Director of Communications
Jenny Gill has a background in arts administration, curatorial work and studio art. Prior to joining Creative Capital in 2010, she produced educational programs and digital content for the American Craft Council. She has worked at numerous commercial and nonprofit galleries, including as Gallery Director at the University of the South (Sewanee, TN), Gallery Manager at Joan B. Mirviss Ltd. (New York) and Assistant Curator at Vanderbilt University’s Fine Arts Gallery (Nashville, TN). She also worked as a letterpress designer/printer at the historic Hatch Show Print, studied at the International Workshop for Ceramic Art in Tokoname, Japan, and was an artist assistant for Nashville sculptor Alan LeQuire. Jenny holds a BA in art and art history from Vanderbilt University, where she was awarded the Hamblet Award for studio art, and an MA from Bard Graduate Center for Decorative Arts, Design and Culture.
Maura Guyote, Communications and Professional Development Assistant
Maura Guyote holds a BFA in Fine Arts from Parsons and a BA in History from Eugene Lang The New School for Liberal Arts. She has been working happily at Creative Capital since 2011, having assisted in the PDP, Artist Services and External Affairs departments, as well as researching for the Doris Duke Performing Artist Awards. She was a 2012-2013 Fellow for Art Cart: Saving the Legacy, a program which aids aging professional artists in New York City in properly documenting their work. She loves watching movies, dancing and traveling, preferably to places with great food.
Debra Henri, Finance Assistant
Debra Henri is a theatre director and actor, having received her theatre degree from Temple University in Philadelphia. She lived in London and Los Angeles prior to moving to New York. In addition to working in Creative Capital's finance department, she also keeps the books for Pyburn Films and John Szoke Editions. She holds a Notary Public license from the State of New York.
Patrick Keefe, Technical Operations Manager
In addition to the technical role that he fills at Creative Capital, Patrick Keefe is a multidisciplinary artist with a background in engineering and physical science. He holds a BFA in Crafts/Material Studies from Virginia Commonwealth University and is a veteran of the U.S. Nuclear Navy. He has guest lectured at Stony Brook University on the history of anatomy and has taught and worked in glass, sculpture and ceramic arts. He lives in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, and is a lifetime member of the Brooklyn-based art collective 3rd Ward, where he regularly attends figurative drawing sessions.
Amanda Berlin Knapp, PDP Manager of Program Administration
Amanda Berlin Knapp has a background in program management, fundraising and communications as well as studio art and art history. Prior to joining Creative Capital, Amanda worked at MIT's Sloan School of Business as a manager for executive education programs, offering continuing education opportunities to business professionals, and at MIT's School of Science, where she managed development communications and events. Previously, she worked at Tina Kim Gallery, which specializes in contemporary art and emerging Korean artists, and Vintage20, a mid-century furniture and design dealer. Amanda holds a BA in studio art and art history from the University of Virginia and an MA in contemporary art from the Sotheby’s Institute in London. She is currently pursuing her MA in management at the Harvard University Extension School.
Carolyn Lambert, Web Services Manager
Carolyn Lambert is an interdisciplinary artist who explores relationships to territory and concepts of nature. Her videos, objects, installations, and excursions have been exhibited and produced throughout the U.S. and Canada at venues including SculptureCenter, Exit Art, Proteus Gowanus, Flux Factory and the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts. She received her MFA from Carnegie Mellon University, where she was also a Fellow at the STUDIO for Creative Inquiry. In support of her work, Lambert has received funding from the Steinbrenner Institute, The Sprout Fund and NYFA. Before coming to Creative Capital, she was the founder of Plumb and Level Design and taught digital media and web design at Marymount Manhattan and Adelphi University.
Meg Miles, Director of Development
Before joining Creative Capital in 2009, Meg Miles was the Program Coordinator at openhousenewyork, where she organized public programs about New York City's architecture and design and helped launch several fundraising campaigns and activities around the annual OHNY Weekend. Previously, she was the Gallery Manager at Morgan Lehman Gallery in New York and worked as an educator at the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum. Meg holds a BA in art history from Oberlin College, where she also spent three years working in various education and research positions at the Allen Memorial Art Museum.
Alyson Pou, PDP Director
Alyson Pou has been with Creative Capital since 1999 and has played a key role in the development of the Artist Services and Professional Development Programs. Previously, she was Director of Programming and Public Relations at Creative Time Inc. Pou's installation/performance work has been presented in New York by Danspace Project at St. Mark's, Performance Space 122, Franklin Furnace, The New Museum, Artists Space, Creative Time, HERE and the Bronx Museum, among others. She is the recipient of a New York Dance and Performance "Bessie" Award in the Choreographer/Creator category. Fellowships and residencies include The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, The American Antiquarian Society, and Voice and Vision’s Envision Retreat. She has taught performance art history and production at NYU, Cooper Union, The New School, Williams College and Smith College.
Leslie Singer, Chief Financial Officer
Leslie Singer is a Gemini. She spent the 1980s in San Francisco doing small business accounting and experimental film and video. Her films and video works have been widely exhibited in museums and galleries throughout Europe and the U.S. Since her move to New York in 1994, Singer has worked extensively in nonprofit administration and finance. She has also continued her love of video art as editor of Laura Cottingham’s Not For Sale (1998), among others. She loves Iggy Pop, Marcel Proust, organic food, denim and cats.
Raina Sutton, Artist Services Assistant
In addition to her work with Creative Capital, Raina Sutton is part of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Artist Residencies department. As an arts administrator, she has worked at the Mead Art Museum, the Museum of the City of New York and the Museum for African Art, as well as non-profit performing arts presenting organizations. Raina is also an active freelance costume designer and has designed for dance and theater productions, including Cloud Tectonics, The Mistakes Madeline Made and Tartuffe. She received a BA in Art and the History of Art from Amherst College, and her research interests lie at the intersection of performance studies, philosophy, psychology and social justice. A Brooklyn native, she enjoys live music performances, watching films, and discovering local Brooklyn gems.
Susan Tranbaugh, Manager of Institutional Giving and Strategy
Susan began her career in the financial services sector in New York City where she worked as an investor relations associate at an asset management firm. Subsequently, she chose to leave the industry to pursue classroom teaching and taught 3rd grade for two years at an independent school where she developed an interest in multidisciplinary art education. Susan has developed and implemented educational programs at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and at MoMA. Most recently, she worked in the development offices of Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art in Boulder, Colorado and Art in General in New York City. Susan holds a BA from Colgate University and a MA in Museum Education from Bank Street College of Education.
Pradeep Dalal, Director of Grants & Services, Arts Writers Grant Program
Pradeep Dalal is an artist and writer. His work was recently included in exhibits at the Herter Art Gallery in Amherst and at Aljira Center for Contemporary Art in Newark. He has exhibited at the New York Public Library, Orchard, ps122 Gallery, TART (San Francisco) and the Miami-Dade Public Library. Dalal's reviews and interviews have been published in ARTWURL, TeachingPhoto.com, Village Voice and EGO Magazine. He is the recipient of Tierney Fellowship and has an MFA from ICP/Bard College and a M.Arch. from MIT. He is also on the faculty at the International Center of Photography in New York.
Julie Evanoff, Information & Technical Services Manager, Arts Writers Grant Program
Julie Evanoff is a Brooklyn-based artist who works in drawing, painting, printmaking and video animation. Her recent exhibitions include in between at The Gallery at The Art Institute of Tucson, If you see nothing say something at The Invisible Dog Art Center in Brooklyn and Stories real and vividly imagined at Gallery Niklas Belenius in Stockholm, Sweden, and Hallways in Brooklyn. Her animations have screened in video festivals including the 2k5 Video Festival and City Without Walls Juried Video Festival. She received her MFA from Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University. Julie’s awards include the Geraldine Dodge Grant from The Women’s Studio Workshop and the Vermont Studio Center and the Paul Robeson Emerging Artist Award from Rutgers University.
Steven Zultanski, Program Assistant, Arts Writers Grant Program
Steven Zultanski is a poet and critic who lives and works in Brooklyn. He is the author of four books of poetry: Pad (Make Now Press, 2010), Cop Kisser (BookThug, 2010), Agony (BookThug, 2012) and Bribery (Ugly Duckling Presse, forthcoming 2014). Critical work has appeared in P-Queue, Jacket 2, Rain Taxi and elsewhere. He gives readings widely, and co-curated the Segue Reading Series at the Bowery Poetry Club. Steven received his MFA from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and is currently a doctoral candidate in Poetics at SUNY Buffalo.
Rachel Ford, Program Director, Doris Duke Performing Artist Awards Program
Rachel Ford has 17 years of experience in working with performing and visual artists in the areas of production, fundraising and marketing. Prior to joining the Awards program in 2011, she served as Associate Producer at HERE Arts Center and led the development department at Creative Time. She has also held positions at College Art Association, Theatre Communications Group and the Women’s Project, among others. She has been a guest speaker at NYU’s Program for Visual Culture and APAP|NYC and has been a part of several artist selection panels including HERE’s Artist Residency Program (HARP) and Public Theater’s Emerging Writers Group. She holds a BA in Theatre from Florida State University in Tallahassee.
Emily Ottman, Program Associate, Doris Duke Performing Artist Awards Program
Before joining the Doris Duke Performing Artist Awards program, Emily was an Account Executive at MF Productions, coordinating fundraising events for arts organizations, including the Studio Museum in Harlem, Dia Art Foundation, Ballroom Marfa and The Kitchen. She has also worked closely with Creative Time and the Center for Urban Pedagogy. Emily holds a BA from New York University where she studied Sociology, Art History and Studio Art.
Jessie Bear, Program Assistant, Doris Duke Performing Artist Awards Program
Bear joined the Doris Duke Performing Artist Awards Program in 2012. She is a recent graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, where she received her MFA in Dramatic Writing. She is a founding member of Mumuration Theater Company and Telephone Bronco Theater Company; as a playwright her work has been performed in New York and Philadelphia. She has professional experience in acting, light design, and stage management and holds a BA in Theatre and French from Swarthmore College.
Moira Brennan, Program Director, The MAP Fund
Moira Brennan studied theater at New York University Tisch School of the Arts. Her writing about the arts and feminism has been published in the New York Times, Ms. Magazine, American Theatre, Oxygen.com, among other publications.
Lauren Slone, Program Associate, The MAP Fund
Lauren Slone holds a BA in religious studies with a minor in philosophy from West Virginia University and an MFA in dance performance and choreography from the Florida State University School of Dance. While in residence at FSU, she was a Teaching Fellow, MANCC Administrative Fellow, and the recipient of numerous awards and scholarships, including grants to conduct research in Spain and to study contemporary dance in Paris and Israel. Lauren has also performed extensively, most notably with Lynda Davis, Dan Wagoner and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar. Building an international career under the pillars of Research, Creation, Production and Education, Lauren is the founder and artistic director of empty nave projects, a NYC based performance company, and loves her administrative work serving other artists in the field.