Collaborators & Advisors

We are very fortunate to have an esteemed group of accomplished advisors and partners. Each of them brings years of experience and expertise in their fields.


Non-Profit Management

Felicia Mayro, Advisor

Felicia Mayro is the Executive Director of the St. Mark’s Historic Landmark Fund and its Neighborhood Preservation Center project. The Landmark Fund manages the landmark Ernest Flagg Rectory of St. Mark’s Church In-the-Bowery campus and sponsors the Neighborhood Preservation Center project. Felicia Mayro is the founding director of the Center, opened in November 1999, which offers incubator offices and workspaces, meeting rooms, library, and an online resource center that shares information and facilitates exchange among those working to improve and protect neighborhoods. She also serves on the Board of Trustees of the James Marston Fitch Charitable Foundation.

Prior to her work with the Landmark Fund, Felicia Mayro worked at the World Monuments Fund, an international preservation organization. She has a Master’s Degree in Historic Preservation from Columbia University and a Bachelor’s Degree from Tufts University in Art & Architectural History and Classical Archaeology.

Non-Profit Management

Jacob Simpson, Advisor

After studying architecture and town planning at New York University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Jacob Simpson moved to France to work in real estate and economic development. After spending several years overseeing foreign investment in western Paris region (Conseil Départemental des Yvelines), Jacob has recently enrolled in a PhD program at University College London’s Bartlett School to research the role of architectural heritage in investment attraction. He intends to pursue his passion for the built and natural environments through teaching.

Jacob’s course at Sorbonne (University of Paris) explores the art of placemaking ; two of his students recently worked with HIBOU Centre d’Art Contemporain in Charente-Maritime to benchmark successful artists residences throughout Europe.

Visual Arts Residency Program

Laurie Fendrich, Advisor

Laurie Fendrich is an abstract painter, writer, and Professor Emerita of Fine Arts at Hofstra University, New York. She has also been a visiting artist at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY, and the San Francisco Art Institute in California. She received a BA in political science from Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts and an MFA in painting from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois. Laurie has had several solo exhibitions in New York and other parts of the US, and has been included in various group exhibitions such as the New York Armory Show, P.S.1 Museum in Long Island City and the National Design Academy in New York. She has had several essays about art and political philosophy published by The Chronicle of Higher Education. Recently, she was on’s review panel, moderated by art critic David Cohen, at The Brooklyn Library, NY.  Laurie was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship in Fine Arts for 2016.

Artist’s Fellowships include:

  • Artist in Residence, The Siena Art Institute, Siena, Italy, June, 2012
  • Brown Foundation Fellow, awarded by the Museum of Fine Arts,
    Houston, TX 1-month residency
  • 1 month residency, Dora Maar House, Ménerbes, France.
    31 April –31 May 2009
  • National Endowment for the Arts, Painting Fellowship, 1983-84

Fendrich seeks a balance between presumed opposites: intellect and emotion, freedom and limitation, harmonic stasis and frisky dynamism. Her work hums with friction.

Leah Ollman, Art In America Magazine, read article

To learn more about Laurie’s work, please see:

Visual Arts Residency Program

Peter Plagens, Advisor

Peter Plagens is an artist, a writer, and an art critic at The Wall Street Journal since 2011, from 1989 until 2003 Plagens was a senior writer and art critic for Newsweek. Peter has had a number of solo exhibitions in The US and Germany, he’s included in public collections at Albright-Knox Gallery, Buffalo, NY, Baltimore Museum of Art, Hirshhorn Museum and Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego.

Fellowships include:

  • Andy Warhol / Creative Capital Arts Writers Grant, 2009
  • Brown Foundation Fellow, Dora Maar House, Menerbes, France, 2009
  • Senior Fellow, National Arts Journalism Program, Columbia University, 1998
  • National Endowment for the Arts (painting), 1985, 1977
  • National Endowment for the Arts (art criticism), 1973
  • John Simon Guggenheim Foundation (painting), 1972

Peter Plagens, the painter, invents a visual universe that appears to be filled with the unanswerable; he welcomes dissonance and cleverly incorporates it and instructs us on how pure form can become animate and seemingly electrify pictorial space.

Dr. Louis Zona. Artist Afterword. Peter Plagens: an introspective. By Peter Plagens. USC Fisher Gallery, 2004. Found here.

To learn about Peter’s art and writings, please visit:


Visual Arts Residency Program

PS3* Pedro SanchezIII, Advisor

PS3* aka (Pedro Sanchez3) was born in Madrid and lives and works in New York. He has exhibited internationally including in Fourth Bronx Latin American Art Biennial, New York, 2014; MC Gallery, New York, 2008; The Cannes Film Festival, Cannes, France, 2007; FEM6: Festival Edition Madrid 2006; TSUTAYA, Roppongi, Tokyo 2005; Okurayama Gallery, Yokohama, Japan, 2005; Striped House Gallery, Tokyo, 2002; Plaza Gallery, Chofu, Tokyo, 2002; 57 Gallery, Madrid, 1996 and East End Open Cable Studios, London, organized by the Whitechapel Gallery, London 1998.

PS3*’s work contains a wealth of diverse approaches to the medium of Art films. For over two decades, he has also created huge site-specific installations developed out of an early engagement in sculpture and paintings.

For more information about Pedro’s art, please see:


Music Education

Oran Etkin, Music Education Collaborator

Oran Etkin is an acclaimed, award-winning clarinetist, who has developed a method of teaching music to children, called Timbalooloo.

He has trained a team of creative educators, and the Timbalooloo method has reached over 1,000 children aged 6 months – 10 years old in New York as well as children in LA, Paris, Tokyo and Shanghai.

Oran’s music has been featured on a compilation that won a Grammy Award and has been featured on different compilation that were nominated for Grammy Awards. His album Kelenia won “Best World Music Album” at the Independent Music Awards and his album Wake Up, Clarinet! wins “Best Children’s Album” at Independent Music Awards, it also received a Parents Choice Award and the National Association of Parenting Publications Award (NAPPA). He has performed with musicians ranging from guitarist Mike Stern and pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba to rapper Wyclef Jean.

Oran Etkin réveille l’enfant qui sommeille en nous. Certes pas un talent mince. Il suppose d’attirer la confiance, de promettre le bonheur et la beauté, de diffuser la bonté, de donner le sentiment de jouer.

Bruno Pfeiffer,, read article

For more information about Oran Etkin please see:

• 01.02.2016

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