FIELD STAFF(alphabetical by last name)
NISHA ASNANI is a songstress who infuses jazz/funk melodies with the vocal prowess of a bygone era. She has played to standing-room crowds at New York City venues including the Highline Ballroom, the Blue Note, Joe's Pub, the Canal Room, 92YTribeca, Bitter End, Symphony Space, Cafe Vivaldi, The Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Rockwood Music Hall, the Brooklyn Museum and many more. Nisha also created and hosts a weekly all-art form Open Mic at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe. Outside of performance, she teaches music and yoga! In her spare time, you will find Nisha practicing yoga on her mat and experimenting with vegan cooking.
PELE BAUCH is a choreographer, dance dramaturg, and arts manager. Pele joined The Field in 2004 after benefiting from its programs for six years. As Associate Director, Programming she manages The Field's career and creative development curriculums and residencies, oversees our international Field Network of sites offering Fieldwork. In 2007 she received a Passing it On BAXten award for her work at The Field. She has published articles on artist services in BackStage and Contact Quarterly. From 2001 to 2004, Pele was Development Officer for government and individual support at The Joyce. She has also held development positions at the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company and Young Dancers in Repertory. As a choreographer, Pele has received residencies from The Joyce Theater Foundation, Dance Theater Workshop, the Chocolate Factory, and 92Y Harkness Dance Center. Her choreography has been selected for presentation at many NYC venues including the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Chocolate Factory, Danspace Project at St. Marks Church, Movement Research at the Judson Church, HERE's American Living Room and the Best of the American Living Room, Performance Space 122, Dixon Place, and BAX/Brooklyn Arts Exchange. Pele has also received funding from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Harkness Foundation for Dance, and Brooklyn Arts Council. Pele pronounces her name "pelly." www.pelebauch.org
The Field empowered Executive Director, JENNIFER WRIGHT COOK, to cut her teeth twice! First, as a fledgling arts administrator in 1996 when she was an exhausted dancer/waitress/personal trainer in need of a life change and then again in 2006 when her full-time performance life was waning and she was ready to hunker down and test her leadership skills. Her current role as Executive Director is firmly grounded in these two experiences - that The Field can truly change someone’s life. Jennifer officially joined The Field’s staff in 2006 as Development Manager and then Co-Director. In 2007 she was promoted to Executive Director where she oversees The Field’s programmatic, technological, financial and organizational growth. In 2008 she launched an innovative mentorship program, Economic Revitalization for Performing Artists (ERPA) in 2008 with multi-year funding from The Rockefeller Foundation. Her work has been recognized by the Wall Street Journal, Backstage, WNYC Public Radio, and by participation on adjudication panels for the National Endowment for the Arts and Dance Theater Workshop. Jennifer is a part of Pew Charitable Trust's Cultural Data Project Task Force and the NYC Arts Coalition. She has been on panels for CUNY Prelude Festival, Alliance of Artists Communities and the Future of Music Coalition. She is also a proud alum of Coro Leadership NY XXI. As a dance/theater performer, teacher and art-maker, Jennifer has performed/created with the San Francisco-based Joe Goode Performance Group (1997-2005) and New York choreographers Neil Greenberg, Sarah Skaggs, Mark Dendy and others. She has performed her own work in Madrid, New York, San Francisco and Portland, OR. She sings in a gospel choir and lives in Brooklyn.
SHAMA DAVIS, Online Systems Manager, has worked in website development for more than 15 years and is a children's fiction writer. She trained in dance, theatre, and music at Walnut Hill School of the Arts and Northwestern University, and went on to complete an M.A. in the writing and critical analysis of Children's Literature.
KELLEY GIROD is ecstatic to be a staff member of The Field, an organization whose generosity, support and real commitment to artists changed her life after having worked closely with Executive Director Jennifer Wright Cook in 2012 as a sponsored artist. Girod is a playwright and founding producer of The Fire This Time Festival, a downtown theatre festival founded in 2008 for emerging artists of African/African American descent. This endeavor earned her nytheatre.com's "Person of the Year 2011." Other producing credits include "Outcry"(Horse Trade Theatre and Jack, NYC 2012/2013); "The Flower Thief" (Horse Trade Theater, 2012); "Get Me A Guy" (Midwinter Madness Festival, NYC, 2013). Her own work has been produced in her native Louisiana, Los Angeles, Ohio and New York. In addition she is serving as a committee member for Culture Project's Women Center Stage 2013. She is a graduate of Columbia University's MFA program where she was a Stein and Liberace Fellow as well as a John Golden Fellow.
SHAWN RENE GRAHAM is a freelance writer and dramaturg from San Jose, California who has worked with many writers including, Kia Corthron, Nilo Cruz, Steve Harper, Eduardo Machado, Walter Mosley, Lynn Nottage, Suzan Lori Parks, John Henry Redwood, Guillermo Reyes, Paul Rudnick, Steve Harper, Susan Sontag, Dominic A. Taylor, Edwin Sanchez, Judy Tate, and Naomi Wallace. She has been a guest dramaturg at the O'Neill Playwrights Conference, the Crossroads Theatre Company's Genesis Festival, the New Professional Theatre, and African American Women's New Play Festival and on many panels including, National Endowments for the Arts/Theatre Communications Group Theatre Residency Program for Playwrights, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, Artist Grants Panel in Playwriting and the Mark Taper Forum's New Works Festival and is currently the resident dramaturg of The American Slavery Project's: Unheard Voices collaboration. Ms. Graham has worked in dance, serving as dramaturg for The Errol Grimes Dance Group's RED, Mrs. Robeson in Moscow, Sunday Day, Prism to a Dream and By the Sea at the Henry Street Settlement's Harry De Jur Playhouse. She is the Producing Coordinator for the Classical Theatre of Harlem’s Future Classics Series and Playwright’s Playground, and founder of All Creative Writes, an artistic assistance service designed to provide individual artists and performing arts organizations with administrative, fundraising and writing support. Ms. Graham holds degrees from the California State University, Los Angeles and the American Repertory Theatre Institute for Advanced Theatre Training at Harvard University. She lives in Harlem, NY
LIZA WADE GREEN is a Brooklyn-based performing artist who enjoys creating collaborative works that blend playful storytelling with dynamic movement. As a performer, writer, and director she has collaborated on dozens of original pieces of dance and theatre in the United States, Canada, and Europe. Liza bolsters her performance-making practice by assisting other artists and has served as Managing Director for the Stolen Chair Theatre Company, Manager of Grants and Services at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, PR Assistant at Media Blitz and Project Coordinator and Teaching Artist at CUNY/Creative Arts Team. She is currently working towards an M.F.A. in Performance and Interactive Media Arts at Brooklyn College. www.lizawadegreen.com
CARA ANGELA LIGUORI wears many hats. Currently, some of them include being a dancer, a teaching artist for young folks and a grantwriter/development strategist (for the likes of Faye Driscoll) with a minor in event planning. She began her work at The Field in 2007 during a fundraising-focused internship and she is now The Field’s Development & Special Events Manager. Cara is a co-founder of Propel-her Dance Collective, a resource-sharing group of emerging, female choreographers (2006-present). Her creative work has been presented by Propel-her at the Merce Cunningham Studio Theater, and by the NYC FRINGE Festival (in collaboration with PurpleMan Theater Group), Envision Chamber Orchestra, GrooveMamaInk, and most recently, at the Galerie Hans Mayer in Dusseldorf, Germany. Cara has performed for many independent dancemakers in NYC including Kathy Wasik, Philippa Kaye Company, Aviva Geismar/Drastic Action, DendyDance Theater, Stefanie Nelson and Heidi Latsky.
SUSAN OETGEN An opera singer by training, Susan Oetgen is a New York City-based performing artist. In addition to creating and performing original works of contemporary music theater, Susan designs and facilitates workshops, dialogues and teaching artist residencies that investigate the interdisciplinary relationship between the performing arts and conflict resolution. Susan earned a Master of Music in Vocal Performance from Catholic University of America and a Graduate Certificate in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University. Susan has been a Fieldwork facilitator since 2006.
CASSIE TUNICK is a physical theater performer, writer, and teacher. After moving to New York from San Francisco in 2004, she joined The Field’s team in 2007 in support of the performing arts community and received a crash course in non-profit accounting. As Associate Director, Finance and Human Resources, she manages The Field’s fiscal accounting and reporting, the financial side of the Fiscal Sponsorship Program, and leads bookkeeping workshops for artists. In her past she managed dance studios and medical practices, danced in a Butoh company, played in a rock band, taught in Universities, organized conferences, and improvised around the world. In New York her work has been seen at Issue Project Room, The Brooklyn Art Museum, Triskelion Arts, The Ontological-Hysteric Theater, CAVE, CRS, Danspace Project at St. Marks Church, Dixon Place, and Symphony Space, among others. For the last 23 years she has worked extensively with Ruth Zaporah in Action Theater and is a Senior Teacher of the practice. Currently she is a member of Company SoGoNo and Reflex Ensemble, and creates solo performance works. She holds an MFA in Writing and Poetics from Naropa University. www.cassietunick.com
BILL ZEMAN is The Field's Associate Director, Technology. He has been a web developer and programmer since 1996 and is well versed in numerous languages and technologies. He has developed websites for the United Nations, the Nuclear Threat Initiative, the Aspen Institute and the Ford Foundation. He has also developed a number of desktop applications including an automatic content management system generator. Bill is also a painter and sculptor. He is best known for his project "Tiny Art Director", a collaboration with his two-year-old daughter. His art can be seen at www.billzeman.com.
JAMES SCRUGGS was awarded a Franklin Furnace grant in 2002. In 2003 he became a resident artist at HERE Arts Center. Disposable Men his solo performance piece juxtaposing images from Hollywood monster movies with black men in America was produced by HERE and he received a NJSCA grant in 2005. In 2005 He was awarded the first ever NY IT Award for Outstanding Solo Performance for Disposable Men. In 2007 Disposable Men completed a four city tour. His mixed media play (RUS)H, another collaboration with Kristin Marting explored the dark world of a male sexworker, told with video, tango and salsa. In 2010 he had a reading of his work Touchscape, a series of monologs of men and touch at Harlem Stage’s The Gatehouse. Tickets To Manhood a work about how men irresponsibly mature into men was commissioned and performed at Dixon Place for three weeks in July 2011. He is currently a resident artist at Tribeca Arts Center where he had a reading in June of his latest work, The Deepest Man on Earth, which will premiere next fall as a multi-media work with dance at 3 Legged Dog. He has a BFA in Film from SVA. He is the Program Associate at 3 Legged Dog.
Prior to launching an independent consulting practice, ZANETTA ADDAMS-PILGRIM was Director, Development and Communications at East Harlem Tutorial Program (EHTP) where she oversaw the overall Development effort for the agency, including the annual fund and planning phase of a capital campaign. She was responsible for the agency’s nascent communications department, re-branding and co-branding EHTP and East Harlem Scholars Academy, and the consequent marketing campaign. For eight years before EHTP, Zanetta was Vice President, External Affairs for Abyssinian Development Corporation (ADC), where she created and implemented the fundraising, strategic plan and communications strategy.
Zanetta has planned and implemented fundraising events grossing up to $2 million, a range of programmatic events including one that provided groceries to 10,000 families in one day, and managed diversified fundraising budgets of up to $7 million. Before ADC, she served as Project Director at Cause Effective, a provider of nonprofit management assistance, where she conducted governance training, facilitated special events workshops, and consulted on resource development and strategic planning for small to mid-sized not-for-profit organizations.
Zanetta studied in Italy at the United World College of the Adriatic and the University of Trieste, and graduated from NYU with a journalism major. She also taught at Columbia University’s Fundraising Management Program. Zanetta is Chair of the Board of Blackberry Theatre Productions and serves on the Board of Directors of Manhattan Country School, and formerly, Women in Development. Zanetta is a volunteer instructor with Universal Goju Karate. She speaks Italian, French and Spanish.
LAURA COLBY established Elsie Management in 1995 - an artist management company representing a global roster of dance, theater, world music, and special attractions including the venerable Mummenschanz, the world-renowned outdoor spectacle company Australia’s Strange Fruit, and a celebrated dance roster. She is currently on the board of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters, served as the President of NAPAMA (2007 & 2008, North American Performing Arts Managers and Agents), and was the founding Chair of the Dance/USA Agents Council. Since forming Elsie, Colby has represented over twenty-five performing arts touring companies from five continents, coordinating tours to over two hundred global venues. She was the initiating facilitator between Dr. Edward Fishkin, Medical Director at Brooklyn’s Woodhull Hospital and Medical Center and the performing arts community in the creation of ArtistAccess, the groundbreaking healthcare program for artists and arts workers begun in May, 2005. A frequently invited speaker for panels, workshops, and educational sessions, Colby began her arts administration career as a manager for several independent contemporary choreographers. www.elsieman.org
PEGGY H. CHENG is the Director of Development at Danspace Project where she's been on staff since 2000, and has served on funding panels for the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, NYC Dept. of Cultural Affairs, and New York State Council on the Arts (Special Arts Services). She has also served on selection panels for the Newsteps series (Chen Dance Center), Fresh Tracks (New York Live Arts), and curated Food for Thought (Danspace Project) programs. Peggy has been performing and creating work with independent choreographers and directors in New York City since 1993, primarily with Maura Donohue/In Mixed Company and Yanira Castro/a canary torsi, and received a 1997 Van Lier Fellowship to create work through the Mabou Mines Resident Arist Program. She received a B.A. from Vassar College (Dept. of English), a M.A. in Dance & Dance Education from the NYU Steinhardt School, and from 1994-2000 taught in a variety of educational dance and theater programs for children and youth.
FRAN KIRMSER has worked for over twelve years, producing, promoting and fundraising for dance and theater. Collectively she has raised millions of dollars in institutional funding and corporate sponsorships for hundreds of companies. She has held positions in Development, Public Relations, Management, or Booking and Representation with the following organizations: Lincoln Center Avery Fisher Hall, Doug Varone and Dancers, Sandra Cameron Dance Center, Pentacle. She is a founder of manhattan theatre source where she served as Producing Artistic Director. Currently Fran is producing August Wilson's Radio Golf on Broadway nominated for four Tony Awards. Recently she founded Made to Move, Inc. - a non-profit dedicated to the advancement of public knowledge of the art of dance and theatre and co-created and produced the commercial musical "SIDD" based on the novel "Siddhartha" by Hermann Hesse. Additionally Fran has worked on the development of new theatrical works with Circle in the Square Repertory Theater and Musical Theatre Works among others. She is a graduate of Skidmore College with continuing education at NYU Tisch School of Dance and Columbia University. www.frankirmser.com
Recent program leaders have included Brian Brooks, Royd Climenhaga, Maura Donohue, Arlene Goldbard, Andy Horowitz, Sara Juli, Amy Kail, Jodi Kaplan, Jaki Levy, Brian McCormick, Beth Morrison, Morgan von Prelle Pecelli, Esther Robinson, Rachel Schroeder, Janet Stapleton, and more