Leadership Group: Board of Directors
Josy Dussek is the Director of Arts Operations for City Parks Foundation. The Arts department operates SummerStage in Central Park, SummerStage in various citywide locations, the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival, and the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre. As part of the leadership at CPF, she successfully delivers cultural productions to local communities. Bringing free and accessible arts and cultural events, such as music, dance, theater, opera, comedy, puppetry, and family programs in all five boroughs of New York City.
With over 25 years as a performing arts administrator, Josy has worked with organizations such as the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, as the Night Concerts Communications Specialist, as a music video Producer with WHNO-TV and backstage manager for the Essence Music Festivals. She earned her BA in Community and Human Services. Besides her love for music, her hobbies are reading, jigsaw puzzles, cooking, and spending time with family.
Rebecca Aparicio is a director and writer of new work rooted in social and human justice. As a director, upcoming projects include the world premieres of House on the Lagoon (Gala Hispanic Theatre) and Beastgirl (Kennedy Center). As a director, she’s developed new work with American Repertory Theatre, Philadelphia Theatre Company, McCarter Theatre, Musical Theatre Factory, Classical Theatre of Harlem, Ars Nova, Syracuse University, Parsnip Ship, The Tank, and more. Past Fellowships include: Roundabout Theatre’s Inaugural Directing Group, MTC Jonathan Alper Directing Fellow, The COOP’s Clusterf**k Writing Cohort, and a two-time SDCF Observership Award recipient. As a writer, her work includes the award-winning musical Pedro Pan, which was developed by New York Musical Festival, Musical Theatre Factory, Rhinebeck Writers Retreat, FringeNYC, was originally commissioned by the Truf Theatre, and will be published this Fall. Additional writing include: Tree Tales (Prospect Theatre), Hindsight 2020 (Live & In Color, commission), Legacy(Prospect Theatre),The Garcia Sisters (Red Mountain Theatre, commission), Nora Saves The World (Barn Arts), Sweet Tea & Jesus (Player’s Theatre SAS- Best of Fest), and Acceptance (EAT’S New Work Series, Player’s Theatre). Rebecca is a member of the Latinx Theatre Commons, Latinx Playwrights Circle, and a founding member of Magic Forest Theatre, dedicated to creating new musicals for young audiences. Rebecca also has a bluegrass band with her writing partner Stephen Anthony Elkins, which released their first EP last spring. www.RebeccaAparicio.com
Peter Goldstein currently works at Steadfast Capital, where he is Managing Director, Risk and Quantitative Research, responsible for overseeing a variety of data-driven research projects and communicating risk-related portfolio insights with investors and senior management. This year he was nominated to the firm’s Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) committee where he will help promote the integration of ESG risks and adoption of good sustainable practices for both the firm itself and the firm’s investments. After graduating at the top of his class from Cornell University with dual degrees in Mathematics and Philosophy, he considered becoming a math teacher, but ultimately has spent his career at a variety of investment firms in both San Francisco and New York. While in San Francisco, he was passionate about his volunteer work at San Quentin Prison, teaching math to inmates as they worked towards their Associates Degree through Mount Tamalpais College (formerly, the Prison University Project). Peter now lives with his wife in Crown Heights, where his hobbies include cycling, gardening, and (pre-pandemic) performances, including live music, improv comedy and the theatre.
Rick Miramontez is a top Broadway publicist at DKC/O&M PR. He began his career, direct from college, as the press director of the Center Theatre Group / Ahmanson Theatre where he organized the campaigns for more than 25 major productions, including the RSC’s The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby and world premieres of Neil Simon’s Brighton Beach Memoirs and Biloxi Blues, and James Kirkwood’s infamous Legends! He was the press director for the 1987 and 1990 Los Angeles Festival, where he presented Cirque du Soleil to the U.S. media, as well as Peter Brook’s epic The Mahabharata. From 1988-1996, Rick headed his own firm, Rick Miramontez Company, which represented many of the major arts events on the West Coast, including the American Premiere of Sunset Boulevard and Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. In New York, Rick along with his friends and colleagues Richard Kornberg, John Barlow and Michael Hartman, was behind the press campaigns for Hairspray, Sweeney Todd, and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and was account executive for Rent, The Producers, and Long Day’s Journey Into Night. At DKC/O&M PR, Rick’s clients include Dear Evan Hansen, A Doll’s House, Part 2 and 1984. O&M Co. orchestrated the publicity campaigns for Kinky Boots, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, and Fun Home– other shows include Beautiful, Hand to God, Bright Star, Eclipsed and School of Rock.
Niegel is a theater director and performance artist who sculpts social spaces into unique communal environments where we make new rituals, excavate our pasts and imagine future narratives. His theater work has been produced by Classical Theatre of Harlem, HERE Arts Center, Hip Hop Theatre Festival, Magic Theatre, New York Fringe Festival, Phoenix Theatre Ensemble, The Public Theater, Summer Play Festival and Todd Theatre, and his walks have been produced by Abrons Arts Center, American Realness, Dartmouth College, Elastic City, Jack, The New Museum, Prelude Festival, PS 122, the Van Alen Institute and Visual AIDS. He often collaborates with artist Todd Shalom. Together, they conceive and stage interactive performances in public and private environments.
Smith was the associate director of the Tony Award winning musical FELA! – restaging that production in London, Lagos and its world tour, assistant directed the off-broadway production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and both the broadway and off-broadway productions of Tony Kushner’s Caroline, or Change. He has worked on the artistic staffs of The Public Theater, Trinity Repertory Company and Providence Black Rep. He is a 35th Anniversary Artist-in-Residence at Second Stage Theatre and the Associate Artistic Director of Elastic City.
A graduate of Dartmouth College, Smith has received grants and fellowships from Theater Communications Group, Tucker Foundation, and Van Lier Fund. Before surviving high school in Detroit, he grew up in the North Carolina piedmont, fishing with his dad, shopping with his mom and inventing tall-tale fantasies with his two younger brothers.
Charles Randolph-Wright has built a dynamic and diversified career in directing, writing, and producing for theatre, television, and film. He directed the smash hit Motown The Musical (Broadway, National Tour, and London), the Broadway bound musical Born For This (which he co-wrote with gospel icon Bebe Winans), the Pulitzer prize winning play Ruined and the musical Sophisticated Ladies (starring Maurice Hines), at Arena Stage, the 75th anniversary tour of the opera Porgy and Bess, Brian Stokes Mitchell in Love/Life at Lincoln Center, Guys and Dolls (the 50th anniversary national tour), They’re Playing Our Song (in Portuguese in Brasil), Cabaret Verboten at the Mark Taper Forum (with Bebe Neuwirth and Roger Rees), and The Diva Is Dismissed (starring Jenifer Lewis) at the Public Theater.
Charles wrote the play Blue, starring Phylicia Rashad, which broke box office records at Arena Stage (where Charles is an inaugural resident playwright), and has had productions throughout the United States, including the Roundabout Theatre and the Pasadena Playhouse (which starred Ms. Rashad, Diahann Carroll, and Clifton Davis). Charles also wrote Cuttin’ Up (based upon the book by Craig Marberry), The Night is a Child (starring JoBeth Williams), Love in Afghanistan, and co-wrote the Tony nominated Just Between Friends starring Bea Arthur.
Television credits include directing the series Greenleaf, Katy Keene, Step Up Highwater, Lincoln Heights, South Of Nowhere, and Live At Lincoln Center. He directed the award winning film Preaching To The Choir, the European Freestyle campaign for Nike, and produced and wrote the series Linc’s. Charles is the Executive Producer of the film Maurice Hines: Bring Them Back which recently won the Grand Jury Prize at the NY Doc Film Festival.
Cauvery Patel is currently the Chief Operating Officer & Head of People and Culture at Dropps, an e-commerce start up that manufactures and sells plant-based laundry detergents with rigorous standards for sustainability. Prior to that, she worked as a Corporate Strategy Associate with IBM. Cauvery is passionate about social justice, authentic climate sustainability and has an affinity for funky, experimental art.
Cauvery holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, is a supporter and affiliate of Progressive International and speaks approximately 3.25 languages. In her spare time enjoys photography, Sichuan cooking, CrossFit, reading Current Affairs magazine, and raising Gobi, her enormous dog, in Brooklyn with her husband Dan.
Maja Janko is a Director with the Morse, Towey & White Group at Hightower. She works closely with the firm’s clients to address financial planning needs, from establishing budgets and retirement plans to determining asset allocations. Maja also plays an important role in managing the firm’s discretionary portfolio of securities: she tracks and trades options, monitors existing positions and ensures that new accounts are properly allocated.
After growing up in Europe and graduating from Tufts University in Boston with a degree in history, Maja’s interest in global affairs and desire to work in a dynamic and intellectually challenging environment led her to the financial industry. Prior to joining the Morse, Towey & White team, she spent two years with a firm that specialized in retail foreign exchange trading.
At Hightower, Maja employs her knowledge of macroeconomic issues and the financial markets along with her CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designation to make thoughtful and strategic investment decisions for the firm and its clients. She relishes the challenge of interpreting day-to-day changes in the financial markets in the context of her clients’ financial planning needs and values the opportunity to build lasting relationships with the individuals and families served by the Morse, Towey & White team.
Ms. Janko holds her FINRA Series 3, 7, and 66 licenses.
Sarah East Johnson
Sarah East Johnson is the founder and Artistic Director of LAVA. Founded in 2000, LAVA’s feminist acrobatic dance has become known for an explosive choreographic language that pushes the accepted boundaries of dance while embodying empowerment and offering visions of gender equality. The OBIE and Bessie award-winning 13-member company works collaboratively to create works that they perform around NYC and the U.S. LAVA offers instruction in their unique movement training to youth and adults in Brooklyn, upstate NY, and around the U.S. Johnson is also a member of Cry The Moon, a 3-person music and dance band based in Callicoon, NY. She is grateful for her time working for many years with Circus Amok and the Church of Stop Shopping Gospel Choir.
Johnson has been awarded both a New York Dance and Performance Award (Bessie) and a Village Voice Off-Broadway Theater Award (Obie) for her choreographic work with the company, and has received residencies and fellowships from The Jerome Foundation, The Heathcote Foundation, The Bossak-Heilbron Charitable Trust, Meet the Composer, Red Cinder (Hawaii), The Djerassi Resident Artist Program, The Puffin Foundation, and the New York State Council on the Arts. In 2004, she opened the LAVA Studio in Prospect Heights (Brooklyn) to house the company’s burgeoning community and outreach programs, which serve over 500 people each year, as well as a school, which served over 5,000 adults and children during its ten-year life span.
Kaysilyn Lawson has been in the hospitality industry for more than ten years starting in her home country, Jamaica where she worked the range of hotels from all-inclusive, private clubs and boutique hotels. After moving to New York City, Kaysilyn worked with hospitality companies like Green Apple Group, Noho Hospitality, Tao Group before joining Marcus Samuelsson Group. She has spearheaded several restaurant openings including brand expansions in New York City and London. Kaysilyn has garnered significant expertise in hospitality and restaurant management over the years, matching her passion for the industry.