Board of Directors
Lisa Plepler, Chairman
Linda LeRoy Janklow, Founding Chairman
Robert A. Pruzan, Vice Chairman
Robert W. Downes, Treasurer
Theodore S. Berger, Secretary
Dr. Patricia Morris Carey, Ph.D.
Louise Hartwell White
Lynne S. Katzmann
Debra Harounian Peltz
Hon. Tom Finkelpearl, ex officio
Steven Tennen, Executive Director, has served in this position since 1985, a time of growth and change for ArtsConnection and the field of arts education. Prior to that he was the Executive Director of the Jamaica Arts Center, the Director of Arts in Education and Co-Producer of the New Federal Theatre at Henry Street Settlement’s Arts for Living Center, and a classroom teacher at PS 287 in Brooklyn. He was the first recipient of the Arts and Business Council’s Encore Award for Outstanding Management of an Arts Organization. He currently serves on the NYC Department of Education’s Arts Committee to the Panel for Educational Policy, the Steering Committee for the NYC Arts Coalition and the Steering Committee for Arts Achieve, an i3 funded program developing performance assessments in the arts for national use. He has an MA in Theatre from Brooklyn College.
Carol Morgan, Deputy Director for Education, oversees the design and administration of all of ArtsConnection’s programs, including the DELLTA program. Before joining ArtsConnection in 1998, Carol was a partner in Development Through Art, an educational research group which developed and tested new arts curricula and assessment strategies, and implemented programs abroad, as well as in schools and museums in the United States. She also served as the Assistant and Acting Director of the Department of Education at The Museum of Modern Art, and as a consultant in planning, curriculum development and evaluation for arts and social service organizations. Carol began her career as a second language teacher. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Education and Spanish from Grove City College, a Master’s degree in French from Montclair State College, and a Master’s in Women’s Studies from Goddard College.
Tavia Huggins, Deputy Director for Finance since 2003, oversees financial reporting, budgeting and accounting, including financial and programmatic reporting for all city, state and federal grants issued to ArtsConnection. She has over 19 years of experience in non-profit accounting and grants management. Tavia holds a B.A. in Psychology from Smith College.
Fran Van Horn joined ArtsConnection as Deputy Director for Development in the fall of 2014. She brings to ArtsConnection over two decades of experience in arts education and development. Before joining ArtsConnection, Fran served as the Executive Director of Studio in a School, where she worked closely with the Board of Directors to build organizational capacity and forge successful long-term relationships with corporations, foundations, and individual supporters. During her tenure at Studio she provided administrative oversight for an Investing in Innovation federal grant to improve student achievement in the arts through performance assessments and technological innovation. Most recently, she served as a consultant for the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music. Fran was a founding member of the New York City Arts in Education Roundtable, and has served as an arts education panelist for the NJ Council on the Arts and for the National Endowment for the Arts. She holds a Bachelor’s in Theatre from the University of California, Irvine, and a Master’s in Secondary Education from Claremont Graduate University.
Joanna Hefferen, Director of Professional Development, joined ArtsConnection in 1998 and supervises the organization’s professional development programs for teaching artists, classroom teachers, arts specialists, and school leaders. A writer for The New York City Blueprint for Teaching and Learning in the Arts: Theater, Joanna partners with the NYCDOE in the development of a citywide system of arts assessments. A co-director on three federally funded arts education research projects, Joanna’s work in assessment is highlighted in Art Educator. She was also a contributing writer to Partnering Arts Education A Working Model from ArtsConnection (Dana Press). As a theater specialist Joanna has developed theater curriculums for the Boston Public School; mentored teaching artists for New Jersey State Council of the Arts; and was the Arts-in-Education Coordinator at the Henry Street Settlement. Joanna has extensive experience as an arts educator, curriculum designer, and evaluator of theater programs for grades kindergarten through college level. She earned a B.A. in Theater Arts and an M.A. in Education from SUNY-Geneseo.
Rachel Watts, Director of Teen Programs, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion worked at ArtsConnection from 1998 through 2005 as a Program Manager and Research Associate, before returning in 2011 as Director of Programs, a position she held until October of 2018. In the interim, she was the Director of Education at Ballet Hispanico, a 40 year old dance company with a strong emphasis on providing education programs about the cultural and technical nuances of Latin America dances. Rachel also held the position of Director at The MYC Youth Center in San Rafael, California, where she led the effort to create a state of the art facility and organization that developed leadership skills in young people through focusing on the arts and technology. Rachel earned a Bachelor’s from Williams College and a Master’s in Latin American and Caribbean Studies from New York University.