Board & Staff

Board of Directors

Debra Peltz, 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.
Ada Ciniglio
Emily Ford
Louise Hartwell White
Jawad Haider
Lynne S. Katzmann
Josephine Magliocco
David Monn
Lisa Plepler, Chairman Emeritus
Douglas Schoen
Amy Sung
Chad Tredway
Stephanie Wagner



Rachel Watts

Rachel Watts, Executive Director, is a multidisciplinary arts educator who has focused on creating and advocating for meaningful and equitable programming for young people during her more than 20 years in the arts Education and youth development fields. She has held multiple leadership positions, including as Director of Education at Ballet Hispanico and Director of The MYC Youth Center in San Rafael California, where she created a state-of-the-art facility focused on developing teen leadership skills through the arts and technology. Rachel earned a Bachelor’s from Williams College and a Master’s in Latin American and Caribbean Studies, with a concentration in Museum Studies, from New York University. She has taught undergraduate students in the Art Education Program at City College in Harlem and serves on the board of the NYC Arts in Education Roundtable where she Co-Chairs the Advocacy Committee.  She is currently a doctoral student in the CUNY Graduate Center Urban Education program.  Watts worked at ArtsConnection from 1998 through 2005 as a Program Manager and Research Associate, before returning in 2011 to join the senior leadership team as Director of Programs and later Director of Teen Programs, and DEI Initiatives. 



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.



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.


Kelly Donovan

Kelly Donovan, Director of In-School Programs, joined ArtsConnection in 2007 as a Teaching Artist. She became a Program Manager in 2011, and the Bridges Associate in 2017. Her work at ArtsConnection has largely involved creative movement, puppetry arts, supporting literacy through the arts, professional development for early childhood educators, and digital documentation. Kelly is a modern dancer and choreographer who danced with the Richard Bull Dance Theatre, and was a founding member of De Facto Dance. Prior to working at ArtsConnection, she was a dance educator at the Brooklyn Friends School and Christ Church Day School. Kelly holds a B.A. in Dance from Wesleyan University.