Ariel Shanberg (he/him) was appointed as the DVAA’s Executive Director in June 2017. Just the second director in the organization’s history, he brings 20 years of leadership experience rooted in Upstate New York’s cultural community. As a curator, Ariel has organized exhibitions at such venues as the Dorsky Museum and the Center for Photography at Woodstock where he was director prior to joining DVAA. His writing on artists has been featured in several publications including Aspect: The Chronicle of New Media Art.
A member of the board of directors of the Society for Photographic Education, he additionally serves on the board of directors of the Sullivan Catskills Visitors Association.
When not at work, Ariel can be found exploring the region’s art and cultural happenings with his family.
Signe Ballew (she/her) studied at Alfred University and received her BFA in 2012, with a focus in glass and printmaking. After graduation, she has worked for several non-profits along the east coast, including Peters Valley School of Craft in New Jersey.
She most recently was living in Asheville, NC, where she worked for the NC Glass Center as a Studio Coordinator and at the YMCA of Western North Carolina as the Center Operations Coordinator.
Signe recently relocated back to Damascus, PA, in March of 2021, and has been working locally. She joined DVAA in November 2021 just in time for Art in Sixes.
She’s excited for this opportunity and getting back into the local art community.
Kacy Colson (she/her) joined DVAA in May of 2022. With a background in website design and photography, Kacy has held leading roles in the art departments of several media companies, including The Village Voice, Forbes, G/O Media, and The Daily Meal, among others.
Kacy relocated to Forestburgh, NY, with her family in 2018 and has since been freelancing for local companies and organizations such as Bethel Woods, Catskill Farms, and The Homestead School.
Conor Kelly O’Brien (he/him) is the new performing arts manager for the DVAA. Conor is an actor, theater-maker, and cultural organizer. Conor has performed Off-Broadway (59e59 Theatres, The Cell, Actors Company Theatre). He has performed or seen his original works performed on stages across the United States and Great Britain, as well as a few small TV roles.
Conor is a proud member of the New Vintage Ensemble and the Dramatist Guild of America. He is a Pennsylvania state teaching artist (Arts In Education NEPA / NEIU-19) and he has taught within numerous schools and creative residences.
He is grateful to be working with the DVAA and looks forward to connecting with the entire community (especially if it’s over a cup of coffee).
Kate Bergstrom (they/she), Big Eddy Film Festival’s new Director is a NY-based director, culture-shaper, and multidisciplinary creator working in theatre and film. As the founding director of On The Verge Festival in Santa Barbara, CA, they bring care, enthusiasm, and a passion for extraordinary storytelling into DVAA’s annual film festival!
Kate, who is a critic in RISD’s Film, Animation, and Video department, is coming to the DVAA straight off a world premiere opera with American Opera Projects. They recently shot a film by Erin Courtney right here in Sullivan county!
For more about Kate, check out her website.
We look forward to a vibrant and busy new year.
As the cultural home for arts in the Sullivan Catskills, we are grateful for your involvement and support. We couldn’t do it without you, literally.