CHRISTY E. O'CONNOR | Gallery Assistant

Christy O'Connor

Christy E. O’Connor is an interdisciplinary artist and independent contemporary art curator in New Jersey. O’Connor previously served as Exhibitions Curator at BSB Gallery in Trenton, NJ from 2018-2020. During her time there, she curated and co-curated a total of nine exhibitions both in the main gallery space and the G2 gallery space. In 2019 she co-founded The Fiber Arts Festival in Mill Hill Park in Trenton, NJ. In 2017, she founded Art Hustle. Art Hustle’s mission is to develop engaging art exhibitions throughout New Jersey and to provide opportunities for artists to work with various art spaces they might not otherwise exhibit with. O’Connor holds a B.A. in Visual Arts from Ramapo College of New Jersey and an M.S.E.D in Special Education from Monmouth University. O’Connor has also collaborated with Artworks Trenton, Atlantic Highlands Arts Council, Chashama Matawan, Hamilton Street Gallery, Monmouth Museum, and ProArts Jersey City.




Michele Lewis-Bellamy is a Technical Engineer at Weil, Gotshal & Manges, LLP. She has over 20 years’ experience working with top 10 law firms throughout Manhattan. Michele was a mentor at the Bronx location of Per Scholas, a United States nonprofit that provides tuition-free technology training to unemployed or underemployed adults for careers as IT professionals. She is also a patron of the arts, growing up with a father who is an artist and her uncle Fred R. Powell who was chairman of Audelco, established to generate more recognition and awareness of African American theater and dance companies. Her commitment to Art House Productions is to increase awareness throughout Jersey City. Michele wants her tenure on the Art House Productions Board to build on her associations with playwrights, artists and businesses in the Jersey City area.

ANNIE KESSLER | Vice President

Annie Kessler has been an active leader and participant in Jersey City’s arts and
civic worlds since moving here in 1982 from Venice, California, with her husband Charles, and she’s been involved with Art House Productions since its formation. As a musical theater lyricist, she’s had songs performed and recorded by Audra McDonald, Rebecca Luker, and others. She is a founding member and board vice president of Jersey City’s North River Sing Community Chorus. She also sings with The Prom Dates, a Jersey City-based a cappella group, of which she is co-founder and musical arranger. With a B.A. in English Literature and an M.Ed. from UCLA, she has taught people from elementary school through college, including writing and ESL. She was Executive Director of the Jersey City Public Library Literacy Program. On the civic front, she is founder and past president of the Harsimus Cove Association and past president of the Downtown Coalition of Neighborhood Associations. She spearheaded the volunteer group responsible for shaping the redevelopment of the Grove Street PATH Plaza and Grove Pointe, a 5-year endeavor. She has also assisted Charles in the arts entities he founded and co-founded: The Jersey City Artists’ Studio Tour (now re-named), Pro Arts, the Cathedral Arts Festival, and the Powerhouse Arts District.


Erica ResnickErica Resnick is a Special Education Teacher for the last 19 years as well as a Learning Disabilities Teacher Consultant. Erica is the director of NTA, (New Teacher Academy), a Professional Development Program for teachers by teachers, in which she grows new and veteran teachers in pedagogical techniques, best practices and technology. Erica earned a B.A. in Theatre and an M.A. in Theatre and Speech before obtaining her M.A. in Special Education from NJCU. Outside of work, Erica is a mixed media artist working mainly with photographs, rust, metal and found objects from her Grandfather’s hardware store which resided in Jersey City’s next-door neighbor, Bayonne, for over 100 years. Erica is the mother to a young, emerging artist and believes that community arts programming is essential for the well-rounded development of children. 

MARK KAHN | Treasurer

Mark Kahn founded Downtown Yogurt® of Jersey City in 2014 and has since grown his franchise with locations in New York City and Pennsylvania. He is also a community development professional and financial analyst with VDS Development, focused on affordable housing and retail planning in Hudson, Essex and Bergen Counties. Mark has over 25 years of experience in financial services, focused on debt capital markets and structured finance at JP Morgan, Deutsche Bank and Deloitte. He currently serves on the Boards of the Cameron Kravitt Foundation and Temple Beth-El of Jersey City and has served as Treasurer of the Board of Governors of Smoke Rise, a community of 950 homes on 2500 acres in Northern New Jersey. Mark has a BA in Economics from Lafayette College and an MS from the School of Management at New Jersey Institute of Technology.


Irene Barnaby

Irene is a top real estate broker, people-connector, huge art lover, local business owner, and community organizer. For over 20 years, she's been an award-winning agent who's recognized as a knowledgeable and valuable local guide, trusted advisor, and dedicated resource to her community. She serves as treasurer for the Village Neighborhood Association as well as a mayor-appointed board member position on the Jersey City Board of Assessment. Irene is a native of the Republic of Georgia and holds a degree in International Business and Economics. She has resided in New Jersey for over 25 years and lives with her fiancé and three dogs in the Harsimus Cove neighborhood. Irene enjoys a lifelong love of skiing and international travel that has taken her to more than 50 countries around the world. 


Margo Chaly

Margo Chaly, Esq. serves as Chief of Staff at the NJ Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA), where the mission is to support and promote accessibility to and affordability of post-secondary education in New Jersey. HESAA administers $500M in grants - financial aid that need not be paid back - to students attending colleges and universities in NJ. Before joining HESAA Margo served as Manager of Litigation & Operations at a law firm in New York City specializing in Nursing Home & Long-Term Care Facility Defense and Risk & Crisis Management. Prior to that, Margo worked for more than a decade at multinational insurance companies, most recently on the technology optimization team as the Communications Coordinator and a liaison between executive stakeholders and developers during system migration initiatives. As a founding member of a not-for-profit organization AMIGAS, Inc, which supports professional and personal development of women through community service and networking opportunities, Margo is committed to advancing charitable programming that empowers young girls pursuing their academic goals. Margo is a long-time advocate and supporter of Jersey City community-based organizations, including WomenRising, the Anti-violence Coalition of Hudson County, and the West Indian Caribbean American Carnival Association.


Michael Costanzo began his career in 2002 while still in high school. His family has been in the car industry since 1925 and upon graduating, he began working with his father and uncle at their family business, P. Costanzo Auctioneers, one of the largest wholesale car dealers in New Jersey. In 2021, Michael opened his first retail dealership open to the public, NJ Auto Pros, in Tinton Falls, NJ. Michael spends his free time surfing, golfing, and enjoying the outdoors. He supports environmental causes, and the arts. He is excited to join the Board of Trustees to help grow the organization.


Linda is a seasoned risk management and compliance professional with over 15 years of
experience working at some of the world’s largest consulting firms and financial institutions in New York City and South East Asia.Linda grew up in the Berkshires, Massachusetts and later moved to Long Island where she earned her Bachelor’s in Accounting and Masters in Taxation at Hofstra University. Following that, Linda moved to NYC to begin her professional career while living in Brooklyn and Harlem.
She later moved to Jersey City for several years, and later took a leap and accepted a position that took her to Singapore for five years. During her time in Asia Linda embraced diverse cultures, the array of foods, and finding inspiration in the local arts scene.
Now settled back in Jersey City, Linda is enthusiastic about becoming an active part of the community. Eager to contribute her experiences and passions, she looks forward to supporting local initiatives, and further enriching the growing and vibrant fabric of Jersey City.


Bree Falato spent nearly two decades in the corporate sector and non-profit sector where she specialized in communications, community impact, and strategic programming and partnerships. In 2021, Bree joined Haute Advisory as a partner and Chief Strategy Officer. Through Haute, Bree brings her combined expertise in strategic planning and a genuine passion for helping people succeed to ensure her clients’ meet their short- and long-term goals.  Bree lives In Hudson County, NJ with her husband, three kids, and their turtle.


Shantel Asante-Kissi currently works as a Senior Advisor to the Office of Resilient Homes and Communities in NYC.  She draws on over 20+ years of industry acumen in the affordable housing Real Estate industry across several Eastern states, including New Jersey. She has worked with public/private partnerships to provide housing for both rental and homeownership opportunities across the country. Shantel served as Board Member for Art for the Soul Gallery in Springfield, MA and for Habitat for Humanity to advance their missions.  Additionally, she was a member of Rotary International Club in Jersey City.

Shantel spent the last 4 years as an Expat in Brussels, Belgium.  During this time, she focused on being a Human, Mom, Wife, World traveler and Lover of all things Arts and Culture.  She is a patron of the Arts, enjoys museum and gallery hopping and is committed to sharing her strengths to enhance the mission of Art House Productions.

Shantel holds a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from Lawrence University and a Masters in Public Administration from UNC Charlotte.


Frank Licari is a Telly and Addy award-winning actor, writer, producer/director, and 2x Emmy-Nominated host whose credits span 30 years of work in Theater, Film, and TV including recurring and guest starring roles on network and cable television, feature films and off-Broadway theater. A former Blue Man with the Blue Man Group, he is the host of On The Town in the Palm Beaches with Frank Licari (since 2016) on PBS.

He's also an award-winning Producer/Director whose work can be seen on Netflix and Peacock Network.

Frank founded and managed Atlantic Arts Academy, now Performing Arts Academy, in Jupiter Florida for 15 years.

Originally from Guelph, Ontario Canada and a graduate of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy.


Kim Mecca works as a Social Media Supervisor for Publicis Media
in Manhattan, overseeing the paid social advertising efforts for a
variety of brands. A longtime supporter of the arts, Kim has spent
much of her free time working as a freelance stage manager at
numerous theaters along the East Coast.
A recent transplant to Jersey City, Kim is excited to become more involved in the local community and arts scene. She is looking forward to using her expertise in marketing and passion for the arts to support the mission and goals of Art House Productions.



Nelson Moran was born in Spanish Harlem and raised in the South Bronx on March 25, 1973. He is the son of Georgina and Augusto Moran.

His mother, Georgina Moran, was a seamstress. She came to this country in the early 60s, left her 3 kids and husband behind in Ecuador, in search for the American dream in New York. She settled in for a couple years and was able to bring her husband and kids to the US. They lived in Spanish Harlem till the mid 70s and moved to Hunts Point in the South Bronx.

Nelson Moran, was a kid that came of age in the South Bronx during its darkest years of drugs, violence and abandonment. He learned to navigate that traumatizing landscape until he found love through of art and music. He graduated from Cardinal Hayes and studied at City College and majored in Communications, Film and Video. He didn’t know what he wanted to do as a career, he started with architecture then computer science. He took an acting class and that’s where he fell in love with video production.

Today, he works for Prudential as a video producer/ editor. He’s with the company for 4.5 years and is blessed to do what he loves as a career.



Ashley Mullin, Esq. is a seasoned attorney who has dedicated her career to the field of child welfare. Ashley currently serves as a Court Attorney to a Bronx County Family Court Judge, where she assists in overseeing matters primarily involving child abuse and neglect. Ashley has served in this role since 2015 and previously worked in New York County Family Court for a now-retired jurist who presided over all aspects of child welfare, from custody disputes to juvenile delinquency matters. Ashley began her legal career representing foster care agencies in various proceedings throughout New York City and subsequently worked as a Special Assistant Corporation Counsel for the Administration for Children’s Services in Kings County Family Court from 2011 until 2015. In the latter role, Ashley started as a staff attorney representing the government in child abuse and neglect proceedings and was subsequently promoted to a supervisory level. Ashley received her Juris Doctorate from New York Law School and undergraduate from Hunter College. During her time in law school, Ashley interned for a Federal District Court Judge, the United Nations, and the Taoiseach of the Republic of Ireland.

Ashley also serves as co-chair on the New York Women’s Bar Association, Matrimonial and Family Law Committee and on the New York City Bar’s Children and the Law Legislative Sub-Committee. Ashley is also a member of various New York City Family Court committees regarding teenage foster youth as well as promoting equal justice and gender fairness in the court system. Ashley is a native New Jerseyan and Hoboken resident for over fifteen years where she currently resides with her husband, dog, and two cats in Hoboken. Ashley enjoys international travel, Broadway shows, and supporting the local arts and theater community.


Sophie Penkrat is a Creative Director, Content Developer, and Brand Strategist. She has worked with a variety of enterprises—from boutique to Fortune 500 companies—on marketing strategy, brand development and image growth, content development, and event production. Clients have ranged from the Mayor’s Office of Jersey City, where she produced and managed all aspects of the Jersey City Art & Studio Tour (JCAST) from 2017 to 2019; to BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company) and TD Ameritrade, where she strategized and developed full-scale 360-degree omni-channel campaigns. Other clients include New York Life, Tishman Speyer, American Express, Time Warner Cable, Pfizer, Seventeen magazine & Penguin publishing (copy editing), Zan Casting, Nina Day Casting (for Sephora, Facebook, et al), and VOGUE Italia & VOGUE UK (photoshoot production), and more.  Sophie received her BA from Rutgers University and her BS from Ramapo College of New Jersey.


Gerard D. Pizzillo is a partner at Genova Burns focusing on all aspects of Commercial Real Estate throughout New York and New Jersey. He handles Corporate Law & Business Transactions, Commercial Real Estate & Redevelopment and Land Use & Approvals. He has represented numerous real estate and corporate entities in all aspects of transactional real estate, development and commercial legal issues.

Mr. Pizzillo has experience in real estate development and redevelopment law as well as tax abatement, zoning and land use. He has drafted and reviewed documents in all areas of commercial and residential real estate transactions, including leasing and financing.

Mr. Pizzillo represents public housing authorities in Section 8 and Housing and Urban Development requirements as well as associated issues in education, business organization and civil and corporate law.

Mr. Pizzillo has successfully litigated complex matters in state and federal courts. 

He has been attending Art House events and fundraisers since the early 2000’s and is thrilled to be serving on the Art House Board of Trustees.


Leslie (they/them), a Jersey City native, co-founded Novus Equities, a real estate investment company, in 1998, where they are primarily responsible for strategy and acquisitions. While starting in Jersey City, Novus properties are in multiple northern New Jersey cities, as well as North Carolina, and Tennessee.

During the 1990s, they served as a Commissioner on the Jersey City Planning Board for 10 years where they were instrumental in saving the Colgate Clock which now sits on the Hudson River Waterfront facing Manhattan. As a member of the National Arts Club, they sat on the Architecture Committee where they hosted a program on the development of Hudson Yards, the largest redevelopment in US history. Leslie was on the Board of the Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office (UUUNO). While serving, they travelled to Ghana to report on LGBTQIA+ conditions, and assess the UUUNO’s program for children orphaned by the AIDS crisis. Most recently, Leslie finished a term on the Board of Hudson Pride in Jersey City, the largest LGBTQIA+ center in the state of New Jersey.


Lewis Spears

A firm believer in a community pulling itself up by its bootstraps, Lewis Spears has devoted his life and career to manifesting this philosophy. Lewis was born and raised in the Booker T. Washington Projects in Jersey City. He was educated in the JCPS and then went on to receive his B.A. from Rutgers University. After college, he returned to Jersey City and for nearly a decade, he has taught across grade levels, focusing primarily on developing the special education population and providing access to up-to-date curriculum with little to no assistance. Lewis continued his formal education at New Jersey City University, receiving a Masters of Arts in Urban Education to enhance his teaching pedagogy. It was at this juncture, that he realized that leadership was the solution to organizational change. In his pursuit to become an educational leader and increase his influence, Lewis attained an Educational Masters in School Leadership from Harvard University. Lewis is the Founder of Kismet of Kings, Inc. Currently, Lewis worked as the Hudson County Youth Services Commission Administrator where he was committed to improving programming for youths on a daily basis. Lewis is grounded in his faith and is an active member of his church community. He is happily married to Dr. Myriam Spears and a proud dad to AJ and Beau. 


Rosanne Taufield was born and raised in Jersey City. Rosanne is Principal-Vice President of Real Estate Development for Panepinto Properties, Jersey City, NJ. Panepinto Properties is deeply committed to the Jersey City community and has been realizing significant projects for over four decades. Current projects Rosanne is working on in Jersey City, include: URBY at Journal Square, 499 Summit Avenue, and Harborside Plaza IV.
In addition to her lifelong ties and commitment to Jersey City, Rosanne is devoted to animal conservation and educational organizations, including WCS–Bronx Zoo, Cheetah Conservation Fund New York chapter, and horse therapy. Rosanne’s personal menagerie includes a horse, rescued cats, including Serval Hybrid and Bengal cats, dogs, and a loquacious African Grey Parrot. Her accomplished dogs include UKC Champions and American Rare Breed Association Champion/Grand Champions. (Coursing and CAT/FAST CAT races, focusing on agility and sportsmanship.) Rosanne is devoted to Jersey City and aspires to enhance all aspects of the community, especially the Arts in Jersey City.

Advisory Board


David is the co-founder and managing principal of the New York City design consultancy known as Two Twelve. Mr. Gibson is internationally recognized as an advocate of "public information design" and for his work on behalf of cities, institutions, and corporations over the past thirty-five since Two Twelve's founding. David studied architecture at Cornell University, attended the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, and received an MFA in graphic design from Yale University. He is also an award-winning organic garden designer. He gives workshops and lectures on way finding design at educational institutions and industry associations across the United States and around the world. He is a past President and Board Member of the Society for Experiential Graphic Design (SEGD) and is author of the award-winning volume The Wayfinding Handbook: Information Design for Public Places, published by Princeton Architectural Press. He was named Fellow of SEGD in 2009.



Lawrence Bluestone is Counsel in Genova Burns' Jersey City, NJ office and a member of the Appellate, Complex Commercial Litigation, Intellectual Property, Employment Law & Litigation, and Procurement Law, Government Contracts & Bid Protest Litigation Practice Groups. Mr. Bluestone focuses his practice on complex commercial litigation and appellate law matters on behalf of public and private sector clients, primarily focusing on management of multi-million dollar companies and business disputes. Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, J.D., 2008. Tufts University, B.A., 2005.


Mike Lord was a member of the Art House Board of Trustees from 2017 to 2019, and served as Secretary of the Board for his final year as a Trustee.  He became involved in Art House in 2012, through the INKubator program, reading and performing in readings of works in progress for writers in the program.  Presently, Mike works as a grants administrator at New York University, and is happy to lend his skills and talents in that area to Art House in furtherance of the organization's mission.  He performed in an improv Murdery Mystery club while an undergrad at Boston College, plays bass and guitar, and also hosts a podcast about the music of the band Genesis and the associated solo careers, called Tabletop Genesis.  


Jim Peskin is a director, arts administrator and educator. Most recently he has been serving on an interim basis as the Associate Managing Director at Luna Stage. In a total departure from his work in the Theater, he works as a Docent for the Save Ellis Island Foundation where he is the head guide and keeper of the historical narrative. He was the Executive Director of the Montclair Arts Council and was Interim Director of the Greater Vancouver Professional Theatre Alliance. He has taught at Drew University, Northview High School and was an artist in residence for the NJ State Council on the Arts, PaperMill Playhouse and NJPAC among other. As a theatre professional he was a resident director for What Exit? and Playwrights Theatre of NJ and has directed in regional and small professional theatres.


CHRISTINE GOODMAN | Founder & Executive Director Emeritus

Christine Goodman

Christine was named by Jersey City Magazine as the #1 Most Influential Figure in the city's arts and culture scene. She received the Key to the City in 2007 on behalf of Art House Productions, in recognition of Art House's outstanding leadership in the arts. In 2009, The Star-Ledger highlighted Christine in their "I Am NJ" feature spread as "a woman who is turning the spotlight on [Jersey City's] arts community." In 2010, Christine was honored by Bank of America as a Local Hero through its Neighborhood Excellence Initiative, in recognition of her outstanding community leadership and service.

Goodman is a prominent voice in the city's movement to build a professional, permanent arts community and speaks regularly on the subject. She has been profiled and interviewed in media outlets such as WNYC's The Brian Lehrer Show, Channel 12, and AM New York. She has served as an Arts Commissioner for the City of Jersey City, and on the Hudson County advisory board for the development of a county-wide Arts Master Plan.

Prior to her career in arts management, Goodman has toured the country as an actress, performed her poetry across NY/NJ, and taught acting classes for children and adults. Goodman trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, and is an honors graduate of New York University's Tisch School of the Arts.



If you are interested in joining the Art House Productions Board of Trustees, please contact Meredith Burns at