The Staff

MEREDITH BURNS

Executive Director

Meredith Burns began her career as an actor working off-broadway and regionally at theaters such as Pregones Theater/PRTT, The New Ohio, The Shakespeare Theater of DC, and Sierra Repertory. She also worked in the independent films The Brooklyn Banker and Display. She is a founding member of Glass Bandits Theater Company, a not-for-profit organization based in Brooklyn, and from 2010 - 2014 served as the company's Managing Director. She is also a comedian and performs on the Magnet Theater's long-running house sketch team, The Executives. Prior to her current position as Executive Director, Meredith built and directed a comprehensive arts and literacy based after-school program at New Voices Middle School in Brooklyn that serves upwards of 200 children daily. She received her BFA in acting from SUNY Purchase.

CRYSTAL DAVIS

Assistant to the Executive Director

Crystal is a painter, poet, writer, and woman-of-all-trades. A journalism graduate from NJCU, who fell in love with writing and painting. She believes that nothing but raw emotion makes for something meaningful and memorable.

She was born and raised in Jersey City - she is the assistant to the executive director of Art House Productions, the Chief Creative at WhealthandCo, and OG contributor for ChicpeaJC. Art House Productions has her the opportunity to get the best of both the art and the writing world. She has had work featured online and in print for NJCU's The Gothic Times and PATHs.

GENELL LAW

Administrator

Genell was raised in Bayonne and Jersey City, NJ. She graduated from Snyder High School in the class of 1973. After high school, Genell attended Berkeley-Claremont Business School in New York, NY where she majored in Business Secretarial Science. Genell left New Jersey for several years and lived in Texas and Virginia. She is now back home and excited to be a part of Art House and the Jersey City performing and visual arts community.

KRISTY DODSON

Artistic Associate

Kristy Dodson is a theatre maker, educator and activist based in New York City. She focuses on new work and recontextualizing classics, especially those bringing light to marginalized voices and narratives often not heard. Her directorial work has been seen at many noted artistic institutions: Lincoln Center Theater, The Public Theater, The McCarter Theater, Labyrinth Theatre Co, Rattlestick, Theatre Row, The Lark Play Development Center, among others. She was the founding Artistic Director of Overturn Theatre, where she commissioned and produced an array of new works that focused on questioning universals through artistic exploration. She has worked administratively in Artistic, Production, Literary, and Development at The Vineyard Theatre, The Lark Play Development Center, Theatre 167, Planet Connections, EyeKnee Coordination, and Making Books Sing to name a few. Kristy is a very active advocate for performers with disabilities or as she likes to say “differently abled” and is an honorary member and curator of the Little People Of America Dwarf Artist Coalition. She holds a B.F.A in Acting from SUNY Purchase Acting Conservatory and an M.F.A in Directing from Brooklyn College. www.kristy-dodson.com

 

BOARD

DAVID GIBSON

President

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.

    ELENA ZAZANIS, AEA, SAG-AFTRA

    Vice President

    Elena Zazanis, AEA, SAG-AFTRA, is an actress and vocalist with extensive film, theater and commercial credits, as well as an outstanding lead actress award from Planet Connections Theater Festivity. As a volunteer, she has served on committees for The American Museum of Natural History, NJMOCA and Blueberry Pond Theatre, and as a docent at Mana Contemporary. Upon moving to Jersey City, she initiated the Art House INKubator, a script development forum for professional writers, actors and directors. Now several years running, the program scaffolds numerous scripts that have evolved into award-winning productions in professional theaters, and the network has connected many actors to commercial and legitimate jobs.

    SAMANTHA GREEN

    Treasurer

    Samantha Green has worked in not-for-profit financial administration since first coming to the NYC area in 1992. She has always been engaged in the arts - having studied music extensively since a young age and later earning a jazz performance degree from Berklee College of Music, and more recently engaging in photography studies at various institutions in NYC and Gulf Photo Plus of Dubai. As an enthusiastic fan of Jersey City for its magnificent history and current vibrancy, she is proud to be a homeowner and resident in one of the great historic neighborhoods of Jersey City.

    BOJANA COKLYAT

    As an artist and Jersey City native, Bojana has been participating in the city's arts events and programming since she was 12 years old. Now, as an adult, she has kept the lessons she had learned over the decades and given back to the community. After losing her vision in 2007 she started an art program at St. Joseph's School for the Blind and is currently pursuing her masters in Art Therapy.

    LEAH JACKSON

    Advocate. Mother. Counselor. Poet. Agitator. She works with diverse and multicultural populations in the Metro area within the areas of event management, marketing, publishing, mental health, human services, public policy and education. An Academic Advisor since 2006 at New Jersey City University, Leah works with the STEM/STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, *Arts*, Mathematics) student population. She is a published author and has been writing plays, stories and poetry since she was nine years old. Leah is a charter member of the Greater North Jersey Chapter of The Society, Incorporated, a non-profit national women's organization dedicated to exposing, supporting and promoting youth in the arts and also on the board of trustees for Bayonne Community Mental Health Center in Bayonne, NJ. Leah holds a Master of Arts degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from NJCU. She is the proud mother of two sons who are highly energetic and incredibly talented.

    MAYUMI LANE

    Born and raised in Tokyo, Mayumi moved to Jersey City in 2000 and loves living in one of the most diverse cites in the US. Mayumi is a writer and translator. She worked as an international liaison in entertainment including Sony Music and Toho. She has been a member of the Art House INKubator since 2013. As someone who was graded 1 out of 5 (with 5 being the highest) in 8th grade English, she strongly believes motivation is key for one's academic achievement. While majoring English at Sophia University in Tokyo, she heard classmates saying, "You can never be a writer unless you're a native speaker." She's been motivated to prove otherwise. Today her goal is to write like David Remnick.

    MICHAEL J. LORD

    Mike is a higher education professional, with over 20 years of experience in the areas of Admissions, Financial Aid, Residence Life, Academic Administration, and Grants Management. Mike has a long standing relationship with the arts, contributing during his undergraduate years at Boston College to leading the nations only improv Murder Mystery troupe, the Committee for Creative Enactments, where he wrote, acted in, and directed many productions. Most recently, Mike has been involved in the Art House INKubator project, volunteering to read roles in scripts written by many of the amazing local writers in the Jersey City area. He also hosts a monthly podcast, Tabletop Genesis, that explores the music of Genesis and the related solo careers of the band members.

    PAUL H. THOMAS

    A transplanted Southerner, Paul Thomas moved to New York in 1988 to study ballet at the Joffrey School and be a triple-threat on Broadway. After experiencing auditions as endless job interviews with risky companies that could close overnight, he found a different passion in corporate communications and public relations.

    Paul now focuses his energies on helping organizations articulate their goals and execute communications that delight customers, boost productivity, transform business processes and drive cultural change. In addition to serving on Art House's board, Paul has been president of Dixon Mills Condominium Association since 2013.

    LINDA QUENTZEL

    Born and raised on Woodlawn Avenue, in the Greenville section of Jersey City, Linda is a Hudson County girl, through and through. Upon graduating from NJCU Linda began a career at the Hudson County Schools of Technology (HCST) that spans over 34 years. As the current Director of Development for HCST, in 2009 Linda established the HCST Foundation. In her role as the Executive Director the HCST Foundation it has become a vital part of the Hudson County Schools of Technology. As a non-profit organization, the Foundation works with local industry and educational leaders, as well as alumni, parents, and teachers, to provide financial support for innovative, quality learning scenarios that provide students with memorable, real-world experiences. Linda maintains the philosophy that she doesn't go to work; she goes to school. Beyond the halls of HCST, Linda is the President of the Condo Association at Creekside Manor. Linda is the President of her company LQ Strategies, LLC started in 2010.

    Linda is civic-minded and a firm believer in the power of community service and the notion of Paying it Forward.

    EDWIN J. RAMIREZ

    Edwin is a licensed real estate salesperson since 2006 and is part of a new breed of associates who focus on integrity and relationship building. He possesses a proven track record and successfully manages properties in New Jersey and Pennsylvania under the Corban Properties moniker.

    With an intense focus on white-glove service and severe attention to detail, Ed engages each client with earnestness and handles every task unto completion. Market proficiency affords him an edge and helps keep buyers, sellers, renters and property owners at ease throughout the entire process.

    In addition to his real estate acumen, Ed possesses years of experience in the world of high-end fashion sales and public relations. Having worked for Calvin Klein, Gucci, Valentino, Reem Acra, Roger Dubuis, and others, Ed has generated millions of dollars in sales and media for world-class taste makers.

    KRIS VAN NEST

    Kris has been involved in the arts since 1998 and was introduced to Art House Productions through Christine Goodman's acting workshops shortly after moving to Jersey City. He became a volunteer working in the areas of technology and set building, and joined as a board member in 2008. He continues to contribute his experience in business strategy, technology, and education to Art House Productions with an emphasis on using technology and education in a strategic, sustainable way to help empower artists to be successful and broaden the impact of their work. Kris is owner of thislearning, a Jersey City-based video production company in the education space focused on showcasing kids at their best.

    KARIN WILLIAMS

    Karin is a writer, producer and digital content developer who loves to create impactful interactive experiences for all kinds of audiences. She served as Producing Director of San Diego's Fritz Theater from from 1992-2001, where she founded the Fritz Blitz of New Plays. In 2006 she partnered with Stuart Hynson Culpepper in the motion media company Culpepper/Williams, co-creating The Captive (Sundance Channel), and the independent feature Jordan (Lifetime).

     

     

    CHRISTINE GOODMAN

    Founder & Executive Director Emeritus

    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.