Community Arts of Elmira is a not-for-profit arts and cultural organization serving Elmira and beyond as a community center for creative expression through education classes, workshops, exhibitions, installations, events and public art with creative community partnerships.
Organized in the summer of 2005 by Cynthia Hill, Sharon Mitchell, Dorothy Poppleton, Cynthia Raj, Lynne Rusinko, Rita Rhodes-Kapron and Brent Stermer, Community Arts functioned under the fiscal sponsorship of Cornell Cooperative Extension.
On April 6, 2007, Community Arts of Elmira, Inc. was granted 501(c)(3) tax exempt status by the Internal Revenue Service. In late November of 2006, a benefactor named Francis A. Przygoda stepped forward with an offer to purchase the site at 413 Lake Street in Elmira, (the former Eagles Club building), for Community Arts of Elmira.
On May 30, 2007, Mr. Przygoda donated the building to the organization.
Since then, Community Arts of Elmira has continued to build its capacity for creative connections with individuals, groups, schools, colleges, organizations, businesses, manufacturers and municipal entities to promote arts and cultural educational opportunities and community programs.
Community Arts of Elmira does not discriminate because of race, creed, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, age, or other physical or mental disability.
Lynne Rusinko is a writer dedicated to community service, engaging primarily with arts and cultural entities. She has worked in higher education and historic preservation, serving on the boards and steering committees of multiple organizations, municipal projects and community events, with a focus on education and outreach.
Joe Caparulo is a published poet. Retired now, for nearly thirty years he owned and operated his family's Elmira business, Cappy's. Having served on a variety of civic, arts and literacy boards in leadership roles, Joe is committed to community. He enjoys reading, gardening and watching films.
Diane Tremaine holds a BSME from the University of Massachusetts and an MBA from Shippensburg College. She has worked as a Project Engineer, Supervising Accountant, Auditor, Compensation Director, and HR Generalist throughout her career. Diane is retired from X-GEN Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and spends time volunteering, as well as visiting friends and relatives. Diane and her husband, Dave Tremaine (a ceramics and wood artist), enjoy downhill and cross country skiing, kayaking and biking.
Matt Guagliardo is a not for profit administrator and educator with a background of working in higher education, too. Matt serves on the board of directors in leadership roles for multiple community organizations. His creative interests include writing and music.
Bart Curtis is a retired business owner of Curtis Foods and theatrical lighting and sound technician for the Clemens Center and other performing venues, who now serves as Community Arts Lighting and Sound Technical Advisor.
Ron Dixon is a retired public school educator who was responsible for the production of instructional materials and implementation of curriculum for studio courses in photography, printmaking, art history, drawing and painting, and stage design. A painter and photographer, Dixon has held numerous regional and solo exhibitions in a variety of venues, including the Arnot Art Museum, Elmira, NY; 171 Cedar Gallery, Corning, NY; Atrium Gallery, Corning, NY; Brown Library, Williamsport, PA; Community Arts of Elmira, Inc., Elmira, NY; and the Gmeiner Gallery, Wellsboro, PA. His professional awards include Best in Show Photography: Gmeiner Regional; and the Award for Photography: Gmeiner Regional.
Michele L. Johnson is originally from and currently lives in Elmira. She holds an M.P.A. and MS.Ed., and is the Community Affairs Sr. Project Manager in the Office of Racial Equality and Social Unity (ORESU) at Corning Incorporated, Corning, N.Y. Michele serves on the board of directors of multiple community organizations, as well as on the Elmira City School District Board of Education.
Katie lives, works, teaches, directs and performs in Elmira, New York. As a life-long actor, singer and dancer, Katie performed in multiple theatrical roles at an array of venues throughout the years, and is the Director of Roots & Wings Performing Arts Academy.
Dallas has extensive musical and technical experience in the performing arts, from piano to singing to soundboards. Before joining the Board of Community Arts of Elmira, Dallas served as an Elmira College Intern and now enjoys a career in corporate project management at Corning Incorporated.
In late November of 2006, Francis A. Przygoda purchased the site at 413 Lake Street in Elmira for Community Arts. On May 30, 2007, Mr. Przygoda donated the building to the organization. Among their numerous live endeavors, Francis and his wife, Augusta, enjoy the arts and community development.
Brent Stermer is a tremendous advocate not only of the arts but also of historic preservation. His professional work includes museum, realty and retail positions that largely inform his current volunteer work in the arts. In addition, Brent's extensive not for profit leadership heightens organizational redevelopment of local areas into connected communities.