Community Arts of Elmira, Inc. is an all-volunteer organization offering educational classes, workshops, seminars, events and programs that encourage creativity in all people.
Community Arts provides a venue for individuals who would not otherwise have an opportunity to teach, display, perform, study and develop their talent.
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. On May 30, 2007, Mr. Przygoda donated the building to the organization.
Further, we continue to build partnerships with existing organizations to promote arts programs.
Community Arts does not discriminate because of race, creed, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, age, or other physical or mental disability.
To provide performance and exhibition space to new and established artists; provide educational programs and activities; and create public awareness by encouraging participation in and appreciation for all of the arts.
Lynne Rusinko - President
Lynne Rusinko is a writer dedicated to community service, engaging primarily with arts, literacy and health organizations, as well as an occasional save-the-gulls campaign. She favors grassroots, nonprofit endeavors of groups who strive to open and expand access to all.
Carol Ayers - Vice President
Carol Ayers holds a BS in Art and Education from SUC at Buffalo, as well as an MST from RIT, with a major in textiles and a minor in ceramics. Carol retired from a popular and highly renown thirty-year teaching career at Hendy Avenue Elementary School and now spends even more time participating in her grown children's activities, embarks on frequent family camping trips, assists her aging mother's independent living, volunteers at Community Arts of Elmira, gardens, reads, exercises - and still finds time to share with friends. Carol and her husband, Gene Ayers (a ceramics artist and retired arts educator), live in Pine City, NY.
Diane Tremaine - Treasurer
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 retired from X-GEN Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in 2008 and spends time volunteering, as well as visiting friends and relatives. Diane and her husband, Dave Tremaine (a ceramics and wood artist), live in Beaver Dams. Together they teach downhill skiing and enjoy cross country skiing, kayaking and biking.
Carol Erickson - Secretary
Carol Erickson is retired from the Elmira City School District who loves spending time with her family, especially on the Finger Lakes.
Robert Butcher - Secretary
Robert Butcher is a professional architect and serves as Community Arts Capital Project Manager. Bob holds a passion for the artistry of architectural design and community building.
Joe Caparulo - Board Member
Joe Caparulo is a published poet, a pianist, vocalist and spontaneous drummer. For nearly thirty years he owned and operated his family's Elmira business, Cappy's. Joe is committed to the community, having served on a variety of civic, arts and literacy boards in leadership roles. He most enjoys reading, film and gardening in his leisure time, favoring nonfiction, indies and rose of sharon.
Bart Curtis - Secretary
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 - Curator and Education
Currently teaching at Corning Community College, retired public school educator Ron Dixon 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 shows 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 most recent professional awards include: Best in Show Photography: Gmeiner Regional 2005; and the Award for Photography: Gmeiner Regional 2008.
David Higgins - Curator
David Higgins is a native of Deposit, NY, and lived in Elmira Heights for two years as a child, where he attended St. Casimir's School, receiving a first-rate education despite the fact that there were 45 kids in his fifth grade classroom (and no hot lunches!). Dave holds a B.A. in fine Arts from SUNY-Binghamton (1983) and an M.F.A. from Louisiana State University (1988). He has been teaching art at Corning Community College since 1991 and currently resides in Corning. Dave has many relatives in the Elmira area, going back several generations, and is pleased to be involved with the Community Arts of Elmira.
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 political experience in city council office serves private as well as organizational redevelopment of local areas into connected communities.