Leadership

Wendy Rowden
President, Building for the Arts NY, Inc.

Wendy Rowden (she/her) is the President of non-profit Building for the Arts NY. Wendy comes to BFA with more than 30 years of experience in the real estate industry. Her passion is creative placemaking – using arts to make neighborhoods more vibrant and inclusive. 

Prior to joining BFA, she led Jonathan Rose Companies’ Investments where she was responsible for all aspects of the firm’s investment management business. Prior to Jonathan Rose Companies, Wendy served as Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of The Rockefeller Group, the U.S. Subsidiary of Mitsubishi Estate Co. 

Wendy is an active member of the Urban Land Institute (former Trustee, Chair of 2017 Global Awards Jury, and past Chair of the Women’s Leadership Initiative). She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation, where she chairs the Finance Committee. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Actors Fund Housing Development Corporation and Gemini Arts Initiative, the developer of the Powerhouse Arts Center in Gowanus, Brooklyn. 

Wendy is a past president of WX (Women Executives in Real Estate) and was the 2016 WX Woman of the Year. She is a former member of the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of Cushman & Wakefield and has taught real estate development at Columbia Business School. 

Wendy is the recipient of numerous awards, including Crain’s 2021 Notables in Non-Profits and Keen Company’s 2019 Vision Award. Wendy holds degrees from Brown University, University of Michigan, and New York University. 

Email:  wrowden@bfany.org 

Tel:  212 695 3036 

Ken Shillingford
Director of Finance

Ken Shillingford has spent his entire career in service, spanning the public and nonprofit sectors. He was one of the first recruiters for Teach For America; implemented one of the earliest foster care programs for HIV+ children and their caregivers at Miracle Makers; operationalized education programs for home care workers at New York’s largest healthcare union; and most recently was Finance Vice President/Director at groundbreaking organizations Expeditionary Learning and Echoing Green.

Ken’s public service began in the Office of Management & B​udget analyzing foster care service and emergency medical response, and included fiscal and operational leadership in economic development and city planning during years of ambitious goals and severe belt-tightening. Ken received his BA in Urban Studies from the University of Pennsylvania and his MPA at Columbia University.

Ken was born and raised in Brooklyn, where he currently lives with his wife and two children. A photographer for many years, Ken has held exhibitions across Brooklyn and rotates new and exploratory work on his website ShillingfordPhotography.com and his book “i am” – his book of early works.

Lisala Beatty
Director, Music and the Brain

Lisala Beatty became the Director of Music and the Brain in 2017 after serving as the Program Manager for 14 years.  She has supported the more than 300 schools and music educators who have implemented Music and the Brain with thousands of classroom visits, lesson demonstrations and teacher training in addition to curriculum development.  

A professional vocalist and songwriter for more than 25 years, Lisala’s voice, arrangements and original compositions are featured on numerous Music and the Brain curriculum recordings.  She has performed across the U.S., Europe, Russia, Canada and Japan, on commercial jingles and more than thirty-five recordings.  

As a product of public elementary education devoid of music instruction, Music and the Brain’s mission to provide high quality curriculum and piano instruction to all students is crucial to Lisala.  Prior to working with Music and the Brain, Lisala worked in advertising sales as a Senior Account Manager for Vivendi Universal Net USA, the Walt Disney Internet Group and Ziff-Davis.  Lisala holds a B.S. in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School where she majored in Marketing.

Email:  Lisala@musicandthebrain.org

Tel:  212 631 7825

David J. Roberts
Interim Director of Theatre Operations, Theatre Row

David J. Roberts currently serves as Theatre Row’s Interim Director of Theatre Operations. With over 20 years’ experience in the performing arts, David J. Roberts is a consultant with a background as a producer, manager, and executive leader, with a track record of leading organizations through moments of transformation with roles at institutions including Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation, Classical Theatre of Harlem, and Pearl Theatre Company. He most recently led 651 ARTS, the Brooklyn-based presenter focused on music, dance, theatre, spoken word, and multi-disciplinary performance of the African diaspora.

In addition to being on faculty at The New School’s College of Performing Arts, Roberts is a lecturer in theater management on faculty at David Geffen School of Drama at Yale (DGSD), where he teaches a course on Identity-Specific Theaters and co-teaches the Management seminar. He serves on the editorial advisory board of DGSD’s Theater Management Knowledge Base and is a co-founder of the Artists’ Anti-Racism Coalition, a grassroots organizing effort to help the Off-Broadway community dismantle systems of exclusion and oppression. He is a 2021 Rockwood Leadership Fellow.

Brennan Jones
General Manager,
Theatre Row

 

Brennan Jones (they/them) has had the privilege of working with Theatre Row since June 2019. Previously, they worked as the Associate Producer at Leve Productions in NYC & as the artistic producer of Redtwist Theatre in Chicago. They also bring an additional 10 years of experience as a freelance Producer, Production Manager, and Stage Manager in NYC, Chicago, DC, and Miami. A proud member of the transgender community, Brennan strives to make space for & uplift trans voices in theatre administration.

 

See our full staff list here.

Board of Directors

 

Jeffrey A. Horwitz, Chair (Proskauer Rose)

Carmen Bowser, Vice Chair (Eastpointe Consultants, LLC)

Joyce Storm, Treasurer (Retail Real Estate Advisor)

Zachary E. Smith, Secretary (Samco Properties)

Bruce Geismar  (Retired Investment Banker)

Andy Hamingson  (AD Hamingson Productions, Inc.)

Miriam Harris  (Trinity Place Holdings)

David Bar Katz  (Writer, Founder/Artistic Director of American Playwriting Foundation)

Lydia Kontos  (Connecting Dots)

Wendy Rowden  (Building for the Arts)

Sarah P. Shen  (Gilead Sciences)