Saratoga Arts' mission is to enrich the region by
cultivating a vibrant arts community and by
ensuring that the arts are accessible to all.


Joel Reed
Executive Director

Alisa Forman
Education Coordinator

Mary Henninger
Gallery Receptionist

Diane Swanson
Community Arts Grant Coordinator

Rebecca Zeh
Exhibitions and Membership Coordinator


Joel earned a BA in Literature from UC Santa Cruz and his MA and PhD in English from UC Irvine, and in a previous life he taught at Texas Tech and Syracuse Universities, received a fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies and was an Ahmanson-Getty Fellow of the UCLA Center for Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century Culture, and published 17 articles, book chapters, and reviews on topics in early modern British culture and contemporary critical theory.  He left academia in 2002 to focus on community non-profit work and relocate to the Saratoga area; soon after he settled here he drove past the Arts Center and said to himself “that’s where I want to work.”  In 2003 was hired as Saratoga Arts’ Associate Director, and in January 2007 he was appointed its  Executive Director following the retirement of its founding Director, Dee Sarno.

Joel has served on grant selection panels for the New York State Council on the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the Arts and Business Council of New York; he has been on the Board of Directors of the Saratoga Springs Downtown Business Association and the New York Multi-Arts Center Consortium, and on various planning committees for SaratogaArtsFest and the MOHU Festival. Joel is currently on the steering committee of Arts NYS, a coalition of the Executive Directors of New York’s community arts centers and councils that provides the arts community opportunities to discuss arts funding in the New York State Budget with elected officials; he also serves on the Saratoga Springs Arts Commission.

The multi-arts spectrum served by Saratoga Arts suits Joel’s eclectic tastes, but underground experimental music is his passion, and he’s often tracking that down in basements, bike shops, galleries and theaters across the Capital Region. Occasionally he gets outside too, and has made a number of treks in the Himalayan mountains and villages of Kashmir and the western Tibetan plateau.


Alisa comes to Saratoga Arts with nearly 10 years of professional experience in all aspects of arts administration from program development to database management and finances. As the Assistant Director at the New York State Summer School of the Arts, Alisa coordinated a program that served over 200 faculty, staff and visiting artists all over New York State. 
 From her most recent work as the Database Coordinator at the Interational Center for Photography she will bring experience in metrics analysis – to better serve student needs and improve enrollment – and substantial experience in marketing and database management. Prior to her work with the International Center for Photography and the New York State Summer School of the Arts, she held staff and internship positions with The Palace Theater, Tanglewood Music Center, The Albany Symphony Orchestra, the Brooklyn Arts Council, and the National Museum of Dance. 
 Alisa has a BA in Music from Barnard College and an MA in Arts Administration from Florida State University. 


Prior to retiring to Saratoga Springs, Mary attended Art Students’ League of New York (1985-1993), exhibited drawings and paintings in solo and group shows in NYC and worked as a Gallery Assistant in a small, privately-owned art gallery in SoHo, a drafter, a CADD Coordinator in the very, early days of computer graphics, and a Nanny.  She believes that all Art is a process of self-discovery and communication and as such is vitally important to a community’s well-being, and therefore she joined Saratoga Arts and began volunteering at The Arts Center in 2009. She joined the staff in 2013, when thanks to her commitment the Arts Center Gallery was able to remain open on both Saturdays and Sundays in the summer. Her work has since grown to 4 or 5 days a week, when she not only keeps an eye on the gallery and engages visitors in discussions about the local arts scene, but also coordinates Saratoga Arts’ First Night and year-round volunteers.

Community Arts Grant Coordinator: Diane Swanson (

Diane comes to Saratoga Arts with many years of experience in arts administration, having served in a variety of roles over the years, including Gallery Director at the Lower Adirondack Regional Arts Council from 2005-2010, Executive Director of American Women Artists from 2013-2016 (a national arts organization dedicated to serving women artists working in the visual fine arts), and the last three years as Patron Services and Marketing Manager with the Glens Falls Symphony. 
 Diane has dedicated her time and passion to volunteering for many other regional arts and cultural organizations and particularly enjoyed participating as a member of the Grant Advisory Board for Lower Adirondack Regional Arts Council for several years. She found this to be a valuable and rewarding experience that gave her much insight into the important role NYSCA’s Decentralization sites have in supporting the artistic goals of individual artists and community organizations. She currently serves on the Board of Trustees of Crandall Library in Glens Falls. 
 Diane has a BFA in Illustration and English (as dual degrees) from Syracuse University.

Exhibitions Coordinator: Rebecca Zeh (

Rebecca is a fine artist who grew up in the Saratoga Springs area. In 2012 she received her BFA with a concentration in drawing from Pratt Institute. She has had a passion for the arts since a very young age and has exhibited her work in several businesses and art galleries in the Capital Region as well as some during her time at school in New York City. Prior to joining the Saratoga Arts team, she was a custom framing specialist at a local craft store for several years. She gained knowledge in coordinating art shows from working as gallery manager at Spring Street Gallery, gallery assistant at Mimosa Gallery as well as volunteering at Saratoga Arts. As an artist with roots in the Capital Region she is passionate about providing opportunities for regional and emerging artists. In her spare time she attends modern dance classes that she has been taking since she was a little girl.  She also loves to travel with her husband, and she visits art museums and galleries as much as she can! Her home, which is also her studio, is located in Ballston Lake, NY.