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

Staff

Joel Reed
Executive Director

Tanya Tobias
Associate Director

Amy Coon 
Education Coordinator &
Membership Coordinator

Mary Henninger
Gallery Receptionist

Sharon Wait
Grants Administrator

Rebecca Zeh
Exhibitions Coordinator

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: Joel Reed (jreed@saratoga-arts.org)

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.

ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR: Tanya Tobias (ttobias@saratoga-arts.org)

Arriving with six years of experience in arts education program development and evaluation at The Hyde Collection, and The Albany Institute of History and Art, Tanya accepted the position of Education Coordinator at Saratoga Arts in 2005, was named our Education Director in 2008, and in 2012 became Saratoga Arts’ Associate Director.

Tanya has a BFA in Art History from U Albany, and a Masters degree in Arts Administration and Museum Education from Skidmore College. In 2009, Tanya was awarded an Americans for the Arts Emerging Leader Scholarship to attend the Arts in Sustainable Communities annual convention.  She has been an Americans for the Arts Emerging Leader Award Panelist, as well as an exhibition juror and guest speaker for many local and regional arts organizations.  Since 2011, Tanya has worked with the Saratoga County Economic Opportunity Council’s Latino Advocacy Program.  Tanya currently sits on the steering committee for the Saratoga County EOC’s Latino Advocacy Program’s Estamos Aqui fundraiser, the Board of Directors of the Hudson River Mill Museum and is on the Board of Directors for the Adirondack Folk School. Tanya also served on the Board of Directors of Habitat for Humanity of Northern Saratoga, Warren & Washington Counties.

 
EDUCATION COORDINATOR: Amy Coon (acoon@saratoga-arts.org)

Amy comes to the Saratoga Arts Center with a breadth of artistic and educational experience. She has done everything from working for a documentary video production company to running a traditional printmaking business, and even was awarded a year long residency in ceramics. Amy supports the arts by having directed a film festival for several years and having served as an educational assistant at the nationally renowned Arrowmont School of Art and Craft. Most recently, Amy was an artistic assistant to 3-D artist Beth Cavener, for her New York City Solo show “The Other.” As an artist, she has shown work both locally and in Montana and even had an animation she worked on air during the Super Bowl.  When she isn’t at work, you can find Amy freelancing as a graphic designer, hiking in the Adirondacks, or getting her hands dirty in some clay.

GALLERY RECEPTIONIST: Mary Henninger (mhenninger@saratoga-arts.org)

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.

GRANTS ADMINISTRATOR: Sharon Wait (swait@saratoga-arts.org)

Sharon has a deep affection for the arts. Through her early years she studied the clarinet and voice, more intensely studying voice with Mezzo-soprano, Frances Pallozzi Wittmann. Upon entering college, Sharon received a freshman vocal scholarship and enjoyed performing in advanced-level college Chamber and A cappella choral groups while obtaining her BFA in Studio Art at SUNY Oswego and M.S.Ed. at Sage Graduate School.

Sharon served as an Americorps VISTA Volunteer at Big Brothers Big Sisters 2006-2007, and prior to joining Saratoga Arts in 2011, was the Program Director at the NYS Alliance for Arts Education managing Poetry Out Loud – NYS, NYS Council on the Arts-funded Arts-in-Education Grant Program for Albany, Rensselaer, Schenectady, Fulton, and Montgomery Counties, and with funding from the U.S. Dept. of Education and the Department of VSA and Accessibility at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, coordinated statewide arts education residencies and professional development workshops focusing on the arts and disabilities.

She has sat on numerous state and national arts committees, including NYSCA grant selection panels, the Evidence of Student-Teacher Learning Database Planning Committee at the Empire State Office of Partnership Support & Research, a former department of the Metropolitan Opera Guild in Lincoln Center, and the National Affiliate Council for the Department of VSA and Accessibility at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

In addition to administering Saratoga Arts’ Community Arts Grants Program, Sharon has been teaching in the College Experience Program, a program for students with developmental disabilities, at the College of Saint Rose, since 2009.

Exhibitions Coordinator: Rebecca Zeh (rzeh@saratoga-arts.org)

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.