Member Spotlight:


Akash Sharma Daily Operations Specialist New York Hall of Science

Akash Sharma is an experienced STEM educator and museum professional who currently works at the New York Hall of Science (NYSCI). Akash has been working at NYSCI since early 2010 and has been involved with Science Career Ladder, a youth development educational program focused on New York City youth.

Akash has been with NYCMER since 2014, starting as a member of the Conference Committee for two years. He now serves on NYCMER Board of Trustees and as the Website Coordinator. 

Akash is also a photographer and a tech enthusiast. You can connect with him on LinkedIn

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Meet the Funder: New York State Council on the Arts

Where: New York State Council on the Arts
290 Park Avenue South
New York, NY

When:2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Workshop Organizer: NYCMER

*NYSCA’s entryway is under construction. Please use the entrance on 22nd Street.


Are you seeking funding for programs, projects, or professional development? We invite you to meet with representatives from New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) to learn about funding opportunities for nonprofits in the areas of museums, architecture and design, electronic media and film, visual arts, arts education, and professional development. The program will include an info session on NYSCA grants and successfully funded projects, and breakout sessions with NYSCA staff. Participants will be invited to share their “dream projects” to inform NYSCA's work with the museum education community, and receive feedback on how these dreams could become fundable projects. Whether you work in development, wear multiple hats, want to fund professional development, or just want to beef up your grant knowledge, please join us to meet the funder!


Please fill out this brief survey  by Friday, October 20 to help us tailor this and future funder focused programs.



Kavie Barnes


Fabiana Chiu-Rinaldi
Fabiana Chiu-Rinaldi is a Program Officer in the Electronic Media, Film and Museum Programs at the New York State Council on the Arts, where she has worked since 1999. Fabiana has received fellowships from the Smithsonian Institution and the Rockefeller Foundation and is an alumna of the Getty Leadership Institute. She has also held key positions in four museums (Boston Children's Museum, Brooklyn Historical Society, Stepping Stones Museum for Children and Museum of Chinese in America) and has been an adjunct professor at the graduate school at Bank Street College of Education. She has aided in the production of two PBS documentaries and a number of media productions. Born and raised in Lima, Peru, Fabiana has a graduate degree in journalism from Ohio State University and a B.A. in public relations from Eastern Kentucky University. She is passionate about youth mentoring, history and photography.


Karen Helmerson
Karen Helmerson is Program Director for Electronic Media/Film & Visual Art at NYSCA, since 2000. Prior, she was Deputy Director of Educational Video Center, and Deputy Director of Film/Video Arts, both in New York City. Her career spans executive management in Cable Access Television (OH and NY), and Arts in Education as a Video Artist in schools (AIE) for the Washington State and Ohio Arts Councils. She has extensive international travel, representing Community Media in the US, and was recently a guest of the Flemish Government Flanders International Visitors Programme. Her video art portfolio includes national exhibition, and over 45 public service announcements for art organizations, produced at KING-TV/NBC Affiliate. Ms. Helmerson is a Rockwood Leadership Fellow, and alumna of the Cornish College of the Arts (WA). She has served on numerous boards including Alliance for Community Media, Alliance for Media Art and Culture, Media Impact Funders, Ford Foundation Media Policy Group. She is currently a trustee of the National Maritime Historical Society.


Kristin Herron
Kristin Herron is Program Director for Architecture + Design and Museums at the New York State Council on the Arts where she has worked for 20 years. Before joining NYSCA Kristin was a curator with the National Park Service and worked in interpretation at the Old York Historical Society (ME), the Historic Houses of Odessa (DE), Winterthur Museum and for the Michigan Artrain. She has served as adjunct faculty in the Parsons The New School of Design/Cooper Hewitt, National Design Museum’s M.A. Program in the History of Design and Curatorial Studies. Kristin holds an M.A. from the Winterthur Program/University of Delaware, an MFA from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and a B.A. in American Culture and Creative Writing from the University of Michigan. She is an alumna of the Seminar for Historical Administration at Colonial Williamsburg, the Attingham Summer School, and the British Council’s Museum Professionals Study Tour to Northern Ireland.


Christine Leahy
Christine Leahy is a Program Director at the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), in charge of the Arts Education and Facilities Programs. She has also served in NYSCA’s Literature, Visual Arts, Museum, Architecture + Design and Folk Arts programs. Christine formerly worked for the artist Jenny Holzer and in the Education department at the Williams College Museum of Art, and has written for The New York Times and National Public Radio. She is a graduate of Williams College.



Should you require any accessibility services, please contact by Tuesday, October 17.


Stay Connected:

Share your thoughts about this program before, during and after via #nycmermeetthefunder. Follow @NYCMER for updates about this and all other NYCMER programs.




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