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AIP Board of Directors

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JOHANNA MATHIESON-ELLMER, M.S. Ed., SAS, SDA

Johanna has been named Long Beach Herald's Person of the Year for 2022.  She has been recognized for her professional and community involvement by a number of organizations and publications including: The Long Beach Herald Woman of the Year and “Celebrating Local Heroes” supplement; Community Endeavor Awards from the Long Beach Chamber of Commerce; Citizen of the Year by the Kiwanis Club; Long Island Woman of Distinction; Long Beach High School Wall of Fame inductee and recipient of the 2013 Long Beach Latino Civic Association ART and Culture award.

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SUSAN LANG JAMES

SUSAN LANG JAMES is the owner of the Shaklee Wellness Center for  over 40 years creating healthier lives through products in harmony with nature.

She is also a producer/director/actress/singer (Ensemble Arts : Entertainment thru  Enlightenment) having created shows for the American Theatre Wing and the USO as well as performing in regional theatre, off and on-Broadway. She is the Founding Director of AIP and currently resides in Williamsburg, Virginia.

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EVE HAMMER

 

Eve's involvement in community projects, such as the Magnolia Playground rebuild & mural in 2013 and her work with the Long Beach Arts Council for five years, highlights her commitment to using art as a tool for healing, expression, and community engagement.

 

In 2014, the cookbook titled “Harold Dieterle's Kitchen Notebook” which included 108 of Eve’s original illustrations was published. Eve was recognized in 2020 as one of Heckscher Museums Emerging Artists of 2020, and had many solo shows throughout the Long Beach area, including the grand opening of Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Real Estate in 2021 and group exhibits at Artwhirl gallery and Bright Eye Beer Co. that same year. In 2022, Eve was included in Patchogue Arts Council’s MOCA L.I.ghts exhibit with two pieces projected on the MOCA gallery building and was accepted to work with collaborators BIG INK at the Heckscher Museum creating original wood block prints.

 

In 2023, Eve was awarded an Individual Artist grant from New York State Council on the Arts through Huntington Arts Council and she exhibited that project of almost twenty original abstract pieces on wood, at the Long Beach Historical Society in September. In October three of her paintings were projected for Patchogue’s MOCA L.I.ghts once again. This year, Eve was once again awarded a grant, this time to create a program for after school learning. This program titled CANVAS (Creative Activities for Nurturing Visual Arts Students) took place in May at the Long Beach Public Library.

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ANISSA MOORE

ANISSA MOORE, a native of Flatbush, Brooklyn, is an educator, social activist, playwright, and poet. She is  currently Nassau County's Deputy County Executive for Health and Human Services. Anissa was previously a full-time member of the Communications Faculty and holds the rank of Full Professor at Nassau Community College, State University of New York. She has successfully integrated the arts into her curriculum to promote social justice. Anissa Moore became the first African American woman elected to the Long Beach City Council in 2015.

SAMMI  METZGER


SAMMI  METZGER is the Director of Arts In The Plaza, Long Beach’s weekly arts festival. Featuring handcrafted art and live music, the spirit of Long Beach is celebrated every Saturday at this inspired community event. Sammi is zealous in her support of the arts, and actively participates in cultivating opportunities for growth and happiness through music and the arts. 

HONORARY AIP MEMBERS

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Tedd Firth,

Jazz Pianist and Musical Director

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Denise Ford,

Nassau County Legislator

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Rob Lester,

Cabaret Critic.

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Harvey Weisenberg,

former NY State Assemblyman

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Joseph Smith,

Executive Director of Long Beach Reach

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George Trepp,

Former Director of Long Beach Library  

ADVISORY COUNCIL

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KIMBERLY ANGELA
is the Co-CEO of Majestic Healing, LLC, a healing arts production company in Long Beach, NY. Kimberly graduated with certifications in elementary/special education, a master’s degree in literacy and a post graduate certification in administration.  Throughout her early teaching career she received a diagnosis of fibromyalgia.  After years of coping with debilitating pain, she discovered yoga and recognized its gifts of health and balance. Yoga & Reiki education became her quest. The training had exceeded her expectations, showing her how to take the journey inward and grow spiritually. This led her to pursue her Reiki Master Teacher certification. She provides professional development for teachers and support staff, teaches elementary education students integrating social emotional learning, mindfulness, yoga, and breathing exercises into the curriculum.. Majestic Healing has recently partnered up with Drop Desk, LLC to create the Healing Arts Studios. A collaborative community environment of innovative leaders in the fields of art and wellness education.

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JOY COOPER
has successfully raised funds and provided consulting for nonprofits in the arts, cultural, educational and social service sectors for many years.  Currently Director of Development for the New York School of Interior Design (NYSID), she is responsible for raising funds from corporations, foundations, government agencies, individuals and through fundraising events. In addition to NYSID, she has raised funds for Theatre Development Fund, Theatre Communications Group, Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College, the International Theatre  & Literacy Project, The Long Beach Jazz Festival, and the United Jewish Appeal, among others.  Additionally, she served on the Board of the New York Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) as Vice President of Professional Advancement and co-chaired AFP's career mentoring program at Fundraising Day in New York. Lastly, Joy is certified as a career and personal coach by the Coach Training Alliance.with an educational background in Art History, a life-long passion for the arts and is married to a musician and photographer. 

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PAULA CURCI
is the 2022-2024 Nassau County, NY, Poet Laureate. Paula is the Poet in Residence and producer of Calliope’s Corner: The Place Where Poets and Songwriters Meet and What’s The Buzz® at WRHU 88.7fm Radio Hofstra University. Currently Paula is a Journal to the Self™ Journal Writing Instructor and a Poet Correspondent for The Scene, a monthly periodical that highlights open mics and poets on Long Island.  As the co-founding member of the ACOUSTIC POETS NETWORK™ Paula has produced three CD’s:  Emissary, Bittersweet and Done That: Poetry and Posics™ - The Audio Version. The ACOUSTIC POETS NETWORK™ Visitation Project also underwrites the Poetry: It’s a Shore Thing! open mic in Long Beach, NY, along with the micro memoir project’s Poetry: “It’s a ‘Shore’ Thing! In an Unsure World Anthology”. Paula also co- hosts the Hicksville Library’s open mic and coordinates other poetry events in Nassau County. Paula has also published three chapbooks entitled One Woman’s Cathartic Release in Poetry, The Gift of Thanksgiving and Done That: Poetry and Posics™.  She is known for her poetry performance aesthetic called POSICS™, a brand that Paula uses to identify her style of spoken word that includes recitations and singing.  Paula  volunteers for CAPS Safe LI,  the Nassau County Human Rights Commission’s Youth Conference Committee and for the Long Beach Poetry Festival committee. She is a judge for both the Scholastic Art Awards as well and the Nassau County Poet Laureate Society’s poetry contest. Paula has been honored several times as an educator, artist and broadcaster and has won two New York State Council on the Arts grants. One for the successful THE WORD-A Festival of the Spoken and Written Word: Celebrating All Voices and the other for her upcoming book of portrait, I am poetry.  Paula’s works have been published in several print and audio anthologies and her work can be found on Amazon and on other digital downloads sites.

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MINDI DOVBERG
was born with art ingrained in her nature. However, following a car crash several years ago, she was diagnosed with Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD), a condition that resulted in severe nerve damage and required her to receive a spinal cord stimulator implant. Despite her diagnosis, Mindi refused to give up and began to explore unconventional healing methods. She sought out healers and professionals who specialized in alternative therapies, and through yoga and other physical practices, began to heal her body and mind. After years of dedicated practice, she became a Reiki Master Teacher and now shares her knowledge and healing techniques with others. Mindi Dovberg is the Co-CEO of Majestic Healing, LLC, a powerhouse of majestic proportions for healing events, unique workshops and community thriving productions that promote well-being and growth.  One of their most notable events is The Art of Wellness, which brings together the Long Beach community every spring. Majestic Healing has recently partnered with Drop Desk, LLC.,  to create the Healing Arts Studios, with the aim of bridging like minded professionals in a co-working space to bring a one stop shop of healing, magic and education to Long Island. Their ultimate goal is to transform vacant commercial buildings into healing spaces, bringing the gift of healing to communities all over the world.

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STEPHANIE ERDEL-LAWS

a fine artist, creative director, and musician was born and raised in Island Park, NY. She graduated with a BFA from the University of Michigan with a double major in Scientific Illustration and Painting. She went on to attend the prestigious New York Academy of Art in NYC studying figurative painting. For the first 6 years of her career, Stephanie was an inker, animator, and storyboard artist for television animation working for MTV, Cartoon Network and Tape House Toons on popular shows such as Camp Lazlo, Lizzy McGuire and Saturday Night Live. At the same time she recorded 3 full length albums of her original music (rock/pop). Two of her albums “Running From Fear,” inspired by her experience of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, and “Sacrifice” are currently available on iTunes, Spotify, and Amazon. 

In 2006, she opened her own web design agency, Goddess Design in Los Angeles, CA which served small and medium sized businesses. In 2015, Stephanie ventured into corporate America and has since held the position of Creative Director at various software companies, such as Vitech, Vidyo, and CareAR, responsible for brand identity, brand strategy, digital marketing, graphic design, and web design/development.

Stephanie is also an accomplished healer. She is a certified hatha yoga instructor since 2008, a certified breathwork practitioner since 2013 and has studied and taught Kundalini yoga and chanting. Stephanie is also attuned as a Reiki level 2. 

Stephanie is best known in Long Beach for her rock band Category3. She is the lead singer and bassist for this power-rock trio. Category3 has been rocking the Long Beach area since 2017. 

Stephanie is married and has two beautiful children that she is so very proud of.

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LISA ENGELLIS 

LISA ENGELLIS has been producing, directing, choreographing and performing theatre for over 25 years.  Graduating Magna Cum Laude from Long Island University, Lisa holds a BS in Education and a BA in Theatre.  She is also a member of the Screen Actors Guild having appeared in multiple movies, television series, and commercials throughout her career.

KIM GORDON
Kim Gordon is a native of Long Beach, New York. She earned her Bachelors of Fine Arts degree from the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. Kim is the Founder of Artwhirl Arts, a curatorial platform for New Contemporary Art, former owner of Artwhirl Gallery, Founder of home company Gordon Craftworks, and working fine artist for 20+ years, featured worldwide in art exhibitions and publications. 
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STEPHANIE KLEMONS
is a Drama Desk Award winning Broadway Performer and Director/Choreographer. She has served as Associate & Supervising Choreographer and was an Original Cast Member of Broadway’s smash hit HAMILTON, also a member of the Tony Award Winning Choreography Team with Andy Blankenbuehler and sings on the Grammy Award winning cast album for the show. She maintains US & International companies of the show, from casting to running the dance departments across the globe. Stephanie was part of the original companies of Hamilton, In The Heights, If/Then and Bring It On on Broadway, Pre-Broadway, and tours for all four shows. At 23, Stephanie made her New York Theater Choreography Debut Off-Broadway with Automatic Superstar. That same year she made her Equity debut with the First Nat’l tour of Bombay Dreams, directed by Baayork Lee. In addition to working with the likes of Tommy Kail, Lin Manuel-Miranda and Michael Greif, Stephanie is Andy Blankenbuehler’s “right hand gal”. Besides Hamilton and In The Heights, they have created such other shows as Fly, Only Gold and the Co-Choreographed Frank Wildhorn’s Zelda (originally Waiting for the Moon). Additionally, she’s choreographed for Netflix Original Series “Hunted”, Victoria’s Secret, VOGUE, George Michael, Sesame Street & NBA’s BROOKLYNETTES. Regionally, she has choreographed Rock of Ages at Chicago’s Drury Lane Theater and Pittsburgh CLO, Little Shop of Horrors (Dir/Chor)at Arkansas Rep, Gypsy at World Famous Marriott Theater in Chicago, as well as, In The Heights at The Actor’s Playhouse, for which she was nominated for a Carbonell Award. Starring as Vanessa in PCLO’s In The Heights the previous year was a highlight of her career. She directed and choreographed In The Heights at Washington DC’s esteemed Kennedy Center, and also held the same Director/Choreographer and co-creator role with New York Children’s Theater’s original work, This is Sadie, and upcoming Pinocchio. Post-pandemic she choreographed the first new musical to open Off-Broadway after the shut-down A Commercial Jingle for Regina Comet written by Alex Wyse and Ben Fankhauser, as well as, choreographing the original musical Rock and Roll Man at New World Stages, starring Constantine Maroulis for which she was nominated for an AUDELCO award. In 2017, Stephanie was the choreographer behind the viral Superbowl commercial featuring Odell Beckham Jr and Eli Manning “Time of Our Lives”, for which she was nominated for a World Choreography award. As a teaching artist Stephanie has taught around the world at acclaimed studios like her hometown Broadway Dance Center & STEPS. Of all her work she’s most proud of her not-for-profit, Katie’s Art Project, connecting kids facing life-threatening illness with emerging and establishing artists to write original songs, make art and create a legacy through art. Stephanie is a Long Beach Resident for part of the year with her wife and two young children. Follow her for updates on Instagram @DANCEism.
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MADDY LEVI

MADDY LEVI is a licensed, freelance tour guide who specializes in walking tours of historic New York City districts and neighborhoods. She is the former Director of Cultural & Fine Arts for the Friedberg JCC, and prior to the birth of her son, spent many years in the entertainment industry as the Manager of Radio City Music Hall's venue tours.  Maddy currently resides in Long Beach and is passionate about the arts.

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LAURA O'SHAUNESSY-SWAN

is a Long Beach, NY barrier-island native and a mother of two grown sons.  She holds a Masters in Art from Teacher’s College, Columbia  University and is an esteemed Art teacher at Long Beach School Distinct for three decades.  Her leadership as an environment “artivist”  has triggered important changes for her community. She and her community hold the Guinness World record for the world’s longest continuous line of surf boards (2016).  She founded www.StewardsoftheSea.com and they are currently creating their second marine-debris sculpture for The Fabien Cousteau Ocean Learning Center’s LBNY International Coastal Clean Up.

Former Board and Advisory Council Members

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JUDITH ALBERTS 

Judith Alberts is a former printmaker who discovered photography as her best medium for manipulating light and imagery for expression. Trained in classic methods of black-and-white image capture and darkroom  techniques, she spent much of her career in the educational and marketing aspects of professional photography. Now living in Le Roy, New York Judith focuses her digital camera on the butterflies that she raises, and also serves as Board Chair of the Williamsburg Botanical Garden.

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CHRIS GANIM 

Chris is the owner of Ready Set Studios, a website and marketing development company offering multiple services.  He is also an independent solo artist from Long Island, New York. His music has been featured in movies, on radio stations and TV series.

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ROSA MARIA GOELLER 

is a painter that was classically trained in Europe, where she concentrated on religious icons. When Mrs. Goeller moved to Long Beach, she became a Sunday painter and, due to motherhood, became an active member of the Long Beach Art League and co-founded The Artist Mothers Group. She has taught cultural art workshops at the Long Beach Schools, the Long Beach Public Library, and other similar venues

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HOWIE HABER

is a singer, songwriter, and guitarist. A founding member of the band Breakaway, he is a member of the Blues Hall of Fame.

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DEBORAH MISIAG

is a retired educator now living in Williamsburg, Virginia. She served as the President of the Maryland Multicultural Coalition for eighteen years and is currently on the Board of the William & Mary Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and chairs a genealogy group in Williamsburg. She continues to teach graduate school courses at McDaniel College in Maryland. Her love of performing arts and humanities began when she was in high school participating in the chorus and as a dancer.

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