News Briefs: September 2021

ArtsWestchester’s Director of Folk & Traditional Arts Awarded Library of Congress Fellowship

Aaron Paige, Director of Folk & Traditional Arts at ArtsWestchester, was awarded an Archie Green Fellowship from the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. Paige, who will be joined by Mid-Hudson folklorist Elinor Levy, Ph.D., will collect oral histories from Community Health Workers at SunRiver Health, one of the largest Federally Qualified Health Centers in the country. According to the Library of Congress, the fellowship is “intended to support new research documenting Occupational Folklife in contemporary America and to generate significant born-digital archival collections…which will be preserved in the American Folklife Center archive and also made available online to researchers and the public.”

Mary Jo Ziesel

Jacob Burns Film Center Appoints New Executive Director, Mary Jo Ziesel

Jacob Burns Film Center (JBFC) recently named Mary Jo Ziesel as its new Executive Director. Ziesel comes to the Center with more than two decades in a leadership role at American Ballet Theatre where, according the JBFC’s announcement, she developed a “$7 million center of innovation that serves more than 20,000 students.”  Ziesel’s early priorities will include the launch of special programs and events for JBFC’s 20th anniversary. She will then “oversee the refurbishment of the JBFC’s three original theaters, an initiative made possible thanks to generous support from many donors and a grant from New York State.” JBFC Board Chair Lynn Sobel adds: “We are extremely fortunate to have someone of Mary Jo’s caliber at the helm as we launch our third decade…Her proven success in building and executing innovative programming at the international, national and regional level is exactly what is needed at this moment in time as we recover from the impact of the pandemic.”

Grant Opportunity for Artists and Arts Groups

The Arts Alive Recovery NY Regrant is a new, one-time opportunity to assist artists and arts groups in re-engaging their audiences through live performances and in-person arts programming.  Funding is available for organizations and artists that are planning live public events, including performances, exhibitions, festivals and showings. Performance art is a priority, but other events with a public component are eligible for consideration. New first-time applicants are encouraged to apply. Submission deadline is September 28 at 11:59pm.  For more info, email

A version of this article first appeared in the September issue of ArtsNews, ArtsWestchester’s monthly publication. ArtsNews is distributed throughout Westchester County. A digital copy is also available at

About ArtsWestchester

For more than 50 years, ArtsWestchester has been the community’s connection to the arts. Founded in 1965, it is the largest private not-for-profit arts council in New York State. Its mission is to create an equitable, inclusive, vibrant and sustainable Westchester County in which the arts are integral to and integrated into every facet of life. ArtsWestchester provides programs and services that enrich the lives of everyone in Westchester County. ArtsWestchester helps fund concerts, exhibitions and plays through grants; brings artists into schools and community centers; advocates for the arts; and builds audiences through diverse marketing initiatives. In 1998, ArtsWestchester purchased the nine-story neo-classical bank building at 31 Mamaroneck Avenue which has since been transformed into a multi-use resource for artists, cultural organizations and the community. A two-story gallery is located on the first floor of ArtsWestchester’s historic building on Mamaroneck Avenue.