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Katherine Johnson, PhD
Acting Executive Director
Kate@thenacc.org
716-282-7530 ext 3

It is an honor to be named Acting Executive Director for the NACC and I appreciate this opportunity to introduce myself. As a professor of Sociology at Niagara County Community College in Sanborn, NY, my main area of study is Community and Urban Sociology.
I have been involved in the NACC since April 6, 2002 when my husband, Victor Marwin and I toured the building with Kathie as our guide, looking for a studio space for Victor. By the end of the tour, I recognized the enormity of the task ahead for the NACC along with the opportunity to study, as a sociologist, the grassroots effort to save an immense building that could grow into a movement to revitalize the neighborhood. On that day, Victor left with a studio space rental agreement, and I began a new community study.

Since then, I became a member of the Board of Directors, was President for a number of years, and continued on the board as a director. I have served as the chair of the Development Committee and Opera Day for the past several years.

My role as researcher and active participant at the Niagara Arts and Cultural Center has allowed me to follow the growth of the organization from its grass roots origins through its internal structural development, through its increasing significance in the larger social world. The Board of Directors brought it up that my foundation would serve the NACC well in the interim between Kathie’s passing and searching for a new Executive Director. I accepted.
Positive changes are coming to the City of Niagara Falls. The NACC is among the city’s greatest as-sets upon which to build the future. Please join us for one of our ongoing activities.

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Kelly Buckley
Marketing & Development Director
Kelly@thenacc.org
716-282-7530 ext 6
716-359-5098 -Cell

Artist, Scholar, and American Culture aficionado

Kelly has been with the NACC since 2011. She has served as a volunteer, graphic design instructor, Kid’s Camp Director, Program Director, Marketing Director, and currently serves as the NACC Development Director and grant writer.

She is an experienced administrator with a strong work history in the arts and cultural sector. A business professional skilled in Publishing, Event Planning, Development, Journalism, Social Media, and Adult Education.

Kelly is an office ninja. She loves to organize! She has helped found various organizations over the years: “Society of Fine Arts” ( SOFA). “The American Cultural Studies Association”. “The Taste  of Diversity Festival”, “The Niagara Plien Air Painters”, “The Niagara Radio Players”, and most recently “Insights: Multi-Sensory Book Club”. Kelly hosts the NACC “Artfully Speaking” Radio Talk Show on WJJL 1440 AM.

When not in her office, Kelly is a bookworm, farmer, and beekeeper with 2 dogs, a parrot, and 13 chickens. She loves to travel with her husband Jason looking for adventures both grand and mediocre.

Want to partner with the NACC? Have a Good Idea? Call Kelly

 

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Serge Arutunjan
Financial Manager
serge@thenacc.org
716-282-7530 ext 8

Serge Arutunjan is the NACC Finance Manager. He comes to the NACC with over 38 years of diverse business and accounting experience. Serge lives in Niagara Falls with his wife of 37 years Lori. They have one daughter, Jennifer, who also lives in Niagara Falls. Serge is a graduate of Niagara Falls High School and Niagara University.

Serge enjoys all aspects of fitness, specifically running and hiking, and enters numerous local 5k and 10k races to support various charities and organizations. He also is an avid golfer and is very interested in national politics. He enjoys listening to “southern fried rock & roll”, and watching hockey and football.  He has just recently begun writing a book about his innermost thoughts, philosophies, experiences and ideas, and is hopeful to have it finished soon. There is perhaps no bigger fan of “James Bond” movies, and there is no question that Sean Connery is the best “Bond” of them all.

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Zak Pembleton

Zak@TheNACC.org
Director of Operations

Zak can help you find the perfect location for your next class or event. He is responsible for overseeing short term & long term rentals, as well as all building maintenance. 

His vast technological and operational knowledge, along with his outstanding customer service skills, means Zak is well equipped to handle all of your questions and concerns!

Email Zak for Rental Questions. 

Urgent Problem? Building Emergency? Call his cell at 716-463-4765

Kris Lowden

Kris Lowden
Gallery Director
Kris@thenacc.org
716-282-7530

Showcasing and working with local artists has always been a passion of hers. She looks forward to sharing her love of visual and performance art to inspire not only the community, but tourists as well.

Kris graduated Buffalo State College with a degree in Fine Art, and was a certified Art Teacher for grades K-12. She later went back to school to become a certified Pastry Chef, and enjoys bringing an artistic touch to baking. After graduating, she worked mainly in management, tourism and the event planning industries. She appreciates the opportunity she had to work for wineries on the Niagara Wine Trail as well as Grand Central Terminal while living in NYC.

Kris’s hobbies include photography, painting, reading, yoga, vegetable gardening and baking pies. She loves to travel and even though France was her favorite place she visited, she says the most exciting thing she’s done was shark cage diving off the coast of Africa. She and a group of friends are in a book club that meets monthly, and they just celebrated their 10 year anniversary! She is very involved in animal rights, and has volunteered with rescues as well as blogged, to bring attention to puppy mills and the importance of adoption. She and her husband have 2 dogs and a cat who currently rule their house.

Fun fact: She was an extra in a Lifetime movie called A Mothers Revenge.

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Ray Robertson
Special Projects
ray@thenacc.org
716-282-7530

Ray oversees The NACC sculpture gardens, and maintains the aesthetic aspects of our building and grounds. The founder of the NACC’s annual Artists of Color exhibit in 2008, Ray was instrumental in the development of the “Freedom Crossing ” Underground Railroad permanent exhibit in the NACC’s Heritage Gallery, and is our most requested tour guide! 

An Artist, Sculptor & Photographer, Reginald “Ray” Robertson graduated from Niagara Falls High School in 1967.  He then went on to the University of Buffalo for a B. A.  in Philosophy.  However, his art was discovered by C. Magnus Harrell founder of the Masten Community Workshop located on the east side of Buffalo, NY, and Ray’s art career began.

“The organic form has always fascinated me from childhood.   I had a desire for collecting things, usually natural things such as rocks, leaves, wood, etc.  I would put these things together in unique ways.  My collages have since evolved from two dimensional wall pieces of wood, metal, and stone, into three dimensional floor pieces of the same material.  Today I consider myself to be a multi-dimension painter, photographer, sculptor, and collagist blending of all mediums I work in.”

You can explore Ray’s gardens and artwork everyday at the NACC, or you can ask for him when you book an Art Studio or UGRR tour.

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Elizabeth LaMoy
Hospitality Manager
Liz@theNACC.org 

Liz has been one of the NACC’s biggest supporters since 2016. She started teaching meditation courses , and then opened her own “Sacred Space Studios”. A graduate of Niagara Falls High school, Liz is always volunteering and promoting the NACC to the community, so it was a perfect fit when she took the next step and become official staff!

Liz is overseeing the NACC’s new receptionist desk & coordinating volunteers. She will be making sure guests are welcome, helping to beautify the building, and can help you become a member or sign up for classes , tours, and events.

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Rachel Macklin Olszewski
Media and Project Manager
rachel@thenacc.org

Rachel Macklin Olszewski began her work at the NACC in 2012 with a mission in mind, to promote a cultural and artistic resurgence in Niagara Falls that will enhance the quality of life for it’s residents, foster interest in the city, and encourage investment in it’s future. As the former Rentals and Program Director, she managed rentals, art exhibitions, performances, programs, lectures, workshops and events. Rachel now acts as the NACC Media and Project Manager, or “Swing”, filling in as needed in administrative duties, grant writing, events, marketing, technology and website maintenance. She serves full-time as Staff Assistant and Graduate Program manager at the University at Buffalo Department of Theatre and Dance. In recognizing the power of arts and culture as a mechanism for social and economic impact, Rachel continues to strive to make visual and performing arts experiences accessible to denizens and visitors in the Greater Buffalo Niagara region.

Rachel graduated in 2012 from Niagara University with a BFA in Theater Performance. In 2015 Rachel attained an MA in Arts Management from the University at Buffalo. Rachel is also pursuing an MPA in Nonprofits from Buffalo State. Rachel still acts and sings on stage when she can find the time, most recently she starred as “The Raven” in Patchwork Theatre’s production of Nevermore: The Imaginary Life and Mysterious Death of Edgar Allen Poe.

Currently, Rachel serves on several boards in Buffalo/Niagara, including nonprofits Big Easy in Buffalo, which brings New Orleans musicians to WNY, and Post-Industrial Productions of Buffalo, a new theatre company that just completed the innagural season.

Pictured right to left: Rachel M. Olszewski (Programs/Rentals/Exhibits), Kelly Buckley (Development/Marketing), Laurie Martelli

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Louis Townsend
Finance Director, Emeritus
Lou@thenacc.org

Lou is a “Cultural Cornerstone”. His impact on our organization and on the city of Niagara Falls can not be measured. He has made significant contributions to the NACC and the arts & cultural community in Niagara Falls. He has gone above and beyond expectations through volunteerism, advocacy, and patronage. Lou has left his mark on the foundation of this organization. He is the original founder of children’s programing here at the NACC. and has lent his business skills and acumen to our institution everyday for over 20 yrs.  Some of his accomplishments include: Creating a children’s discovery center, helping install the driveway, fixing the roof, and overseeing the fiscal and operational wellness of the organization.

Lou is still on call, and serves on the NACC board of directors.

kathie

Kathie Kudela

Past Executive Director

Kathleen L. Kudela
(1946-2021)

Kudela was an experienced arts administrator with a background in the arts, education and preservation. She had experience in long range strategic planning and managing capital projects at the Niagara Arts and Cultural Center (NACC). She was extremely helpful in managing the $2.3 million Capital Campaign for the 900+ seat Grand Theater. It is scheduled to be completed in 2024, the year the NACC building celebrates its 100th year! 

One of the founders of the NACC in 2000, she was on the original Board of Directors, established the summer camp program and oversaw the positive growth of the center from its early years. She served in various capacities and became the Executive Director in 2006. With a supportive Board of Directors and Finance Director, she worked in developing a sustainable organization and business plan.

NACC Community awards included:

2017 Arts Services Initiative-SPARKS award
2014-Niagara Beautification Award –Making Niagara A Better Place to Live
2012-YWCA Tribute to Women Award
2011-Links-Trailblazer Award in the Arts
2010-Niagara Beautification-Making Niagara a Better Place to Live
2009-Niagara Gazette-Distinguished Women Award
2008-NFMMC- Good Neighbor Award