Noteworthy: A Conversation with Women at the Forefront of the NYC Arts Programming Community

Monday, April 22, 2013 at 7:00pm

Co-presented with GreenHouse and Joe's Pub at the Public Theatre.

In an industry presumed to be dominated by men, many of New York City's most prestigious and innovative arts programmers are women.  Noteworthy brings four of NYC's most influential Artistic Directors together to discuss their path to success, the nuts and bolts of their work, their vision for the future of the New York performance scene,  the prejudices they've overcome and recommendations for those who would like to break into the industry as either programmers or performers.


  • RACHEL CHANOFF (Artistic Director, Celebrate Brooklyn!)
  • ERIKA ELLIOTT (Artistic Director, SummerStage)
  • YOKO SHIOYA (Artistic Director, Japan Society)
  • SHANTA THAKE (Director, Joe's Pub at The Public Theater)
  • Moderated by  ELISABETH VINCENTELLI (New York Post)

Anyone curious about the process of venue curation, festival administration, the current state of NYC's live stages and the role gender plays in arts institutions today will find ample opportunity to learn.

Rachel Chanoff (Panelist) has been working in performing arts and film for thirty years.  She is the founder and director of THE OFFICE performing arts + film, a New York City-based programming, consulting, and production company. She is the Curator of Performing Arts and Film for the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA), Consultant to the Feature Film and Theater Programs for the Sundance Institute, a member of the New York Jewish Film Festival selection committee, Director of Programming of the CenterSeries at the '62 Center for Theater and Dance at Williams College, Curator of Music and Family programming at 92YTribeca, and the Artistic Director of Celebrate Brooklyn!, New York's longest running free outdoor performing arts and film festival. Rachel is also proud to serve on the board of the 52nd Street Project, The Jewish Fund for Justice, The Builders Association, and Working Films. She is a long time participant in the Theater Development Fund's Open Doors program, which introduces underserved high school students to the theater. This fall, Rachel was a guest programmer for the 36th annual Margaret Mead Film Festival at the American Museum of Natural History.

Erika Elliott (Panelist) is a dedicated and creative leader in the music industry with over twenty years of experience in variety of roles within the music industry.  She currently holds the position of Artistic Director at SummerStage / City Parks Foundation. City Parks Foundation is the largest presenter of Free Arts and Culture in New York City, annually presenting over 100 free programs including 35+ performances at SummerStage in Central Park, three months of programming in 36 citywide SummerStage performance areas and the annual Charlie Parker Jazz Festival. Ms Elliott is responsible for the overall artistic vision of the festival, programming the talent and developing larger thematic programs and commissions.  Under her leadership the attendance for the entire festival has grown exponentially.  Originally from Los Angeles, Erika joined the staff of Loud Records in 1996, working in both the marketing and promotion departments on projects including the Wu-Tang Clans' The W, and Big Punisher's debut, Capital Punishment.  Erika spent 2+ years in the Artist Development department of RCA Music Group helping break then new artist Christina Aguilera and  working on Foo Fighters RCA debut.  In 2001 Erika was offered the Talent Buyer position at S.O.B's in NYC where she created and developed the SOULCITY series, which launched the careers of then unsigned artists John Legend, Anthony Hamilton, Ledisi, and Kanye West.

Yoko Shioya (Panelist) became Artistic Director of Japan Society in 2006, overseeing the Society's Performing Arts and Film Programs. Since joining the Society in 1997 and assuming the position of Director of Performing Arts in 2003, she has expanded collaborative projects with American cultural organizations and universities to introduce Japanese performing artists and also launched new initiatives, including an artists' residency project and a workshop series.  Known in Japan as a writer/researcher on the public and private arts support systems in the U.S. and Japan, Shioya has been invited to speak at numerous symposia, lectures and TV programs presented by the Agency for Cultural Affairs of the Japanese government, Keidanren, the Academy of Cultural Economics and the Japan Council of Performers' Organizations, among others. In 1998, her first book, New York: How the City and Its Artists Coexist, was published by Maruzen Publishing Co. She has been a regular contributor to arts columns on performing arts and exhibitions for the Asahi newspaper, and has served as a committee member and selection panelist for numerous programs, including The Bessie Awards, Rolex Mentor and Protege International Program, and the Toyota Choreography Awards. Shioya holds BAs in musicology and dance history from Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music.

Shanta Thake (Panelist) is the Director of Joe's Pub at The Public, the intimate, genre-blind cabaret venue which currently hosts over 800 shows and welcomes more than 100,000 unique patrons annually and is consistently hailed as one of New York City's most prestigious showcase venues for both emerging and established artists. In addition, Ms. Thake is the co-producer of GlobalFEST, North America's most important world music festival and non-profit organization whose mission is to foster cultural exchange and to increase the presence of world music in diverse communities worldwide. She serves as the board chair of Waterwell Theater Company and co-creator of Weimar New York, and is a member of the Middle Church Jerriese Johnson Gospel Choir. She has been the recipient of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters Emerging Leader award as well as Theater Communications Group's Leaders of Color grant.  Ms. Thake received a BA in Theater as well as a degree in Management from Indiana University and currently lives in Brooklyn.

Elisabeth Vincentelli (Moderator) joined the New York Post as theater critic in February 2009. She talks about theater on WNYC on a regular basis, and serves as Vice President of the New York Drama Critics' Circle. She previously was arts and entertainment editor at Time Out New York, and also contributed to publications such as The New York Times, The Village Voice, The Los Angeles Times, Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone, The Believer, Slate and Salon. She's written two books about Abba: Abba Gold and Abba Treasures.

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