Advisors sitting in chairs on stage being interviewed

Our Advisors

Musician and Professor

Michael Bacon

Michael Bacon’s recent projects include the original scores for The Architect and the Painter for American Masters, Finding Your Roots hosted by Henry Louis Gates (since 2008), The Man Nobody Knew (feature documentary), Slavery by Another Name (Sundance selection), Downtown Express a feature film directed by David Grubin, Gloria-In Her Own Words for HBO, Stevenson-Lost and Found (feature doc) Master Maggie (Tribeca selection), RX:Early Detection with Sandra Lee (HBO).

The feature film Losing Chase premiered at Sundance in 1996 and won 2 Golden Globe Awards. Bacon won an Emmy for his score for The Kennedy’s, an Ace Award nomination for his score The Man Who Loved Sharks, The BMI Television Music Award and The Chicago International Film Festival Gold Plaque Award for the music in LBJ. Shows he has scored have won numerous Emmy Awards and three Academy Awards (The Johnstown Flood, A Time For Justice, and King Gimp). Jerry Lee Lewis, Carlene Carter, Peter Yarrow and Claude Francois are just a few of the artists that have recorded songs written by Bacon. He and his brother, Kevin, perform music live as “The Bacon Brothers.” Their 10th CD was released in the spring of 2020.

Bacon’s cello concerto, “Eidolons for Violoncello and Orchestra” was completed in 2017. He is an Associate Professor of Music at Lehman College, CUNY, where he studied composition and orchestration with John Corigliano. He also teaches Film Scoring at Mannes College of Music. He lives in New York City with his wife, Betsy, and enjoys sailing.

Michael Bacon

Creative Arts Therapist, choreographer, actor

Tatum J. Brogan

Tatum is a New York State Licensed Creative Arts Therapist with a Master’s Degree in Dance/Movement Therapy.  After graduating from Hofstra University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, Tatum went on to obtain her Master’s Degree at Pratt Institute. During her studies at Pratt, she was fortunate to intern at The Bronx Psychiatric Center with outpatient, schizophrenic adults and at Queens Children’s Psychiatric Center with inpatient adolescents.

After graduating, Tatum briefly worked with a geriatric (dementia and Alzheimer’s) population in the Bronx at Bay Park Center’s Adult Day Program as an activities coordinator and group leader.

For the next five years, Tatum worked as a dance/movement therapist at The Holliswood Hospital, an inpatient, psychiatric setting for patients ranging in age from four to eighty-four. She was also privileged to work with active and veteran Military Personnel with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

After the closing of Holliswood Hospital in August of 2013, Tatum worked with special needs children at The Theresa Academy of Performing Arts (TAPA) in Point Lookout, Long Island, and began teaching/mentoring students at The Fusion Academy in Woodbury, Long Island – a private college preparatory school which uses a one to one mastery learning model for children who struggle to learn in a typical classroom environment.

During this time Tatum also started running creative arts therapy groups for eating disorder patients at ED-180 – an intensive outpatient program in Garden City, NY.

Over the past six years, Tatum became a full-time primary therapist for ED-180 and had a hand in starting their adolescent program.  It was at ED-180 where Tatum also began building her private practice – seeing both eating disorder and general psychiatric patients on an individual, outpatient basis.

In addition, Tatum has also gained experience in yoga, guided imagery, family and couples therapy, marketing outreach work, and has enhanced her preexisting background in choreography and acting.

Professor, Performer, Music Producer

Joe Caravalho

Joseph Caravalho is an Assistant Professor and Manager of the Digital Music program at Hostos Community College, CUNY. He produces and performs electronic and hip-hop music under the alias Jacuzzi Jefferson and runs a record label called mmhmm recordings.

Joseph’s music has been featured in BMW, Harman Kardon, and Audi campaigns. He has produced music for a wide range of vocalists, most notably Raekwon of Wu-Tang Clan and Lil B. As an audio engineer, Joseph has worked alongside 50 Cent, Melanie Fiona, and Sean Paul.

Noteworthy awards include a gold plaque for his work with Trey Songz and the “Excellence in Teaching” award from the Institute of Audio Research.



Illustrator, New Yorker & Other Publications

Andy Friedman

Andy Friedman is a visual artist, musician, illustrator, writer, and cartoonist. His work has been published in scores of magazines and newspapers around the globe, including The New York Times, Rolling Stone, GQ, Vanity Fair, New York, Esquire, The Atlantic, Playboy, The Nation, The Paris Review, and The New Yorker. As a songwriter and musician, Friedman spent a decade touring in support of his three studio albums of original songs (2006’s Taken Man, 2009’s Weary Things, and 2011’s Laserbeams And Dreams), often turning in illustration deadlines from hotel rooms while in transit. Friedman removed himself from the road in 2012 to begin work on his first book, an illustrated memoir still in progress. In 2015, Friedman began contributing pieces of illustrated reportage to The New Yorker’s Culture Desk blog.

Andy Friedman

Executive Director, Sands Point Preserve Conservancy

Beth Horn

Beth Horn is the Executive Director of the Sands Point Preserve on the Gold Coast of Long Island, where she creates new cultural, educational, horticultural, and wellness programming and oversees the operations and conservation of the mansions and beachfront grounds of the historic Guggenheim Estate – a real Gatsby Era venue. Her career spans the performing and visual arts, having worked in theater (Broadway and Off-Broadway), public television (Thirteen/WNET), and at the Museum of Modern Art, NY. A former dancer, Beth holds a BA from Duke University and a Master of Fine Arts from Columbia University – School of the Arts; as a post graduate, she read 20th Century British Literature at Oxford University in England. Beth has mentored and advocated for young artists, offering platforms in broadcast/online media and live productions – and she encourages creativity in all its forms.

Beth Horn

Actor, Director, Producer

Jim Incorvaia

Jim is an actor, director and producer who has been part of more than three hundred theatrical productions in area commercial and educational theaters. He began his professional work in the arts at the age of five as a commercial model. He was bitten by the acting bug for good in high school. Jim obtained his B. A. and his M.S. in Education at Hofstra University and studied for his M.F.A. at Columbia. He is the founder of the OnStage Strategies Group, a theater consulting firm assisting educational and local theater programs as they develop curricula and re-imagine themselves in the post-pandemic world. Jim believes that art has the power to break down the barriers that divide us.

Managing Director Gelfand, Rennert & Feldman

Todd Kamelhar

Todd Kamelhar earned his B.S. in accounting and M.S. in taxation from The State University of New York (SUNY) at Albany in 1990. Following graduation, Todd handled tax matters for international touring artists, entertainers and fashion companies at two separate business management firms. He joined the New York office of GR&F in 1993 and became partner in 2000.

Todd has a diverse roster of high-profile entertainment industry clients. He employs a hands-on approach in overseeing various aspects of their businesses, including touring, publishing administration and recording. In 2010, Todd combined his passion as a fan with the knowledge he obtained over the years at GR&F when he served as executive producer of the Billy Joel/NY Mets documentary film “The Last Play at Shea.”

Todd has helped manage the growth of the GR&F fashion clientele. His fashion industry clients include world renowned photographers, make-up artists, models and fashion publications.

Born and raised in Queens, New York, Todd currently resides on Long Island with his wife, Ellen, and their three children, Mark, Jake and Anna. He is active in the community, serving as a President and coach in the North Bellmore North Merrick Basketball League.

Todd Kamelhar


Head of Arts Reach Fund of Long Island Community Foundation

Dale Lewis

Dale Lewis founded Arts Reach Fund at Long Island Community Foundation in 2015 following 32 years as Executive Director of Usdan Center for the Creative and Performing Arts, the 1,500-student summer arts school and concert festival on Long Island. Here, Dale introduced more than twenty new programs in the performing, visual and digital arts and presented scores of great artists at the Center’s daily Festival Concerts. He guided successful capital campaigns to build two theaters and multiple teaching studios and classrooms on Usdan’s 100-acre campus in Huntington. Dale also created professional development programs for the region’s arts educators and produced the residencies of Canadian Brass, Tokyo String Quartet, The Kings Singers, New York City Ballet, flutist James Galway, Ballet San Jose and celebrated members of the Broadway community. He continues his association with Usdan as Executive Director Emeritus and a member of its Leadership Council. Dale also serves as Vice Chair of Long Island Arts Alliance and is Co-Director of the annual Knights/Tilles Center String Orchestra Convocation. He holds service awards from The Kennedy Center’s National Education Committee and the Art Supervisors Association. In 2015 Usdan’s Board of Trustees honored Dale with the naming of the stage house in its campus center, the 1,000-seat McKinley Amphitheater for Music and Dance. As a performer, educator, producer and advocate for students in the arts, Dale is proud to be associated with Long Island High School for the Arts.

Dale Lewis

Non-Profit Management Professional

Sharon Maier-Kennelly

Sharon Maier-Kennelly is a non-profit arts management professional. In 2004, she became Executive Director of Landmark on Main Street and grew the performing arts seasons from eight to over fifty shows annually in her nearly eleven years in the role.

Sharon other roles have included General Manager and Director of Programming Initiatives for Tilles Center, as a consultant with Nassau BOCES’ Long Island High School for the Arts, as the Event and Gala Producer at Usdan Summer Camp for the Arts, and the Adult Events Programmer at the Port Washington Public Library. She served as a Board Member of Long Island Arts Alliance and a committee member for the Town of North Hempstead’s Art Advisory Council.

In 2019, Sharon and her family relocated to Central Oregon where she currently works as the Manager of Corporate Giving for the 460-seat Tower Theatre in Bend.

Co-Manager of Intention Films and Media

John Marean

John Marean, co-manager of Intention Films and Media, graduated with his MFA in Technical Design and Production from the Yale School of Drama. He started his career as the Technical Director of the Hudson Guild Theater, then became Production Manager of Playwrights’ Horizons/Scenic Central and built sets for Nickelodeon, as well as many other Broadway, off-Broadway, television and feature film productions. John has taught almost every subject invented by the NYCDOE since 1991. In 2012, John became Technical Director at the LaGuardia High School (The “Fame” school) of Music & Art and Performing Arts in NYC. While continuing to teach part time at CitiTech College in Brooklyn, John has retired from LaGuardia Arts. In 2006, John became the Technical Director of the Long Island Film/TV Foundation and began video editing shortly thereafter. John has acted in several independent feature films. He is also a producer, having worked on the films The Last Taxi Driver, Leaving and Junkie Heaven. John has been working as a Director of Photography, Assistant Camera, Grip, Gaffer, an on set Sound Recordist, Production Manager and Assistant Director.

John Marean

(Retired) Director of Nassau County Film Office

Debra Markowitz

Debra Markowitz serves as the Director of the Nassau County Film Office. Serving four administrations during her 31-year tenure, Ms. Markowitz has steadily increased production of movies, television programs and commercials that are shot in Nassau County, logging over 1000 production days and over $150M in positive economic impact per year. Ms. Markowitz also serves as Vice President of the Long Island Film/TV Foundation, Long Island’s most established and largest not-for-profit agency dedicated to the support and promotion of independent filmmaking. Under her directorship, the Foundation spawned the Long Island International Film Expo (LIIFE). Heading into its 23rd year, LIIFE enjoys enormous popularity, attracting short and feature-length independent films from around the world, spotlighting films made on Long Island and concluding with a star-studded award celebration. An enthusiastic filmmaker herself, Ms. Markowitz, an award-winning writer and director, has acted as Casting Director, consultant, writer, director, actor and producer on movie, television and commercial projects. Debra was one of the originators behind The Master Shift Global Meditation event, which now has over two million followers on Facebook. An avid yoga practitioner and a Reiki healer, Debra lives in Merrick with her husband, and co-manager of Intention Films and Media, John Marean and their faithful rescue dog, Gracie.

Debra Markowitz

Music Industry Professional

Jason Melker

Jason Melker, a Long Island native, is a music industry executive. He is a graduate of Towson University with a Bachelors of Science in Communications.

A college internship with Atlantic, Asylum and Capitol Records lead to a full time position with Capitol as a member of the Promotion department. During this time, Jason worked with developing talent like Katy Perry and David Guetta as well as established artists like Snoop Dogg and Coldplay. His work with Caroline Distribution introduced him to Hip Hop artist, Talib Kweli, who he would later work with upon the launch of Jayem Artist Management in 2014. From there, Jason joined the Promotion team at Glassnote Records and was soon promoted to Head of Video Promotion where he established and maintained strong relationships with the teams at MTV, VH1, BET, Music Choice and Fuse. Jason worked closely with Gambino’s management team and Glassnote’s partners in Urban marketing to position the album’s lead single, “3005” as Gambino’s highest charting radio single to date and ultimately surpassing over 500,000 singles sold, receiving Gold status by the RIAA.

In early 2014, Jason was asked to lead the team of the newly built Dream Recording Studios in Bellmore, New York. Dream has since become Long Island’s premier recording studio, providing a home to local and developing talent while serving as a go-to stopover for many national touring artists.

Jason also owns and operates Jayem Artist Management, an independent management company focused on the development of local talent, currently including Long Island-based Alternative band, Bohemians and Hip Hop singer-songwriter and Jazz musician, Dudley Music. Additionally, Jayem provides product management services to independent record labels, including Talib Kweli’s Javotti Media.

Through Dream and Jayem, Jason continues to work as a mentor and consultant to many of Long Island’s finest musical entities including the Great South Bay Music Festival.

Jason Melker

Theatre Manager, Long Island Children’s Museum

James Packard

James Packard is delighted to have spent 40+ years as a member of the entertainment industry in educational and professional and corporate theater settings. His junior year of college he learned the delights of theater for young audiences as a performer. He has a BA (1978) in Theater (Directing and Communication Arts) from Westmar College, following his graduation he began working with youth encouraging them to use creative drama to explore their world. He then attended Villanova University and then transferred to the University of Iowa (Iowa City IA) for his MFA in Theater (1983). At Iowa, the Playwright’s Workshop, Jim found new works provided freedom for new visions and stories. From 1983 to 2001 he worked as theater professor in universities from Florida to New York. He has worked as production manager, director, technical director and designer of scenery, lighting, sound and video on 500 plus productions. Starting in 2001 he began work for the Long Island Children’s Museum developing and presenting programming. He brings his creative passion, love of original works and practical knowledge of production, to the families and children of the LICM Theater year-round with 200 plus professional performances annually. LICM presents many local, regional, national and international companies, he has presented performances on the LICM stage from the United States, Mexico, Canada, Spain, Australia, Bulgaria, Afghanistan, South Africa, China, Russia, Czech Republic, England, Vietnam, Scotland and India. He works directly to develop new works with artists in residence. Jim has been attending IPAY showcase for 14 plus years and been on IPAY Selection Committee from 2012 and as the Vice Chair and on the IPAY Board of Directors. James delights in his work at LICM because the opportunities to create unique programming which can be presented to family and children’s audiences while providing a safe way to explore our world for children and their families.

James Packard

Educator, Administrator, Career & Technical Education Advocate

Ellen Palazzo

Ellen Palazzo has been a CTE advocate throughout her career in the Valley Stream Central High School District and the CTE Technical Assistance Center of NY. Upon graduating from the newly reorganized School of Human Ecology at Cornell University Ellen understood the power of applied academics to cultivate the passion of every student. She developed unique courses and programs aligning curriculum and outcomes to the global goals of our educational system focused on launching lifelong success for all.

Ellen has served as a teacher, professor, mentor, curriculum specialist, staff developer, director of Internships/work-based learning, district coordinator of CTE and through her work with CTE TAC has supported program development in BOCES and dozens of school districts. Ms. Palazzo was selected to pilot the first distance learning classes on Long Island and was honored by Hofstra University, Long Island University, Long Island FACS Educators and Planned Parenthood of Long Island as an outstanding educator.

Ellen directed the growth of the Long Island Region of Virtual Enterprises which provides over 2500 students in 80+ LI high schools and middle schools with authentic, collaborative, immersive business and entrepreneurial experiences.

Director of Media Arts, Stony Brook University

Norman Prusslin

Norman Prusslin is Director of the Media Arts Minor and Faculty Advisor to SBU student media organizations. He teaches the Minor’s required courses, a course on Student Media Leadership, an Honors College course and coordinates internship, independent study and readings courses for students in the Minor.

Prusslin has been a staff/faculty member at SBU since 1973 and has been a faculty member in the Department of Theatre Arts since 1981. He is the founding General Manager of WUSB-FM, the University’s non-commercial radio station and has served as Director of the Interdisciplinary Arts Minor/Living Learning Center. He serves as faculty coordinator of the annual SSK Student Arts Festival.

Prusslin is the Co-Founder of the Long Island Music Hall of Fame and serves as a member of LIMHoF’s Board of Directors as Vice Chair. He is Board Chairman of the Intercollegiate Broadcasting System and Board Member Emeritus of the Press Club of Long Island. He is an active member of the Society of Professional Journalists, the Radio Television Digital News Association, the Broadcast Education Association, College Media Advisers and the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications.

An alumnus of Stony Brook University (B.A. English ’73) and Queens College (Master’s Program in Communications Studies,”76), Prusslin has taught media and journalism courses at Five Towns College on Long Island.

Norman Prusslin is a recipient of a Suffolk County Proclamation for his service to the Stony Brook University and Long Island communities. He is a recipient of the SUNY Chancellor’s Award, the SBU Presidential Award and the SBU Lifetime Achievement in Advising Award. He has been recognized for his service to the Long Island music community as a recipient of LIMHoF’s ‘Long Island Sound Award’ and for his service to the Long Island journalism community as a recipient of PCLI’s Phil Spahn award.

World-Renowned Musician and Educator

Dr. Dale Stuckenbruck

Dr. Stuckenbruck is a Grammy-nominated artist, acclaimed violinist and the world’s premier sawist. He has recorded more than 100 film scores and a thousand commercials for radio and television, as well as two solo albums. He has performed as a soloist with major national and international orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, the Charleston Symphony Orchestra and the Taipei City Symphony Orchestra.

Dr. Stuckenbruck has performed as a chamber musician for such distinguished institutions as Lincoln Center, served as concertmaster for dozens of Broadway shows, and is a virtuoso with numerous philharmonics. In addition to the saw, he is a gifted instrumentalist, playing the erhu, sitar, recorder, guitar, danbau and theremin.

Dr. Stuckenbruck has been featured in the New York Times, Newsday, Strings Magazine and Sarasate in Japan. Perhaps his most unique achievement is as founder of the Long Island Vegetable Orchestra, for which he has been featured on the popular talk show “Conan”. The orchestra is quite literally as it sounds; Dr. Stuckenbruck guides his student musicians in creating instruments out of vegetables, then in playing them to perform classical pieces.

Dr. Stuckenbruck has served as a lecturer at The Juilliard School and the Long Island Guitar Festival. He is a full adjunct professor of violin at Long Island University, as well as assistant director of the university’s Chamber Music Festival, and has served as orchestra director for the Waldorf School of Garden City. He holds a doctorate and master’s degree in music from Manhattan School of Music, and a bachelor’s degree in violin from North Carolina School of the Performing Arts.

He is currently part of the faculty at Long Island High School for the Arts teaching Performing Arts, Sonic Arts, Game Design and Economics.


New York State Regent for the Tenth Judicial District

Roger B. Tilles

Roger B. Tilles was elected to a five-year term as the Regent for the Tenth Judicial District, commencing on April 1, 2005, re-elected to a second five-year term by concurrent resolution effective April 1, 2010, and re-elected to a third five-year term effective April 1, 2015.Regent Tilles graduated in 1968 from Amherst College with a Bachelor of Arts degree and from the University of Michigan College of Law in 1971. He became Director of Law and Legislation for the Michigan Department of Education, was elected to the Michigan State Board of Education, and in 1975, he became the Executive Secretary to the Speaker of the Michigan House of Representatives. During this time in Michigan he taught education and the law at University of Michigan, Michigan State, Eastern Michigan and Central Michigan Universities’ Schools of Education. He was also the counsel to the Michigan Teacher Tenure Commission as well as a Special Education Hearing Officer. After being a candidate for U.S. Congress, he opened his own law practice in Washington D.C. in 1978, until his return to Long Island in 1983 where he was the Director of the Tilles Investment Companies. Tilles is the Executive Vice Chairman of the Tilles Center For The Performing Arts, in addition to serving on the Board of Executive Board of Long Island Association. He has also worked to form the Long Island Arts Alliance, bringing together the cultural institutions of Long Island.

Roger Tilles

American Ballet Theatre’s Artistic Coordinator of Educational Outreach

Richard Toda

Richard Toda, ABT Artistic Coordinator of Educational Outreach, Richard directs a team of Teaching Artists to facilitate ABT’s arts in education residencies ABT at School and Ballet for a New Audience. Over his tenure he has developed ongoing partnerships with schools, districts and communities that reach the greater metropolitan area. Richard works to bridge opportunities for students from underrepresented groups to participate in workshops, master classes and training programs. Richard has served as the Artistic Coordinator for the ABT Summer programs Los Angeles Young Dancer Workshop and the Young Dancer Program of Dance Bermuda. Richard coordinates ABT’s partnership with the Summer Arts Institute, a free arts training program for New York City Public School students. Richard has taught Musical Theater dance in ABT’s Collegiate and NY Summer Intensives. Richard is an ABT Certified Teacher, in Primary through Level 7 of the ABT National Training Curriculum. Richard’s work as a professional development facilitator began with his invitation to serve on the writing committee for the Dance Blueprint for teaching and learning in the Arts. This document outlines a sequential curriculum for Dance Education in the New York City Public Schools. He facilitates professional development workshops and seminars for the New York City Department of Education, 92nd Street Y, Dance Education Laboratory and the LA Music Center. Richard has served as a panelist for a variety of arts leadership conferences. Richard’s association with ABT began as a rehearsal assistant for choreographer Agnes de Mille on her last two ballets: The Other and Tally Ho. Richard performed on Broadway and in the National Touring companies of The Phantom Of The Opera. Prior to the many Phantom years, he danced the pas de six in Jerome Robbins choreography of West Side Story starring Bebe Neuwirth, Michael Bennett’s A Chorus Line, Oklahoma starring John Schneider and My Fair Lady starring Simon Jones and Judy Blazer. Workshop productions include Daniel Ezralow and Lonnie Price’s Finnians Rainbow and choreographer Rachel Lampert’s Inventory 91 at Dance Theatre Workshop.

Richard Toda

The Joel Foundation

Cheri Walsh

Cheri Walsh represents The Joel Foundation, on behalf of Alexis and Billy Joel. Cheri works closely with school leadership on strategic engagement with the Foundation to support the long-term vision for LIHSA.

She is immediate past Executive Director of Exploring the Arts (ETA), founded by Tony Bennett and his wife, Susan Benedetto. She led ETA through construction of the state-of-the-art public high school, Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, and the organization’s expansion to serve 53 public high schools in New York City, Long Island, and Los Angeles.

She had a successful career as a dancer and continues to teach master classes in NYC public high schools.

Cheri Walsh