Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Olga Garay Fundacion Amistad and DCA

Board of Directors:

Olga Garay
Olga Garay is the executive director of the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA), a position she assumed on August 1, 2007. Reporting directly to the Mayor of Los Angeles, and managing a $30-million budget, the executive director is the chief administrative officer of the DCA. Prior to joining the DCA, Ms. Garay served as Program Director for the Arts for the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation from March 1998 to December 2005. Reporting directly to the Foundation President, Ms. Garay has been responsible for the planning, design, management, and evaluation of the Arts Program, which provides approximately $13-$20 million annually to leading performing arts organizations throughout the country, making it one of the largest national performing arts funders in the United States. Ms. Garay was also the Executive Producer of the contemporary opera Balseros, created by Cuban American playwright Maria Irene Fornes and based on real testimonies of Cuban rafters. Olga started working in the arts as a program officer in the mid 1980s at the Miami-Dade Cultural Affairs Department and went on to become assistant director of the agency. In 2006 she received a "Bessie," the New York Dance and Performance Awards and was named the Cuban Artists' Fund Distinguished Honoree. She received the 2003 "Fan Taylor Distinguished Service Award" for exemplary service to the field of professional presenting from the Association of Performing Arts Presenters.

Maria de Lourdes Duke
Along with serving as the President and Founder of Fundación Amistad, Mrs. "Luly" Duke is also the Executive Vice President of the Harbor for Boys and Girls, Inc., a multi-service organization for inner-city children in East Harlem, New York. In addition, she is on the Board of Directors for the Child Study Center at New York University, the Cuba Policy Foundation, Americans for Humanitarian Trade with Cuba, Women's Commission for Refugee Women and Children. Mrs. Duke also serves on the Advisory Board for MEDICC (Medical Education Cooperation with Cuba), and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations Cuba Task Force, and the International Rescue Committee Cuba Task Force.
Michael Connors, Ph.D.
Dr. Connors holds a Ph.D. in decorative arts from New York University and teaches and publishes widely in the field of Caribbean decorative arts. He has been a member of the Fundación Amistad Board of Directors for many years and has assisted on many trips to Cuba delivering supplies and furthering his research and writing.

Gail Furman, Ph.D.
Dr. Furman is a Clinical Professor of Child Psychology at the Child Study Center at the NYU Medical School. She has served as the Chair of the Children's Task Force of the Women’s Commission for Refugee Women and Children, and is currently a member of several boards focusing on educational/emotional needs of children worldwide. Her experience and support has aided FA in our mission and studies of women and children in Cuba.

Jean M. Gath
Jean Marie Gath is a Principal with Pfeiffer Partners, a national architecture, planning and interior design firm with offices in New York City and Los Angeles. She serves as Principal-in-Charge of the firm's New York office. For the past twenty-five years her focus has been on the planning, programming and design of educational and cultural facilities. She is particularly well known for her skills in public facilitation and consensus building. Her involvement with Fundación Amistad dates back to 2000, when, funded through a grant by FA and the Ford Foundation, she assisted Casa de las Americas in Havana, Cuba in their planning for a new library facility. She has since worked with other international non-profit organizations in similar efforts, including CIRMA in Antigua, Guatemala in their planning for a new library as well as a regional cultural arts complex. Ms. Gath holds a Masters Degree from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn.

Elena Lord
Fundación Amistad Secretary
Mrs. Lord, a graduate of NYU, worked at Sotheby's auction house for 14 years. She spent her 1st six years running the Sotheby's Palm Beach office and then moved to New York as Vice President and head of the International Department. Over the past few years, she has collected Cuban art and has made frequent travels with FA to Cuba in order to pursue her interests.

Maria Pessino
Mrs. Pessino has appeared in a variety of theatrical works off Broadway and on the East End. As the Founder and Artistic Director of Oddfellows Playhouse in East Hampton, NY, she has spearheaded local theatre and numerous productions of the company. Mrs. Pessino is the honorary chairman of Robert Wilson's Watermill Center Community Board. She has participated in and supported many FA projects over the years and played a large part in the organization of the FA Friendship Fireworks, an annual fundraising event.

Alberto Magnan
Mr. Magnan is the owner of two prominent art galleries, Magnan Projects and Magnan Emrich Contemporary, located in New York City. His expertise are focused in International Contemporary art, especially Cuban arts.

Anthony Marano
Mr. Marano is currently the president of Ozimandius Realty Ltd., which specializes in the development and construction of residential condominiums, offices and retail spaces in lower Manhattan.

Rosa Lowinger
A graduate of NYU's Institute of Fine Arts with a degree in art conservation, Ms. Lowinger is one of the nation's leading experts on conservation of modern and contemporary art and architecture. Her Los Angeles based practice has tackled large-scale restoration projects and management of conservation for entire collections and architectural details throughout the United States and in the Caribbean. She has traveled extensively throughout Cuba and was a leading study group leader for art and architecture tours throughout the 1990's. She is a frequent contributor of articles on Cuban culture for such publications as ArtNews, Preservation, Sculpture and the Philadelphia Inquirer. A playwright and novelist, Ms. Lowinger is also the author of Tropicana Nights, the Life of the Legendary Cuban Nightclub - for which she received the Fundación Amistad 2005 TITLE award.

Cristina Eguizábal
Ms. Eguizabel is the director of the Latin American and Caribbean Center at Florida International University. Before moving to Miami and joining FIU she served as a program officer at the Ford Foundation Mexico City office working on Peace and Social Justice issues. Her portfolio included grants on peace, security, and regional cooperation in Latin America, the Caribbean and the Western Hemisphere in general. Between 1995 and 2003 she was a member of the Human Rights and International Cooperation unit at the Ford Foundation in New York. She has held research and teaching positions at the University of Costa Rica, University of Bordeaux, University of Miami, and the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences and has served as advisor for regional projects at the Confederacy of Central American Universities, the Central American Institute for Public Administration, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the United Nations University (UNU). Eguizábal holds a Ph.D. in Latin American Studies from the University of Paris-Sorbonne-Nouvelle.

Percy Steinhart
Mr. Steinhart is the owner of the specialty shoe shop, Stubbs & Wootton. He has played a large role in supporting Fundación Amistad through the years, including his involvement in the 1997 implementation of Fundación Amistad's "Casa de Prado" project, a private foundation created to aid schooling for challenged children in Avenida del Prado in Havana, Cuba.

Advisory Board:

Peter Honerkamp
Mr. Honerkamp is a founding member of the East Hampton, NY La Playa Sister Cities Association. He also serves as the manager of the Maidstoners softball team, which has played in goodwill exhibition games in Cuba against amateur Cuban teams.

Silvia Fernandez
Ms. Fernandez is a fashion consultant in New York City.

Robert Muse
Mr. Muse, of Muse and Associates in Washington, D.C. is a nationally recognized international law attorney specializing in Cuban issues.


Celene Almagro
Program Development Director

Jenny Alcebo
Program Director

Pequeñita Bio

Established in 1997, Fundación Amistad is a 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit organization dedicated to fostering better mutual understanding and appreciation between the peoples of the United States and Cuba.

Fundación Amistad is linked to a wide collaborative network of academic, cultural, non-governmental and humanitarian institutions based in Cuba, the United States and internationally. We work very closely with individuals representing broad and diverse interests, along with the U.S. Department of Treasury to continue our frequent travels to Cuba.

Through continual support from our grant providers and funding from your generous donations, Fundación Amistad has been successful in carrying out our mission. We are grateful for all of the support we have received.

419 Lafayette Street, 2nd Floor • New York, NY 10003
Tel: 646-723-1416 • Fax: 212-228-6614

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