Stephen Butler has served as Executive Director of CNY Arts for twelve years, transforming the organization from a $700,000 three county operation into a $4.3 million regional arts council serving six plus counties. It is the largest geographic arts council in the State. Under his leadership, CNY Arts received notable awards such as Ovation TV's National Stand for the Arts Award, Central New York Community Foundation "What Matters to You" Award, and CenterState CEO's Economic Engine Award.
Mr. Butler is a native of Onondaga County and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre from Oswego State University and a Master of Arts in Public Administration from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University. Stephen spent many years in New York City in roles such as the Executive Director of Creative Alternatives of NY, the Executive Director of the Nyack Center, Director of Public Affairs at the Alliance of NY State Arts Councils, and the Director of Programs at the Alliance of Resident Theaters/New York (A.R.T./New York). Stephen is a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship recipient in Strategic Planning and was an AEA stage manager.
Stephen has served on the board of the Association of Teaching Artists and Human Rights Commission of Onondaga County. He is a past adjunct professor for several years at the inception of Le Moyne College's Arts Administration program. Stephen is the president of the Advisory Board of the School of Communications, Media, Arts, and Film at SUNY Oswego. He currently serves as Co-President of Arts NYS, an arts advocacy organization and as the State Captain for Americans for the Arts National Arts Week.
Most recently, Stephen has been awarded the Community Commitment Award by Joined Artists, Musicians & Signers, Inc. (JAMS), an arts organization committed to supporting artists of color in Central New York and is a recipient of a State University of Oswego Alumni Association Lifetime Achievement Award for his overall career and contributions to the arts including those in Central New York.
Director of Programs
Elizabeth Lane is a native of Madison County and a graduate of Purchase College with a B.A. in Arts Management. Elizabeth first became familiar with CNY Arts (then the Cultural Resources Council) as a performer for seven years in The Adventures of Rudolph. Liz has served as the Decentralization and Grants Manager for CNY Arts since 2013.
Prior to working at CNY Arts, Elizabeth gained experience at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York City Ballet, and the Performing Arts Center at Purchase College, and locally at Syracuse City Ballet and the former Syracuse Symphony Orchestra.
Operations Manager & Program Coordinator for On My Own Time
A native of Syracuse, NY, Kara graduated from Syracuse University with a Bachelor's degree in Speech Communication. She also earned graduate credits in Broadcasting at Montclair State College and an A. A. S. from OCC in Radio/TV.
She has worked extensively for the nonprofit sector in Central New York, with a focus on communications, media relations, program/event management, and fundraising. She also worked in research and patron services for the OCPL Central Library Local History and Genealogy Department.
Kara's avocation is theater, and she has acted with numerous area theater companies. She is a former member of Off the Cuff improv troupe, and currently performs with The ACME Mystery Co. in the New York State region.
Bookkeeper, Special Projects
Jon Wilson, a native of Buffalo, graduated from Binghamton University with a BA in Theatre. Jon’s professional career has ranged from working in NYC at Playwrights Horizons in the production office and Playwrights Horizons Theatre School as the registrar and bursar, to working locally as general manager of Syracuse Stage, artistic director of Appleseed Productions, adjunct professor for Syracuse University VPA, and administration manager at CNY Arts (before leaving and coming back as bookkeeper).
Jon has also produced, directed, designed, stage managed, and/or performed in over 175 productions in NYC, Minnesota, New Orleans, Ithaca, Binghamton, Buffalo, and locally with just about every community theatre company in the Syracuse area, including two high schools.
CNY Film Fund Program Officer
Alexander Korman is a Syracuse native and graduate of Colgate University. He has worked in both performance and production for classical theater, network television and feature film.
Most recently, Alexander has collaborated on a number of movie projects in the CNY region, some of which were award recipients from the Innovation Group of CNY Arts Film Fund. He is truly excited for the opportunity to promote the creative and economic development of his home community.
Matthew De Bellas
Communications and Media Consultant
Matthew is a native of Onondaga County and graduate of SUNY Oswego with a degree in Public Relations and graduate certificate in Integrated Media. He is a veteran having served 4 years in the U.S. Army.
Matthew previously worked at CNY Arts as the agency's marketing manager. He now manages his own communications and media consulting business. Matthew is an avid traveler and has been to a dozen countries documenting and writing about arts and culture from the places he visits.