Overview

The Cornell Creative Arts Center was created to offer an inclusive multi-disciplinary Arts Program for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to learn to create artwork and techniques to express their creativity, alongside our community artists of all abilities. Our programming is focused on the inclusion and integration of the Hudson Valley’s diverse population of artists and community creatives from every background. We offer accessible educational events including classes, workshops, gallery exhibitions, and community event space for audiences of any age and ability. We launched the art center in 2019 with the opening of our beautiful ceramic studio, located on Bruyn Ave (the back of the art center). The remainder of the Cornell Creative Arts Center is a 12,000 SF building located in the heart of Midtown Kingston, right on Cornell St! (Our namesake). Our facilities include a large open ceramic studio, a dance/movement studio, a public gallery space, a pending digital arts-media studio, a painting/drawing/mixed media studio, several private artist studio/offices, and a classroom for music/creative writing. In addition, our facility also houses the Kingston location for Arts Mid-Hudson, and a communal Co-working office space as well. At Cornell Creative Arts Center, every person is supported, encouraged, empowered and accepted into an environment where they are provided with rich opportunities to learn and grow their artistic talents. People who enroll in classes offered by the CCAC will participate an integrated program that serves Midtown Kingston, providing affordable and comprehensive access to the arts to both people with and without disabilities. People can work together in our supported arts program to teach, learn, and mutually uplift one another with quality art practice, teaching, exhibition, and sales opportunities. In 2020 to respond to the changing needs of our community due to the Pandemic, we have developed a wide breadth of virtual offerings to compliment in-person opportunities. We offer online visual art classes, online dance/movement classes, virtual galleries, and remote teaching opportunities.


Our Mission

To cultivate a synergy between businesses, artists and people with disabilities working creatively together and empowering one another in order to achieve their goals and reach their true potential.


Our Vision

The Cornell Creative Arts Center is a vibrant inclusive community based art center that provides a place to make, engage in and share art. The CCAC offers services that lower the barriers to participation in the arts and integrates the experience of art into the life of the Midtown Kingston community. We work towards creating an experience in which all people can incorporate the creative arts into their daily lives, to increase community connections, a sense of empowerment, to build sustainable businesses and to help establish better overall well-being. Your support helps us to realize this vision and keeps our community oriented classes accessible and affordable for all.


Our Team

The staff consists at present of a Creative director, marketing manager, 2 administrative assistants and ceramics studio manager. We have a rotating faculty of consultants to teach the art classes throughout the year. Are you interested in teaching at the CCAC? Please fill out and submit a Request for Teaching.

Rachel Jacob Headshot

Rachel Jacob

Art Director

Rachel Jacob Headshot

Rachel Jacob

Art Director

Rachel Jacob is the Art Director for the Cornell Creative Art Center in Kingston NY, as well as the Hudson-Valley lead for the Regional Centers for Workforce Transformation in NY. She received her undergraduate degree in Visual Arts Education K-12 in 2010 from SUNY New Paltz. The same year, she started working as a DSP at the Arc of Mid-Hudson. There she worked with adults who did not communicate with speech, but definitely had a lot to say, so she employed her background in art education to establish a conduit for their voices by creating artwork. She gained additional experience at the Arc working in management and in Staff Development. As a lifelong learner, she received her Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Marist in 2017. She pursues her artistic ambitions as a freelance artist, focusing on painting and pen and ink illustration. She is excited to merge her education, experience and passion for the arts and working with people with I/DD to help cultivate meaningful community connections at the CCAC.

Jillian's headshot

Jillian Rahm

Supported Arts Instructor

Jillian's headshot

Jillian Rahm

Supported Arts Instructor

Jillian Rahm is pleased to join the staff at Cornell Creative as a Supported Arts instructor. Jillian received her BFA in communication design from the Parsons School of Design in Manhattan and went on to study expressive arts therapy at the new School for social research. Over her 25 plus year career Jillian has worked as a practicing artist specializing in found object art, as a designer and product consultant for a variety of fortune 500 companies and over the past decade in  human services and higher education designing and coordinating both youth and adult educational and empowerment programs. Ms. Rahm has recently founded Lost and Found studios, a working art studio that offers classes in found object collage design.  Jillian believes deeply in the healing power of the expressive arts and brings her creativity, compassion, and humanity to all life’s endeavors.

Barushka

Belly Dancing Instructor

Barushka

Belly Dancing Instructor

Barushka fuses folkloric, tribal style belly dance with swing and vintage jazz. She started studying traditional belly dance in 1996, tribal belly dance in 2001 and swing in 2017. She has studied the following styles of belly dance: ATS, tribal fusion, folkloric, Egyptian, Turkish, sword and floor work. Previous trainings include bollywood, bhangrah, odissa, flamenco, Tunisian  African, salsa, butoh, hip hop, breakdance, swing and vintage jazz. Her instructors included Carolena Nericcio of Fat Chance Belly Dance, Paulette Rees-Denis of Gypsy Caravan, Suhaila Salimpour, Heather Stants of Urban Tribal, Jill Parker of Ultra Gypsy, Rachel Brice, Zoe Jakes and Mardi Love of the Indigo to name but a few. Plus swing/jazz teachers such as Emily Vail and Linda and Chester Freeman. Barushka primarily combines classical Indian, cabaret, modern, swing & vintage jazz dance forms to create her specific style of fusion belly dance.
Barushka has performed  restaurants, theater stages, salons, gala events and festivals. She has taught and performed internationally and nationwide. She includes working with props such as veil, finger cymbals, and sword. Barushka was a member of the Alchemy Tribal Collective in NYC, and was also a former, first tear member of PURE in NYC. She was the co-founder of the tribal fusion troupe The Bleeding Hearts Belly Dance Co. She is also a member of the Kingston vintage jazz chorus-girl troupe The Uptown Lowdown. Her desire is to help raise the public’s frequency through the art of dance and help bring belly dance to a higher art form.

Patty Mooney

Yoga and Art Instructor

Patty Mooney

Yoga and Art Instructor

Patty has lived and worked in the Hudson Valley for 25 years creating, teaching and exploring the outdoors. Recently retired from Saugerties High School as an art teacher and Department Chairperson, she looks forward to reinventing herself teaching art in a non academic environment. She is also a yoga instructor with Advanced Certification from the well known Shakti Yoga in Woodstock. When teaching art or yoga Patty is light hearted and intuitive by nature. She looks to empower her students by guiding them thoughtfully through the creative process in art and the intricacies of body movement in yoga

Elena's headshot

Elena Lo-McEnaney

Admin & Graphic Designer

Elena's headshot

Elena Lo-McEnaney

Admin & Graphic Designer

Elena Lo-McEnaney is the Admin and Graphic Designer for the Cornell Creative Art Center. Having grown up in Kingston, she spent her summers during her high school years working for The Arc Mid-Hudson, assisting with any creative projects she could get her hands on. Since then, she has graduated from SUNY Purchase with a Bachelor’s Degree in Media Studies, where she focused on blending her love for art and design with her interest in sociology and media. She’s enthusiastic to be a part of the CCAC team, and to contribute to the work she feels is so valuable to our community.

Duff Allen

Creative Writing Instructor

Duff Allen

Creative Writing Instructor

Duff, teaching English at a local public high school, was given a prize for his iconoclastic work by Williams College, he always managed to scooch away plenty of time as a writer. After leaving this richly rewarding job, he became part of a devoted team of professors at Bard where he’s been teaching writing to economically and educationally disadvantaged individuals in the Clemente Course in the Humanities ever since. Examples of his work appear in Columbia Journal, Burningword Literary Review, Pure Slush, among many other publications. When he isn’t working on a new story before the sun comes up, he can usually be found splitting wood for the winter; pulling up beets, carrots, or garlic from the garden in the summer; or dreaming about skiing a bit too fast down a local mountain.