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.

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Art Gallery 1
art studio 1
art studio 2
art studio classroom
coworking space 3
coworking space 4
coworking space
dance movement studio classroom
Dance studio 1
Dance studio 2
Dance Studio set up for 20-person workshop
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Art Gallery 1
art studio 1
art studio 2
art studio classroom
coworking space 3
coworking space 4
coworking space
dance movement studio classroom
Dance studio 1
Dance studio 2
Dance Studio set up for 20-person workshop
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mission
Studio rental B
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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.


Art for All – Accessibility

All parts of the art center are wheelchair accessible, with a ramp at our main entrance, an ADA pottery wheel, and accessible parking spots in our parking lot.  While we have ADA men’s & women’s bathrooms, gender diversity is welcomed at CCAC. All are welcome to use the restroom that best fits their identity.

Some of our classes are offered in both English and Spanish, and while do not have Spanish translations for all of our programming, we are happy to try our best to accommodate with notice. Virtual classes are taught in English unless otherwise specified. ASL and captions are not available at this time but we welcome translators, interpreters and other volunteers to contact us.


 

Our Team

The staff consists at present of an Assistant Director, Marketing Manager, an Administrative Assistant and a 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.

Shanna Nigro

Assistant Director

Shanna Nigro

Assistant Director

Shanna Nigro-Gonzalez is the Assistant Director for the Cornell Creative Art Center and The Arc Mid-Hudson Foundation in Kingston NY. Shanna is currently working on her MBA in project management with an advanced certificate in non-for profit. She received her undergraduate degree in Human Development and Psychology from Empire State University. With extensive experience in community programing, innovative planning activities, and grant writing, Ms. Nigro is responsible for developing and maintaining inclusive, diverse and equitable arts programming for the Art Center. She enjoys artistic expression through photography, culinary arts, acrylic and watercolor painting.

Elena Lo-McEnaney

Admin & Graphic Designer

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.

Karen Jaimes

Ceramics Studio Manager & Instructor

Karen Jaimes

Ceramics Studio Manager & Instructor

KJ is an artist-activist and educator who makes clay sculptures to address sociopolitical issues. The transhistorical and transcultural nature of ceramics makes it the perfect material for metaphor. Her sculptures have been exhibited in the Williamsburg Art and Historical Center, the Katonah Museum of Art, the Barrett Art Center and the Dorsky Museum of Art among others. She holds a MFA in ceramics from SUNY New Paltz and a BFA from Manhattanville College with a minor in political science. ​Karen is an enthusiastic teacher who enjoys sharing her knowledge of clay’s vast properties that span across many fields, including alchemy, geology, and anthropology. She is a seasoned educator who has worked with people of all age groups and learning capacities at community centers, public schools and universities, art centers, museums, and summer camp. She especially loves working with senior citizens and underrepresented folks. Karen employs a therapeutic approach in the classroom and draws out students’ collective knowledge when teaching traditional historical methods and contemporary practices to foster community and connection.

Es una artista-activista y educadora que hace esculturas de arcilla para abordar problemas sociopolíticos. La naturaleza transhistórica y transcultural de la cerámica la convierte en el material perfecto para la metáfora. Sus esculturas se han exhibido en el Centro Histórico y de Arte de Williamsburg, el Museo de Arte Katonah, el Centro de Arte Barrett y el Museo de Arte Dorsky, entre otros. Tiene un MFA en cerámica de SUNY New Paltz y un BFA de Manhattanville College con especialización en ciencias políticas. Karen es una maestra entusiasta que disfruta compartir su conocimiento de las vastas propiedades de la arcilla que abarcan muchos campos, incluida la alquimia, la geología y la antropología. Es una educadora experimentada que ha trabajado con personas de todas las edades y capacidades de aprendizaje en centros comunitarios, escuelas públicas y universidades, centros de arte, museos y campamentos de verano. A ella le encanta especialmente trabajar con personas de la tercera edad y personas con poca representación. Karen emplea un enfoque terapéutico en el aula y extrae el conocimiento colectivo de los estudiantes al enseñar métodos históricos tradicionales y prácticas contemporáneas para fomentar la comunidad y la conexión.

Andy Piquero

Receptionist

Andy Piquero

Receptionist

Anderson, or Andy, Piquero (he/they) is one of the receptionists for the Cornell Creative Arts Center. He’s had a passion for the arts since he was a kid and can’t imagine a world without creativity. He went to SUNY New Paltz for Creative Writing and has been working with The Arc for about 4 years now. He strives to create a warm, friendly, and calm environment for all those who come to visit or take classes.

Barushka

Bellydance Instructor

Barushka

Bellydance 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.

Shana Circe

Arts Instructor

Shana Circe

Arts Instructor

Shana is a multi media artist with a current passion for watercolor. She received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Visual Arts Education with concentrations in Photography from SUNY New Paltz. After a long career in higher education she has turned her focus to bringing art instruction to her community in the Hudson Valley. She enjoys all the variation watercolor offers and loves to paint in a loose and vibrant style. She also appreciates the delicacy of controlled realism, and simplicity and power of illustration that can be achieved through the medium. She believes everyone has a creative self and loves to help students find joy and pride in their creative work.

Megan Dewitt

Art Instructor

Megan Dewitt

Art Instructor

Ashley Foss

Art Instructor

Ashley Foss

Art Instructor

Ashley Foss is a mixed media artist, and arts educator with a current passion for charcoal drawing. Ashley has attended classes at the Woodstock School of Art, and SUNY Ulster for graphic design. For many years she has worked directly with individuals supported as a direct support professional, helping to identify and support the abilities of all individuals. She has a passion for connecting individuals with the Arts Community and hopes to teach others how to find simplicity within the details. Her current focus is realism, but she also enjoys abstract. She works with mixed media such as charcoal, watercolor, and ceramics.

Holly Shelowitz

Culinary Nutrition Educator & Instructor

Holly Shelowitz

Culinary Nutrition Educator & Instructor

Holly Shelowitz is a Nutrition Counselor, Culinary Educator and Wellness Coach.
For the past 23 years, Holly has been inspiring people to slow down, prepare nourishing
food, connect with themselves and engage their senses.
Holly’s private consultations, nutrition and cooking classes, aromatherapy and herbal
wisdom workshops have helped thousands of people to feel empowered and proactive
about their health, and make positive changes in their lives.
Holly is a regular guest on Northeast Public Radio Food Friday show, and was
the Northeast Regional Nutrition Educator for Whole Foods Market Global. Holly is a
keynote speaker with corporations, educational institutions, and is on the faculty at
Omega Institute.
When she’s not in the kitchen, you will find Holly walking or riding her bicycle on the
glorious Hudson Valley Trails.
Visit www.nourishingwisdom.com to connect with Holly and learn more about her
offerings