In June 2022 the Research Center for Arts and Culture moved into the Entertainment Community Fund as an archive and reference for the Fund’s work with professionals in the arts, culture and entertainment.
Since its founding by Joan Jeffri in 1985, at Columbia University, the RCAC has enjoyed the advice, assistance and expertise of an Advisory Board of artists, academics, economists, sociologists, and performing arts and entertainment industry professionals. We are grateful for their critical contributions, and pay our respects below for those who have passed away.
Director – Joan Jeffri
Joan Jeffri is the Founder and Director Emerita of the Research Center for Arts and Culture housed first at Columbia University and now at the Entertainment Community Fund (formerly The Actors Fund). She is former Director of the Program in Arts Administration at Teachers College, Columbia University and past President of the Association of Arts Administration Educators and the International Arts Medicine Association. She is a Scholar-in-Residence in the Arts Management Program at American University and an honorary professor at Shanghai Conservatory of Music.
Jeffri is the co-author with Yu Ding of Respect for Art: Visual Arts Management and Administration in China and the United States (2008); author of Arts Money: Raising It, Saving It, Earning It; (1989) and The Emerging Arts: Management, Survival and Growth (1980). She is also the editor of Artisthelp: The Artist’s Guide to Work-Related Human and Social Services (1990) and The Actor Speaks, The Painter Speaks, and The Craftsperson Speaks (1994, 1993, 1992). From 1981-1990, she served as an executive editor of The Journal of Arts Management and Law. She has conducted numerous studies including Changing the Beat: A Study of the Worklife of Jazz Musicians; Making Changes: Facilitating the Transition of Dancers to Post-Performance Careers with William Baumol and David Throsby; Information on Artists I, II and III and The Artists Training and Career Project.
Early in her career, Jeffri was a poet and protégé of Louis Untermeyer. A former professional actress, she appeared in the national tour of The Homecoming and in the Boston Company of The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds. She also appeared with the Lincoln Center Repertory Company in New York City.
Recent projects include the development of an interdisciplinary, intergenerational project to assist aging performing artists in documenting their work, the PERFORMING ARTS LEGACY PROJECT, and a previous project that did the same for professional visual artists, ART CART: SAVING THE LEGACY, both based on studies of aging performers in LA and NYC (STILL KICKING) and of professional visual artists in New York City (ABOVE GROUND).
The RCAC is grateful to the individuals who served on its Advisory Board over the years (click on any name for a short biography).
June Besek is Director of Studies at the Kernochan Center for Law, Media and the Arts and Director, International Intellectual Property Program at Columbia Law School. She joined the Center in 1999, where she oversees studies on national and international intellectual property issues. She was formerly Director of Intellectual Property at Reuters America Inc. and, before that, a partner at Schwab Goldberg Price & Dannay in New York. She is an active member of the ABA Intellectual Property Section and the Copyright Society of the U.S.A., and serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of the Copyright Society of the U.S.A. She received her B.A. from Yale and J.D. from New York University.
David Cohen works in aging, education, public policy, and the arts. David serves on the board of Northwest Neighbors Village (www.nwnv.org), a nonprofit network of neighbors in Washington, DC who help seniors remain in their homes as they age, for which David also volunteers. He joined the Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO (DPE) in 2002, became its Executive Director in 2006, and retired from it in 2014. DPE brought together 20 national unions representing professional and technical people in education; health care; arts, entertainment, and media; engineering, science, and information technology; and public administration. At work on a book about life choices, David is also a portrait and wildlife photographer; see www.DavidCohenPhotoDC.com and www.ForestHillsConnection.com.
At the AFL-CIO Education Department from 1993 to 2002, David led strategic planning for national unions, consulted on organizational development, developed educational campaign materials, and taught others to teach. David graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Law School and received a Shaw Travelling Fellowship to study schools in four European cities. He clerked for a federal judge in Massachusetts and became a partner in a Washington, DC law firm, Barr, Peer, Cohen & Camens. He has written for The Washington Post, Harvard Magazine, and other publications.
Current and recent research projects address such topics as polarization in Americans’ attitudes on social and cultural issues; inequality in access to and use of information technology; public conflicts over the arts; and trends in press depictions of government arts funding in the U.S. From 1979 to 1992 he taught at Yale University, rising from Assistant Professor to Professor of Sociology, with appointments at the School of Organization and Management and the Institution for Social and Policy Studies (where he Directed the Yale Program on Non-Profit Organizations). A past chair of the American Sociological Association Section on Culture and the ASA Section on Organizations, Occupations, and Work, he has also served on the ASA Publications and Nominations Committees and the ASA Executive Council. He held a fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation in 1990, was a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences in 1984-85, and was Visiting Scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation in 2008. He is also David Reisman Fellow of the American Academy of Political and Social Science and an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Professor DiMaggio received his B.A. from Swarthmore College in 1971 and his Ph.D. in Sociology from Harvard in 1979.
Richard Masur has starred in more than 55 feature films, including Who’ll Stop the Rain, Risky Business, My Girl, Heaven’s Gate, Forget Paris, Heartburn, Under Fire, and most recently Tumbledown and Don’t Think Twice.
He has appeared in over 45 television films, three of which—Adam, Fallen Angel and The Burning Bed (Emmy Nomination)—are among the top-ten rated TV movies of all time, Other television movie credits include roles in HBO’s much-heralded And The Band Played On, Showtime’s Hiroshima, and HBO’s 61*. Masur has also starred in numerous popular TV series, including The Hot l Baltimore, One Day at a Time, Rhoda, Empire, Picket Fences, and guest starred on countless TV comedy and drama series over 4 decades, including HBO’s Bored To Death, and Girls, and most recently has been recurring on CBS’ The Good Wife, TV Land’s Younger, Netflix’ Orange is the New Black, and Amazon’s Red Oaks and Transparent.
He has appeared on Broadway in the Tony nominated productions of David Storey’s The Changing Room, Nora Ephron’s Lucky Guy, and Michael Frayne’s Democracy; some of his Off-Broadway credits include: The Exonerated; MTC’s world premiere of Sarah, Sarah, by Daniel Goldfarb; The Public Theatre’s production of The Ruby Sunrise; Playwrights Horizon’s world premiere of a feminine ending by Sarah Treem; the New Group’s production of Mike Leigh’s 2000 Years; Make Me, by Leslie Ayvazian at the Atlantic; Roger Rosenblatt’s The Oldsmobile’s at The Flea; Charles Busch’s Olive and The Bitter Herbs at Primary Stages; and Fetch Clay, Make Man by Will Power at the McCarter and the NY Theater Workshop; The Net Will Appear at Milesquare Theater; and Relevance at MCC at The Lortel.
He is also a Directors Guild and Academy Award nominated director.
Masur served as National President, VP and Board member of Screen Actors Guild and was also a Board member of SAG-AFTRA. He is a Trustee on the SAG Pension Plan and the SAG-AFTRA Health Plan and has been a member of the National Film Preservation Board for 20 years.
He is a founding member of the PERFORMING ARTS LEGACY project at The Actors Fund.
Virginia Wing, whose ancestors came to the “Gold Mountain” from China in the mid-1800s, was born and raised in the tiny Mississippi Delta town of Marks, MS. Growing up in the middle, literally, of a totally segregated, sometimes violently segregated, society, she was acutely aware of racial strife and was told that she was on the Mississippi Citizens’ Council’s list as a subversive element on the college campus after a speech she gave in Chapel while in college in 1957 supporting racial understanding and integration.
As an actress and singer this quest for mutual respect and understanding between people led to protests against, and eventually elimination of, white actors in yellow makeup and taped up eyes portraying Asians on stage and in film.
Professionally, she has run the gamut from opera, theatre, cabaret, TV, film, playwriting, directing and producing to script analysis. She modeled in her youth and is in the Breck Girl Hall of Fame. She was the model in the Mitsouko by Guerlain ad in the 60s, which won many awards internationally. She was a nominee for Best Actress in the Hollywood NAACP Image Awards and is the recipient of the Disorient Film Festival’s Inspirational Artist Award. She was honored by the inclusion of her life and career in the Mississippi Delta Chinese Heritage Museum.
She is a founding member of the PERFORMING ARTS LEGACY project at The Actors Fund.
In addition, past Advisory Board members of the RCAC and its research on aging artists include:
Theodore S. Berger
Kinshasha Holman Conwill
Douglas D. Heckathorn
Morris B. Holbrook
Anthony S. Keller
Carmen de Lavallade
Donald E. Sexton
We express our deep gratitude for the time, advice, and good work of these former RCAC Advisory Board members:
Mary V. Ahern, 1922- 2021
Mary V. Ahern was a founding Advisory Board Member of the Research Center for Arts and Culture. An important behind-the-scenes figure on the cultural magazine show “Omnibus” and other early television programs, She was pivotal in bringing Leonard Bernstein to the program, and his episode broadcast in November 1954, is regarded as a classic early example of television that both entertains and enlightens.
She then helped preserve those and similar touchstones of television history as the Paley Center for Media’s first curator in 1976.
She graduated from Radcliffe College in 1942, and then, during World War II, she served for three years in the Army’s Chemical Warfare Service. After the war, Ms. Ahern enrolled in a management training course at the Harvard Business School (which was not yet admitting women to its master’s program).
She was a string supporter of women and their ideas.
William Baumol, 1922 – 1917
William Jack Baumol was a founding Advisory Board member of the Research Center for Arts and Culture A world-renowned economist, his long-lasting and seminal contribution to the arts began in 1966 with his and William Bowen’s now famous book, Performing Arts – The Economic Dilemma, which gave birth to the theory of “cost disease” which had serious implications for many sectors of society. He made major contributions across a wide swath of economics and mentored two future Princeton University presidents. He was the author of more than 40 books and more than 500 articles in professional journals and newspapers
Baumol was the Joseph Douglas Green 1895 Professor of Economics, Emeritus, and senior economist at Princeton, as well as the Harold Price Professor of Entrepreneurship and academic director of the Berkley Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in the Stern School of Business at New York University.
He earned his bachelor’s degree from the City College of New York and his Ph.D. from the University of London. He was a junior economist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture and an assistant lecturer at the London School of Economics before joining the Princeton faculty. He joined the faculty at New York University in 1971 while continuing his Princeton appointment.
Baumol was the former president of the American Economic Association, the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, the Eastern Economic Association, and the Atlantic Economic Society. He received 12 honorary degrees, including one from Princeton in 1999, and was a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society and the British Academy.
Baumol didn’t limit his teaching to economics. A gifted painter and sculptor, he also taught a course in wood carving at Princeton.
Steven G. Benedict, 1930 - 2020
Steven G. Benedict was the first director of the graduate Program in Arts Administration at Columbia University’s School of the Arts from 1980-1989, after a long stint at the Rockefeller Foundation. He also served as chairman of The Theatre Development Fund Board from 1967 – 2012. Not only was he instrumental in acquiring funding to launch TDF, but he served as the non-profit’s Chairman from 1973-75 and 1987-90.
Charles C. Bergman, 1933 - 2018
A proud graduate of Harvard’s Class of 1954, Charlie served as an Overseer of the University Art Museums. After reorganizing Project HOPE under President Kennedy, Charlie became Vice President of the Inter-American Foundation for the Arts, a Rockefeller initiative and the first private cultural exchange program between the United States and Latin America. Charlie, who had a long-standing interest in public health, became Executive Vice President and Treasurer of the Academy of Religion and Mental Health and served as a special advisor to the President’s Committee on Mental Retardation under Nixon, Ford, and Carter. Charlie found his true life’s work in 1984 when he was asked to organize the Pollock-Krasner Foundation. He became its first Executive Director and eventually Chairman and CEO. To date, the Foundation has awarded grants of upwards of $71 million to more than 4,400 artists in seventy-seven countries. Charlie also served as Chairman of the Park Avenue Sculpture Committee and of the Leadership Council of the New York Foundation for the Arts. He sat on the Board of Trustees of the Fine Arts Work Center, Provincetown; The Eakins Press Foundation; The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers; the Philanthropy Committee of the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation; and the Harpo Foundation, Los Angeles, among others. A Presidential Fellow of the Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies, Charlie also served on the Cultural Affairs Advisory Commission of New York City and on the New York State Council on the Arts.
Robert N. Butler, 1927 - 2010
A pioneer in the field of geriatrics, Dr. Butler founded Mount Sinai’s Department of Geriatrics and Adult Development in 1982, the first such department at a U.S. medical school. Prior to Mount Sinai, he was, from 1975 to 1982, the founding director of the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health. He was also founder of several other organizations, including the Alzheimer’s Disease Association, the American Association of Geriatric Psychiatry, the American Federation for Aging Research, the Alliance for Aging Research, and the International Longevity Center-USA, of which he was also CEO and President. A prolific writer of science and medicine, Dr. Butler received the 1976 Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction for his book, “Why Survive? Being Old in America.”
Ronald Feldman, 1938 - 2022
Gallerist Ronald Feldman was a founding Advisory Board member and a staunch advocate of the Research Center for Arts and Culture.
Passionate proponent of the arts and freedom of expression, Ron spoke the language of art and believed in its power to convey timeless messages and spiritual truths. He was a champion of big ideas. In the span of 50 years, the Feldman Gallery exhibited the work of hundreds of artists, providing commentary on the societal issues of our time.
An impassioned collaborator, coach and leader that made everyone feel part of a movement. He fostered a community built on deep-rooted values and was a fearless visionary of a better world.
Ron was trained as a lawyer, but soon after becoming a partner in his firm, he abandoned that world to create Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, devoting his energies to groundbreaking artists like Hannah Wilke, Joseph Bueys, and Mierle Laderman Ukeles.
He was a champion of democracy, and served on the National Council of the Arts, and on the boards of People for the American Way, Creative Capital, the Art Dealers Association of America and the New School’s Vera List Center for Art and Politics.
Learn more about his life and work in Artforum and the New York Times.
Martin Iguchi, 1955-2021
Martin Y. Iguchi, Ph.D. was a Senior Behavioral Scientist at the RAND Corporation, where he previously served as Director of the Drug Policy Research Center. Other recent positions included Dean and Professor, School of Nursing & Health Studies, Georgetown University, as well as Chair and Professor, Department of Community Health Sciences, UCLA School of Public Health. Iguchi’s research focuses on health disparities, interventions to reduce the impact of drug use and HIV, and on public policies that have disproportionately impacted minority communities. Iguchi also worked with Joan Jeffri in an examination of Aging Performing Artists in New York and Los Angeles. Iguchi was a member of the US Japan Council, the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Committee on Psychology of AIDS, as well as APA’s Health Disparities Steering Committee. He was a former member of APA’s Board of Professional Affairs as well as APA’s Board of Scientific Affairs. He was a senior editor for Addiction, and served on the Editorial Boards of Drug and Alcohol Dependence, Journal of Drug Issues, and Journal of Drug Policy Analysis.
John M. Kernochan, 1919-2007
John Kernochan was Nash Professor Emeritus of Law and Director of the Kernochan Center for Law, Media and the Arts at Columbia University.
Joining the Columbia faculty in 1952, Professor Kernochan became a full Professor of Law in 1955. From 1977 to 1990 he was appointed Nash Professor of Law. He organized and supervised projects and studies in witness immunity, correction law, financial protection against nuclear hazards and other risks of catastrophic accident, arms control, health and air pollution regulation, housing maintenance, and model constitutions and charters for state and local governments.
Professor Kernochan served on the Boards of Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts and E.C. Shirmer Music Company. He was also President of Gaudia Music and Arts, Inc. Publications include Cases and Materials on Business Torts; the Legislative Process; andLegal Method: Cases and Materials (co-author).
Professor Kernochan received his Bachelors Degree from Harvard University in 1942 and his Law Degree from Columbia University in 1948. He made the rank of Captain in the U.S. Army where he served from 1943 to 1946.
Harold S. Klein, 1921 - 2010
An expert in copyright and trademark law, Mr. Klein filed the first visual copyright of a dance piece for choreographer Martha Graham in 1974, and served countless times as an expert witness in the field. As an entertainment attorney, he worked first for CBS, then for Columbia Pictures, and as the Executive Assistant to United Artists’ president, Arthur Krim. Later he was a partner in the law firm of Javits Trubin Sillcocks and Edelman and later worked as a sole practitioner. For numerous years, as a respected negotiator, he represented the seven major motion picture studios in their negotiations with all of the labor unions with whom they worked.
Walter Mischel, 1930 - 2018
Walter Mischel was the Robert Johnston Niven Professor of Psychology at Columbia University, and taught at the University of Colorado from 1956 to 1958, at Harvard University from 1958 to 1962, and at Stanford University from 1962 to 1983. Mischel was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2004 and to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1991. In 2007, he was elected president of the Association for Psychological Science. Mischel’s other honors include the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award from the American Psychological Association, the Distinguished Scientist Award of the Society of Experimental Social Psychologists, the Distinguished Contributions to Personality Award of the Society of Social and Personality Psychologists, and the Distinguished Scientist Award of American Psychological Association’s Division of Clinical Psychology. He was past editor of Psychological Review and past president of the American Psychological Association Division of Social and Personality Psychology and of the Association for Research in Personality. Walter Mischel was a Professor of Psychology at Columbia University. Subsequent to that position, he was Chairman of the Department of Psychology at Columbia University from 1988 to 1991, and held the same position at Stanford University from 1977 to 1978, and then again from 1982-1983. From 1958 to 1983, he held professorships Stanford University, Harvard University and University of Colorado. Past Editor of “Psychological Review”, some of Professor Mischel’s most recent publications include articles in the “European Journal of Personality” and “Psychological Review”. He also recently contributed a chapter to the book, Integrating Dispositions and Processing Dynamics Within a Unified Theory of Personality: The Cognitive Affective Personality System (co-author) (1999), and a chapter in The History of Behavior Therapy. Recent honors included being elected as Fellow of the Society of Experimental Psychologists in 1999 and receiving an honorary Ph.D. from Ohio State University in 1997. He was a fellow of the American Psychological Association and a member of the Society of Experimental Social Psychologists. Professor Mischel graduated from New York University with a degree in Psychology in 1951. He then received his Masters in Psychology from the College of City of New York in 1953. In 1956 he received his Ph.D. in Psychology from Ohio State University.
Mark Schuster, 1951-2008
Mark Schuster was Professor of Urban Studies and Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He served as the 1999 Scholar-in-Residence of the Program in Arts Administration at Teachers College, Columbia University. He was a public policy specialist, specializing in the analysis of government policies and programs with respect to the arts, culture, and environmental design.Professor Schuster was the author of numerous books, articles and reports, includingPreserving the Built Heritage: Tools for Implementation, Patrons Despite Themselves: Taxpayers and Arts Policy and Who’s to Pay for the Arts? An International Model of Arts Support. He was a founding member of the Association for Cultural Economics, co-editor of its journal, and on the editorial boards of the International Journal of Cultural Policy,The Journal of Planning Education and Research, and Poetics. He served as a consultant to the National Planning Commission, the Arts Council of Great Britain, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Canada Council, and the Council of Europe. He conducted research under the auspices of the French Ministry of Culture, the Arts Council of New Zealand, and the University of Barcelona.Professor Schuster received an A.B. in Applied Mathematics, magna cum laude, from Harvard College in 1972. He received a Ph.D. in Urban Studies and Planning from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1979.
Stephen E. Weil, 1928-2005
Stephen E. Weil was a leading administrator, teacher, and scholar of museums, art and the law, who believed strongly in museums’ potential for making a difference in people’s lives.
Mr. Weil was a vice president and general manager of the Marlborough Gallery from 1963 to 1967 and an administrator, secretary and trustee of the Whitney Museum of American Art from then until 1974. From 1974 to his retirement in 1995, he served as deputy director of the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. Following his retirement he was scholar emeritus at the Smithsonian’s Center for Education and Museum Studies.
Mr. Weil was an expert in copyrights, trusteeships and the sale of artworks from museum collections. He was on the faculty of the Museum Management Institute at the University of California, Berkeley, from 1979 to 1996. He served as a presidential appointee on the Cultural Property Advisory Committee of the Department of State (1995-2000) and on the board of the International Committee on Management for the International Council of Museums. His books include A Cabinet of Curiosities; Rethinking the Museum and Other Meditations; Beauty and the Beasts: On Museums, Art, the Law, and the Market; andMaking Museums Matter. He received his field’s highest honor, the American Association of Museums (AAM) Award for Distinguished Service to Museums. Weil was also the first inductee on the AAM Centennial Honor Roll.
Mr. Weil graduated from Brown University in 1949 and the Columbia University Law School in 1956.
Barbara Weisberger, 1926 - 2020
Barbara Weisberger was an early RCAC Advisory Board member. She founded the Pennsylvania Ballet in Philadelphia with a steadfast vision that transformed the troupe into a nationally acclaimed company.
She was the first child accepted by George Balanchine in the school he opened in Manhattan in 1934.
She opened a ballet school in 1953 in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania and attended seminars that Balanchine organized for teachers associated with small community troupes. She established another school, in Philadelphia, in 1962 and the Pennsylvania Ballet in 1963. She focused on works by Balanchine, who served as an unofficial advisor and allowed her company to use his copyrighted works for free.
The troupe appeared in New York in the 1960s and ’70s, usually at the Brooklyn Academy of Music and at City Center in Manhattan. Public television gave it national exposure with its series “Dance in America.”
It also performed throughout the United States, touring for one-night stands with one bus for the dancers and another for the orchestra, bringing live dance to many who had never seen it.
In 1984 she initiated the Carlisle Project, an innovative program in Carlisle, Pa., to develop choreographers; she headed it until 1996.
Her artistic sensibility contributed greatly to the RCAC.