CAI Leadership

CAI is directed by SUNY Distinguished Professors David Felder (Birge-Cary Professor of Music) and Bruce Jackson (James Agee Professor of American Culture). They work with an advisory board composed of the leaders of Buffalo's arts institutions and foundations:

Janne Sirén

Director, Albright-Knox Art Gallery

Visionary arts leader Janne Sirén is the Peggy Pierce Elfvin Director of Buffalo’s Albright-Knox Art Gallery. A dynamic, passionate advocate for the arts and an accomplished art historian, Sirén was named director of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in 2013. At the time of his appointment in Buffalo, he was serving as director of Finland’s Helsinki Art Museum, one of the largest cultural institutions in the Nordic region. Previously, Sirén was director of the Tampere Art Museum in southern Finland, and taught courses in modern and contemporary art, aesthetics, museology, and critical theory in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Department of Art History.

Anthony Bannon

Former Director, Burchfield Penney Art Center

Executive director of the Burchfield Penney Art Center and a research professor at the SUNY Buffalo State until July 2017. Prior to assuming the position at Burchfield in 2012, Bannon served as the seventh director of the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film, located in Rochester, N.Y. During his 16-year tenure at the Eastman House, he developed three postgraduate programs and created alliances with museums, universities and collectors’ clubs throughout the United States. He also facilitated many of the most well-attended exhibitions in the museum’s 65-year history. In addition, he oversaw the digitization of collections and social-media campaigns to share Eastman House’s unparalleled collections with the world.

Paul Hogan

Executive Vice President, John R. Oishei Foundation

“The way that the arts work, in my view, is to stabilize a community. ”

The John R. Oishei foundation is the Buffalo area's largest private foundation and is dedicated to improving the lives of Western New York's residents.  Under the leadership of Paul Hogan, expanding the role of arts, culture and heritage in regional development has become one of the core areas of focus for the foundation. Hogan has a background in the arts, specifically creative writing, and it was because of this expertise that he was hired by the Oishei foundation. 

Daniel Hart

Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Executive Director

Daniel Hart has served as executive director since 2004. Trained as a musician on double bass, Hart performed as a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, the American Youth Orchestra, Debut Orchestra of the Young Musicians Foundation in Los Angeles and the Rome Festival Orchestra in Rome, Italy, before embarking on a career in orchestra management. Mr. Hart was chosen to participate in the prestigious Orchestra Management Fellowship Program of the League of American Orchestras. His first executive director post was with Baton Rouge Symphony (1988-90), followed by the Colorado Springs Symphony (1990-94) and the Virginia Symphony Orchestra (1994-98). Prior to his arrival in Buffalo, he served as president and executive director of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra (1998-2004).

Laurie Dean Torrell

 Executive Director, Just Buffalo Literary Center

Laurie Dean Torell is a passionate advocate of mission based nonprofit work, having more than 25 years of progressive experience in all aspects of nonprofit agency operations and leadership. Currently serving as executive director of Just Buffalo Literary Center, she has worked to bring expanded literary and arts education programming to the local community. This includes the Babel Literary Lecture series featuring readings and conversations with the world's greatest writers, now being called "one of the most exciting literary series that Buffalo has ever seen" and a wide variety of writers in education programs to support young writers. Just Buffalo also implemented a first-of-its-kind administrative collaboration with CEPA and Big Orbit Gallery, which received national attention through three nationally distributed articles, and a major award.

Jean Kopperud

Professor, UB Department of Music

Professional musician, concert clarinetist, avant-garde performer, recording artist, chamber musician and college professor are some of the “hats” worn by Kopperud in her unusual and eventful career. She has even played her clarinet while jumping out of airplanes and dangling from a parachute. She is respected as one of the most versatile and innovative clarinetists in the world and renowned for her virtuoso performances, which are reviewed with adjectives like “superhuman” and “unforgettably visual” and “magnificent,” to name a few. She has an impressive curriculum vitae, to say the least, and you can experience Jean’s clarinet playing with the Thüringer Salonquintett on the “Live in America” CD and also on the Albany Records’ CD, “Extreme Measures”  for clarinet and piano, which features all of the works commissioned and written specifically for Jean.

Robert Shibley

Dean, UB School of Architecture and Planning

An internationally renowned scholar and practitioner in architecture, planning and urban design, Robert G. Shibley is passionately devoted to building institutions, traditions and programs that advance design and planning through knowledge-based place-making. Since joining the UB School of Architecture and Planning in 1982, he has served as professor in both the architecture and urban and regional planning departments, with eight years as chairman of the architecture department and appointment as dean in 2011. A senior fellow of the UB Regional Institute since 2005, Shibley assumed the role of interim director after the institute aligned with The Urban Design Project (UDP) under the School of Architecture and Planning in 2011. Shibley has led the development of nationally award-winning plans for Buffalo’s downtown, waterfront, Olmsted parks system and the city’s comprehensive plan. He has served as the UDP principal investigator on master plans for the Larkin District, Niagara Falls and Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. The city-region is his educational and research laboratory, where he combines political leadership and community engagement with interdisciplinary scholarship, planning and design action.

Austin Booth

Vice Provost for University Libraries, UB

H. Austin Booth has overseen the UB library system since mid-2010 and now serves as vice provost for university libraries. UB's library system is the largest and most comprehensive in the State University of New York and includes more than 4 million print volumes, access to more than 50,000 electronic journals and the largest collection of James Joyce manuscripts, notebooks and letters in the world. The UB libraries receive more than 3.5 million in-person visits a year, with the electronic collections and services used at an even higher rate. In SUNY Student Opinion Surveys, UB students consistently rank the UB libraries at the top when asked to rank academic services and experiences. The UB libraries are members of the prestigious Association of Research Libraries.