Board of Directors
Amy Shapiro, President, is an artist who specializes in interactive art. She received a degree in Fine Arts from The School of Visual Art in New York in 1987. Her involvement with Circle Arts, Inc. began in the 1990’s while participating in the warehouse events at Mustard in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. She has been the Events Producer and a writer for Sandbox Magazine, a member of the Ridge Street Artists Collective, a member Hit & Run Theater, participated in the Earth Celebrations pageants and performed and toured with the Missile Dick Chicks. She performed for many years at Rubulad. She has received art honorarium grants from the Burning Man organization in 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2009. Ms. Shapiro performs with the Whiskey & Whores band as Bacon.
You can learn more about her on her web site, amyshapiro.com
Jen Upchurch, Vice President, grew up in Georgia and graduated from GA State University with a degree in theater and journalism. She helped grow the successful student theater group, the GA State Players, that produced and housed musical, drama, avant-garde, and performance theater in Atlanta, GA. Concurrently, she was a company member dancer of Movement Force. In 2000, Ms Upchurch was awarded the highest honor given in theater at GA State University which was the Players Award.
That year, Ms. Upchurch moved to New York. She currently resides in Manhattan. While in New York, Ms. Upchurch has worked at Coney Island USA producing the major event Mermaid Parade (2001-2003), worked as assistant stage manager and house manager for the American Place Theater, and performed and toured with different sideshows and avant-garde dance troupes. Ms. Upchurch has worked on such events in NYC as Figment, Decom, NY Fringe Festival, Howl Festival, and Action Arts League.
In 2007 Ms. Upchurch presented her first NY production “A Fairy Tales Dream…a Rock Dance Production!” The production was a dance that incorporated trapeze, stilts, hula hooping, acrobatics and ballet choreographed to the music of the rock band Fat Free! That same year, Ms Upchurch made her Israeli television premier in a knife throwing act. 2007 also brought Ms Upchurch the opportunity to work with the artist David Best and Temple Crew 2007 at Burning Man in Nevada. When Ms. Upchurch came back from the beautiful desert, she immediately received a grant to teach inner city schools’ art for the Tompkins Scare Park.
In 2008, Ms Upchurch’s sculpture pieces LIPS=Love were accepted into the Circle Arts Organization, a NY Non-Profit Arts Organization and were displayed on Governor’s Island, Camp D, and Burning Man 2008. She was also awarded a grant to design and build a mini-golf hole entitled “Gotham City=Superheroes” for Figment.
In 2009, a LIPS=Love Sculpture was displayed at the Action Arts League NYC Inauguration Ball. Finally that same year, Ms Upchurch was awarded two grants. The first was the Oscar M. Ruebhausen Commission from the Greenwall Foundation to build the art piece “Temple of Truth” that was displayed on NY Governor’s Island for the summer, and the second was the HealthCorps Grant to teach inner city schools’ art for Green Halloween. Ms. Upchurch was officially published in 2009 in the book “Coyote Goes Global” which premiered her illustrations.
Rachel (Rae) Klein, CPA (Board Treasurer) is a partner in PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP's real estate audit practice in New York. She has approximately 16 years of experience serving clients in New York and Cleveland. Rachel participates in several industry technical and quality initiatives and is an active member of the AICPA and NAREIT. She has undergraduate and graduate degrees from Ohio University in accounting. She also serves as the treasurer on the board of two non-profit organizations, including Circle Arts, which were created to encourage and support independent art in New York City.
Chassy Cleland is an artist and professional interaction designer who is passionate about large scale interactive artwork that draws in observers with a sense of wonder and leaves them thinking about the narratives that shape the way we understand our world. Chassy's most recent work was The Watch, a 25'x40' installation about evidence and the stories told about the origin of life. The Watch draws from worldwide folklore, scientific method and the 150 year debate over evolution. Prior works include The Cave, examining way American folklore shapes our vision of our country and Would You Like to Play a Game, playing early video games against military intelligence.
Chassy is also an Experience Lead at HUGE, a design agency that is focused on creating inspiring, useful genre-changing web sites. Some of Chassy's interaction design work includes redesigns of the sites for The History Channel (history.com), Scientific American (sciam.com), IKEA (ikea.com), MTV (mtv.com) and AnnArbor.com, a new web-based platform intended as the future for local newspapers.
Kenneth Colosky, IT Consultant and Promotions
Kirsten Tarr currently resides in Brooklyn, NY by way of Los Angeles, CA. She grew up in Ohio and graduated from Cleveland State University with a degree in Media Communications and International Marketing. Kirsten has been working with music and performance in one manner or another since childhood. In NYC she has worked on a plethora of events, most recently including (but not limited to) Figment, Burning Man Decompression, Circle Arts, Winkel & Balktick and beyond. Her main focus is on event production, stage management and curating music, performance and art.