Members of the Board of Trustees are volunteers who contribute a variety of skills and expertise toward the operation of the theater. Individuals who are interested in joining the board should contact the Academy at firstname.lastname@example.org for an application and additional information.
BOARD of TRUSTEES
- Andrew J. Crystal, President
- Minh Ly, Vice President
- Stuart Mieher, Treasurer
- Linda McInerney, Clerk
- Emily Wojcik
- Isabelina Rodriguez
- Brian Foote
- Amanda Herman
- David Mintz
- Kathleen McCartney (Ex-Officio)
- Gina-Louise Sciarra (Ex-Officio)
For more than two decades, Andrew Crystal has been a civic leader. Fifteen years of that time he was the chair or a member of the city’s Planning Board and a vocal advocate that projects be well designed. As vice president of O’Connell Development Group of Holyoke, Andrew has developed and managed several notable area projects, including The Village Commons in South Hadley and the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield. A city resident, Andrew’s lifelong appreciation for the performing arts drew him to the Academy. He serves on the board to ensure that generations to come will be able to enjoy the historic theater.
Minh Ly is the Associate Director for Assessment at Smith College. With expertise in evaluation, he conducts research to determine if programs work and how students learn. During his twelve years at Smith, Minh has fostered a culture of continual curricular and institutional improvement through meaningful collaboration. His research interests focus on programs that promote access and inclusion for all students in higher education. A Pioneer Valley resident for over 20 years, he holds a deep appreciation for the area and the community. Minh is a firm believer and beneficiary of arts education, and is grateful for the Academy’s important place within the region. He enjoys attending art events throughout the valley with his wife, Kathy Foley, and their two children.
Stuart Mieher is a member of the investment management team at Select Equity Group, a New York-based firm that oversees a large stock portfolio. Earlier in his career, he worked as a journalist with the Wall Street Journal and later as a business consultant with Monitor Group, a Cambridge-based consulting firm, before moving to Northampton in 2002. He enjoys putting his business experience to work in the service of the Pioneer Valley’s vibrant performing arts community.
For more than 30 years Linda McInerney has worked as the Artistic Director of Eggtooth Productions, a non-profit theater company with the mission of creating, presenting, and producing high quality theater arts that engage, challenge, and entertain audiences. Linda lives in Greenfield, MA with her husband Chris.
Emily Wojcik is the managing editor if The Massachusetts Review, a nonprofit literary magazine based in Amherst, MA. She received her BA from Smith College and her PhD in English literature from the University of Connecticut. Since then, Emily has taught at the college level, and worked in nonprofit publishing and the arts for more than 20 years. She currently serves on the board of the Chester Theatre Company and is a member of the Patient-Family Advisory Committee for Cooley Dickinson Hospital. She and her husband, Dr. Michael Thurston, have been supporters of arts in the Valley for nearly two decades.
Isabelina Rodriguez, Ed.D. – Dr. Rodriguez is a 35-year Bi-lingual/bi-cultural Educator with experience within Public and Charter School settings. During her professional tenure, Dr. Rodriguez held various Educational Leadership positions. Serving as Chief Academic Officer with the Connecticut Dept. of Ed., Superintendent of Schools within the communities of Northampton and Granby Massachusetts, and most recently as the Paulo Freire Social Justice Charter Schools. Dr. Rodriguez’s longest tenure of employment of 16.5 years was with the Northampton Public Schools, with her last approximately 7 years leading the public-school district as their Superintendent of Schools. She describes her time in Northampton as one of the best and feeling as if being with family. Due to Dr. Rodriguez’s commitment and passion to ensuring equity in education, high achievement and social justice, she has a record of leading systemwide school change efforts to raise the achievement levels of all students, including student with disabilities and other subgroup populations. During her years as an educator, Isabelina has promoted access to art education for all students and is excited to be a new member of the Board of Trustees.
Brian Foote is the Director of the Northampton Arts Council and the City of Northampton’s Arts and Culture Department. He has worked in retail, sales, education, banking, business development, marketing, fundraising, venue management, and event production. He attended Bard College and graduated with a B.A double-majoring in Political Studies and Latin America-Iberian Studies. He went on to receive an M.A. from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst in Political Science. He is a dedicated community member with a passion to make positive change..
Amanda Herman is the Education Curator at the University Museum of Contemporary Art at UMass, Amherst. She holds an MFA from California College of the Arts in San Francisco and has been a visiting lecturer of photography and Social Practice at Smith, Hampshire, Amherst and Mt Holyoke Colleges. Starting in 2012, she produced Live Art Magazine, an annual art and music magazine created for the stage at the Academy of Music. She is Vice-President of the Board of Trustees at Historic Northampton and visual arts curator of Florence Night Out, an annual street festival in Florence. She’s committed to building community through art and sees the Academy of Music as a crucial piece of Northampton’s creative landscape.
David Mintz is an attorney with a solo general litigation and criminal defense practice who has been living in Northampton since 1986 and currently resides in Florence with his wife Shawn Farley, who is the Marketing Director at UMASS’ Fine Arts Center. One of the main attractions that drew David to Northampton was its robust arts and entertainment communities. He regards the Academy of Music as a city “treasure” and is excited to be joining the Board of Trustees as a new member. He has served as a board member for other non-profits including the Nonotuck Community School and, most recently, Soldier On (dedicated to providing services to formerly homeless veterans).
Kathleen McCartney (ex officio) is the eleventh president of Smith College. Before coming to Smith, McCartney was dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, only the fifth woman dean in the history of Harvard University. The first in her family to attend college, McCartney received her bachelor’s degree from Tufts University and her master’s and doctoral degrees in psychology from Yale University. She and her husband, Bill Hagen, live in the president’s house on the Smith campus and are proud to call Northampton home.
Gina-Louise Sciarra (ex-officio) is the 45th Mayor of the City of Northampton. Mayor Sciarra was elected in November 2021. Prior to serving as the city’s Chief Executive Officer, she was elected to four terms on the Northampton City Council – as Ward 4 City Councilor from 2013 to 2019 and City Councilor At-Large and City Council President from 2019 through 2021. Gina-Louise earned a bachelor’s degree from Smith College and earned a master’s of Philosophy in Sociology degree from CUNY. Gina-Louise lives with her husband and two daughters who attend Northampton Public Schools.