The group of four FHAC founding members came together in 2012 with the common goal of establishing a not for profit arts center. Community surveys revealed a strong interest in both adult and children’s music and art programs. The FHAC founding members pooled resources and applied for 501c(3) status which was granted in late 2014.
The FHAC found a home at the 1864 House in downtown Fair Haven and opened its doors there in May 2015. The 1864 House was renovated with the help of a New York State Main Street grant. The vision of its two owners was to provide a place that would bring the arts to the community. As a non-profit organization, the FHAC is managed by a Board of Directors.
Board of Directors – 2023-24
Susan Lemon (President) – is a resident of Sterling, NY. Since retiring from Lockheed Martin where she managed advanced engineering programs, she is focusing her life in ways to give back to the community in which she now resides. Although her advanced degree was in Physics, she has had a life-long love of music, theater & the arts and is passionate to make these available to her new community. As a young adult she studied piano at Westchester Conservatory of Music and participated in numerous plays throughout high school and college. For the past four years she has directed a senior reader’s theatre group in Oswego, NY. She is also currently co-owner of the local businesses; Hardware Café & General Store and Turners 1816 House B&B.
Pat Hanford (Vice President - Community Affairs) - resident of Fair Haven, NY. Pat is a retired Nurse Practitioner and a long time resident of Fair Haven where she has participated in numerous community activities. A library volunteer for over 10 years, she is a former officer of the Fair Haven Chamber of Commerce, and of the Fair Haven Planning board. Pat has also spear-headed the start and continuance of Fair Haven’s SOFA (Save our Fourth of July) group which has been running the July 4th activities in the town for over 16 years.
Millie Newshan (Treasurer & Vice President - Admin) - is a resident of Sterling, NY. For over 25 years, Millie has used her expertise in financial, accounting and consulting areas to provide freelance services to small businesses. Millie has a Finance degree from New York University. She has previously served as Secretary on the board of the Fair Haven Area Chamber of Commerce. Millie has also served as President of the Oswego chapter of the American Association of University Women. Millie enjoys photography, water color and the arts in general. She was inspired to join the board of an organization that wants to share their love of the arts with the community.
Carroll Grant - (Secretary) is a resident of Fair Haven and has lived partially in the Village her whole life. She recently retired from being the Director of an Upstate Medical University Pediatric Clinic in Syracuse that served young children with disabilities with a special focus on autism. She has a doctoral degree from Syracuse University in Special Education and post doctoral degree in School Psychology from Oswego. Carroll has been a strong advocate for the use of expressive arts as tool to better understand oneself and others. She created an interactive puppet work shop, "Kidspeak" to help others better understand autism that was presented in elementary schools throughout Central New York. She also authored a curriculum and children's book to augment the messages of the workshop. In addition to her professional work, Carroll is the business owner of Grants' Vacation Park , a RV/mobile home campground, which was opened in Fair Haven in 1952 by her father.
Wendy DeMarco - formerly of Webster, NY, is retired and resides on Port Bay in Wolcott, NY. Prior to retirement, Wendy worked in various medical offices in Rochester, NY, including employment as Medical Information Coordinator at ABVI's Vision Rehabilitation Center. She also spent several years working as an independent contractor providing medical transcription services. Wendy has been interested in drawing and painting since childhood and she is mostly self-taught. She has enjoyed oil and acrylic painting in past years and has recently become enthralled with watercolor painting and the way the paint seems to take on a life of its own. Wendy is a regular attendee of "Paint with Friends" in the Art Center's barn and she encourages more friends to give it a try!
Robert Kolsters - Robert traveled the country as a PepsiCo public relations representative meeting with bottlers and conducting promotional presentations. As a member of the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee, he coordinated vendor and athlete communications in conjunction with IBM. As an independent systems analyst, he consulted for IBM on their newly introduced network technologies. He designed the curriculum and trained the instructors for Microtech Office Systems Institute. As the lead instructor, he trained engineers at Pasadena’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the TRW Aerospace Division, and the judges of the Los Angeles Superior Court. He has helmed his own software development company for over thirty-five years. Moving exclusively to systems that can be installed and managed remotely has afforded him the flexibility to spend the greater portion of his time in Fair Haven over the past thirty years. His interest in the arts centers around theatre and the creative presentation of historical events. Robert has written numerous newspapers articles and two books on the history of Fair Haven, as well as conducting walking tours and public presentations on historical aspects of the area.
Stephen Wurst - is a resident of North Wolcott, NY. After earning his PhD in psychology from NYU, he was hired as a professor at SUNY-Oswego, he taught for 33 years until he recently retired. He incorporated art into his courses in perception and cognition, using the works of Dali, Pollock, Escher, Calder, Horton and others to demonstrate different concepts. He also taught sport psychology and research methods in psychology. His hobbies include photography, puzzles, stereoscopy, sports, and history. His love of local history came from his mother, who was a Sussex County (NJ) historian.