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 – 2021-22
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) - 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) - 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.
John Pupparo has lived at least 40 of his 70 years in the upstate region. He is a graduate of Colorado State University. Has worked as a biological technician for most of his career. John has always been interested in Arts of various media - from painting in oils, print work and sculpture to design. John has also been involved in various community groups and currently volunteers at the Fair Haven library. He is now retired and is working on growing his involvement in his passion of wood carving and sculpting.
Wendy DeMarco - 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!
C.J. Dates - CJ Dates has lived in Sterling, NY for most of his life. He has a Bachelor's degree in Communication from Roberts Wesleyan College and a Masters of Divinity from Columbia Theological Seminary. He is the co-owner-operator of a 10-acre regenerative forest farm in Sterling, where he and his father produce edible perennial plants for the local community. He also works for Food Forest Abundance as a permaculture landscape installer to change people's grass lawns into food producing eco-systems. In his spare time, he paints iconography and visionary art, which is displayed at South Shore Artisans in Fair Haven. If you want to talk about the intersection of art, spirituality, theology, sustainability and community, he will buy you a drink at the Sterling Cidery, Stick and Rudder, Brandon's, Collocas, Turtle Cove, Pleasant Beach or Little Sodus Inn.