Arts & Corporate Responsibilities

10:45 am | bartos screening room

One of LIC’s greatest assets is its large and diverse arts and cultural community, as well as its deep support for the arts from its corporate leaders.  This panel will explore this symbiotic relationship, as well as where the lines of responsibility are, and are not..



David Brause (introduction)

President, Brause Realty Inc.

David Brause has worked in real estate for over 25 years handling acquisitions, development and management of office, retail, and residential property in the tri-state area. As President of Brause Realty Inc., he has been active in the ownership and development of approximately three million square feet of space. 

Paula kirby (moderator)

Managing Director, Plaxall Inc.

Paula Kirby is Managing Director of Plaxall, an innovator in the thermoforming industry and a third-generation family business which owns and manages more than a million square feet of property in Long Island City. Prior to joining Plaxall in 2014, Paula worked in Europe for over 20 years, notably as Head of Marketing for Prada based in Milan, and as Deputy Director of Prada UK and Head of Licensing for Alfred Dunhill while in London.  A Queens native, Paula serves on the Board of Trustees of the Queens Museum, the Board of Advisors of Mount Sinai Queens, the Real Estate Committee of the Queens Chamber of Commerce, and as Co-Chair of the Long Island City Business Improvement District (BID) Expansion project, among other civic activities around the borough. 

Tracy capune

Vice President, Kaufman Astoria Studios

Tracy Capune, a veteran urban planner and economic development consultant, is Vice President of Kaufman Astoria Studios. A key member of KAS’s team, Ms. Capune oversees the Studio’s expansion plans as well as initiatives to further economic growth in the neighborhood surrounding the Studio. Ms. Capune played an integral role in creating the Studio’s backlot, managed the development of the Stage K building and was a key team member in developing The Marx, a 33-unit condominium building. She recently led the successful drive to designate the area surrounding the Studio as the Kaufman Arts District. Ms. Capune is now overseeing a new expansion project, building Stages O and N. 

Prior to joining KAS, Ms. Capune spent eight years as a Managing Director at Stadtmauer Bailkin LLP.  She is a graduate of The American University and earned a Masters in Urban Planning from New York University. Ms. Capune is a member of the Boards of Directors of the Queens Theatre, the Queens Economic Development Corporation, The Chocolate Factory Theater and the Kaufman Arts District.   

mary Ceruti

Executive Director and Chief Curator, Sculpture Center

Mary Ceruti is the Executive Director and Chief Curator of SculptureCenter in New York. She oversees all aspects of program, planning, and organizational development and has spearheaded two major building projects, including a $5 million capital campaign in 2014. She has organized dozens of solo and group exhibitions of contemporary art and curated special projects and commissions by over 50 international artists, including Nairy Baghramian, Sanford Biggers, Monica Bonvicini, Alejandro Cesarco, Liz Glynn, Leslie Hewitt, Mike Kelley and Michael Smith, Katrín Sigurdardóttir, and Mika Tajima, among many others. Before joining SculptureCenter in 1999, Ms. Ceruti worked as an independent writer and curator with various arts institutions and agencies, including the San Francisco Arts Commission and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. From 1992-1998, Ms. Ceruti served as the Director of Programs at Capp Street Project, an acclaimed international residency program where she commissioned large-scale, site-specific installation projects in San Francisco by artists such as Janine Antoni, Mona Hatoum, Gary Hill, Cildo Meireles, and Fred Wilson. She started her career as a Curatorial Assistant at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Mary holds a dual BA in Philosophy from Haverford College and in Art History from Bryn Mawr College. She received her MA from the Inter-Arts Center at San Francisco State University after pursuing an in-depth study of community-based public art projects.

Hilary Ayala

Department Manager Strategic Partnerships, ConEdison

Hilary S. Ayala serves as the Director of Con Edison’s Strategic Partnerships Programs.  Reporting to the Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs, Ms. Ayala leads the company’s strategic, cause-related contributions program and employee engagement initiatives.  Ms. Ayala’s portfolio includes the company’s strategic partnerships program, employee and retiree volunteer corps, board placement program, and employee engagement programs.  Her responsibilities include assisting senior executives in the development and implementation of the company’s community strategies to communicate Con Edison’s position as an industry leader, an environmentally responsible company, and an active community supporter.  In former positions at Con Edison, Ms. Ayala served as the company’s principal federal lobbyist in Washington, DC.  Ms. Ayala joined Con Edison in 2001.  
Ms. Ayala is a graduate of Manhattanville College with a bachelor’s degree in International Studies.  She studied at the Université de Paris-Sorbonne on a Marandon scholarship. 


katie denny horowitz

Director of External Affairs, Socrates Sculpture Park
President, Long Island City Cultural Alliance

Katie Denny Horowitz joined Socrates Sculpture Park in 2013 with over ten years of experience in grantmaking and development in both the private and public sectors. Prior to joining the Park, she was the Director of Development for New Yorkers for Parks, a citywide advocacy organization, where she led overall fundraising efforts to champion an equitable and accessible parks system. She was the inaugural Director of Special Projects at the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs from
2005-2011. Katie holds a MPA from NYU’s Wagner School of Public Service with an emphasis in Nonprofit Management and Public Policy.