The Board of Directors of the Saltonstall Foundation is comprised of dedicated individuals committed to maintaining and advancing the mission of the Foundation. Each one brings a passion for the arts, and many are artists and writers from the immediate Ithaca area.
Kenneth C. Burkhart
Ken Burkhart is a fine art photographer and curator who came to Ithaca from Chicago where he served as Curator of Photography and Exhibitions at the Chicago Cultural Center. He has continued his work as an independent curator for over 100 exhibitions both in the US and abroad, including his current project “Chicago Calling: Art Against the Flow”. Ken has served on the boards of Intuit: The Center for intuitive and Outsider Art; the Illinois Arts Council Visual Arts Panel; the Chicago Artists Abroad Panel, and other art organizations in Chicago.
His artwork has received several visual arts grants including awards from the Illinois Arts Council, Chicago Architecture Foundation and The Museum of Contemporary Photography Chicago among others.
Ken received his BA in studio art from Mercyhurst University and an MFA from the University of Chicago. His photography resides in both public and private collections.
Alex Chertok is a poet and essayist living just outside of Ithaca with his wife and greyhound. He was named Ithaca Festival Poet in 2014, and has received a fellowship from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. He has a BA in English from the University of Virginia and an MFA in poetry from Cornell, where he was also a Lecturer. Now he teaches part-time at Ithaca College in the Writing Department and through the Cornell Prison Education Program.
Nancy Rose Gossett
Artist, Gallery Director
Nancy Rose Gossett is a visual artist whose figurative painting focuses on themes of physical mobility, social inequality, and the destruction of the environment. After receiving her BA in French Literature with honors from UC Berkeley, Nancy relocated to New York — and to visual art — becoming a full-time artist both freelance and by commission. Over the past twenty years she has left a trail of art in LA, Paris, Ithaca, NYC, and finally, Oneonta, NY, where she now lives with her husband and two children.
In addition to painting, Nancy works as the gallery director at the Community Arts Network of Oneonta, a non-profit dedicated to promoting the arts and supporting the artists, musicians, and writers in her city.
Katherine Howe is a New York Times bestselling and award-winning historian and writer of fiction for adults and young adults. Her best known novels are The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane, which debuted at #2 on the New York Times bestseller list in 2009 and was named one of USA Today’s top ten books of the year, and Conversion, which received the 2015 Massachusetts Book Award in young adult literature. She also edited The Penguin Book of Witches for Penguin Classics, a primary source reader on the history of witchcraft in England and North America which has been translated into Spanish.
She has appeared on “Good Morning America,” “CBS This Morning,” NPR’s “Weekend Edition,” the BBC, the History Channel, and the Travel Channel, and she hosted “Salem: Unmasking the Devil” for National Geographic. Her fiction has been translated into over twenty languages.
She holds a BA in art history and philosophy from Columbia and an MA in American and New England studies from Boston University, and she has taught American history, visual culture, and writing at BU and Cornell. Her next project is a popular nonfiction history co-authored with Anderson Cooper due out from Harper in Fall 2021. A native Houstonian, she lives in New England and New York City with her family, where she is at work on her next novel. She also puts hot sauce on everything. (Photo credit: Nina Subin)
Stephen Kuusisto, a 2013 Saltonstall residency alum, directs The Burton Blatt Institute’s Research Programs in disability at Syracuse University where he holds a University Professorship.
He is the author of the memoirs Planet of the Blind (a New York Times “Notable Book of the Year”) and Eavesdropping: A Memoir of Blindness and Listening and of the poetry collections Only Bread, Only Light, and Letters to Borges. His newest memoir, Have Dog, Will Travel: A Poet’s Journey is new from Simon & Schuster.
A graduate of the Iowa Writer’s Workshop and a Fulbright Scholar, he has taught at the University of Iowa, Hobart & William Smith Colleges, and The Ohio State University. Kuusisto has served as an advisor to the Metropolitan Museum and the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the National Endowment for the Arts in Washington DC and has appeared on numerous television and radio programs including The Oprah Winfrey Show; Dateline; All Things Considered; Morning Edition; Talk of the Nation; A & E; and Animal Planet. His essays have appeared in The New York Times; The Washington Post; Harper’s; The Reader’s Digest; and his daily blog “Planet of the Blind” is read globally by people interested in disability and contemporary culture.
He is a frequent speaker in the US and abroad.
Aimée Lehmann is a fiction writer who came to Ithaca via a circuitous route that began in Michigan and looped through Kenya, South Sudan, Germany, Brazil, and North Carolina before finally arriving here in 2001.
She started her professional life as an English teacher but ended up with a Master in Public Health and spent many years working in refugee camps and with international health projects before returning to her first love, writing.
Aimée divides her life between lovely Ithaca and the city of Berlin.
Fundraising Professional, Poet
Jesse Saldana is the Sr. Director of Product at GiveGab, an online fundraising platform that works with nonprofits and higher ed institutions around the country. He lives in Ithaca with his wife and their two cats and two dogs.
Though he doesn’t write much these days, Jesse has a BA in English from the University of Virginia and an MFA from the University of Washington in Poetry.
Alice, Connie’s younger sister, is a local jazz/improvisational singer who earned her Bachelor of Music degree from Syracuse University. She has collaborated with various local musicians, most recently with Jayne Demakos who produced the CD “Beauty Crowds Me” for Hospice.
Alice is the mother of four children. She loves the Saltonstall Colony and would like her sister’s legacy to grow and continue to support the artists and writers of New York State.
Norah Selig is a fundraising analyst and consultant who works for Cornell University’s division of Alumni Affairs and Development. She returned to Ithaca in 2012 after living abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark for a year where she fell in love with Danish design sensibilities and aesthetic.
Prior to Cornell, she spent seven years working primarily with human service organizations in the Denver metro area, including the Adoption Exchange, the National Sports Center for the Disabled and Girls Inc. of Metro Denver. In addition, she has enjoyed volunteering over the years for arts and civic organizations such as the Community Arts Partnership and Denver Young Nonprofit Professional Network (YNPN).
While not currently an active artist or musician, she spent fourteen years playing the violin and viola, earning All-County and All-State (NY) Orchestra recognition and performing in the Long Island University/C.W. Post Chamber Music Festival.
Norah holds a bachelor’s degree in Policy Analysis and Management from Cornell and lives in Ithaca.